SEXUAL DESIRE, INHIBITED
sexual desire, inhibited Lack of sexual
desire or of the ability to become physi-
cally aroused during sexual activity.
sexual deviation See
sexual dysfunction See
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-
is sexuality directed
towards the anatomically opposite sex;
is attraction to the same
is attraction to both
sexes. (See also
sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Infections transmitted primarily, but not
exclusively, by sexual intercourse. Com-
mon STIs include
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
can help prevent STIs.
sexual problems Any difficulty associat-
ed with sexual performance or behaviour.
Sexual problems are often psychological
in origin (see
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
). Such problems are addressed
by treating the cause, where possible.
Sezary syndrome A rare condition in
which there is an abnormal overgrowth of
in the skin, liver, spleen, and
lymph nodes. It mainly affects middle-
aged and elderly people.
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-
shellfish poisoning See
shell shock See
shigellosis An acute infection of the
intestine by bacteria of the genus
. The source of the infection is the
faeces of infected people; the bacteria
are spread by poor hygiene.
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
, especially in babies and the elderly.
Shigellosis usually subsides after a
week or so, but hospital treatment may
be needed for severe cases. Dehydra-
tion is treated by
may be given.
shin splints Pain in the front and sides
of the lower leg that develops or wors-
ens during exercise. There may also be
in the affected
area. Shin splints is a common problem
in runners. It may be caused by various
disorders, such as
drome, tendinitis, myositis,
In most cases, the pain disappears
after 1 or 2 weeks of rest. However, if it
is severe or recurrent, a course of
may be needed. Rarely,
surgery is performed to alleviate exces-
sive pressure in a muscle. Some people
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