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    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    A

    ACTH

    Produced by the pituitary gland, this hormone stimulates the adrenal gland. Abnormal levels of ACTH can sometimes be associated with infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    A

    Adhesion

    When bands of scar tissue form in reproductive organs and/or abdominal area that can impact fertility; endometriosis can often cause these bands.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    A

    Adrenal Androgens

    When male hormones (which are produced by the adrenal gland) are elevated in women with PCOS, which cause fertility problems.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    A

    Agglutination

    When sperm cells clump together instead of moving freely.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    A

    Amenorrhea (primary)

    Having never menstruated by the age of 16.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    A

    Amenorrhea (secondary)

    The absence of menstruation for three months or more in women who have menstruated in the past.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Medical Association
    A

    American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)

    A group of fertility and reproductive specialists that teach, do research on and advocate for reproductive medicine.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    A

    Amniocentesis

    Examining a fetus for abnormalities by using a needle to extract amniotic fluid from the womb.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Specialist
    A

    Andrologist

    A doctor who specializes in male health, specifically reproductive health and fertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    A

    Anovulation

    Rare or lack of ovulation which can occur with or without menstruation.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    A

    Antibodies

    Substances produced by the body that attack foreign matter to prevent infection but which may also cause infertility in some cases.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    A

    Antisperm Antibody Test

    A test to see if antibodies on the surface of sperm are interfering with the sperm’s ability to move, travel through cervical mucus, or fertilize an egg.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    A

    Artificial Insemination (AI)

    The injection of sperm directly into a female’s vagina, cervix, uterus, or fallopian tubes in order to fertilize an egg.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    A

    Asherman's Syndrome

    A condition where scar tissue forms inside the uterus which may lead to infertility or menstrual irregularities.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    A

    Aspiration

    The act of suctioning fluid or tissue from the body, typically performed with a needle or tube.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    A

    Assisted hatching

    A procedure where the thick outer wall of an embryo is broken open to help facilitate implantation.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Treatment
    A

    Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

    Fertility treatments that include procedures for both the egg and the sperm such as IUI, IVF, GIFT, ICSI and ZIFT.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    A

    Asthenozoospermia

    Sperm that are considered to be poor quality due to reduced motility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    A

    Azoospermia

    When there are no sperm in a man’s semen, which is sometimes caused by blockages.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    B

    Basal Body Temperature (BBT)

    Temperature used to chart ovulation when taken every day first thing after awakening in the morning. The temperature rises and falls day-to-day due to changes in hormone levels during the menstrual cycle.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    B

    Beta HCG Test

    A blood test used to measure the levels of HCG in early pregnancy.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    B

    Bicornuate Uterus

    An abnormality in the structure of the uterus that can cause problems with fertility and pregnancy such as fetal growth restriction. It can sometimes be fixed with surgery.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    B

    Blastocyst

    The stage of an embryo that is reached around 5 days after the egg is fertilized.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    B

    Blastomere

    A cell taken from a blastocyst by performing a biopsy.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    B

    Blighted Ovum (egg)

    A fertilized egg that implants in the uterus but does not continue to develop properly.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Drugs/Medications
    B

    Bromocriptine (Parlodel)

    A medication that treats tumors in the pituitary gland and therefore reduces prolactin levels.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    C

    Canceled Cycle

    This is when an ART cycle is stopped before being completed due to problems with follicle development, lack of fertilization, or other issues.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    C

    Candidiasis

    An infection—also known as a yeast infection—sometimes found in the vagina that is caused by a common fungus with symptoms of burning, itching, and discomfort.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    C

    Cervical Mucus

    Mucus produced by the cervix during a woman’s monthly cycle that changes consistency and increases in quantity as ovulation approaches.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    C

    Cervical Smear

    A cellular sample taken from the cervix and examined for cancerous cells or other abnormalities.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    C

    Cervix

    The inch long canal at the lower end of the uterus and above the vagina through which blood passes during menstruation, sperm travels through to reach the fallopian tubes, and a baby passes through during labor.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Condition
    C

    Cervix, Incompetent

    A condition where the cervix opens prematurely during pregnancy before the baby is developed and labor is ready to begin.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    C

    Chemical Pregnancy

    When the egg implants itself but the embryo doesn’t develop. The vast majority of miscarriages fall into this category.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    C

    Chlamydia

    A sexually transmitted disease (STD) which can damage the female and male reproductive systems causing infertility. Chlamydia can go without symptoms for years.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    C

    Chocolate Cyst

    An ovarian cyst with intracavitary hemorrhage and formation of a hematoma which contains old brown blood; often seen with endometriosis of the ovary.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    C

