General Terms of Reproductive Health AZ
Most of our health courses left a lot to be desired. With so many questions about sexual and reproductive health remaining unanswered in elementary school, we had to expand our knowledge and educate ourselves.
So let this be a helpful resource for getting back to basics and brushing up on common A-Z of reproductive health terms.
A is for abortion. Abortion, also known as the termination of pregnancy, is a very personal decision. Unfortunately, abortions are often government regulated when they really are an incredibly common procedure that is ultimately up to the pregnant woman.
B stands for birth control. If your sexual partner has a penis, you probably already have contraception on your mind at some point. The most common forms of contraception are hormonal such as the pill or patch, IUDs, and barrier methods such as condoms.
C stands for cunnilingus. The official term for eating out or harassing someone. This * ahem * hot form of oral sex is achieved by stimulating someone with a vagina with their tongue and mouth.
D stands for discharge. Vaginal discharge is a normal part of a vagina. Your discharge changes during your menstrual cycle, with pregnancy, and when your reproductive system is unbalanced or has an infection. It can even tell you when you are ovulating!
E stands for endometriosis. This painful condition is caused by the lining of the uterus growing in a different place in the abdomen than the uterus. If you’re having severely painful cramping, bleeding, and other not-so-funny period symptoms, getting tested for endometriosis may help.
F stands for follicular phase. This part of your menstrual cycle starts when your period starts and ends when you ovulate. It is characterized by rising levels of estrogen preparing your body to release an egg.
G stands for gender: Unlike biological gender, gender is a person’s social and legal identity. Gender is fluid, and people can switch from one gender to another or develop their own gender that is outside of the binary, also known as non-binary.
H stands for hormone replacement therapy. HRT is the use of artificial hormones. It is often used to relieve menopausal symptoms and to help transgender people develop desired traits such as changes in their breasts and nipples, changes in voice, or changes in body hair.
I is for IUD. This small T-shaped birth control option, also known as an intrauterine device, is located right in the opening of your uterus, above your cervix. There are several options that either release a small amount of hormones or are hormone-free and made of copper.
J is for journaling. Tracking your menstrual cycle with a menstrual journal can help you gain valuable insights into your health and structure your days based on where you are in your cycle.
K stands for cone. This exercise is important in maintaining and healing the health of your pelvic floor. Kegel exercises help support your internal organs, can help you prepare for childbirth, and improve your sex life!
L stands for the luteal phase. Your luteal phase is part of your menstrual cycle. It starts right after ovulation and ends just before your period starts. This is when you may start experiencing symptoms of PMS.
M stands for mammary glands. Surprisingly, everyone has mammary glands from birth, regardless of gender. When people experience a surge in estrogen during puberty or through hormone therapy, the mammary glands help develop along with the breasts. These glands enable milk to be produced, also called lactation.
N stands for natural family planning. This is a type of fertility awareness based conception. You can help plan or prevent pregnancy by tracking your cycle and knowing when you are ovulating.
O stands for ovaries. Ovaries come in pairs, except for abnormalities, and serve as the primary reproductive organs in the female body. They not only produce egg cells, egg cells, but are also essential for the release of the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone.
P stands for Pap smear. Pap smears are a necessary part of keeping track of your reproductive health when you have a uterus. Your doctor will take a small smear of cervical cells to test for abnormalities and test for HPV, which can potentially lead to cervical cancer.
Q stands for Queef. Queefs are the sometimes uncomfortable fart-like noises that escape from the vagina when air trapped in it is suddenly released. These usually occur at inconvenient times while you are doing squats in the gym.
R stands for rimming. Also known as the rim job. Aka, oral sex around the anus. The desire to give or receive a wheel rim job is completely normal. Talk to your partner if you want to try it out!
S stands for STIs. Sexually transmitted infections are, of course, infections that can be transmitted through sexual activity. Some of the most common STIs are HPV, herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Here’s your friendly reminder to get tested regularly!
T stands for thyroid. Your thyroid is a small gland at the front of your neck. This powerful gland is essential for regulating processes such as metabolism, sexual function, and development.
U stands for urinary tract infection. Ouch! Urinary tract infections are a common bacterial infection of the urinary tract. Urinary tract infections are often caused when bacteria from the anus are rubbed against the labia during sex, exercise, or while wearing tight inorganic underwear.
V stands for vulva: The outer part of the genitals for people with a vagina. Some of the parts that make up the vulva are the inner and outer labia, urethra, clitoris, and vaginal opening. Fun fact, the word vulva comes from the Latin word for covering or enveloping.
W stands for wet dreams. Even people with vaginas get absolutely wet dreams. You are completely normal and healthy. Your erotic dreams don’t necessarily reflect your actual sexual preferences unless you want them to be.
X stands for Xx chromosomes. Do you remember your biology class? Xx chromosomes are the DNA markers that someone will be born with an ovary, a vagina, and a uterus.
Y stands for yeast infection. Burning, itching, and irritation around the vagina and vulva are the tell-tale signs of this nasty yeast infection. Fortunately, they can often be fixed with natural treatments.
Z stands for zygotes. These are the first steps in pregnancy. A zygote forms right after conception when an egg is fertilized by sperm.
Here we go! They’re all updated on your AZ reproductive health terms. If you want to learn more, take a look at the Intimina blog.