550 List of Difficult Words
caffeine A drug found in coffee, tea, and cola
drinks that causes the heart to beat faster and
makes a person feel more awake.
calcium A mineral found in some foods that
helps make bones and teeth strong.
cancer A serious disease that causes cells to
change and grow in an abnormal way, causing
growths. Cancer can affect many different parts
of the body.
cannula A small tube used to suction out the
contents of the womb.
cassava (manioc root) A starchy root grown in
cataracts An eye problem in which the lens or
covering of the eye becomes cloudy, making it
more and more difficult to see. The dark, round,
center part of the eye (pupil) looks gray or white
when a light is shined on it.
CD4 count This blood test measures how well a
person’s immune system is working.
cell The smallest unit of living matter in the body.
cervix The opening of the womb at the back of
cesarean section (c-section) When it is
dangerous for a baby to be born through the
vagina, the woman can have an operation in which
her abdomen is cut open and the baby is taken
chart A file where information about a person’s
illnesses and treatments is kept.
chemicals Substances found in all living and
nonliving things. Many chemicals used in women’s
work cause harm to the body.
child spacing Having children at least 2 or 3
years apart so that a woman’s body has a chance
to get strong again between pregnancies.
chlamydia A sexually transmitted infection.
chlorine solution A chemical liquid that can be
used to kill germs. Also known as bleach.
cholera A serious infectious disease with severe
vomiting and bloody diarrhea.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012
chronic Something that lasts for a long time, or
that occurs often. Compare with acute.
circulation Blood flowing through the arteries and
veins in the body.
circumcision (in a man) When the loose fold of
skin at the end of a man’s penis is cut off.
circumcision (in a woman) When part or all of a
girl or woman’s outer genitals are cut off.
cleft lip An opening or gap on a baby’s upper lip,
often connecting to the nostril.
cleft palate A split or abnormal opening in the
roof of the baby’s mouth.
climax When the body reaches its peak of sexual
pleasure. Also called an “orgasm.”
clitoris The part of the vulva most sensitive to touch.
clots See blood clots.
cold sores See herpes.
colostrum The yellow-colored milk that comes
from the breasts for the first 2 or 3 days after
birth. It is very healthy for the baby and protects
community health workers Health workers who
work in the community and may or may not have
complications Problems or things that go wrong.
compost A mixture of plant and animal waste that
is allowed to rot for use as a fertilizer. Hay, dead
leaves, vegetable waste, animal droppings,
and manure all make good compost.
compress A folded cloth or pad that is put on a
part of the body. The compress may be soaked in
hot or cold liquid.
conception When the egg and sperm join to begin
making a baby.
condom (rubber) A narrow bag of thin rubber
that the man wears on his penis during sex. The
bag traps the man’s sperm so that it cannot get
into the woman’s womb and make her pregnant.
Condoms also help prevent the spread of sexually
transmitted infections including HIV.
condom for women See female condom.