A dictionary for girls

PMS? Vaginal ring? Vaginal discharge? HELP! Below is a brief dictionary explaining all these new concepts.

Acne is a skin disease that occurs when sebaceous (oil) glands produce excess amounts of oil. This prevents the oil from secreting from the oil gland and the gland becomes infected and produces a pimple. Typically, acne starts during puberty and primarily affects the face, shoulders, chest and back. Therefore, teenagers should regularly clean their skin and take care of their hygiene.

Birth control pills are a form of contraceptive that prevents ovulation and therefore also pregnancy, but does not protect you against sexually transmitted diseases. You must always consult your physician before starting to use birth control pills and you need a prescription for them.

Bra is an undergarment that protects and supports a woman’s breasts. Typically, girls buy their first bra once their breasts have grown large enough to need support.

Clitoris is located above the opening of the urethra. Only a small part of the clitoris is visible. The clitoris is a highly sensitive zone that reacts to touch. Rubbing and touching the clitoris causes sexual pleasure to women.

Condoms are the only method of contraception that protect against both sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Condoms are manufactured either from latex or plastics and are available from nearly all supermarkets and corner shops. The condom is rolled onto an erect penis before intercourse and it must stay on until the end of the intercourse.

Erection is a physiological phenomenon in which the penis stiffens due to, for example, sexual arousal. In erection, the corpora cavernosa of the penis fill with blood causing the penis to become firmer as well as engorged and enlarged.

Gynaecologist is a physician who specialises in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs and who every female should visit regularly. The gynaecologist can help you in birth control- and menstruation-related issues.

Hymen is a membrane that surrounds the external vaginal opening. In puberty, hormones make the hymen stretch in order to enable intercourse. Using tampons can also stretch the hymen.

Labia are the visible part of the female genitalia. There are two parts of labia: the inner labia and the outer labia. In puberty, hair starts to grow on the skin of the outer labia.

Masturbation means the sexual stimulation of one’s own genitals. Everyone has the right to practice masturbation. Take time to explore your own body and what type of touching brings you pleasure.

Panty liners are feminine hygiene products suitable for days with lighter bleeding. You can also use panty liners to protect your underwear against staining.

Pelvic floor is composed of the muscles that surround the vagina, urethra and colon. These muscles enable you to control the need to urinate or defecate. You can train your pelvic muscles by contracting and releasing them in turns.

Penis refers to the male sexual organ. It is also referred to as the willie, cock or dick, just to name a few.

PMS or premenstrual syndrome refers to the time before the period, i.e. the end of the menstrual cycle, when women can experience irritation or anxiety. The symptoms also include headache and lower stomach pain.

Puberty or adolescence means the process when people mature into an adult body capable of sexual reproduction.

Sanitary towel is a feminine hygiene product attached to the panties. One side of the sanitary towel is made from an absorbent material that effectively protects the clothing from staining. The other side has a glue strip that keeps the towel attached to the panties. There are different types of towels available. You can find the type best suited for you only by trying them out.

Sexual intercourse is principally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into the vagina. You should not rush to have your first intercourse. Take your time to get to know your partner and start your sex life once you both are ready for it.

Tampon is a feminine hygiene product placed inside the vagina.

Uterus is a pear-shaped muscle, approximately the size of a fist. Each month, it prepares itself for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not start, the extra lining of the uterus is shed through menstrual bleeding.

Vagina extends from the vulva to the cervix. The vagina is a muscular and tubular part that stretches, for example, during intercourse and childbirth but will return to its normal size over time.

Vaginal discharge is light-coloured and odourless discharge that keeps the vagina clean and moist and prevents inflammations.

Vaginal ring is a birth control method that operates according to the same principle as the pill, i.e. it is designed to prevent ovulation from occurring. The vaginal ring is inserted in the vagina, where it releases a continuous dose of hormones in the body. To use this birth control method, you need a prescription from your physician.