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revised Friday February 17 2023
healthy sexuality


Scabies A very itchy rash caused by tiny insects (itch mites) that burrow or dig under the skin. Scabies is spread by skin-to-skin contact like shaking hands, dancing, sharing clothes, bedding or towels and sexual contact.

Scabies can affect anyone and isn't only caused by unclean situations.

Spermicides Chemicals used to kill or slow sperm to prevent pregnancy. Birth control methods like the sponge, contraceptive foam and vaginal contraceptive film all contain spermicides, as do some male condoms.

Sponge A barrier birth control method used by only women that contains spermicides that kill sperm. A woman inserts this small round sponge made of foam into her vagina before having sexual intercourse.

Straight A slang term for being heterosexual.

Syphilis A sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria that enters the blood stream through the eyes, mouth, vagina, anus or broken skin. Syphilis can cause serious healthy problems and even death if left untreated.



Trichomoniasis This is an infection caused by a very small parasite called trichomonas vaginalis. It's a sexually transmitted infection (STI).

Transgendered Someone who feels that their gender identity conflicts with their sexual anatomy; for example a girl who feels like she should have been a boy.

Transsexuals People who want to change their sexual anatomy because it conflicts with their gender identity.

Transvestite Someone who dresses up in clothes of the opposite sex either because of an urge or for sexual arousal.



Unprotected sex Having sex without using some form of birth control and/or protection against STIs.

Uterus Also known as the womb, the uterus is the pear-shaped, muscular reproductive organ in women that is responsible for menstruation and pregnancy.



Vaginal Contraceptive Film (VCF) This is a form of birth control used by women; a very thin square that dissolves quickly in the vagina and releases a spermicide that kills sperm.

Vaginal sex Sexual activity where the penis enters the vagina.



Withdrawal This is the act of pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation occurs in order to prevent pregnancy. It is also known as 'pulling out.' Withdrawal offers no protection against STIs - including HIV/AIDS. Pre-ejaculate does contain semen and bacteria. So if two people are having vaginal sex without using a condom, the woman can still get pregnant and either partner can still get an STI.


Yeast infection Yeast is a very common fungus that lives in small amounts in a woman's vagina. If too much yeast grows it can cause itching, burning, a white discharge and painful sex. Men can also experience symptoms of a yeast infection, but it's rare.

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Revised: Friday February 17 2023

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