Please note: This archive was last updated in 2005.


Note: Use the alphabetic key below to move to a particular section, or use the Edit/Find function in your browser to search this page.

A-C | D-F | G-J | K-O | P-R | S-T | U-Z

A - C

Abstinence: Refraining from sexual intercourse.

Accreditation systems: Monitoring system in which outside inspectors periodically visit a service site and determine whether its performance meets preset standards.

Acetic acid: A vinegar solution that is applied to cervical tissue to facilitate identification of abnormal tissue. The acetic acid interacts with diseased cells, causing epithelial lesions to turn white.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS): A progressive, usually fatal condition that reduces the body's ability to fight certain infections. It is caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Adenocarcinoma: A malignant cervical neoplasm primarily consisting of glandular epithelium. Adenocarcinoma accounts for approximately 5 percent of cervical cancer cases worldwide.

Adhesion: Scar tissue in the abdominal cavity, fallopian tubes, or uterus that may interfere with transport of the egg or implantation of the embryo in the uterus.

Adolescence: The transition between puberty and adulthood.

Adolescents: Youth, ages 10 to 19.

Advocacy: Persuasive communication and targeted actions in support of a cause or issue that seek to change policies, positions, and programs.

Amenorrhea: Absence of menstrual periods.

Anemia:Low levels of the oxygen-carrying material in the blood, resulting in decreased oxygen to body tissues.

Angurya: Scraping of the vagina and surrounding tissues as a part of the harmful practice of female genital mutilation.

Antenatal: The period between conception and birth (same as prenatal).

Antiretroviral treatment: A substance or combination of substances used to destroy a retrovirus (for example, HIV) or suppress its replication.

Antisperm antibodies:Antibodies produced by a woman that attach to sperm and inhibit both their movement and their ability to fertilize.

Artificial insemination: Placement of sperm inside a woman's vagina, uterus, or fallopian tubes (usually by injecting them through a catheter or cannula) in order to promote fertilization.

Assisted reproductive technology (ART): Procedures used to bring about conception without sexual intercourse, including IUI, IVF, GIFT, and ZIFT.

Asthenozoospermia: Low sperm motility.

Asylum-seeker: Someone who has left their country of origin and applied for recognition as a refugee in another country.

Asymptomatic:Without signs or symptoms of disease or illness (i.e. where the patient does not complain of any symptoms).

Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS): An abnormal test result from a cytological smear of the cervix. This type of abnormality is less severe than low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL).

Audio-CASI: Audio computer-assisted self interview, an interview method in which respondents press a computer key in response to each question in a pre-recorded questionnaire. Audio-CASI technology allows researchers to design a private, standardized interview, regardless of respondents' level of literacy.

Automated Pap screening: Mechanical identification of Pap smear subsets, which should then be examined by cytologists.

Azoospermia: Absence of sperm in the semen.

Backup method: A family planning method such as condoms or spermicide that can be used temporarily for extra protection against pregnancy when needed.

Bacterial vaginitis: Inflammation of the vagina caused by a bacterial infection.

Bacterial vaginosis: A common vaginal condition that includes a fishy-smelling discharge caused by overgrowth of bacteria normally found in the vagina.

Balanitis: Inflammation of the head (tip) of the penis and the mucous membrane beneath it.

Bethesda classification system: Proposed in 1988 by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, this system relies on only two grades for reporting cervical cancer precursor conditions: lowgrade squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL), which include cellular atypia and CIN I, and highgrade squamous intraepithelial lesions, which include CIN II, III, and CIS. The system creates uniform terminology, includes a statement regarding the adequacy of the cytological specimen, and uses subcategories to further describe cytologic changes.

Bisophonates: A class of non-hormonal drugs that adsorbs to bone mineral and prevents osteoporosis.

Breakthrough bleeding: Vaginal bleeding between menstrual periods.

Bromocriptine: Oral medication used to lower prolactin levels.

Calcitonin: A hormone produced by the thyroid gland that increases deposition of calcium and phosphate in bone and lowers the level of calcium in the blood.

Candidiasis: A common infection of the skin or mucous membranes caused by a yeast-like fungus (Candida albicans) that commonly causes vaginitis (vaginal burning and or itching accompanied by clumpy white discharge).

Carcinoma in situ (CIS):Cellular changes in the stratified squamous epithelium associated with invasive cervical cancer but not extending to adjacent structures. CIS is generally a recognizable precursor of invasive squamous cell cancer.

Case fatality rate: The number of fatalities (deaths) from a specific disease in a given period per 100 episodes of the disease during the same time period.

Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) classification system: Introduced in the 1960s, the CIN classification system for reporting cytological (Pap smear) results graded the severity of cervical lesions so that mild cervical dysplasia was categorized as CIN I, moderate cervical dysplasia as CIN II, and severe cervical dysplasia as CIN III.

Cervical mucous: A thick fluid plugging the opening of the cervix. Most of the time the cervical mucous is thick enough to prevent sperm from entering the uterus. At midcycle, however, under the influence of estrogen, the mucous becomes thin and watery, and sperm can more easily pass into the uterus.

Cervical stenosis: A narrowing of the cervical canal.

Cervicitis: Inflammation of the cervix, usually caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Cervicography: Technique for photographing the cervix to identify dysplasia or cancer. Photographs are then sent to a central site for evaluation.

Cervix: The lower portion of the uterus that extends into the upper vagina.

Chancroid: A sexually transmitted disease caused by the rod-shaped bacteria, Hemophilus ducreyi, often causing painful sores on the penis, vagina, or anus, and swollen lymph nodes.

Chlamydia: A sexually transmitted disease caused by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis, often causing irregular bleeding and pain during intercourse in women, burning during urination in men, and discharge in both men and women. If left untreated, chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease.

Circumcision (male): Removal of the foreskin or prepuce of the penis.

Cirrhosis: A disease involving the destruction of liver cells and diminished liver function. Cirrhosis can block blood flow to the liver causing high blood pressure and/or jaundice.

Clinical diagnosis:Using clinical experience to identify the presence of a disease.

Clinical protocols: Step-by-step instructions that explain how to perform clinical tasks, such as inserting an IUD or taking blood pressure.

Clitoridectomy: Removal of part or all of the clitoris.

Clitoris: A small, erect body of the female genitalia, partially hidden by the labia. It is highly sensitive, and can be a source of sexual pleasure and female orgasm. It is homologous to the penis of the male.

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene): Drug that stimulates ovulation through the release of gonadotropins from the pituitary gland.

Colposcopy: Examination of the vagina and cervix using an endoscopic instrument (colposcope) that provides magnification to allow direct observation and study of vaginal and cervical cells in vivo.

Community-based distribution:The distribution of health services and supplies through stores, special depots, or agents other than clinics, physicians, or medical personnel.

Competency-based training: Training based on participants' ability to demonstrate mastery of clinical skills performed under certain conditions to specific standards.

Complex emergency: The official definition of a complex emergency is “a humanitarian crisis in a country, region or society where there is total or considerable breakdown of authority resulting from internal or external conflict and which requires an international response that goes beyond the mandate or capacity of any single agency and/ or the ongoing United Nations country program.” (Office of the Coordinator of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA] Inter-Agency Standing Committee [IASC], December 1994).

Conception: Union of an ovum (egg) and a sperm. Also known as fertilization.

Couple-years of protection (CYP): Number of contraceptives distributed within a program year, by type, multiplied by the average length of time they are effective.

Cryotherapy: The use of extremely low temperatures (60 C to 90 C) to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue.

Cytology or exfoliate cytology: Commonly used to describe evaluation of endo and ectocervical cells for abnormalities associated with HPV infection and SIL.

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D - F

Diathermy: The generation of heat resulting from the passage of a highfrequency electric current.

Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs): A measure used to express how a healthy life is affected by disease; it combines the years lost because of premature death and disability.

Discordant couple:A couple in which one partner is HIV positive and the other is HIV negative.

Distance education: Training approaches that deliver instruction to learners outside of the classroom via print materials, audio tapes, radio and television broadcasts, computer software, and electronic conferencing.

Domestic violence: Violence that occurs within a family or an intimate relationship, including wife beating and child abuse.

Downstaging: A term used to describe visual inspection to identify early cervical cancer.

Dual protection: Strategies that provide a simultaneous safeguard against both pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with particular emphasis on HIV.

Dysmenorrhea: Painful menstrual periods.

Dyspareunia: Painful sexual intercourse.

Dysplasia of the uterine cervix: Cellular abnormality involving part of the cervical squamous epithelium.

Dystocia: Difficult birth due to abnormality in the fetus (fetal dystocia) or the mother (maternal dystocia).

Dysuria: Difficulty or pain in urination.

Eclampsia: A toxic condition of late pregnancy, labor, and the period immediately after delivery, occurring as a complication of pre-eclampsia, and characterized by convulsions. Serious cases can lead to coma and death.

Ectocervix: The external portion of the uterine cervix and os.

Ectopic pregnancy: Pregnancy outside the uterus; a life-threatening condition that can cause massive internal bleeding.

Ejaculation: The release of semen from the penis.

Electrocautery (electrocoagulation): The process of using an electrically heated metal probe to destroy abnormal tissue.

Electrode: The terminal of an electric circuit through which electrons pass.