    Cilia

    Tiny, hair-like structures that help the egg move along within the fallopian tubes.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    C

    Cleavage

    When a zygote (cell formed by fertilization) divides into enough cells to become a blastocyst.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    C

    Clinical Pregnancy

    When a pregnancy is confirmed through a clinical intervention like an ultrasound.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Drugs/Medications
    C

    Clomiphene Citrate

    A medication — also known as clomid — used to trigger a surge of gonadotropins from the pituitary gland and stimulates ovulation to boost fertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    C

    CBC

    A blood test where red and white blood cells, hemoglobin, and other factors are measured in order to diagnose and evaluate potential disease.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    C

    Corpus Luteum

    Endocrine tissue that secretes the hormone progesterone after ovulation and during pregnancy in order to boost implantation and help maintain the pregnancy.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Preservation
    C

    Cryopreservation

    When eggs, embryos, and/or sperm are preserved in a controlled freezing environment for fertility treatment, donation, and ART.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    C

    Cushing's Syndrome

    A condition where there is an excess of corticosteroids, such as cortisol, that can affect fertility and cause weight gain, male sex characteristics, and other symptoms in women.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    C

    Cycle

    A single round of fertility treatment that takes about a month.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    C

    Cyst

    A sac surrounded by a membrane, which may or may not cause health problems.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    C

    CMV

    A member of the herpes groups of viruses. Most adults and children who contract CMV have no symptoms, although some people may get a fever, sore throat, fatigue, and swollen glands.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Drugs/Medications
    D

    Danazol (danocrine)

    This synthetic androgen drug is used to treat endometriosis. Side effects may include acne, changes in breast size, weight gain, and other symptoms.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Preservation
    D

    DHEAS

    This weak male hormone is produce by the adrenal gland in some women and, in high doses, can cause excess hair growth and other symptoms. It is sometimes given to older women to help improve egg quality.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    D

    Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

    A procedure where the cervix is dilated (opened) and the uterine lining is scraped away. This is often performed after a miscarriage.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    D

    Donor Egg

    Eggs donated by a fertile woman that can be implanted in another woman for pregnancy.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    D

    Donor Embryo Transfer

    A procedure where an embryo created from a donor egg and/or donor sperm are transferred to a woman’s uterus during IVF to help her get pregnant.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    D

    Donor Insemination

    A procedure where donor sperm is injected into a woman’s vagina, cervix, or uterus as part of artificial insemination (also known as intrauterine insemination).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    D

    Donor Sperm

    SSperm that has been donated by men who have been screened for illnesses and selected based on ethnicity, build, and other characteristics.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    E

    Ectopic Pregnancy

    This occurs when a fertilized egg implants in a woman’s body outside of the uterus — often in a fallopian tube — causing dangerous complications before it must be terminated.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    E

    Egg

    Female sex cell/female gamete — also known as an ovum — which is released during ovulation and is fertilized by sperm during reproduction.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    E

    Egg Collection

    Procedure where eggs are collected from the ovaries by using a guided needle. Also known as Egg Retrieval.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    E

    Egg Donation

    The process by which a fertile woman donates her eggs to be used in the treatment of others or for research.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    E

    Egg Retrieval

    A procedure where ripe eggs are removed with a thin needle from the ovarian follicles for ICSI, IVF, or other procedures.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    E

    Ejaculate

    Fluid expelled by the male containing sperm.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    E

    Embryo

    One of the earliest stages of the human fetus, between implantation and eight weeks of pregnancy.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    E

    Embryo Biopsy

    The removal of one or two cells from an embryo in vitro in preparation for genetic screening.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    E

    Embryo Culture

    When embryos develop in vitro for two to six days after the egg has been fertilized by the sperm.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Preservation
    E

    Embryo Freezing

    Extra embryos that are not needed during a cycle can be frozen and stored for future use in a process called cryopreservation.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    E

    Embryo Storage

    The storage of one or more embryos to use in the future by freezing (cryopreservation).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    E

    Embryo Transfer

    When a fertilized embryo is placed into the uterus using a catheter as part of IVF and other ART procedures.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Specialist
    E

    Endocrinology

    The medical study of hormones, glands, hormonal systems, and how they all interact and work together.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    E

    Endometrial Biopsy

    A procedure where a small sample of the uterine lining (endometrium) is taken to evaluate it for abnormalities.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Condition
    E

    Endometriosis

    A condition where endometrial tissue is present in abnormal locations such as inside the fallopian tubes, on the ovaries, and in the peritoneal cavity, which often causes painful menstruation and infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    E

