A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Abstinence

No sexual activity such as intercourse or masturbation.

Acini

Any small saclike component of the gland.

Active surveillance

An option for men who have a low-risk prostate cancer that does not cause serious symptoms or is unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. The prostate cancer is monitored through regular medical check-ups and treatments are only given if the prostate cancer progresses. 

Acute bacterial prostatitis (ABP)

An infection in the prostate gland which causes fever, severe pain in the lower back and genital area and burning, urgent and frequent urination. It is quite rare and can usually be successfully treated with antibiotics.

Adenoma

A benign tumor having the origin or structure of a gland.

Adjuvant

A substance added to a drug to increase or help its effect.

Adrenal glands

Glands that sit on top of the kidneys.

Albumin

A major protein found in blood.

Alopecia

Hair loss

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP)

A protein found in the bloodstream of some men with testicular cancer.

Alprostadil

An injectible prostaglandin drug (See Caverject®).

Anabolic steroids

Drugs that have the same action as male sex hormones (androgens) for enhancing muscle growth and repair. Anabolic steroids include natural hormones such as testosterone, or synthetic ‘man-made’ versions. Anabolic steroid use is illegal in Australia.

Anaesthetic

Drugs that cause loss of feeling (numbness) to a specific part of the body during a minor medical procedure (local anaesthetic), or that cause loss of feeling and unconsciousness during a major procedure such as an operation (general anaesthetic).

Androgen

A male sex hormone such as testosterone responsible for the development of male characteristics.

Andrology

The study of the functions and diseases specific to males, especially of the reproductive organs. The equivalent to gynaecology for women.

Antegrade ejaculation

Normal forward ejaculation.

Anterior

Describing or relating to the front part of the body, organs or limbs.

Antibodies

Proteins made by the body’s immune system in response to foreign substance; attacks foreign substance and protects against infection.

Antigen

Antigens are generally foreign substances such as toxins or bacteria that cause the body to react with an immune system response.

Antimetabolites

Anticancer drugs that are like substances needed by cells for normal growth.

Anuria

A condition in which the body stops making urine.

Anus

Opening at the lower end of the rectum through which stools are passed.

Ascites

A buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity, which can cause swelling and the feeling of being bloated.

Aspiration

Use of a thin needle to take small samples of tissue from the body.

Assisted Reproductive Treatments (ART)

Assisted reproductive treatment, also known as assisted reproductive technology, refers to treatments used to assist people in achieving a pregnancy. ART covers a wide spectrum of treatments, such as IVF and ICSI.

Asthenozoospermia

Less than the normal number of moving sperm in the semen.

Asymptomatic

A disease process that does not have symptoms.

Atherosclerosis

A process that results in the build up of plaques or deposits in arteries that may lead to obstruction of blood flow.

Azoospermia

The absence of sperm in the seminal fluid due to a blockage in the sperm ducts or poor sperm production.

B

Benign

Non-cancerous

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

A non-cancerous enlargement the prostate gland due to an increase in the number of cells. The prostate can then push against the urethra and bladder, blocking the flow of urine “>A non-cancerous enlargement the prostate gland due to an increase in the number of cells.  The prostate can then push against the urethra and bladder, blocking the flow of urine.

Beta-human chorionic gonadtrophin (beta-hCG)

Protein found in the bloodstream that can be a marker of testicular cancer.

Bilateral

On both sides.

Biopsy

An operation to remove a small sample of tissue or cells from part of the body for testing and examination under a microscope.

Bladder

Sac in the lower abdomen which stores urine that has passed from the kidneys down the ureter.

Bowel

Part of the gastrointestinal tract between the stomach and the anus.

BPH

See Benign prostatic hyperplasia or Benign prostatic hypertrophy.

Brachytherapy

Radiotherapy using radioactive seeds or rods which are inserted directly into the prostate.

C

Cancer

Diseases in which abnormal cells divide without control. Cancer cells can invade nearby tissues and can spread through the bloodstream and lymphatic system and to other parts of the body.

Carcinoid

A small tumor that secretes serotonin and is usually found in the gastrointestinal tract.

Carcinoma

Cancer that begins in the skin or in tissues that line or cover internal organs.

