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Body fluid, bodily fluids, or biofluids are liquids originating from inside the bodies of living people. They include fluids that are excreted or secreted from the body as well as body water that normally is not.
The dominating content of body fluids is body water. Approximately 60-65% of body water is contained within the cells (in intracellular fluid) with the other 35-40% of body water contained outside the cells (in extracellular fluid). This fluid component outside of the cells include the fluid between the cells (interstitial fluid), lymph and blood. There are approximately 6 to 10 liters of lymph in the body, compared to 3.5 to 5 liters of blood.
Body fluid is the term most often used in medical and health contexts. Modern medical, public health, and personal hygiene practices treat body fluids as potentially unclean. This is because they can be vectors for infectious diseases, such as sexually transmitted diseases or blood-borne diseases. Universal precautions and safer sex practices try to avoid exchanges of body fluids. Body fluids can be analysed in medical laboratory in order to find microbes, inflammation, cancers, etc.
Methods of sampling of body fluids include:
Many bodily fluids are regarded with varying levels of disgust among world cultures, including the Abrahamic faiths (Christianity, Islam, Judaism) and Hinduism.
A relatively new trend in contemporary art is to use body fluids in art, though there have been rarer uses of blood (and perhaps feces) for quite some time, and Marcel Duchamp used semen decades ago. Examples include:
The term body fluid is used in a forensic science context to refer to items of biological evidence. The term is a historical one whose meaning has been expanded due to the discovery of the evidential significance of various biological materials. Body fluid therefore refers to not only to typical body liquids such as blood or semen, but to any item of trace evidence with a biological origin, including hair, bone, teeth, faeces and skin or muscle tissue.