    Endometrium

    The tissue that lines the inside of the uterus.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    E

    Endorphins

    Chemicals produced by the body, such as during intense exercise, that induce opiate like feelings including pain relief.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    E

    Epididymis

    A tube located near a man’s testicles that holds sperm.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    E

    Estradiol

    A form of the hormone estrogen that is secreted by the ovaries.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    E

    Estrogen

    A female sex hormone that stimulates the development of female sex characteristics and the maturation of the reproductive system.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    F

    Fallopian Tubes

    Two hollow tubes on either side of the uterus through which the egg is released during ovulation and where the egg and sperm meet to begin the process of fertilization.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Specialist
    F

    Fertility Specialist

    Doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating infertility such as a Reproductive Endocrinologist.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    F

    Fertilization

    When the egg and sperm combine to begin the process toward pregnancy.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    F

    Fetus

    Beginning at eight weeks after implantation, an embryo is called a fetus until it is born.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    F

    Fibroid

    A benign tumor—also called a myoma—made of muscle cells and other tissues that is found in the uterine wall.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    F

    Follicle

    A tiny sack within the ovary where a woman’s egg grows and develops each month. During ovulation, the follicle expels the egg into the fallopian tube.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    F

    Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

    A hormone produced in the pituitary gland that stimulates ovarian follicles to grow. It can become elevated as a woman ages and her ovarian reserve diminishes. Synthetic versions of FSH are sold under the names Follistim, Fertinex, Gonal.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    F

    Follicular Fluid

    The fluid that nourishes the developing egg inside of the ovarian follicles.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    F

    Follicular Phase

    The first phase of the monthly cycle, starting with the first day of menstrual bleeding, when ovarian follicles start to develop.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Preservation
    F

    Fresh and Frozen Cycles

    In most cases, the eggs collected from a patient are mixed with her partners fresh sperm to produce embryos within a few days. These fresh embryos are then transferred back to the patient. Where the patient´s body is not ready to receive the embryos, or where an excess of embryos is available, these embryos may be cryogenically frozen for future use. Once thawed, these embryos are transferred to the patient as a frozen cycle.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    F

    Fundus

    The upper part of the uterus.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    G

    Gamete

    A mature sex cell such as the egg or the sperm.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    G

    Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)

    An assisted reproductive technique where a female’s eggs are extracted from the ovaries, mixed with sperm in a lab, and then placed in the fallopian tubes where fertilization can occur.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    G

    Gene

    The unit of inheritance. Everyone inherits two copies of each gene. A dominantly inherited genetic disease occurs when only one copy of the gene is sufficient to produce the disease (e.g., Huntington's chorea). A recessively inherited disease only occurs if both copies of the defective gene are present (e.g., Tay Sachs' disease, Sickle cell disease).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    G

    Genome

    The basic set of genes in the chromosomes in any cell, organism, or species.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    G

    Gestation

    The time between conception and the birth of a baby.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    G

    Gonad

    Reproductive glands that produce sex cells (eggs and sperm) and hormones; in women, the ovaries, and in males, the testes.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    G

    Gonadotropin

    Hormones used during ovulation induction to encourage follicular and egg development.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    G

    Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH)

    The hypothalamus secretes this hormone, stimulating the release of gonadotropins (LH and FSH), which stimulate the testicles or ovaries.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    H

    Hamster Test (HEPT)

    When a man’s sperm are mixed with hamster eggs in a dish and the sperm are observed to see how many penetrate the eggs. This test is also know as the Sperm Penetration Assay or SPA.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Hirsutism

    A condition that often occurs with PCOS where women have excess body and facial hair, due to high levels of androgens.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    H

    Hormonal Assay

    Hormone test that checks for levels of hormones like FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinizing hormone), DHEAS (dehydroepiandresterone), prolactin and progesterone.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Hormone

    Chemicals produced in one organ of the body that regulates activities of other organs.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Hostile Mucus

    Cervical mucus that impedes the travel of sperm into the fallopian tubes for fertilization.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

    In early pregnancy this hormone helps to maintain progesterone levels; it is sometimes used to trigger ovulation.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Human Menopausal Gonadotropin (HMG)

    This hormone is used to stimulate ovulation and is made of LH and FSH.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Hydrocele

    Fluid accumulation in the scrotum.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Hyperprolactinemia

    High amounts of prolactin in the blood that can suppress LH and FSH production, affecting male and female fertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    H

    Hyperstimulation (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome OHSS)

    A serious complication that occurs with medically induced ovulation where the ovaries swell and mild to severe side effects may occur.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    H

