List of Difficult Words 555
joints Places in the body where bones come
kidneys Two large organs in the lower back
that make urine by cleaning waste from the blood.
labia Large and small folds of skin that are part
of the vulva.
labor The work a woman’s body does in
childbirth, when her womb squeezes or contracts,
causes her cervix to open, and pushes her baby
down through the vagina and out of her body.
latex A material like thin rubber. Condoms and
gloves are often made of latex.
latrine A hole or pit in the ground for passing
urine or stool. A toilet.
laxatives Medicine used for constipation to make
stools softer and more frequent.
lice Tiny insects that attach on the skin or hair of
people and other animals.
ligaments Strong fibers in a person’s body that
help hold muscles and bones in place.
literacy The ability to read and understand
liver A large organ under the lower right ribs
that helps clean the blood and get rid of poisons.
loss of consciousness When a sick or injured
person seems to be asleep and cannot be
lubricants A slippery cream or jelly used to
make dry surfaces wet. Lubricants are often used
on condoms during sex.
lymph nodes Small lumps under the skin in
different parts of the body that trap germs.
Lymph nodes become swollen and painful when
they get infected.
main food The main food, usually low-cost, that
is eaten with almost every meal. This main food
usually provides most of the body’s daily food
needs. For good nutrition, the body also needs
malaria An infection that causes chills and
high fever, which is spread by mosquitoes. The
mosquito sucks up the malaria parasites in the
blood of an infected person and injects them into
the next person it bites.
malnutrition When the body does not have
enough of the foods it needs to stay healthy.
massage A way of touching the body to relieve
pain, tension, or other signs. Massaging the belly
can help the womb contract and stop heavy
bleeding after birth, miscarriage or abortion.
mastitis See breast infection.
masturbation Touching one’s own body to bring
personal sexual pleasure.
maternal mortality When a woman dies due to
problems from pregnancy and birth.
medical abortion Using certain medicines to end
membranes A thin layer of skin or tissue
that either covers organs inside the body or
lines other parts. An example is the sac that
surrounds and protects the baby when it is in the
menopause When a woman’s monthly bleeding
menstrual cycle See monthly cycle.
menstruation See monthly bleeding.
microscope An instrument that makes very tiny
objects look larger.
midwife Someone with special training or
experience to help a woman give birth.
migraines Severe headaches with blurred eyesight.
minerals Substances in foods—like iron, calcium,
and iodine—that help the body fight disease and
recover after injury or illness.
miscarriage When a woman loses a developing
baby before it is old enough to survive outside
monthly bleeding (menstruation, monthly period)
When a bloody fluid leaves a woman’s womb and
passes through the vagina and out of her body. It
happens about every 28 days and lasts for a few
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012