Emergency contraception (EC): Methods used to prevent pregnancy after unprotected intercourse (such as when a contraceptive fails or when sex occurs without contraception). Two types of EC are available: emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) and emergency copper-bearing IUD insertion. Both methods are safe and effective if proper service delivery guidelines are followed.

Endocervix:The mucous membrane of the cervical canal.

Endometrial biopsy: Collection of a sample of the uterine lining for microscopic analysis in order to confirm ovulation and proper preparation of the endometrium to receive an egg.

Epidemic: A sudden, unusual increase in cases that exceeds the number expected on the basis of experience.

Episiotomy: Surgical cutting of the perineum (area of skin between the vagina and the anus) to enlarge the outlet during childbirth.

Erider: Eriders, or "circuit riders" provide technical support, including ICT training, consulting, and advice on strategy development, to a cluster to nongovernmental organizations within a region. Eriders may provide support by email, telephone, or in-person site visits. They can also "cross-pollinate" the groups they serve, by sharing insights, tools, and tips as they travel throughout their region.

Essential obstetric care: Provision of key life-saving (emergency) and non-emergency obstetric interventions including: Cesarean section; crucial medications (such as anesthesia, antibiotics, and fluid replacement); blood transfusions; manual removal of the placenta; and vacuum aspiration for incomplete abortion.

Estrogen replacement therapy: See hormone replacement therapy.

Estrogen: Hormones responsible for female sexual development. Natural estrogens, especially the hormone estradiol, are secreted by a mature ovarian follicle which surrounds the ovum (egg). Synthetic estrogens are drugs which have effects similar to those of natural estrogens.

Etiologic:Using laboratory tests or microscopy to identity a causative agent.

Excision: Removal of the clitoral hood with or without removal of part or all of the clitoris as part of the harmful practice of female genital mutilation.

Facilitative supervision: An approach to supervision that emphasizes mentoring, joint problem solving, and two-way communication between the supervisor and those being supervised.

Fallopian tube: Either of a pair of slender ducts that connect the uterus to the region of each ovary. It carries the ovum (egg) from the ovary to the uterus, and carries the sperm from the uterus toward the ovary. Conception usually takes place in the fallopian tube.

Fecundity: The ability to become pregnant.

Female genital mutilation (FGC): Partial or total removal of the female external genitalia. Also known as female genital mutilation (FGM) or female circumcision.

Fibroid (myoma, leiomyoma):A benign tumor of the uterine muscle and connective tissue.

First-to-expire, first-out (FEFO): Inventory management system that moves older products out first to prevent waste from products expiring before they are used.

Fistula: An abnormal opening between the vagina and the rectum, which can lead to incontinence (inability to retain urine and/or feces).

Forecasting: Estimating the quantity of each contraceptive or other product that will be dispensed to clients during some future period.

Fully breastfeeding: Giving a baby no food or liquid other than breast milk. To nearly fully breast feed signifies that the baby is given some additional food or liquid, but at least 85 percent of the baby's feedings are breast milk.

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G - J

Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT): A technique to bring about conception without sexual intercourse; eggs and sperm are combined outside of the body and immediately injected into the fallopian tubes where natural fertilization may take place.

Gender: Culturally defined roles and responsibilities for females and males that are learned, may change over time, and vary among societies.

Gender analysis: Systematic study of the differences in the material welfare and status of females and males in a culture.

Gender equity: The standardization of opportunities (and resulting benefits) between males and females.

Gender training: Challenging workers' gender attitudes and teaching them gender concepts and practical skills so that they will be sensitive to gender issues in the course of their work.

Genital prolapse: A condition in which the vaginal wall or uterus descend below their normal positions; part of the bladder or rectum may protrude from the vagina.

Genital ulcer disease/syndrome: The name for the syndrome where ulcers or sores are found in the genital region, usually caused by herpes, syphilis and/or chancroid. The presence of genital ulcers may increase the risk of transmitting HIV.

Genitalia:External reproductive organs of the body (for example, penis, clitoris).

Gishiri: Cutting of the vagina and surrounding tissues as part of the harmful practice of female genital mutilation.

Gonorrhea: STI caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoea; common cause of urethral and vaginal discharge, and of discharging eyes in newborns.

Guidelines: The policies, standards, protocols, and procedures that govern day-to-day operations of an organization and that determine who provides what care to which clients.

Heavy smoker: A person who smokes 20 or more cigarettes per day.

Herpes: An STI caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV), a common cause of genital blisters and ulcers.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus): An AIDS-causing virus that attacks the body's immune system, making the body unable to fight infection.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT): A combination of estrogen and progestin, or estrogen alone, that is given to women during the menopausal transition to offer them short-term relief from uncomfortable symptoms. It may also be given to post-menopausal women on a long-term basis to protect them from osteoporosis and other conditions related to menopause.

