The following glossary is adapted from the glossary provided by Planned Parenthood at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/glossary.
Labia majora: The outer lips of the vulva.
Labia minora: The inner lips of the vulva.
Lactational amenorrhea method or LAM: Breastfeeding as birth control for up to six months after childbirth.
Lactobacilli: Bacteria present in healthy vaginas of women. They help prevent vaginitis by limiting the growth of candida, a yeast.
LAM: see lactational amenorrhea method.
Laparoscope: A rod-like instrument with a light and viewing lens. Often used for tubal sterilization procedures.
Laparoscopy: A very common method of tubal sterilization that involves an injection of harmless gas to help see the reproductive organs and a small incision near the navel to allow the positioning of a laparoscope and an instrument that is used to block the fallopian tubes.
Laparotomy: A method of tubal sterilization that involves major surgery, requiring a two- to five-inch abdominal incision through which the fallopian tubes are located and blocked.
Leukorrhea: A white, yellow, or greenish, sticky vaginal discharge that is normal during adolescence, pregnancy, and other times when a woman’s hormone levels are changing.
Levonorgestrel: A synthetic progestin similar to the hormone progesterone, which is produced by the body to regulate the menstrual cycle. Used in certain birth control pills, the Mirena IUD, and Plan B emergency contraceptives.
LGV or lymphogranuloma venereum: A form of chlamydia, most common in tropical regions. Increasingly found in the U.S.
Lobes: Groups of alveoli sacs in women’s breasts.
Lubricant: In women, the slippery liquid that is secreted from the walls of the vagina and the Bartholin’s glands during sexual arousal in order to facilitate vaginal intercourse. In men, the slippery liquid secreted by the Cowper’s glands in order to facilitate ejaculation and motility of sperm. Also, an oil-based, water-based, or silicone-based product used to increase slipperiness during sex.
Luteinizing hormone or LH: One type of gonadatropin, a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland. Triggers ovulation in women and the production of testosterone in men. There are over the counter test kits for detecting LH. Also known as lutropin and sometimes lutrophin.
Lymphocele: A small swelling caused by the collection of lymphatic fluid. May occur on the penis.
Lymphogranuloma venereum: See LGV.