Carcinoma-in-situ

Type of ‘pre-cancer’ that develops into testicular cancer in 50% of cases.  Often found in the second testis of men diagnosed with testicular cancer and needs regular checks.

Cardiologist

A doctor who specialises in heart disease.

Castration

Removal of the testes.

Catheter

A thin flexible tube used to take fluids in or out of the body.

Caverject®

Drug therapy which is injected into the penis.

Chemotherapy

Treatment with drugs that circulate in the blood stream to kill cancer cells through different parts of the body.

Choriocarcinoma

A rare, highly malignant germ cell cancer.

Chorionic Gonadotrophin

A human hormone made by chorionic cells (in the fetal part of the placenta).

Chromosomes

Structures in each cell in the body, which contain genetic material.

Cialis®

Brand of oral PDE5 inhibitor which treats erectile dysfunction by promoting the body’s natural response to sexual stimulation.

Circadian rhythm

A pattern which follows a daily cycle and is synchronised by (day)light.

Circumcision

Surgical removal of all or part of the foreskin of the penis.

Clitoris

The tip of the clitoris (a.k.a. glans) is located at the top of the vulva. The clitoris is made of spongy tissue that becomes swollen when a woman is aroused.

Colitis

Inflammation of the large intestine (the colon).

Colon

Part of the bowel between the small intestine and the rectum.

Colonoscopy

Examination of the bowel using a fibreoptic endoscope.

Congenital

Any condition that is present at birth.

Congenital absence of the vas deferens

Absence at birth of ducts (tubes) that transport sperm from the testes to the ejaculatory duct.

Contraceptive

A method to prevent pregnancy. Contraceptives include hormonal methods (such as the pill, injections, implant and intrauterine devices), and barrier methods (such as the male or female condom, or diaphragm).

Contralateral

The other side of the body, for example, the other testicle.

Corpus cavernosum (singular: cavernosa)

Smooth muscle in the penis in the shape of two parallel cylindrical chambers.  These fill with blood during an erection.

Cortisone

A naturally occurring hormone produced in small amounts by the adrenal gland.

Crohn’s disease

A chronic inflammatory disease, mainly involving the small and large intestine.

Cryptorchidism

Condition in which one or both testicles do not move from the abdomen, where they develop before birth, into the scrotum. Also called undescended testicles or maldescent of the testis.

CT scan (computerised tomography)

A  specialised x-ray examination that is used to give 3D images of organs in the body to help define abnormalities within them.

Culture

To grow cells, tissues or organisms, often in a sterile dish, for scientific purposes.

Cyst

A closed sac or capsule, usually filled with fluid or semisolid material.

Cystic Fibrosis

A hereditary disease of the exocrine glands and is characterised by the production of abnormal secretions.

Cytology

The study of cells.

Cytopathology

Checking the normal and abnormal features of cells using a microscope.

D

Detrusor muscle

The large muscle in the bladder that expands to store urine and squeezes or contracts when the bladder is emptied and urine is passed.

Dexyribonucleic Acid

A nucleic acid that carries the genetic information in the cell. The sequence of nucleotides determines individual hereditary characteristics.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone)

A weak male sex hormone.

Diabetes

Potentially life threatening metabolic disorder where blood sugar levels are imbalanced.

Diathermy

The use of heat to destroy tissue or cells. Sometimes used in a vasectomy operation to cut or block the vas deferens.

Dihydrotestosterone

An androgen derived from testosterone.

Diurnal Rhythm

A pattern which follows a daily cycle but is not synchronised by light.

Doppler Assessment

A test to check blood flow in parts of the body.

Down Syndrome

A chromosome disorder that causes mental retardation and a range of other physical problems, including infertility.

DRE (digital rectal examination)

A physical examination where the doctor places a gloved finger into the patient’s rectum to check the size and shape of the prostate.

Dysfunction

Not working properly.

Dysuria

Pain or problems with passing urine.

E

Ejaculate

Semen ejected from the penis.

Ejaculation

Discharge of semen from the penis during sexual climax (orgasm).

Ejaculatory duct

The part of the male reproductive tract where the vas deferens joins with the seminal vesicle and passes through the prostate.