Hormone: A chemical substance formed in one organ or part of the body and carried in the blood to another organ or part. Affects the activity of other organs or parts of the body through chemical action.

HPV (human papilloma virus): A sexually transmitted agent that infects the cells of the cervix and slowly causes cellular changes that can result in cancer.

Human rights: Rights to which people are entitled simply because they are human beings, regardless of their nationality, race, ethnicity, gender, or religion.

Hypertension: Higher blood pressure than normal. Diastolic blood pressure from 90 to 99 mm HG is considered mild hypertension; 100-109, moderate hypertension; and 110 or greater, severe hypertension. Systolic blood pressure from 140 to 159 mm HG is considered mild hypertension; 160-179, moderate hypertension; and 180 or greater, severe hypertension.

Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy: High blood pressure occurring as a result of pregnancy.

Hypospermatogenesis: Low sperm production.

Hysterosalpingogram: X-ray examination of the pelvic organs after dye has been injected through the cervix; used to check for malformation of the uterus and blockage of the fallopian tubes.

Hysteroscopy: Insertion of a fiber-optic device into the uterus to visually check for abnormalities.

Implantation: The embedding of the embryo into tissue so it can establish contact with the mother's blood supply for nourishment. Implantation usually occurs in the endometrium (the membrane lining the inner surface of the uterus); however, in an ectopic pregnancy it may occur elsewhere in the body.

Impotence: Inability to achieve an erection.

In vitro fertilization (IVF):Fertilization takes place outside of the body in a small glass dish.

In-service training: Training to update the knowledge and skills of health care workers who already providing services.

Incidence: The frequency of new infections (i.e., number of infections over a given time period), expressed as a percentage of the population at risk.

Incontinence: The inability to control excretory functions, such as defecation or urination.

Incubation period: The time period between when a person is first infected with a disease-causing agent and the time when clinical manifestation of the disease occurs.

Index patient:A term used to distinguish between the original patient treated and any partners who are treated.

Indicators: Quantifiable measures of program performance and impact.

Infertility: Inability of a couple to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse.

Infibulation: Removal of part or all of the external genitalia (clitoris, labia minora, and labia majora) and stitching and/or narrowing of the vaginal opening, leaving a small hole for urine and menstrual flow, as part of the harmful practice of female genital mutilation.

Information, education, and communication (IEC): Activities designed to increase awareness of or promote a certain health intervention or behavior.

Informed choice: The client's ability to freely choose a contraceptive method from a range of options based on accurate, useful information and an understanding of her/his own needs.

Integrated services: Availability of multiple health services—for instance, family planning and STI treatment—through a single facility.

Internally displaced person (IDP): Someone who has fled his or her home due to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion or because of armed conflict, but who has not crossed an internationally recognized border.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ISCI): A procedure used to bring about conception without sexual intercourse in which a single sperm is injected into an egg.

Intrapartum: Within the period of labor and delivery.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): A type of artificial insemination in which sperm are placed directly in the uterus in order to bypass the cervical mucus.

Inventory management: Procedures that govern how supplies are received, stored, handled, and issued.

Isoflavones: A specific class of phytoestrogens found chiefly in soybeans.

Job aid: A job-based reference tool that helps staff perform a task.

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K - O

Kegel exercises: Special exercises to tighten the pelvic muscles, which can relieve some forms of urinary incontinence and pelvic discomfort.

Keloid: A raised, firm, thickened red scar that may grow for a prolonged period of time. It may follow trauma or surgical incision.

Labia majora and minora: The folds of tissue lying on either side of the vaginal opening and forming the borders of the vulva. The labia minora (smaller, inside folds) protect the clitoris.

Lactational amenorrhea method (LAM): A family planning method that relies on breastfeeding as natural protection against pregnancy for up to 6 months after childbirth. Women who use LAM must fully breastfeed or nearly fully breastfeed to protect themselves from pregnancy.

Laparoscopy: Examination of the pelvic region with a fiber-optic telescope to diagnose and treat fertility problems, including endometriosis and adhesions.

Laparotomy: Major abdominal surgery to correct abnormalities of the reproductive organs.

Lesion: A very general term denoting any abnormality on the surface of the body, whether on the skin or on a mucous membrane. Includes sores, wounds, injuries, pimples, and tumors, on the skin or elsewhere.

Life expectancy: Average length of time the members of a population can expect to live.

Life skills: Adaptive and positive behaviors that allow individuals to deal with the demands and challenges of everyday life. Also refers to skills that enhance psychological and social development such as decision making and problem solving, creative and critical thinking, communication and interpersonal relations, self-awareness, and coping with emotions and causes of stress. Development and exploration of life skills is a particularly important facet of adolescent reproductive health.

