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L

Labia

The folds of skin surrounding the opening to the vaginal canal which can swell during arousal.

Labiaplasty

A surgical procedure in which the size and/or shape of the labia majora (the larger, outer vaginal lips) or the labia minora (the smaller, inner vaginal lips) is altered.

Labor induction

A medical process that stimulates contractions of the uterus to trigger delivery in pregnant women.

Lactobacillus acidophilus

Healthy bacteria that fight off harmful bacteria in the body.

Late luteal phase dysphoric disorder (LLDD)

Phrase formerly used for the most severe form of premenstrual syndrome that interferes with a woman’s daily functioning and quality of life; often requires treatment. (Now known as premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD).

Letrozole

An oral drug commonly used to induce ovulation as a fertility treatment.

Lewy bodies

Abnormal, balloon-like clumps of protein found in the brains of people with Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Lewy body dementia

A type of dementia caused by the presence of abnormal, balloon-like clumps of protein in the brain that often results in visual hallucinations, slow movement, lack of coordination, tremors and rigidity, difficulty focusing, and the tendency to act out dreams during sleep.

Leydig cells

Cells that produce testosterone and which are located in connective tissue surrounding the seminiferous tubules.

Libido

A person’s overall drive or desire for sexual activity.

Liposuction

A surgical fat removal procedure done with a suction device.

Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)

A surgical procedure in which a wire loop heated by electric current is used to remove cells and tissue from a woman’s lower genital tract when there are abnormal or cancerous conditions in the cervix.

Low testosterone

Abnormally low levels of the male sex hormone testosterone in the blood.

Lumpectomy

A procedure in which a surgeon removes cancerous cells and some surrounding healthy tissue from the breast but leaves the breast itself intact.

Lumpectomy or excisional biopsy

A surgery in which breast tissue is removed and sent to a lab for testing.

Luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH)

A hormone produced by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus; it stimulates the production of testosterone.

Lycopene

An antioxidant pigment found in fruits and vegetables, particularly those with a reddish coloring, that possesses anti-inflammatory properties and helps prevent DNA damage.

Lymphedema

A condition in which lymph fluid in the fatty tissues builds up just beneath the skin, causing swelling.