SEXUAL DESIRE, INHIBITED
SHOCK
sexual desire, inhibited Lack of sexual
desire or of the ability to become physi-
cally aroused during sexual activity.
sexual deviation See
deviation, sexual.
sexual dysfunction See
psychosexual
dysfunction.
sexual intercourse A term sometimes
used to describe a variety of sexual activ-
ities, but which specifically refers to the
insertion of the penis into the vagina.
sexuality A term describing the capacity
for sexual feelings and behaviour, or an
individual's sexual orientation or prefer-
ence.
Heterosexuality
is sexuality directed
towards the anatomically opposite sex;
homosexuality
is attraction to the same
sex; and
bisexuality
is attraction to both
sexes. (See also
gender identity.)
sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Infections transmitted primarily, but not
exclusively, by sexual intercourse. Com-
mon STIs include
chlamydial infections
,
genital herpes
,
pubic lice
,
genital warts
,
trichomoniasis
,
syphilis
,
gonorrhoea
, and
HIV
infection.
Antibiotics
can be used to
treat most bacterial STIs. Confidential
tracing and treatment of an affected per-
son's partners is an essential part of the
management of STIs (see
contact tracing
).
Practising
safer sex
can help prevent STIs.
sexual problems Any difficulty associat-
ed with sexual performance or behaviour.
Sexual problems are often psychological
in origin (see
psychosexual dysfunction
).
Sex therapy
may help such problems.
Some sexual problems are due to physi-
cal disease, such as a disorder affecting
blood flow or a hormonal dysfunction.
A disorder of the genitals may result in
pain during intercourse (see
intercourse,
painful
). Such problems are addressed
by treating the cause, where possible.
Sezary syndrome A rare condition in
which there is an abnormal overgrowth of
lymphocytes
in the skin, liver, spleen, and
lymph nodes. It mainly affects middle-
aged and elderly people.
The first
symptom is the appearance of red, scaly
patches on the skin that spread to form
an itchy, flaking rash. There may also be
accumulation of fluid under the skin,
baldness, and distorted nail growth.
Sezary syndrome is sometimes associ-
ated with
leukaemia.
Treatment includes
anticancer drugs
and
radiotherapy
.
shellfish poisoning See
food poisoning.
shell shock See
post-traumatic stress
disorder
.
shigellosis An acute infection of the
intestine by bacteria of the genus
SHI-
GELLA
. The source of the infection is the
faeces of infected people; the bacteria
are spread by poor hygiene.
Endemic
in some countries, shigellosis occurs in
isolated outbreaks in the UK.
The disease usually starts suddenly,
with diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea,
vomiting, generalized aches, and fever.
Persistent diarrhoea may cause
dehydra-
tion
, especially in babies and the elderly.
Occasionally,
toxaemia
develops.
Shigellosis usually subsides after a
week or so, but hospital treatment may
be needed for severe cases. Dehydra-
tion is treated by
rehydration therapy
.
Antibiotics
may be given.
shingles See
herpes zoster
.
shin splints Pain in the front and sides
of the lower leg that develops or wors-
ens during exercise. There may also be
tenderness and
oedema
in the affected
area. Shin splints is a common problem
in runners. It may be caused by various
disorders, such as
compartment syn-
drome, tendinitis, myositis,
or
periostitis.
In most cases, the pain disappears
after 1 or 2 weeks of rest. However, if it
is severe or recurrent, a course of
non-
steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs
or
corticosteroids
may be needed. Rarely,
surgery is performed to alleviate exces-
sive pressure in a muscle. Some people
benefit from
physiotherapy
.
shivering Involuntary trembling of the
entire body that is caused by rapid
contraction and relaxation of muscles.
Shivering is the body's normal auto-
matic response to cold; contraction of
muscles generates heat. Shivering also
occurs in fever.
shock A dangerous reduction of blood
flow throughout the body tissues, which
may occur with severe injury or illness.
Shock in this sense is physiological shock,
as distinct from the mental distress that
may follow a traumatic experience.
In most cases, reduced blood pressure
is a major factor in causing shock and is
one of its main features. Shock may de-
velop in any situation in which blood
S
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