558 List of Difficult Words
radiation Rays of energy given off by certain
elements. Radiation is harmful because it kills
cells in the body. But it can also be used to treat
cancer by killing cancer cells.
radiation treatment When a machine sends rays
of energy into a person’s body to kill cancer cells.
The rays cannot be seen or felt.
rape When a man puts his penis, finger, or any
object into a woman’s vagina, anus, or mouth
without her consent.
rectal exam Checking the rectum for growths
or other problems. A rectal exam can also give
information about the wall or lining of the vagina.
rectum The lower part of the intestine that is
connected to the anus.
rehydration drink A drink to treat dehydration.
The drink can be made with boiled water, salt,
sugar, or powdered cereal.
reproductive health Health services like family
planning services or prenatal care, that help
prevent or treat health concerns connected to a
woman’s reproductive parts.
reproductive parts The parts of a man’s and
a woman’s body that allow them to make a baby.
resistance The ability of something to defend
itself against something that would normally harm
or kill it. Many bacteria and viruses can become
resistant to the effects of medicines like antibiotics
and antiretrovirals so these treatments no longer
work against disease.
rhythm method See counting days method.
safer sex Avoiding direct contact with a sexual
partner’s genitals, blood, semen, or vaginal
saliva A person’s spit.
sanitation Public cleanliness to prevent disease,
such as providing clean drinking water and
keeping public places free of waste.
scabies A contagious skin disease caused by a
scar A cut or wound that leaves the skin or
tissue rough and raised after it has healed.
scrotum The bag between a man’s legs that
holds his testicles or balls.
seizure See convulsion.
self-esteem How a woman feels about herself,
and about her role in her family and community.
semen The liquid containing a man’s sperm,
which is released from his penis during ejaculation.
sepsis A serious infection that has spread into the
sex worker Anyone who exchanges sex for
money or other favors, goods or services.
sexual abuse See abuse.
sexual assault Unwanted sexual contact.
sexual harassment Unwanted sexual attention
from anyone who has power over a woman.
sexual health When a woman has control over
her sexual life.
sexual intercourse Sex with the penis in the
sexual roles The way a community defines what
it means to be a woman or a man.
sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Infections
passed from one person to another during sex.
shock A dangerous condition with severe
weakness or loss of consciousness, cold sweats, and
fast, weak pulse. It can be caused by dehydration,
heavy bleeding, injury, burns, or a severe illness.
side effects When medicines or hormonal
methods cause changes in the body other
than those needed to fight disease or prevent
speculum A small metal or plastic tool that holds
the vagina open.
sperm Tiny organisms in a man’s semen that can
swim up a woman’s vagina and fertilize an egg.
This is how a pregnancy starts.
spermicide A contraceptive cream, gel or foam
that helps prevent pregnancy by killing sperm.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012