Embolization

A treatment that clogs small blood vessels and blocks the flow of blood.

Embryo

An early stage of development as a result of successful fertilisation, up to the eighth week of pregnancy.

Endocrine

Refers to a process in which a group of cells secrete into the blood.

Endocrine System

The system of glands (including the pituitary, thyroid, adrenals, testes) which secrete their products (hormones) into the blood stream.

Endocrinologist

A doctor who specialises in problems in the endocrine system (hormones and hormonal function).

Endoscope

A piece of equipment used to see inside the body.  It usually is made up of a thin tube with a light and camera at one end.  This tube is inserted into the patient and sends pictures from inside the body to a monitor or television screen for the doctor to examine more closely.

Enuresis

Urinary incontinence not caused by a physical problem.

Epididymis

A highly coiled tube at the back of the testes in which sperm are stored and mature. All sperm must pass along this tube to reach the vas deferens.

Epididymo-orchitis

Inflammation of the epididymis and testis.

Epithelium

The covering of the internal and external organs of the body and the lining of vessels, body cavities, glands and organs.

Erectile dysfunction

An ongoing problem getting and maintaining an erection that is firm enough for sexual intercourse.

Erection

Hardening of the penis for sexual intercourse.

Extra-gonadal germ cell tumour (EGC tumour)

Rare tumours, found mainly in children, which develop from sperm-forming cells that are found outside the reproductive organs when there is no evidence of cancer in the testes.

F

Fertilisation

The penetration of the egg by the sperm to create a zygote.

Fertility

Ability to conceive or reproduce.

Fetus

In humans, the unborn young from the end of the eighth week after conception to the moment of birth, as different from the earlier embryo.

Fibrosis

Formation of fibrous tissue that replaces the normal tissue e.g. scars.

Fine needle aspiration

Using a thin needle to take a small sample of tissue from the body for microscopic examination.

Flaccid

Non-erect (soft) state of the penis.

Follicle

The fluid-filled sac on the ovary in which the egg develops.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

A pituitary hormone which maintains sperm production.

G

Galactorrhoea

Lactation not linked with childbirth or nursing.

Gastrointestinal tract

An organ that starts from the mouth and finishes at the anus.

Gene

The biologic unit of genetic material and inheritance.

Gene mutations

An unusual change in the genetic material of a cell.

Genetic

Study of genes and inherited characteristics.

Geneticist

A doctor who specialises in the study of genetics.

Genital System

The biological system which, in males, includes the testicles, the vas deferens, the prostate, and the penis.

Genitourinary system

The parts of the body that play a role in reproduction, getting rid of waste products in the form of urine, or both.

Geriatrician

A doctor with specialist training in caring for the health of older people (geriatric medicine).

Germ cell

Testicular cell that divides to produce the immature sperm cells.

Germ Cell Tumor

A tumor arising from germ cells. 95% of all testicular tumors are germ cell tumors. Germ cell tumors in men are classified as either seminomas or nonseminomas.

Gland

An organ of the body that produces a hormone or other body secretion that is used elsewhere in the body.

Gleason Score

A grading which indicates the rate of growth of the prostate cancer.

Globulin

A family of proteins found in blood, milk and muscle.

Gonadotrophic hormones

Hormones that are secreted by the pituitary gland.

Gonads

Organs that produce the sex cells (e.g. sperm) and sex hormones (e.g. testosterone).

Gonorrhoea

A sexually transmitted bacterial infection.

Gynaecologist

A doctor who specialises in the treatment of women’s diseases of the reproductive organs.

Gynaecologist

A gynaecologist is a doctor who specialises in women's health, more specifically the medical and surgical problems that affect women's reproductive and urological system.

Gynaecology

The study of functions and diseases of women.

Gynecomastia

Breast development in the male.

H

Haematuria

Blood in the urine.

Haemoglobin

Oxygen carrying substance in red blood cells.

Histology

The study of cells and tissues at the microscopic level.

Histopathology

Study of diseases involving tissue cells.

Hodgkin’s disease

A malignant disease of the lymph nodes (lymphoma).

Hormone

A substance that circulates through the body in the blood stream and promotes growth, reproduction and general well-being.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

A hormone made by chorionic cells (in the fetal part of the placenta).  It is a very similar hormone to LH but it has a longer time of action.