Logistics system: The total flow of products from the acquisition of raw materials to the delivery of finished goods to users, including the related flow of information that controls and records the movement of those products.

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP): Also known as large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ), LEEP is a method of outpatient excisional biopsy and treatment that is used to remove the entire transformation zone using a thin wire electrode charged with a lowvoltage, highfrequency alternating current (600 kHz), producing a tissue specimen for histologic analysis.

Male circumcision:Removal of the foreskin or prepuce of the penis.

Management information systems (MIS): A manual or computerized system that collects, processes, and reports data needed to manage a family planning delivery system.

Management procedures: Step-by-step instructions that explain how to carry out non-medical tasks, such as filing client records or ordering contraceptive supplies.

Marginalized youth: Youth whose needs have been overlooked or neglected, usually because some aspect(s) of their lives causes mainstream society to perceive them as unacceptable or difficult to manage. Examples include street kids, child sex workers, gang members, and gay or lesbian youth.

Masturbation: Self sexual stimulation.

Maternal mortality rate: The number of maternal deaths annually per 1,000 women of reproductive age.

Maternal mortality ratio: The number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, reflecting a woman's risk of dying each time she becomes pregnant.

Maternal mortality:Death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of the pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management.

Maximum/minimum (max/min): An inventory control method that ensures the quantity of each item on hand remains within an established range; it calls for each facility to set maximum and minimum desired stock levels.

Medical barriers: Practices and policies based on a medical rationale that impede or deny contraceptive use, but which cannot be scientifically justified.

Medical eligibility criteria: Standards by which the safety of contraceptive methods are judged for individual clients, depending on their age, health status, and behavior.

Menopausal transition: A period of about four years before menopause during which hormonal and clinical changes occur.

Menopause: The time in a woman's life when menses (menstrual periods) stop. Occurs when a woman's ovaries stop producing eggs and monthly bleeding from the uterus stops.

Menses inducer: Agent that once introduced in a woman's body causes the start of menstrual bleeding (for example, an antiprogestin).

Menses: Monthly flow of bloody fluid from the uterus through the vagina in adult women between puberty and menopause.

Menstrual cycle: A repeating series of changes in the ovaries and endometrium that includes ovulation and about two weeks later the beginning of menstrual bleeding. In most women the cycle averages 28 days, but it may be shorter or longer.

Microbicides: Agent that destroys microbes (such as an antiseptic).

Microinvasion:Invasion of tissue immediately adjacent to a carcinoma in situ; the earliest stage of malignant neoplastic invasion.

Millennium Development Goals: A set of measurable goals set by world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, and discrimination against women.

Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for refugees: A set of activities that respond to the reproductive health needs of populations in the early phase of a refugee situation and that can be implemented without any new needs assessment. MISP components are identifying organizations or individuals to coordinate implementation of the MISP; preventing and managing the consequences of sexual violence; reducing HIV transmission; preventing excess neonatal and maternal morbidity and mortality; and planning for the provision of comprehensive reproductive health services as soon as possible.

Mons pubis: The fatty tissue over the pubic bone.

Mucosal: Relating to the mucosa, a moist membrane lining many structures and cavities in the body.

Myomectomy: Surgical removal of fibroid tumors from the wall of the uterus.

Neonatal death: Death of an infant within the first month of life.

Neoplasia: The formation and growth of new and usually abnormal tissue (neoplasms), such as benign or malignant tumors.

Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU): Urethritis, manifested by urethral discharge, painful urination, or itching at the end of the urethra, is the response of the urethra to inflammation NOT due to gonococcal infection.

Nulliparous: Having never given birth to a liveborn infant.

Obstructed labor: A labor in which delivery is prevented by mechanical factors; delivery often requires Cesarean section.

Oligospermia:Low sperm count.

On-the-job training: Self-paced, structured instruction from an experienced worker that allows an employee to acquire needed knowledge and skills while on the job.

Opportunistic illnesses: Illnesses that affect people with weak immune systems.

Osteoporosis: Loss of bone mass that frequently is experienced by postmenopausal women and increases the risk of hip and other fractures.

Outreach programs: Programs that bring services to underserved, hard-to-reach populations such as street youth, out-of-school youth, and young married women.

Overstocking: Having greater supplies of an item in stock than can be used within a certain time period.

Ovulation induction: The use of female hormone therapy to stimulate ovulation.

Ovulation: The release of an ovum (egg cell) from an ovary.

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P - R

Palliative care: The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as "the active total care of patients whose disease is not responsive to curative treatment." Palliative care seeks to improve patients’ quality of life by relieving physical, emotional, and spiritual pain for patients and their caregivers.

