Glossary of Terms

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L

Laparoscopy

This is a procedure that involves the introduction of a thin telescope-like instrument through the belly button and into the pelvis for direct visualization of the pelvic organs. Dye is sometimes injected through the cervix, and its flow traced through the fallopian tubes. Physician use laparoscopy for a variety of reasons: to check for suspected problems such as infertility, blocked or damaged tubes, scarring, ovarian tumors and uterine anomalies such as fibroids; to diagnose and treat endometriosis; to lyse (cut) adhesions that result from scarring; to remove fibroids, ovarian cysts or tumors. Laparoscopy is conducted under general anesthesia. The majority of patients do not have to stay overnight in the hospital. Mild abdominal discomfort for 1 or 2 days after the procedure is common; however, most women resume their normal activities as early as the day following the procedure. There are risks associated with laparoscopy, but they are considered minimal and/or uncommon. These risks include the following: infection, bleeding, damage to nearby organs (such as the bowel), and reaction to anesthesia. Very rarely is abdominal surgery required post-procedure, in order to take care of a complication that developed as a result of the laparoscopy.

Laparotomy

A procedure in which the abdomen is opened with an incision to expose its contents.

Letrozole

A medication that lowers the levels of the enzyme that produces estrogen, thereby temporarily lowering estrogen levels. Can be useful for inducing ovulation in women that do not ovulate regularly. 

LH

The luteinizing hormone (LH) is secreted by the pituitary gland involved in the control of ovulation. The role of LH is to trigger ovulation and help prepare the endometrial lining for implantation. The level of this hormone starts to rise roughly 24 hours prior to expected ovulation. We can check this by using a home ovulation predictor kit, such as Clear Blue Easy. When the test color matches the control, this signifies the presence of elevated levels of LH in the blood. The individual then can plan intercourse or IUI within 24 hours of that positive test. 

Lupron

Known medically as a GnRH-agonist (see GnRH), Lupron is a commonly used medication in IVF, and also for the treatment of severe endometriosis or large uterine fibroids. Lupron taken continuously either by daily subcutaneous (under the skin) injections or monthly intramuscularly depot injections will suppress the pituitary-ovarian axis. Simply stated, it will make the ovaries "go to sleep" and stop functioning, therefore stopping the secretion of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Lupron is frequently used in IVF to prevent premature ovulation.

Luteinizing Hormone

See LH.