Human genome

The entire sequencing of DNA of the human species.

Hydrocele

A swelling of (part of) the scrotal pouch because of an increased amount of fluid around the testis.

Hyperlipidaemia

Generic term for conditions where there are high concentrations of lipids in the blood such as cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins.

Hyperplasia

The increased production or growth of normal cells in an organ or tissue.

Hyperstimulation

Stimulation that is more than normal.

Hypertrophy

An increase in the size of the prostate gland, usually caused by the growth of too many cells.

Hypogonadism

An inability of the testes to produce high enough levels of testosterone (androgen deficiency) and/or sperm (spermatogenesis).

Hypospermatogenesis

Low sperm production within the testis.

Hypothalamus

The area of the brain that controls endocrine functions, body temperature, hunger and thirst.

I

Immunobead test

A simple test to detect if sperm antibodies are present in semen and is performed as part of the semen analysis test at specialised andrology laboratories.

Impotence

The failure to get or keep an erection.

Impotent

Unable to have an erection adequate for sexual intercourse.

Incontinence

Uncontrolled leakage of urine.

Indolent

Little or no pain/side-effect.

Infertility

Failure to achieve a pregnancy within one year of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse.

Inguinal hernia

Protrusion of the intestines into the scrotum through the inguinal canal.

Inguinal orchiectomy

Removal of the testis through an incision in the groin.

Intercourse

The act of having sex with penetration.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)

A form of IVF used to treat male infertility in which a single sperm is injected directly into the cytoplasm of an egg.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Placement of sperm directly into the womb using a fine catheter.

Intravenous

Placing a substance (e.g. drug) directly into the vein.

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

A form of assisted reproduction in which sperm collected from the male is mixed with the female partners eggs outside the body.

Involuntary muscle

Muscle that cannot be consciously controlled and responds to reflex action.

J

K

Karyotype

A blood test to check for the number of chromosomes in cells.

Klinefelter syndrome

A chromosome problem that causes low testosterone levels, breast development, small testes and infertility in men.

L

Labia

The labia (lips) are the folds of skin around the vaginal opening.

Labia majora

The labia majora (outer lips) are usually fleshy and covered with pubic hair.

Labia minora

The labia minora (inner lips) are inside the labia majora, begins at the clitoris and end under the opening of the vagina.

Lesion

A change in body tissue caused by disease or injury.

Levitra®

Brand of oral PDE5 inhibitor which treats erectile dysfunction by promoting the body’s natural response to sexual stimulation.

Leydig cells

The testicular cell that produces the male hormone testosterone.

Libido

Sex drive.

Localised

Cancer that remains in the location where the first lump or growth developed and has not yet spread throughout the body.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)

A hormone produced by the pituitary gland which stimulates the production of testosterone in the testes.

Lymph node

Small oval structures that filter the lymph and fight infection. Found in the groin, abdomen, neck, armpit and other sites.

Lymphadenopathy

Disorder characterised by a localised/generalised enlargement of the lymph nodes.

Lymphoma

Cancer that happens in lymph nodes or other lymph tissues.

M

Macroscopic

Big enough to see with the eye.

Magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI)

A specialised non-invasive medical imaging process, which does not use x-rays, to diagnose a wide range of diseases.

Male menopause

A term often used to describe androgen deficiency which falsely implies a similarity between female and male hormonal decline later in life.

Malignant

Potentially fatal cancerous cells that may spread through the body if not treated.

Maturation

Becoming mature.

Mediastinum

The centermost part of the chest, between the ribs and spine (front to back) and between the lungs.

Menopause

Ceasing of menses (periods) in women only.

Menstruation

Menstruation is the elimination of the thickened lining of the uterus (endometrium) from the body through the vagina and contains blood, cells from the lining of the uterus (endometrial cells) and mucus.

Metabolic

Relating to the physical and chemical processes of the body.

Metabolite(s)

Substances produced by body functions.

Metastasis

Cancer cells spread from one part of the body to another.

Metastatic

Cancer that has spread to another location in the body; a secondary deposit of cancerous cells.