Pandemic: An epidemic occurring in many regions and countries.

Pap smear: A test in which a smear of vaginal or cervical secretion is examined for exfoliated cells to detect cancer in an early stage, or to evaluate hormonal condition.

Partner management: Contacting, treating, and educating sexual partners of a patient treated for STI.

Pathogen: A microorganism, such as a bacterium, that lives on and feeds from a host and causes disease.

Patient referral: Method of contacting sexual partners which relies on the patient informing them.

Peer pressure: Emotional or mental force from people belonging to the same social group (such as same age, grade, or status) to act or behave in a manner similar to themselves. Peer pressure has a great influence on adolescent behavior and reflects young people's desire to fit in and be accepted by others.

Peer-educators/promoters: Young people who have been trained to assist their peers in need of reproductive health information and services. Peer educators receive special training in making decisions, providing client referrals, or providing commodities or services. They usually work one-on-one or in small groups.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID):Infection in the uterine lining, uterine wall, fallopian tube, ovary, uterine membrane, broad ligaments of the uterus, or membranes lining the pelvic wall. May be caused by a variety of infectious organisms including gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Performance improvement: A systematic process to identify the gaps in workers' performance, analyze the root causes, design and implement cost-efficient interventions, and evaluate the impact of the interventions on the performance gaps.

Pergonal: Medication used to induce ovulation.

Perinatal transmission (also known as vertical or mother-to-child transmission): The transmission of HIV from a woman with HIV infection to her baby before or during birth or through breastfeeding.

Pessary: An appliance that is inserted into the vagina to support the uterus and correct uterine prolapse.

Phytoestrogens: Naturally occurring compounds found in plants and plant products, such as soybeans and whole grain cereals, that are structurally and/or functionally related to natural estrogens or that produce estrogenic effects.

Placenta:The organ that nourishes a growing fetus. Also known as "afterbirth," it is expelled from the uterus within a few minutes after the birth of the baby.

Policy: Statements, plans, practices, and regulations adopted by a government or other organization that are designed to guide or control institutional and community behavior.

Population aging: Transition to an age structure with increasing numbers and proportions of older people and decreasing proportions at the youngest ages.

Postcoital test: Microscopic examination of the cervical mucus several hours after intercourse; used to detect causes of infertility such as sperm-mucus interaction problems, the presence of sperm antibodies, and the quality of cervical mucus.

Postpartum: The first 6 weeks after childbirth.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A severe anxiety reaction to a traumatic event, such as rape or war, in which individuals repeatedly relive the event, avoid stimuli associated with the trauma, and experience symptoms such as difficulty sleeping and irritability.

Pre-eclampsia: A condition in pregnancy manifested by hypertension, plus proteinuria (excess protein in urine) and/or swelling after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Can progress to eclampsia.

Premature ejaculation:During sexual intercourse, too rapid achievement of climax and ejaculation in the male relative to his own or his partner's wishes.

Prenatal: The period between conception and birth (same as antenatal).

Pretest: Soliciting feedback from members of a target audience prior to finalizing educational or promotional materials.

Prevalence: The proportion of a defined population with the infection at a given point or period in time.

Preventive behaviors: Behaviors that reduce exposure to health risks and improve life. These can include behaviors such as planning ahead for condom use, seeking information or help about a reproductive health concern, or forming positive relationships among peers who are not engaging in risky behaviors.

Primary infertility: Never having conceived a child.

Progesterone: A hormone secreted chiefly by the corpus luteum, which develops in a ruptured ovarian follicle (small round structure in the ovary that contains an ovum) during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (after ovulation). Progesterone prepares the endometrium for possible implantation by a fertilized ovum. It also protects the embryo, enhances development of the placenta, and aids in preparing the breasts for nursing the new infant.

Progestin: A word used to cover a large group of synthetic drugs that have an effect similar to that of progesterone.

Prostate: A gland surrounding the neck of the bladder and urethra in the male that contributes a secretion to semen.

Provider referral: Method of contacting sexual partners which relies on the health care provider informing them.

Pubic hair: Hair in the genital region.

Punch biopsy:A method by which a small sample of tissue is extracted for histological analysis.

Quality improvement (QI): A systematic, team-based, problem-solving process to continually improve the level of care offered.

Refugee: Someone who has fled his or her country due to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, or because of armed conflict.

Re-infibulation: Stitching the raw edges of a womans labia together again, after childbirth, to recreate the condition of infibulation.

Repatriation: Return of refugees to their country of origin.

Reproductive rights: Human rights pertaining to reproductive and sexual life.

