Deliberate/ voluntary termination of a pregnancy. The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, 1971 provides the legal framework for making Comprehensive Abortion Care services available in India.

Abortion pill

Pill to be consumed under medical supervision in order to induce the process of abortion.


The practice of restraining oneself from having intercourse.

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)

The most advanced stage of HIV.


The period of physical and emotional change following the onset of puberty during which a young person develops from a child into an adult.

Age of consent

The age at which the law considers a person old enough to be able to decide to have sex with someone. In India, the age of consent for sex is 18 years as per the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.


An abnormal absence of menstruation.

Anal sex

Sexual activity which involves the penetration of the anus.


Appearing to have both, neither, or in between male and female physical characteristics.


A collection of symptoms including gradual decline in sex drive as men age, due to decreasing levels of testosterone. It is similar to menopause.


The small dark circular area surrounding a nipple.


Producing or showing no signs or symptoms. Many STIs are asymptomatic in the initial stages.


Not dangerous (disease) or not malignant (tumor).

Bilateral mastectomy

A surgical operation to remove both the breasts to treat or to prevent breast cancer.


An examination of small sample of tissue removed from a living body to discover the presence, cause, or the extent of a disease.

Birth canal

The passageway from the uterus through the cervix and vagina through which the baby comes out.

Birth Control

The practice of preventing pregnancy, typically through some form of contraception.


A person who’s sexually or romantically attracted to people of the same gender and the opposite gender.


The sac that collects and stores urine which is later drained through the urethra.

Body image

The subjective picture or mental image of one’s own physical appearance.


The action of feeding a baby with human milk from the breast.


The soft, protruding organ on the upper front of a woman’s body whose main function is to secrete milk after pregnancy. While men also have the breast tissue, it is generally less well-developed than women’s and doesn’t have as many mammary glands.


A disease caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body.


A type of yeast that causes vaginal yeast infections when it becomes overgrown. Yeast infections may also occur in the penis or scrotum, or the mouth/throat. When they happen in the mouth or throat, they’re called “thrush”.


The removal of the testicles of a male.

Cervical cap

The cervical cap is a form of barrier contraception. It goes inside the vagina and covers the cervix.


The narrow neck-like passage forming the lower end of the uterus. It connects the uterus to the vagina.

Cesarean section

Giving birth when a doctor surgically removes the baby from the uterus. Called “c-section” for short.

Child pornography

Any form of media comprising of sexual images of a child. Making, distributing, and consuming child pornography are serious crimes in India under The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012.


A very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) that’s caused by a bacteria and may be asymptomatic. It can be cured with antibiotics but if it is left untreated, chlamydia can result in infertility and arthritis.


A surgical procedure to cut off the foreskin of the penis for religious or medical purposes.


A small, sensitive, erectile part of the female genitals. The only known purpose of the clitoris is sexual pleasure.

Comprehensive sex education

A medically accurate, age-appropriate curriculum that includes information about puberty, sex, sexuality, gender identity, STIs and safety to aid young people in healthy decision-making and enable them to form wholesome relationships.


A sheath-shaped barrier device, used during sexual intercourse as a contraceptive or as a protection against infection.


A device, medication or method used to prevent pregnancy.


A shortening of the uterine muscles occurring at intervals before and during childbirth.


The oral stimulation of the female genitals using tongue or lips.


Sexual arousal using computer technology, especially by wearing virtual reality equipment or by exchanging messages with another person via the Internet

Date rape

Rape in which there has been some sort of romantic or potentially sexual relationship between the two parties.

Dental dam

Latex or polyurethane sheets used between the mouth and vagina or anus during oral sex to prevent the spread of STIs.


A phallic-shaped sex toy intended for sexual penetration or other sexual activity to stimulate the vagina or anus.


A device used to introduce a stream of water to cleanse the vagina.

Dry humping

Rubbing of bodies with clothes on.


Painful menstruation, typically involving abdominal cramps.


Difficult or painful vaginal sex.


The female reproductive cell which is stored in the ovaries and released during ovulation.


Ejaculation is the discharge of semen (normally containing sperm) from the male reproductory tract, usually accompanied by orgasm.


An unborn human offspring during the period from approximately the second to the eighth week after fertilization.

Emergency contraception

Forms of contraception, especially contraceptive pills, that are effective if administered within a specified period of time after sexual intercourse.


An epidural is a regional anesthetic which is used as a painkiller used during childbirth.

Erectile dysfunction

Occurs when a man can’t get or keep an erection firm enough for sexual intercourse.


An enlarged and rigid state of the penis, typically in sexual excitement.


Relating to or tending to arouse sexual desire or excitement.


Any of a group steroid hormone that stimulates development and maintenance of female secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the ovaries and in smaller amounts in the adrenal glands at the top of the kidneys.


