Health Encyclopedia

Health Encyclopedia

If you would like to prepare for school subjects or simply increase your general knowledge, then enjoy our health encyclopedia. We tried to focus only on very important terms and definitions. We also kept our terminology very brief so that you absorb the concept more quickly and easily.

Health Glossary (Page 1)


SMEGMA: A sticky, white, unpleasant-smelling substance produced under the foreskin at the glans of the penis and clitoris. It is formed by secretions from the Tyson's glands, bacteria, and body oils.
SNF: Skilled nursing facility (pronounced "sniff").
SNJHC: Southern New Jersey Hospital Council.
SOCIAL HYGIENE MOVEMENT: The movement that emerged from the social purity movement in the early 1900s to fight the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
SMART CARD: Credit-card-sized, they contain a small semiconductor chip, capable of holding an individual's complete medical history and other healthcare information.
SLUT: An insulting term for a woman who has more than one sex partner. Increasingly used to describe men who have more than one sex partner. See "double standard".
SKILLED NURSING CARE: Nursing or other rehabilitative services provided under the direction of a physician or an approved professional. To be reimbursed by Medicare, this care must meet Medicare standards and be delivered in a Medicare-approved facility.
SKILLED NURSING: A facility that provides acute medical care and continuous Facility (SNF) nursing care services and various other health and social services to patients who are not in the acute phase of illness but who require primarily convalescent, rehabilitative and/or restorative services. The care may be delivered in a freestanding facility or in a unit of a hospital.
SIXTY-NINE / 69: Simultaneous, mutual oral sex play.
SKENE’S GLANDS: Two glands that gush fluid during female ejaculation. They are located on opposite sides of the opening to a woman's urethra. Also called paraurethral glands or female prostate glands.
SITUATIONAL HOMOSEXUALITY: Same-sex sex play among individuals who are not gay but have no heterosexual alternative - for example, people in same-sex boarding schools, communities, prisons, or summer camps, or same-sex crews on ships or other vehicles for long voyages.
SILDENAFIL: A medication used to treat erectile dysfunction. One brand name is Viagra.
SIGNS OF PREGNANCY: The most common signs of pregnancy include frequent urination, headaches, inexplicable fatigue, a missed period, nausea, and sore or enlarged breasts. The most common symptom is a missed period. But many women, especially young women, normally have irregular periods. These irregularities may include missed periods and other changes in the menstrual cycle. Such irregularities can change from month to month. Although pregnancy is the most common reason for missing a period, irregularity is also caused by illness, travel, worry, or stress.
SHEER GLYDE DAM: A rectangle of latex approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for safer oral/genital, oral/anal sex play.
SIDS: Sudden infant death syndrome.
SIGMUND FREUD (1856–1939): Influential psychoanalyst who believed that we must understand human sexuality if we are to understand human nature. He understood that children have strong sexual feelings and believed that we are all bisexual.
SHARED SERVICES: Administrative, clinical or service functions that are common to two or more healthcare institutions, which are used jointly or cooperatively by them in some manner for the purpose of improving service, containing cost and/or effecting economies of scale. .
SHAME: Feeling embarrassed or humiliated because of a lack of ability or from being discovered doing some forbidden thing. Often associated with sex and sexuality.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTION (STI): An infection that is usually passed from one person to another during sexual or intimate contact. Also called "sexually transmitted disease".
SHAFT: A structure of erectile tissue and nerves that is shaped like a column and forms the body of the penis and the clitoris.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE (STD): A sexually transmitted infection that has developed symptoms. Also called "sexually transmitted infection".
SEXUAL TABOO: Any behavior, relationship, symbol, or word related to sex and sexuality that a society forbids because it is a gross violation of social or religious norms. One of the most prevalent sex taboos worldwide is directed against incest. Another widespread taboo is directed against having contact with menstruating women.
SEXUALITY: A person's gender, gender role, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual preference, and the way they affect emotional, physical, social, and spiritual life. Sexuality is shaped by family and the social norms of the community.
SEXUAL STEREOTYPE: An overly simplified, but generally accepted, judgment or bias regarding the sexuality of a person or group.
ILLEGITIMATE: Having unmarried parents.
IMG: International Medical Graduate.
IMMUNE SYSTEM: The body's natural protection against infection and disease.