Reproductive tract infection (RTI): RTI is a general term including sexually transmitted infections, infections caused by an overgrowth of organisms normally present in the genital tract, and iatrogenic infections acquired during improperly performed medical procedures.

Resettlement: Permanent settlement of refugees in a third country, other than their country of origin or the country where they initially sought refuge.

Returnees: Refugees or internally displaced persons who have recently returned to their place of origin and whose status and safety are still of concern.

Risk assessment: A systematic client interview designed to elicit medical, social, and behavioral history to assist in establishing potential for risk of RTIs.

Role model: A person who serves as a example of a positive behavior.

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S - T

Salpingitis: Inflammation of the fallopian tubes.

Salpingotomy: Surgery to open blocked fallopian tubes.

Secondary infertility: Inability to conceive after having previously conceived a child.

Semen analysis: Laboratory test to measure sperm count (the number of sperm), motility (the percentage of moving sperm), and morphology (the percentage of normally shaped sperm).

Sensitivity: In testing for a disease, the proportion of people with the disease who are correctly classified by the test as diseased. The sensitivity of a test indicates the degree to which the test is able to identify the presence of the disease.

Septic abortion: Abortion-related uterine and pelvic infection.

Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs): Estrogen-like compounds, including tamoxifen and raloxifene, that are designed to influence some tissues in the body, but not others.

Seroconversion: Development of detectable antibodies to HIV in the blood serum as a result of infection. It may take several months or more after HIV transmission for antibodies to the virus to develop. After antibodies to HIV appear in the blood, a person will test positive in the standard ELISA test for HIV.

Service delivery point: Any facility that serves clients directly; a place where customers receive supplies.

Service policies: Organizational policies that specify which services are offered, when, where, and by whom, for example, policies that decide which contraceptive methods will be offered, clinic hours, and clinic personnel.

Service standards: Organizational rules that specify qualifications and acceptable levels of performance for personnel.

Sex: Biological differences between males and females.

Sex-role stereotype: A fixed notion of appropriate behaviors based on gender; for example, men should earn money and women should raise children.

Sexual coercion: Forcing someone to engage in sexual behavior against his/her will, through threatened or actual violence or severe social consequences.

Sexual orientation: The sex to which a person is physically and emotionally attracted. Heterosexual orientation refers to attraction to members of the opposite sex; homosexual orientation refers to attraction to members of one's own sex; and bisexual orientation refers to attraction to both sexes.

Sexuality education: The process of providing training and knowledge about sexuality; sexuality education encompasses both physical and emotional aspects of sexual and reproductive health.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI): Any infection that is acquired through sexual contact in a substantial number of cases.

Skilled attendance: A partnership of skilled birth attendants and an enabling environment of necessary equipment, supplies, drugs and transport for obstetric referral.

Skilled attendant: An individual with midwifery skills (for example midwife, doctor, or nurse) who has been trained to proficiency in the skills necessary to manage normal deliveries and diagnose, manage, or refer obstetric complications.

Social marketing: Use of marketing techniques to improve social well-being by changing attitudes and behavior in regard to a specific product or concept.

Specificity: In testing for a disease, the proportion of people without the disease who are correctly classified by the test as free of the disease. The specificity of a test indicates the degree to which the test reacts only to that particular disease.

Speculoscopy: A magnified chemiluminescent visual inspection of the cervix.

Sperm washing: Technique to separate sperm from seminal fluid.

Spermatozoa: Male reproductive cells; sperm.

Squamocolumnar junction: The point at which columnar cells meet ectocervical squamous cells on the cervix. This junction is located in the center of the transformation zone and is most vulnerable to abnormal changes in cervical cells.

Squamous cell: A flat, scaly epithelial cell.

Squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL): The abnormal growth of squamous cells on the surface of the cervix. These changes generally are described as low-grade (LSIL) or high-grade (HSIL), depending on the degree of abnormality of the cells, and how much of the cervix is affected.

STD (or STI) management: The care of a client with an STD; this includes activities such as history-taking, physical examination, laboratory tests, diagnosis, treatment and health education about treatment and prevention, follow-up assessment, and referral, when indicated.

Stockout: No supplies left of a given product or products.

Stress urinary incontinence: Involuntary and undesired loss of urine with effort or exertion, such as coughing, sneezing, laughing, lifting heavy objects, and physical exercise.

Substance abuse: Misuse of alcohol or drugs.

Sunna: Removal of the part or all of the clitoris, as part of the harmful practice of female genital mutilation. Also means a customary procedure or action dictated by tradition.

Symptoms: Health problems that a client experiences or complains of.

Syndrome: A set of signs and symptoms that tend to occur together and are clinically indicative of a particular disease state, such as AIDS.

Syphilis: STI caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum; one of the causes of genital ulcers.