A man who has been castrated by the removal of his testicles or penis.

Fallopian tube

Either of a pair of tubes along which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus.


The oral stimulation of the male genitals using tongue or lips.

Female condom

A polyurethane pouch which is worn inside the vagina during sex to prevent pregnancy and STIs.

Female ejaculation

Expulsion of fluid from or near the vagina during or before an orgasm.

Female genital mutilation (fgm)

The ritual cutting or removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is rooted in gender inequality, attempts to control women’s sexuality, and ideas about purity, modesty and beauty.


The natural capability to have or cause a pregnancy.


The joining of an egg and sperm.


An unborn human offspring more than eight weeks after conception.


Non-cancerous growths in the uterus that can develop during a woman’s childbearing years.


Stroking or caressing lovingly or erotically.


Foreplay is a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create sexual arousal and desire for sexual activity.


The retractable roll of skin covering the end of the penis.

G spot (Gräfenburg spot)

A sensitive area inside the vagina believed by some to be highly erogenous and capable of ejaculation.


A person who’s sexually or romantically only attracted to people of the same gender.


A social and legal status of being male, female or non-binary.


A unit of DNA that is usually located on a chromosome and controls the development of one or more traits. It is the basic unit by which genetic information is passed from parent to offspring.

Genital herpes

A common viral STI marked by genital pain and sores. While it may be mostly asymptomatic, the most common symptom is a cluster of blistery sores. Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured.

Genital warts

Small, usually painless but sometimes itchy bumps on the genitals caused by a common viral STI. Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured.


External sex and reproductive organs, like the the vulva, penis, and scrotum.


An organ that produces gametes; a testis or ovary


A sexually transmitted bacterial infection that, if untreated, may cause infertility. Often has no symptoms.


Gynaecology or gynecology is the medical practice dealing with the health of the female reproductive systems and the breasts.

HBV (Hepatitis B Virus)

A serious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus that’s easily preventable by a vaccine.


A person or animal having both male and female sex organs or other sexual characteristics, either abnormally or (in the case of some organisms) as the natural condition. A better term is “intersex.”


A common viral STI causing contagious sores, most often around the mouth or on the genitals. Treatment can help, but this condition can’t be cured


A person who’s sexually or romantically only attracted to people of the opposite gender.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

A chronic virus that breaks down the immune system and may lead to AIDS if left untreated.


A person who’s sexually or romantically only attracted to people of the same gender.


Organic substance secreted by humans that functions in the regulation of physiological activities and also to auto-regulate & maintain their internal environment in a stable state.

Hot flashes / hot flushes

A sudden feeling of heat that seems to come from nowhere and spreads throughout the body. It may also lead to sweating, palpitations, and flushing of the face.


The hymen is a membrane that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. Female virginity has often been incorrectly linked to whether or not a woman’s hymen is intact. However, the hymen can stretch or tear as a result of medical examination, masturbation, physical exercise, etc. and is therefore not a conclusive indicator of virginity.


A surgical operation to remove all or part of the uterus.


Inability in a man to achieve an erection or orgasm.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

A a process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside the body, in vitro (“in glass”).


Sexual activity in which the penis goes into the vagina (vaginal intercourse) or the anus (anal intercourse).


Intersex people are born with any of several variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals.

Intrauterine device (IUD)

A small and often T-shaped birth control device that is inserted into a woman’s uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are one form of long-acting reversible birth control.

Juvenile Rape

Sexual assault by force committed by a person under the age of 18 years. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 allows for juvenile rapists in the age group of 16–18 to be tried as adults.

Kegel exercises

Also known as pelvic floor exercise, consists of repeatedly contracting and relaxing the muscles that form part of the pelvic floor to make them stronger. These are the muscles that hold up the bladder and help keep it from leaking.


The inner and outer folds of the vulva, at either side of the vagina.


The physiological process of childbirth. It includes contractions, dilation of the cervix, delivery of the infant and placenta expulsion.


A woman who’s sexually or romantically attracted to other women.


Sexual desire.

Lube/ Lubricant

A water-based, silicone-based, or oil-based product used during sexual acts such as intercourse and masturbation to reduce friction to or between the penis and vagina, anus or other body parts or applied to sex toys to reduce friction or to ease penetration.

Mammary glands

The milk-producing gland of women.


The process of using low-energy X-rays to examine the human breast for diagnosis and screening of cancer.

Marital rape

The act of sexual intercourse with one’s spouse without the spouse’s consent. The lack of consent is the essential element and need not involve violence.


Surgery to remove a breast.


Sexual stimulation of one’s own genitals for sexual arousal or other sexual pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm.


The first time a woman gets her period.


The ceasing of menstruation because of hormonal changes. Most women reach menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, but menopause may occur as earlier as ages 30s or 40s, or may not occur until a woman reaches her 60s.