IMPLANON: The brand name of a contraceptive implant. A thin, flexible plastic implant about the size of a cardboard matchstick. It is inserted under the skin of the upper arm. It contains and constantly releases a progestin that prevents ovulation and fertilization. Can be used for up to three years to prevent pregnancy. The implant is a reversible hormonal method of birth control available only by prescription.
IDS: Integrated delivery system.
IDIOPATHIC HYPOGONADOTROPIC HYPOGONADISM (IHH): A rare syndrome in which male infants are normal at birth and throughout childhood, but do not experience the surge of testosterone necessary to enter puberty. Unless treated with hormones, their testicles will not mature and they will remain infertile. It is thought that James Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, may have had IHH.
ICF: Intermediate care facility.
ICU: Intensive care unit.
ICD-9-CM: International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision.
HYSTEROSCOPE: A long, thin tool that lets a health care provider see inside a woman's uterus.
HYSTEROSCOPIC TUBAL STERILIZATION: A non-incision method for permanent birth control in which microinserts are placed in the fallopian tubes, causing scar tissue to grow and block the tubes. The brand name of the microinserts is "Essure".
HYPOTHALAMUS: A small area in the brain that controls sexual response and other basic functions.
HYSTERECTOMY: The surgical removal of the uterus.
HYSTERIA: A mythical emotional disorder ascribed only to women for about 2,500 years. In ancient Greece, it was ascribed to not being pregnant often enough. In Roman times, it was ascribed to not having enough sex. In Medieval times, and colonial times in North America, it was ascribed to not having enough or sufficient orgasms. In Victorian times and during the early 20th century, it was also ascribed to too much intellectual stimulation and became an excuse for denying education and voting rights to women. At the beginning of the 20th century, U.S. doctors invented the vibrator to treat hysteria. They brought women to orgasm with vibrators, which would supposedly calm them down and keep them from becoming hysterical. See "wandering uterus".
HYPERSEXUAL: Having more libido (sexual desire) than most people.
HYPOACTIVE SEXUAL DESIRE: The lack of sexual desire.
HYPOPHILIA: Having sex very infrequently, or not at all.
HYPOSEXUAL: Having less libido (sexual desire) than most people.
HYPERPHILIA: Having sex more often than most people.
HYPERMASCULINITY: The exaggeration of gender-stereotyped behavior that is believed to be masculine.
HYPERFEMININITY: The exaggeration of gender-stereotyped behavior that is believed to be feminine.
HYMEN: A thin fleshy tissue that stretches across part of the opening to the vagina.
HUSTLER: A male sex worker, usually employed by men.
HYDE AMENDMENT: A 1977 legislative restriction, first sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL), that forbade the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services.
HYDROCELE: An accumulation of fluid in a testicle.
HUMANAE VITAE: On Human Life, a document written by Pope Paul VI in 1968 that forbade the use of contraception.
HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV): An infection that weakens the body's ability to fight disease and can cause AIDS.
HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS (HPV): Any of more than 100 different types of infection, some of which may cause genital warts. Others may cause cancer of the anus, cervix, penis, throat, or vulva.
HRSC: Hospital Rate Setting Commission.
HSV (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS): An infection of herpes simplex virus types 1 or 2 in the area of the anus, buttocks, cervix, mouth, penis, vagina, or vulva. Very often there are no symptoms, while the most common symptom is a cluster of blistery sores.
HRET: Health Research and Educational Trust.
HPV (HUMAN PAPILLOMA VIRUS): Any of more than 100 different types of infection, some of which may cause genital warts. Others may cause cancer of the anus, cervix, penis, throat, or vulva.
HOUSE STAFF: Aggregate body of physicians and dentists who have completed medical or dental school and who participate in an accredited program of post-graduate medical education sponsored by a hospital.
HOT FLASHES / HOT FLUSHES: Sudden or gradual waves of body heat that last from 30 seconds to five minutes. Common in perimenopause and menopause.
HOSPITALIST: A physician who specializes in inpatient medicine. In the hospital setting, the hospitalist functions as a primary care physician does outside of the hospital coordinating care.
HOSPITAL ALLIANCE: A group of not-for-profit hospitals that join together to share common services and pursue business opportunities that could not be supported by the hospitals individually. Typically, the hospitals in an alliance retain their individual autonomy, but may share information and services and do joint planning and group purchasing.
HOSPICE CARE: Care that addresses the physical, spiritual, emotional, psychological, social, financial and legal needs of the person who is terminally ill and his or her family. Hospice care is provided by an interdisciplinary team of professionals and volunteers in a variety of settings, both inpatient and at home and includes bereavement care for the family.