TALC: Technology-assisted learning center.

Testes: The paired, egg-shaped glands where spermatozoa develop.

Testicular biopsy: Removal of a small sample of testicular tissue to determine the ability of the cells to produce normal sperm; this technique is also used to remove testicular sperm for use in ICSI treatment of infertility.

Testicular cancer: Cancer of the testes.

Testosterone: The most potent naturally occurring male sex hormone.

Thromboembolic disorder: Abnormal clotting in the blood vessels.

Traditional birth attendant (TBA): A non-medically trained community person who often is called on to help during childbirth.

Trafficking: Using force, coercion, or deception to transport people across or within borders for purposes of forced labor.

Transformation zone: Located at the entrance to the endocervical canal, the transformation zone is surfaced with glandular (columnar) epithelium until the onset of puberty, when the glandular epithelium is gradually replaced by squamous epithelium, similar to the lining of the vagina. Cervical cancer generally originates in the transformation zone.

Trichomoniasis: STI caused by the bacterium Trichomonas vaginalis; one of the causes of vaginal discharge.

Tubal patency: Open, unobstructed fallopian tubes.

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U - Z

Ulcer: Open sore.

Unaided visual inspection (UVI): Visualization of the cervix without magnification (but with acetic acid) to screen for cervical cancer.

Universal precautions: Infection control measures that prevent the transmission of HIV between patients and health workers. They include hand washing; use of gloves and protective clothing; safe handling of sharp objects; disposal of waste materials; cleaning, disinfecting and sterilizing medical instruments; proper handling of corpses; and treating injuries at work.

Unmet need for family planning: Percentage of married, fecund women who desire to space or limit their births but are not using contraception.

Urethra: The canal for discharging urine from the bladder to the outside. In a female, it lies between the vagina and the clitoris. In a male it opens at the tip of the penis.

Urethral discharge: The symptom or syndrome where men present with a discharge from their penis, usually caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Urethritis: Inflammation of the urethra, usually caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia.

Urinary frequency: Feeling the need to urinate more frequently than normal.

Urinary incontinence: Inability to control urination.

Urinary tract infection (UTI): Infection of any part of the urinary tract, including the kidney, ureter, bladder, and urethra; usually bacterial in nature.

Urogenital atrophy: Wasting of the organs of urination and reproduction.

Uterine prolapse: A condition in which the uterus protrudes into, and sometimes out of, the vagina.

Vagina: The tube that forms the passage between the cervix/uterus and the vulva. It receives the penis during sexual intercourse and serves as the delivery passage for birth and for menstrual flow.

Vaginal discharge: The symptom or syndrome where women present with an abnormal discharge from their vagina. Can suggest a vaginal infection (candidiasis, bacterial vaginosis or trichomoniasis) or a cervical infection (gonorrhea or chlamydia).

Vaginal fistula: Openings in the birth canal that allow leakage from the bladder or rectum into the vagina.

Vaginitis: Inflammation of the vagina. May be caused by microorganisms (such as gonococci, staphylcocci, spirochetes), chemical irritation, fungus infection caused by candida albicans, protozoan infection, irritation from foreign bodies, vitamin deficiency as in pellagra, intestinal worms, or conditions involving the vulva and surrounding areas (such as uncleanliness).

Vaginosis, bacterial: A vaginal condition characterized by an abnormal vaginal discharge due to an overgrowth of normal bacteria in the vagina.

Varicocele: Dilated veins in the scrotum where blood pools, thus raising scrotal temperatures.

Vas deferens: The excretory duct of the testis that joins the excretory duct of the seminal vesicle to form the ejaculatory duct.

Vasomotor symptoms: Symptoms related to the dilation or constriction of blood vessels, such as the hot flashes experienced during menopause.

Violence against women: Any act of gender-based violence that results in physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women.

Visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA): Visualization of the cervix with acetic acid to screen for cervical cancer.

Visual inspection with acetic acid and magnification (VIAM): Visualization of the cervix using a portable, low-power magnification device (as opposed to a colposcope) and acetic acid to facilitate cervical cancer screening (and/or possibly to guide biopsy and outpatient treatment of pre-invasive lesions).

Vulva: The outside portion of the female genitalia, including the labia, clitoris, and vaginal opening.

Whole-site training: On-site training of the entire staff at a health care facility.

Youth: Young people ages 15 to 24.

Youth-friendly services: Services that are provided in a mannerthat recognizes the special information and service needs of young people. These services are developed and provided in a manner acknowledging that the challenges and obstacles facing adolescents are different than those confronted by adults.

Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT): A technique that fertilizes an egg in a lab dish and then transfers the resulting zygote into a woman's fallopian tubes.

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