Blood and other matter discharged from the uterus at menstruation.

Menstrual cup

A feminine hygiene product that is inserted into the vagina during menstruation. They are usually made of flexible medical grade silicone and shaped like a bell with a stem.

Menstrual cycle

The time from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period. This is a regular natural change that occurs in the female reproductive system that makes pregnancy possible.


Also known as a period or monthly, is the regular discharge of blood and mucosal tissue (known as menses) from the inner lining of the uterus through the vagina which usually lasts from 3 to 7 days.


The spontaneous loss of a woman’s pregnancy before the 20th week that can be both physically and emotionally painful.

Morning-after pill

Emergency contraception that can be used within 72 hours (3 days) of unprotected vaginal sex to decrease the chance of pregnancy. It does not provide any protection from STIs.

Multiple orgasms

Occur when a person climaxes more than once during a period of sexual activity.

Natural childbirth

Natural childbirth is childbirth without routine medical interventions, particularly anesthesia.


The nipple is a raised region of tissue on the surface of the breast from which milk leaves the breast through the lactiferous ducts.

Nocturnal emission

Otherwise known as a wet dream, is a spontaneous orgasm during sleep, which commonly occurs during puberty.


A doctor who specializes in pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period care.

Oral sex

Stimulation of the genitals using tongue or lips.


The peak of sexual arousal, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region and causing intense sexual pleasure.

Ovarian cyst

A solid or fluid-filled sac or pocket (cyst) within or on the surface of an ovary. It is usually not cancerous but may cause pain or irregular periods. It may require treatment but often goes away on its own.


A female reproductive organ in which ova or eggs are produced. It is also where estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are produced in a female.


Available through ordinary retail purchase, with no need for a prescription from a nurse or doctor.


The release of eggs from the ovaries.

Pap smear

A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is a screening procedure for cervical cancer.


An external male organ that is specialized to deliver sperm during copulation. It additionally serves as the urinal duct.


The period of a woman’s life shortly before the occurrence of the menopause.


Relating to the time, usually a number of weeks, immediately before and after birth.


An occurrence of menstruation. The monthly flow of blood and tissue from the uterus and out the vagina.

Pituitary gland

The major endocrine gland, a pea-sized body attached to the base of the brain that is important in controlling growth and development and the functioning of the other endocrine glands.


A flattened circular organ in the uterus, which is responsible for nourishing and maintaining the fetus through the umbilical cord.

PMS (premenstrual syndrome)

A group of symptoms that occur in women, typically between ovulation and a period. Symptoms include mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability and depression.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

A hormone imbalance where the ovaries release too much androgen (a hormone). Common symptoms include missed or irregular periods, benign ovarian cysts, infertility, acne, excessive hair growth, and weight gain.

Pornography (porn)

Video, photos or words that are made for sexual excitement.


Following childbirth.


Slang for pre-ejaculate, the liquid that oozes out of the penis during sexual excitement before ejaculation. Sometimes, for some people, it has a small amount of sperm in it.


When someone is carrying a developing fetus in their uterus. It begins with the implantation of the pre-embryo and progresses through the embryonic and fetal stages until birth, unless it’s ended by miscarriage or abortion. It lasts about 40 weeks from implantation to birth.

Premarital sex

Sex between people who aren’t married.

Premature delivery

Early childbirth, before the 37th week of pregnancy.

Premature ejaculation

When a person with a penis ejaculates before they want to, or has little control over how quickly they ejaculate during sex.

Primary sex characteristics

Body parts that are related to reproduction or sexual functioning (like the penis, scrotum, vulva, vagina, uterus, and ovaries). It also includes the ability to produce eggs or sperm.


A hormone produced in the ovaries that helps regulate puberty, menstruation, and pregnancy.


A progestin is a type of medication which is used most commonly in hormonal birth control and menopausal hormone therapy.


A walnut-sized gland located between the bladder and the penis which helps sperm move.


The practice or occupation of engaging in sexual activity with someone for payment.


The period during which adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction.

Pubic hair

Hair that grows around the sex organs. Pubic hair is a secondary sex characteristic that appears during puberty.


An emission of air from the vagina, especially when audible.


Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent.


The final section of the large intestine before the anus, where feces are stored.

Reproductive cell

A cell whose nucleus unites with that of a cell of the opposite sex to form a new organism. (egg and sperm)

Reproductive organs

Organs that relate to reproduction. (fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vagina, penis, and testes)

Sanitary pad/ napkin

An absorbent pad worn by women to absorb menstrual blood.


A pouch of skin containing the testicles.

Secondary sex characteristics

Secondary sex characteristics are features that indicate genetic fitness to the opposite sex, but unlike sex organs, they are not directly part of the reproductive system. For example, breast development and widened hips in females and facial hair development and voice deepening in males. Both males and females develop underarm and pubic hair.


