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FAQ191, November 2015

What is human papillomavirus (HPV)? Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus. Like all viruses, HPV causes infection by entering cells. Once inside a cell, HPV takes control of the cell’s internal machinery and uses it to make copies of itself. These copies then infect other nearby cells.


FAQ088, September 2015

What is the vulva? The external female genital area is called the vulva. The outer folds of skin are called the labia majora and the inner folds are called the labia minora.


FAQ077, September 2015

What is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)? Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It is a common illness. PID is diagnosed in more than 1 million women each year in the United States.


FAQ042, August 2015

What happens during puberty? When puberty starts, your brain sends signals to certain parts of the body to start growing and changing. These signals are called hormones. Hormones make your body change and start looking more like an adult’s (see FAQ041 “Your Changing Body—Especially for Teens”). Hormones also can cause emotional changes.


PFS005, August 2015

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV can enter the bloodstream through contact with an infected person’s body fluids, such as blood or semen. This can happen during sex or by sharing needles used to inject drugs. An infected woman who is pregnant can pass the virus to her baby. Women with HIV who breastfeed also can pass the virus to their babies. Once in the blood, HIV attacks the immune system. As the immune system weakens, the body becomes less able to resist disease and other infections. AIDS is diagnosed when a perso...


Pregnancy Periods Sexuality and Relationships 10. Have safe and healthy relationships with a boyfriend or girlfriend. 11. Know when a relationship is threatening or harmful. 12. Talk about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) topics. 13. Think things through before you have sex for the first time. 14. Learn about safe sex. 15. Get birth control so you can choose to become pregnant when the time is right for you. 16. Plan ahead for a safe and healthy pregnancy. 17. Get tested for pregnancy. 18. Know what your options are if you become pregnant. 19. Protect yourself fr...


FAQ093, November 2013

What are hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections? Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are serious infections that affect the liver. Both diseases are contagious and caused by viruses. Both can lead to serious, long-term illness.


18.
December 2012

FAQ113, December 2012

What is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)? Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). How do you get HIV? HIV enters the bloodstream by way of body fluids, such as blood or semen. Once in the blood, the virus invades and kills CD4 cells. CD4 cells are key cells of the immune system. When these cells are destroyed, the body is less able to fight disease.


19.
August 2011

FAQ028, August 2011

What is vaginitis? Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina. As many as one third of women will have symptoms of vaginitis sometime during their lives. Vaginitis affects women of all ages but is most common during the reproductive years.


20.
May 2011

FAQ020, May 2011

How common is painful sex? Pain during intercourse is very common—nearly 3 out of 4 women have pain during intercourse at some time during their lives. For some women, the pain is only a temporary problem; for others, it is a long-term problem.


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