6 Sexual Health Words You’re Probably Pronouncing Wrong

If talking about sex makes you fumble your words, try this vocab lesson.

Loading the player...

It may be easy to sing the Salt-N-Pepa song “Let’s Talk About Sex” … but actually talking about sex is a different story. For some, the mention of any topic relating to the birds and the bees may cause some serious blush-age.  For others, it’s a matter of just not knowing how to say certain words.

If you’re embarrassed to talk to your ob-gyn, because, well, you don’t know how to pronounce “ob-gyn,” it may be time to brush up on your sex ed vocab.

1. Ob-gyn: /oh • be • JIN/

Ob-gyn is short for obstetrician-gynecologist, and it’s a doctor that specializes in women’s reproductive health. From birth control to child birth to menopause, your ob-gyn has you covered.

2. Kegels: /KAY • gils/

Kegels are a series of exercises designed to strengthen those pelvic floor muscles. Kegel exercises can help both men and women who have bladder issues, such as overactive bladder symptoms or stress incontinence. Kegels can also improve women’s sexual health and pleasure by increasing sexual arousal and improving a woman’s ability to reach an orgasm. (Score!)

After you’ve perfected pronouncing the word “kegels,” you might as well learn how to do the exercise: Here are tips to do kegels correctly, according to a urogynecologist.

3. Clitoris: /KLI • tur • es/

Time to get “cliterate” about this female orgasm producer. The clitoris may look like a weird little nub at the front of a woman’s vagina, but it’s so, SO much more than that. Don’t believe us? Just check out these 5 climax-inducing clitoris facts.

4. Gonorrhea: /gaw • ner • EE • uh/

This one isn’t as fun. Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted infection that can affect the genitals, rectum, and throat. It can cause symptoms, such as pain while urinating, discharge, or bleeding, but sometimes it shows no symptoms at all. Gonorrhea can cause very serious complications if not treated promptly.

5. Prepuce: /PRE • pews/

Pre...heh? You may know the prepuce by its more common name, the foreskin. Both men and women have a prepuce. For men, it’s the skin surrounding and protecting the head of the penis. For women, it’s the clitorial hood, which protects the head of the clitoris.

6. Amenorrhea: /ay • men • or • EE • uh/

Amenorrhea is the absence of a menstrual period. It’s not necessarily a disease in itself, rather it’s often a sign of an underlying health problem or change. It could be due to a natural part of life, such as during pregnancy, but it could also be a sign of a problem such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Here are reasons your period may be missing—and signs you should call a doctor.

Ready for some more word challenges? Check out these 10 tricky doctor names you’re probably mispronouncing.