List of Difficult Words 551
constipation When a person has a difficult time
contagious An illness that can be spread easily
from one person to another.
contaminated When medical supplies or food
contain harmful germs.
contraception (birth control) Any method of
preventing pregnancy. See family planning.
contraceptive gel A slippery jelly or cream
that is put into the vagina before sex to prevent
contractions (pains, labor pains) When the
womb squeezes and becomes hard. Contractions
open the cervix and help push the baby out of
convulsion An uncontrolled seizure or “fit”. A
sudden jerking of part or all of the body.
cord (umbilical cord) The cord that connects the
baby at its navel (belly button) to the placenta.
counseling When a trained person helps you
think about your situation or decisions you need
to make. For example, some people are trained
especially to help people cope with HIV and AIDS.
counting days method A family planning method
in which a woman counts the days of her monthly
cycle to find out when she is most fertile. She then
avoids having sex during her fertile time.
cramps A painful tightening or contraction of a
muscle. Many woman have cramps that begin just
before monthly bleeding or just after it starts.
cryotherapy A treatment that freezes and
destroys abnormal tissue on the cervix.
curette A small tool used to scrape out the
lining of the womb during a dilation and curettage
(D and C).
D and C See dilation and curettage.
date rape When a woman is forced to have sex
by a man she is dating or courting.
dehydration When the body loses more liquid
than it takes in.
dementia When a person has severe difficulty
remembering things and thinking clearly.
dengue fever A serious illness caused by a virus
that is spread by mosquitoes.
dependence When the mind feels an
overpowering need for a drug.
depression When a person feels extremely sad
or feels nothing at all.
diabetes When a person has too much sugar in
diaphragm A family planning method in which a
soft rubber cup, usually filled with contraceptive
gel or cream, is worn over the cervix during sex.
diarrhea Passing 3 or more loose, watery stools
in a day.
digestion When food is broken down by the
stomach and intestines to be used by the body or
to pass out of the body as waste.
dilation and curettage (D and C) To gradually
open the cervix and then scrape out the womb.
Often used for an abortion or to find the cause of
abnormal bleeding from the vagina.
disability Physical or mental limitations that affect
discharge (from the vagina) The wetness or fluid
that comes out of the vagina.
discrimination When people are ignored or
treated badly because of who they are (for
example, because they are women or old or
disinfection Cleaning tools and equipment in a
certain way to get rid of nearly all the germs. Also
called high-level disinfection.
divorce To legally end a marriage.
dizziness Feeling lightheaded or unsteady.
dose The amount of a medicine you should take
at one time.
douche Washing out the vagina. This can cause
harm because it washes out the natural wetness
in the vagina.
drugs Substances, like alcohol and cocaine, that
can be used in harmful ways to alter the mind, to
feel good, or to cope with life.
dysentery Diarrhea with mucus or blood in it,
usually caused by an infection.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012