Micropenis

Abnormal smallness of the penis. Micropenis occurs when the penis fails to grow for the last two-thirds of the embryo’s development.

Microscopic

Extremely small and not visible by the naked eye.

Morbidity

An illness or abnormal condition.

Mutation

An unusual change in the genetic material of a cell.

N

Nanomolar

Unit of measurement.

Necrosis

Death of cells or tissue.

Needle biopsy

The removal of a piece of living tissue for microscopic examination by inserting a hollow needle through the skin and into the tissue.

Neoplasm

Abnormal growth of tissue.

Nephrectomy

Surgical removal of a kidney.

Neurologist

A specialist in the anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves and the nervous system.

Nitrate

Type of drug which contains nitric acid.

Nocturia

A need to pass urine more than twice at night.

Non-seminoma

A type of testicular cancer that forms in specialised sex cells called germ cells (precursors of the sperm-forming cells).

O

Oestradiol

The major female sex hormone produced by the ovary.

Oestrogen

One of a group of female sex hormones (including oestradiol) that controls the development of female secondary sex characteristics and promotes the growth and maintenance of the female reproductive system.  Oestrogens are made mainly by the ovary, but also in the placenta and small amounts in the testes.

Oligozoospermia (or oligospermia)

A very low number of sperm present in the seminal fluid.

Oncologist

A doctor who specialises in the treatment of various types of cancer.

Oncology

Study and treatment of cancer.

Oocytes

A female germ cell in the ovary; a developing egg cell.

Oral medication

Tablet or capsule.

Orchidectomy

Surgery to remove one or both testes.

Orchidopexy

An operation to lower an undescended testis and stitch it into the scrotum.

Orchitis

Infection of the testes.

Orgasm

Culmination of sexual excitement, usually accompanied by ejaculation in the male.

Osteoporosis

Thinning of bones which leads to a greater chance of fracturing bones.

Ovaries

The ovaries store eggs and produce hormones including estrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

Ovulation

The process by which an egg is released from the ovary.

P

Paediatrician

A doctor who specialises in the treatment of children from birth to adolescence.

PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme)

Australian Government program for the subsidy of prescribed essential drugs, to provide them cheaper to the consumer.

PDE5 (phosphodiesterase) inhibitors

Family of drugs used for treating erectile dysfunction by promoting the body’s natural response to sexual stimulation.

Penetration

Act of entering deeply into a partner (with the penis).

Penile

Relating to the penis.

Penile implant

A device surgically inserted into the penis to make the penis hard for intercourse.

Penis

Male organ for urination and sexual intercourse.

Perineal

A part of the body between the scrotum and the anus.

Perineal pain

Pain at the base of the scrotum and penis.

Perineal prostatectomy

Removal of the prostate gland through a cut made between the scrotum and the anus.

Perineum

The tissue between the anus and scrotum.

Peritoneum

Smooth membrane that lines the abdomen wall and covers the organs within in it.

Peyronie’s Disease

Build up of plaques around the core of the penis, which can lead to change in shape and painful erections.

pH

Measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a fluid.

Phytoestrogens

Parts of plants that are chemically similar to the hormone oestrogen.

Pituitary gland

A small gland that sits at the base of the hypothalamus which is part of the brain.

Placebo

A dummy medication or treatment.

Plasma

The liquid part of the blood and lymphatic fluid.

Polycystic

Presence of many cysts.

Polycythaemia

The presence of too many red blood cells in the blood.

Potency

The ability of the male to perform sexual intercourse.

Prednisolone

A synthetic steroid similar to hydrocortisone and used in various compounds as an anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressive, and antiallergic drug.

Premature ejaculation

Expulsion of semen from the penis before penetration has been achieved.

Priapism

Unusually persistent and often painful erection.

Primary seminiferous tubule failure

The sperm producing cells in the testes either did not develop or have been permanently destroyed. It is an untreatable condition.

Prognosis

An indication as to the future outcome of a disease.

Prolactin

A hormone produced and secreted into the bloodstream by the anterior pituitary gland.

Prostate

A gland within the male reproductive system that is located just below the bladder.

Prostatectomy (radical/retropubic)

An operation to remove the prostate gland (involving an incision or cut in the abdomen to go behind the pubic bone) to take out the enlarged part of the prostate (in the case of BPH) or all of the prostate (in the case of prostate cancer).