HORMONES: Chemicals that cause changes in our bodies and influence how glands and organs work.
HORNY: Slang for having sexual desire - wanting to have sex - or for being sexually aroused.
HORMONAL CONTRACEPTIVES: Prescription methods of birth control that use hormones to prevent pregnancy. These include the implant, the Mirena IUD, the patch, the pill, the ring, and the shot.
HONEYMOON CYSTITIS: A bladder infection (UTI) in a woman that is caused by frequent vaginal intercourse - for example, during a honeymoon.
HORIZONTAL INTEGRATION: A linkage or network of the same types of providers i.e., a multi-organizational system composed of acute care hospitals.
HOMOPHOBIA: Fear of people who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
HOMOSEXUAL: Someone who has sexual desire for people of the same gender.
HOMOEROTIC: Arousing same-sex love, desire, and/or sexual activity.
HOMEMAKER/HOME: Programs designed to prevent institutionalization and/or Health Aide deterioration of an older adult by providing in-home suppor services such as light housekeeping, meal preparation and grocery shopping, as well as personal care services.
HOME PAGE: A document on the Internet's World Wide Web (WWW); the home page is usually the first screen presented and contains information and Alinks" to the rest of the document (as well as other home pages). The NJHA home page, for example, links the Avisitor" to HRET educational programs, NJHA meetings and other important information, as well as to NJHA member hospitals that have their own WWW home page.
HMO: Health Maintenance Organization.
HOLDING COMPANY: Separate entity used to hold a variety of subsidiary groups that often perform related functions but have a distinct corporate identity.
HOME HEALTHCARE: A program for providing nursing, therapy and health-related homemaker or social services to individuals in their homes.
HIP: Health insurance plan.
HIPAA: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
HIRSUTISM: Hair growth that is believed to be too much and/or in the wrong place.
HIV (HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS): An infection that weakens the body's ability to fight disease and can cause AIDS.
HIGH-RISK PREGNANCY: A pregnancy that is at increased risk of complications for the woman or her fetus.
HIJRA: A caste of male-to-female transsexuals in northern India and Pakistan.
HILL-BURTON: A federal program established in the 1960's that created financial assistance for the construction and renovation of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Named for its two principal congressional proponents, Hill and Burton.
HHS: Health and Human Services (Dept. Of).
HIAA: Health Insurance Association of America.
HETEROSEXISM: The belief that everyone is or should be heterosexual.
HETEROSEXUAL: Someone who has sexual desire for people of the other gender.
HFMA: Healthcare Financial Management Association.
HHAA: Home Health Agency Assembly of NJ.
HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS (HSV): An infection of herpes simplex virus types 1 or 2 in the area of the anus, buttocks, cervix, mouth, penis, vagina, or vulva. Very often there are no symptoms, while the most common symptom is a cluster of blistery sores.
HERPES: An infection of herpes simplex virus types 1 or 2 in the area of the anus, buttocks, cervix, mouth, penis, vagina, or vulva. Very often there are no symptoms, while the most common symptom is a cluster of blistery sores.
HERMAPHRODITE: A rare condition in which someone is born with both female and male sex organs. "Intersex" is now the preferred term.
HEPATITIS B VIRUS (HBV): An infection that can be sexually transmitted and may cause severe liver disease and death.
HEFCU: Healthcare Employees Federal Credit Union.
HE-MAN: A man who is exceptionally masculine.
HEDONISM: The worship of pleasure.
HEAVY PETTING: Fondling a partner's sex organs or breasts.
HEALTHCARE: Congregate Housing Housing for older adults that includes access to a variety of support services such as laundry or linen service, meal service, a security system, socialization opportunities or transportation.
HEALTH PROMOTION: Education and/or other supportive services that are hospital - Services planned and coordinated to help people to adopt healthy behaviors, reduce health risks, increase self - care skills, use health care services effectively and increase understanding of medical procedures and therapeutic regimens.
HEALTH CARE PROVIDER: A medical doctor, nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife, or physician assistant.
HEALTH MAINTENANCE: A prepaid health plan that acts as both an insurer and a provider Organization (HMO) of comprehensive health services. HMO subscribers pay a capitated fee and are limited to the hospitals and physicians affiliated with the HMO. (see capitation, IPA, staff model HMO and group model HMO) - 14 healthpac A political action committee (P.A.C.) formed to educate New Jersey legislators and political candidates regarding issues affecting New Jersey's hospitals. It is an independent, bi-partisan organization, not affiliated with any political party.
HCAB: Health Care Administration Board.

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