FERTILITY TERMINOLOGY & ABBREVIATIONS
Scar tissue that which form as a consequence of infections, inflammation, surgery, etc.
The total absence of ovulation. Menses may still occur.
ANTISPERM ANTIBODY TESTING
Testing performed to determine if a man or a woman harbors substances (antibodies) that cause the sperm to clump together, lose motility, or impair the ability to fertilize an egg.
The absence of sperm in the seminal fluid. This may be due to a blockage or to an impairment of sperm production.
BASAL BODY TEMPERATURE
The body temperature of a person recorded immediately upon awakening, before any activity is undertaken. The temperature can be taken orally or rectally. The temperature is recorded daily on a graph, which can show evidence of ovulation when the temperature rises after ovulation and remains elevated for the rest of the menstrual cycle.
BETA HCG (HCG)
A hormone, beta human chorionic gonadotropin, produced by a pregnancy. Measurement of beta hCG is the blood test used to confirm a pregnancy and to follow its progression.
BLASTOCYST An embryo that is 5‐6 days old and is made up of hundreds of cells.
BLIGHTED OVUM (EGG)
A general term used to describe the situation where an intrauterine pregnancy fails to develop a fetus with heartbeat. Same as an Empty Sac pregnancy.
CBC (COMPLETE BLOOD COUNT)
A routine preoperative blood test. This test gives information regarding infection and anemia.
A pregnancy characterized by positive hCG level in the blood that does not lead to a clinical pregnancy. A very early miscarriage.
A microorganism that may be transmitted by sexual contact. Chlamydia can exist in the reproductive tract without symptoms and cause infertility. If present, both partners must be treated.
Clinical evidence of pregnancy including increasing hCG levels and clinical evidence of pregnancy such as an ultrasound examination, physical signs on examination, tissue confirming pregnancy or miscarriage.
The follicle in the ovary at the site of the released egg that produces the hormone progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle. If pregnancy occurs, the corpus luteum persists and produces the progesterone necessary to support pregnancy.
DONOR EGG(S), DONOR OOCYTE(S)
Eggs that are removed from the ovaries of one woman for use by another.
An embryo created previously in an IVF cycle which has been donated, either anonymously or in a directed manner, so that other couples with infertility may attempt pregnancy using that embryo.
Sperm that are collected from a man who is not the woman’s partner to be used to artificially inseminate her. Usually this sperm is obtained in a frozen state from a commercial sperm bank.
An embryo implanting and developing outside the uterus, usually in a fallopian tube, rarely in an ovary, or in the abdominal area.
The term used to describe the early stages of fetal growth.
A procedure in which an embryo is placed into the uterus with the goal of implantation and pregnancy.
The presence of endometrial like tissue (the normal uterine lining) in abnormal locations, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries and abdominal cavity.
A small sample of tissue removed from the lining of the uterus for microscopic examination.
ENDOMETRIAL RECEPTIVITY ANALYSIS (ERA)
Tests the endometrial “receptivity” on the day of would‐be embryo transfer. The uterus is prepared with estrogen and progesterone (as with a Frozen Embryo Transfer/FET cycle) but, instead of an embryo transfer, a biopsy is performed with a small catheter. The tissue is sent for molecular analysis and the test result will indicate “receptive” or “not receptive”.
Tube like organs that conduct eggs from the ovary to the uterus. Normal fertilization takes place within this structure. The Fallopian tubes are also responsible for transporting the developing embryo into the uterine cavity for implantation.
Penetration of an egg by a sperm.
The developing human organism after the embryo stage from the ninth week of pregnancy to the moment of birth.
A non‐cancerous smooth muscle tumor found within the wall of the uterus. Also known as a myoma.
Fluid‐filled structure on the ovary which contains the ripening egg and from which the egg is released at ovulation or retrieved during an IVF cycle. The follicle also produces estradiol and later progesterone.
FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE (FSH)
A hormone produced in the pituitary gland that stimulates the ovary to ripen a follicle for ovulation. In the male, FSH stimulates sperm production.
The portion of the menstrual cycle when ovarian follicle development takes place.
FROZEN EMBRYO TRANSFER (FET)
Transfer of an embryo or embryos that were previously created and frozen and subsequently thawed in the IVF laboratory, into a woman’s uterus.
GONADOTROPIN RELEASE HORMONE (GNRH)
A hormone released from the hypothalamus that controls the synthesis and release of the pituitary hormones FSH and LH.
HIV (HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS) ANTIBODIES
Test done on the blood of both the husband and wife to screen for previous exposure to the AIDS virus.
Fiberoptic visualization of the inside of the uterus through the cervix with a telescope‐like device. This procedure is performed to evaluate and treat abnormalities inside the uterine cavity. This procedure can be performed in the office or in conjunction with a laparoscopy.
The embedding of the fertilized egg, or embryo, in the lining of the uterus.
The inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse.
INTRACYTOPLASMIC SPERM INJECTION (ICSI)
Injection of a single sperm into the center of an egg with a very sharp microscopic glass needle. This technique of micromanipulation is very useful for cases of male factor infertility.
INTRAUTERINE INSEMINATION (IUI)
The introduction of specially prepared sperm directly into the uterus through the cervix by means of a catheter.
IN VITRO FERTILIZATION (IVF)
The procedure during which an egg is removed from a mature follicle and fertilized by a sperm outside the human body.
A surgical procedure where a telescope‐like device is inserted through a small incision near the navel in order to visualize the pelvic cavity, the ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus.
LUTEAL PHASE The days of a menstrual cycle following ovulation and ending with menstruation. During this 12 to 16 day period, the hormone progesterone is produced.
LUTEINIZING HORMONE (LH)
A hormone produced and released by the pituitary gland. It is responsible for triggering ovulation; in the male, LH stimulates testosterone production.
The surgical removal of fibroid tumors from the wall of the uterus.
A condition in which the number of motile sperm in a semen sample is abnormally low.
Release of a mature egg from the ovary.
POLYCYSTIC OVARY SYNDROME (PCOS)
A condition where ovulation is either abnormal or absent, and androgen (male hormone) levels are elevated. PCOS is associated with subfertility as well as an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
A hormone produced and released by the corpus luteum of the ovary during the second half of an ovulatory cycle. Progesterone is necessary to prepare the lining of the uterus for the implantation of the fertilized egg. During pregnancy, it is produced by the placenta. Supplemental support can be provided by injection or in vaginal or oral forms when indicated.
The inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy after having successfully conceived and carried one or more pregnancies.
Technique for separating sperm from seminal fluid.
A small surgical excision of testicular tissue to determine the presence of normal sperm.
Visualization of pelvic structures by projecting sound waves through a probe that is inserted into the vagina.
A collection of varicose veins in the scrotum. Varicoceles can cause pain. They were felt to affect sperm production and surgical correction was recommended for improvement. Today surgery has been abandoned largely unless there is pain.
ZYGOTE INTRAFALLOPIAN TRANSFER (ZIFT)
The ovum is fertilized in vitro and then transferred to the fallopian tube surgically. This procedure has been largely abandoned.