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA)

A substance produced by the prostate that may be found in increased amounts in the blood of men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia or infection or inflammation of the prostate.

Prostatitis

Inflammation of the prostate gland.

Prosthesis

An artificial replacement for a missing body part, often used for cosmetic purposes.

PSA (prostate specific antigen)

A substance produced by the prostate that may be found in increased amounts in the blood of men who have prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, or infection or inflammation of the prostate.

Psychiatrist

A doctor who specialises in diagnosis and treatment of psychological or mental problems.

Psychologist

A therapist, not necessarily a doctor, who treats psychological or mental problems.

Psychosis

Mental disorder or problem.

Puberty

The period in both males and females in which changes occur in reproductive organs/ovaries/testes so that reproduction is possible.

Q

R

Radiation Oncologist

The specialist that deals with radiotherapy.

Radical prostatectomy

An operation to remove the whole prostate gland, usually when cancer has been diagnosed.

Radiologist

A medical professional who specialises in using medical imaging technologies to diagnose and treat injury and disease.

Radiology

The use of radiation (for example x-rays) to diagnose or treat disease.

Radiotherapy

Treatment of disease with ionizing radiation.

Rebore

Also known as a ‘TURP’ (transurethral resection of the prostate). This operation involves the removal of small pieces of prostate using a small camera and resector that are inserted into the penis via the urethra.  No external cuts and wounds are needed with this operation.

Rectal examination

An examination in which a doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into the patients rectum to feel for abnormalities (for example, changes in the prostate).

Rectum

Commonly known as the “back passage”, this part of the body includes the last 10-15 cm of the large intestine leading to the anus.

Remission

A significant decrease in the symptoms of the cancer.

Resection

Removal of part of an organ or structure.

Retrograde ejaculation

A condition where the semen flows backwards into the bladder rather than out of the penis during orgasm.

Retroperitoneum

The back of the abdomen where the kidneys lie and the great blood vessels run.

Retropubic Prostatectomy

Removal of the prostate gland through a cut made in the lower abdomen.

Risk factor

An aspect of lifestyle or behaviour, a health condition, an environmental exposure or an inborn or inherited characteristic, known to be linked with health-related conditions considered important to prevent.

S

Scrotum

The skin pouch that holds the testes.

Semen

Fluid that is ejaculated from the penis during sexual activity; contains sperm and other fluids from the testes, prostate and seminal vesicles.

Seminal fluid

The thick white fluid mainly produced by the prostate and seminal vesicles containing sperm that is ejaculated by the penis.

Seminal vesicles

Sac-like structures in the male, found near the prostate gland, which produce fluid that is part of the semen ejaculate.

Seminiferous tubules

The sperm-producing tubules in the testes in which sperm are produced.

Seminoma

Type of testicular cancer that arises from sperm-forming or germ cells.

Sertoli cells

Cells in the testes that are responsible for nurturing the spermatids (immature sperm).

Serum

The clear liquid that can be separated from clotted blood.

Sex-hormone binding globulin

A protein produced by the liver that binds sex hormones (testosterone and oestradiol) in the blood.

Sexual intercourse

Sexual relations between two people.

Sildenafil

See Viagra®. Brand of oral PDE5 inhibitor which treats erectile dysfunction by promoting the body’s natural response to sexual stimulation.

Sleep apnoea (apnea)

Temporary stoppage of breathing during sleep.

Sperm

Mature male sex cell.

Sperm bank

Facility where sperm are kept frozen in liquid nitrogen for later use in artificial insemination.

Sperm morphology

A semen analysis factor that indicates the number or percentage of sperm in the sample that appear to have been formed normally.

Sperm motility

The ability of sperm to swim. Poor motility means the sperm have a difficult time swimming toward their goal, the egg.

Sperm retrieval

The doctor removes sperm from a man’s reproductive tract (testis or epididymis) using a fine needle, biopsy gun, or other instrument.

Spermatic cord

The spermatic cord is made up of the vas deferens, nerves and blood vessels and attaches the testes to the body.

Spermatids

Immature sperm.