The male reproductive fluid containing sperm, that’s ejaculated from the penis during orgasm.


A label assigned at birth of male, female or in some rare cases, intersex based on the genitals of the baby. Sex could also mean sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse.

Sex drive

A person’s urge to seek satisfaction of their sexual needs.


Send (someone) sexually explicit photographs or messages via mobile phone.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse, also referred to as molestation, is undesired sexual behavior by one person upon another.

Sexual arousal

The arousal or excitement of sexual desire, during or in anticipation of sexual activity

Sexual assault

The action or an act of forcing an unconsenting person to engage in sexual activity; a rape.

Sexual harassment

Behaviour characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation.

Sexual intercourse

Sexual contact between individuals involving penetration, especially the insertion of a man’s erect penis into a woman’s vagina, typically culminating in orgasm and the ejaculation of semen.

Sexual orientation

A person’s sexual identity in relation to the gender to which they are attracted. Some common sexual orientations include heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD)

Infections that are passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or sexual skin-to-skin contact. More accurately called sexually transmitted infection.

Sexually transmitted infection (STI)

Infections that are passed from one person to another during vaginal, anal, or oral sex, or sexual skin-to-skin contact. Commonly known as sexually transmitted disease.


A cheesy white secretion which is a combination of shed skin cells, skin oils, and moisture. It collects around the clitoris in females and under the foreskin in males.


A visual image produced from an ultrasound examination which is used to view the fetus during pregnancy.


A male reproductive cell which is made in the testes. When a sperm combines with an egg, it results in pregnancy.


Spermicide is a contraceptive substance that destroys sperm, inserted vaginally prior to intercourse to prevent pregnancy.


Light bleeding through the vagina that is not a menstrual period

Statutory rape

Sexual contact between an adult and a person below the age of consent irrespective of whether or not such contact is voluntary.


Sterility is the physiological inability to become pregnant or to cause a pregnancy.


Surgical or non-surgical methods that intentionally leave a person unable to reproduce as a method of birth control. Sterilization procedures are intended to be permanent; reversal is generally difficult or impossible.


An STI which is bacterial and is usually spread by sexual contact. It starts as a painless sore and may progress to rashes, gummas (soft non-cancerous growths), neurological, or heart symptoms. It can be effectively treated with antibiotics.


A social or religious custom prohibiting a particular kind of practice or conversation.


A plug of soft material inserted into the vagina to absorb menstrual blood.

Testicles/ Testes

Either of the two oval organs that produce sperm in males, enclosed in the scrotum behind the penis.


A steroid hormone that stimulates development of male secondary sexual characteristics, produced mainly in the testes and in smaller amounts in the ovaries.


One-third of the 9 months of pregnancy.


The surgical removal of a fallopian tube.


A procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body. An ultrasound scan (also known as a sonogram) can be used to monitor an unborn baby, diagnose a condition, or guide a surgeon during certain procedures.


Word coined by me which means busting myths and changing mindsets about openly discussing previously forbidden topics such as periods, sex, sexuality, etc.


The duct by which urine is conveyed out of the body from the bladder, and which in male vertebrates also conveys semen.

Urinary tract infection (UTI)

A bacterial infection in any part of the urinary system, the kidneys, bladder or urethra. It is not sexually transmitted and can be easily cured with antibiotics. The most common symptom is increased urge to urinate and pain during urination.


It is a female hormone-responsive secondary sex organ from which menstruation happens and it is where a pregnancy develops.


It is the elastic, muscular part of the female genital tract. The vagina has three functions – it is where menstrual blood comes out from, it is a place sexual penetration and it is where baby comes out from during childbirth.

Vaginal sex

Penovaginal sex or sex in which a penis enters a vagina.


A condition involving a muscle spasm in the pelvic floor muscles. It can make it painful, difficult, or impossible to have sexual intercourse, to undergo a gynecological exam, and to insert a tampon.


An irritation or inflammation of the vagina or vulva that can result in discharge, itching and pain.


A surgical procedure for male sterilization or permanent birth control.


The state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse.

Wet dreams

Spontaneous orgasm during sleep that includes ejaculation for males, or vaginal wetness or an orgasm for females.

XX Chromosomes

The pair of sex-differentiating chromosomes that leads to someone being born with a vagina, vulva, uterus, and ovaries. Babies with XX Chromosomes are usually assigned female at birth.

XY Chromosomes

The pair of sex-differentiating chromosomes that leads to someone being born with a penis and scrotum. Babies with XY Chromosomes are usually assigned male at birth.

Yeast infection

A type of vaginitis caused by an overgrowth of a fungus that naturally lives in the vagina, called Candida albicans.


The single-celled organism that results from the fertilization of the ovum (the joining of the egg and sperm).