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Abortion

An abortion, or termination, is ending a pregnancy so it does not result in the birth of a child. There are two types of abortion: medical, which usually involves taking two medications, normally 24 to 48 hours apart, to end an early pregnancy, and surgical, which involves a minor operation. Medical abortions can normally be accessed up to 10 weeks after your last period, while surgical abortions can usually be accessed up to 24 weeks after your last period. Medical and surgical abortions can generally only be carried out up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, but in exceptional circumstances, an abortion can take place after 24 weeks. Abortion is legal in Great Britain and can be accessed on the NHS.

Abortion Pill Myth

The abortion pill myth is the common misunderstanding that the morning after pill can terminate a pregnancy. Emergency contraception prevents pregnancy by delaying or inhibiting ovulation so pregnancy cannot occur. The morning after pill cannot interrupt or end a pregnancy.

Abstinence

Abstinence means avoiding sexual activity. For some people it means refraining from any sexual act, while for some it might be specific to penetrative sex.

AIDS

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the name used to describe the infections and illnesses that happen when your immune system has been severely damaged by the HIV virus. AIDS cannot be transmitted between people, but HIV can.

Anal Sex

Anal sex is penetrative sex of the anus. It can also refer to other forms of anal pleasure, such as penetration with fingers or a toy (like a butt plug).

Anilingus

Anilingus is oral sex performed on your partner’s anus. You might want to ask them to shower first.

Areola

The areola is the circle of darker skin on the breast around the nipple. This varies in size, shape and colour from person to person.

Asexual

An asexual person may experience low or absent sexual desire or attractions, low or absent sexual behaviours, exclusively romantic non-sexual behaviour, or a combination of both absent sexual desires and behaviours.

Agender

An agender person is ‘without gender’, meaning they do not identify with being male or female.