Spermatocele

A spermatocele is (usually) a small cavity, filled with watery liquid, in the epididymis.

Spermatogenesis

Production of sperm in the testes.

Spermaturia

Spermaturia is the release of sperm into the urine. This can happen in men with long periods of sexual abstinence. This is quite normal and is a way of discharging sperm from the body.

Stem cell

Undifferentiated, primitive cells in any tissues with the ability both to multiply and to change into more specialised cells.

Steroid

A large group of chemical substances related in structure to one another and each containing the same chemical skeleton.

Stroma

The tissue or supporting framework of an organ.

Symptom

A sign that a person has a disease or condition. Some signs may be fever, nausea, vomiting.

Systemic therapy

Treatment that uses substances that travel through the bloodstream, reaching and affecting cells all over the body.

T

Tadalafil

See Cialis®. Brand of oral PDE5 inhibitor which treats erectile dysfunction by promoting the body’s natural response to sexual stimulation.

Teratoma

Non-cancerous growth, sometimes identified following chemotherapy for testicular cancer, which has the potential to grow and become malignant.

Testicle/testis (plural: testes)

The male reproductive organ that produces sperm and the male sex hormones.

Testicular biopsy

Taking a small piece of flesh or ’tissue’ from the testis and examined under a microscope.

Testicular function

The ability of the testicles to produce sperm and testosterone.

Testicular torsion

Twisting of the spermatic cord, cutting off the blood supply to the testicle and causing severe pain. A medical emergency because the testis will die after a few hours.

Testosterone

Male sex hormone.

Total androgen blockade

Therapy used to block male sex hormones (androgens) in the body. This may be done with surgery, hormonal therapy, or a combination.

Toxicity

The degree to which something is poisonous.

Transmembrane

Passing across a thin layer of tissue.

Transrectal ultrasound guided biopsy (TRUS)

A biopsy of the prostate using an ultrasound probe in the rectum to help the doctor choose different parts of the gland from which to take sample tissue for pathology testing.

Transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP)

Also known as a “rebore”, this operation involves the removal of small pieces of prostate using a small camera and resector that are inserted into the penis via the urethra.  No external cuts and wounds are needed with this operation.

Tumour

Abnormal lump of cells that grows in the body; can be benign or can spread to other parts of the body.

Tumour marker

A substance found in the blood or urine that suggests the presence of cancer.

Tunica Vaginalis

A double layered pouch derived from the peritoneum that covers each testis.

U

Ultrasonography

Imaging deep structures of the body.

Ultrasound

Medical process, which takes images or pictures using special sound waves, that are used to examine organs inside the body without the need to make cuts or incisions.

Undescended testicle

Failure of the testis to descend from the groin or abdomen, where they develop during gestation, into the scrotum.

Urethra

The tube that leads urine from the bladder out of the body via the penis in men and the vagina in woman. In men, secretions from accessory glands also empty into the urethra.

Urethritis

Inflammation of the urethra.

Urinary tract

All organs and ducts involved in the secretion and discharge of urine from the body.

Urologist

A doctor who specialises in diseases of the urinary tract in men and women, and the genital organs in men.

Uterus

The part of a woman in which a baby develops before birth.

V

Vagina

The vagina is a tube that connects the vulva with the cervix and uterus.

Vardenafil

See Levitra®. Brand of oral PDE5 inhibitor which treats erectile dysfunction by promoting the body’s natural response to sexual stimulation.

Varicocele

A collection of enlarged (dilated) veins in the spermatic cord.

Vascular

Conditions involving blood vessels.

Vas deferens

Duct that transports sperm from the epididymis to the ejaculatory duct.

Vasectomy

Male sterilisation procedure in which the vas deferens is cut.

Venous

Relating to a vein (blood vessel in the body).

Viagra®

Brand of oral PDE5 inhibitor which treats erectile dysfunction by promoting the body’s natural response to sexual stimulation.

Vulva

The vulva is the part of the female genitals on the outside of the body - the labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and the opening to the urethra.

W

X

Y

Yolk sac

Part of the embryo during development which may rarely lead to cancerous growth in the gonads, sacrum and in the chest cavity.

Z

Zygote

A cell produced by the union of a sperm and egg.