    Hyperthyroidism

    Excessive activity of the thyroid that can affect female ovulation and fertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Hypoestrogenic

    Estrogen levels that are lower than normal.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    H

    Hypospermatogenesis

    The production of sperm in low numbers.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    H

    Hypothalamus

    The part of the brain that secretes GnRH, which enables the release of LH and FSH to stimulate the ovaries and testes.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    H

    Hypothyroidism

    The thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone, leading to a slow metabolism and fatigue, and impaired fertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    H

    Hysterectomy

    The partial or total removal of the uterus, ovaries, and/or fallopian tubes that can lead to sterility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    H

    Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

    An X-ray examination using a special dye injected into the uterus to observe the uterus and fallopian tubes.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    H

    Hysteroscope

    A device, similar to a laparoscope, that allows for interior visual exam of the cervix and uterus.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    I

    Immature Sperm (germinal cell)

    Sperm that are not fully mature and that have low motility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    I

    Implantation

    After fertilization, the egg starts to embed into the uterine lining where it starts to develop as an embryo.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    I

    Impotence

    A situation where a man cannot have erections or ejaculate semen.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    I

    In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

    A procedure in which one or more eggs, each removed from a ripe follicle, is fertilized by a sperm outside the human body.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Wellness
    I

    Infertility

    For women under 35, this means the inability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term when trying to conceive one year, and for women over 35, infertility is the inability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term when trying to conceive for six months.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Drugs/Medications
    I

    Injectables

    Fertility medications (usually ovulation induction medications) that are injected.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    I

    Inner Cell Mass

    A clump of cells growing within and to one side of the blastocyst from which the embryo develops.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    I

    Insemination

    The introduction of sperm into a woman’s body for fertilization.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    I

    Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

    Sperm are collected and washed to prepare for insemination directly into a woman’s uterus with a catheter and syringe.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    I

    Intracervical Insemination (ICI)

    Artificial insemination procedure where sperm are injected directly into a woman’s cervix with a syringe and catheter.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    I

    Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

    The injection of a single sperm into an egg, usually used with IVF.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    K

    Karyotyping

    A test analyzing chromosomes for potential genetic abnormalities.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    K

    Klinefelter's Syndrome

    When a male is born with two X and one Y chromosome, causing possible feminine qualities and infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    L

    Laparoscope

    A telescopic instrument that is inserted into a small incision in the abdomen, for viewing of the pelvis, ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    L

    Laparotomy

    Surgery that opens the abdominal area to treat a variety of issues, including removing adhesions and repairing tubes.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    L

    Lavage

    The removal of a fertilized egg or cleavage stage embryo from the womb before implantation by washing out the uterine cavity.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    L

    Leydig Cell

    Cell in the testes that produces male hormones, including testosterone, and is stimulated by LH from the pituitary gland.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    L

    LH Surge

    A surge of LH followed by the release of an egg from a follicle in the ovaries.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    L

    Luteal Phase

    The luteal phase is a stage of the menstrual cycle. It occurs after ovulation and before the start of menstruation. During this phase, the lining of the uterus normally becomes thicker to prepare for a possible pregnancy.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    L

    Luteal Phase Defect (or Deficiency) (LPD)

    Often due to a short luteal phase, the uterus will not be able to sustain a pregnancy due to abnormal hormone levels. May cause recurrent miscarriages.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    L

    Luteinizing Hormone (LH)

    A hormone that stimulates the ovary to release an egg during ovulation and also stimulates testosterone production in males.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    M

    Male Factor Infertility

    Infertility due to male health or anatomic reasons.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    M

    Menorrhagia

    Very heavy menstrual flow, or menses that lasts longer than normal.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    M

    Menstruation

    Monthly cycle of bleeding where the uterine lining is shed after a woman fails to achieve pregnancy (also called menses, menstrual cycle).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    M

    Metrorrhagia

    Appearance of bleeding or spotting in the middle of the menstrual cycle.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    M

    Micromanipulation

    Procedure where a microscopic single sperm is injected into an egg, as with ICSI.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure, Wellness
    M

    Miscarriage

    Spontaneous expulsion of the embryo or fetus from the uterus in the first 20 weeks gestation, which occurs in about 20% of pregnancies (also called abortion).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    M

    Mitochondria

    Structures present in human cells which are often referred to as the cell’s ‘batteries’ because they generate the majority of a cell’s energy supply. They contain a small amount of DNA and are inherited from the mother.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    M

    Mittleschmerz

    Occurring around ovulation, some women notice this as a slight pain or cramping low in the abdomen.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    M

    Morphology

    The size and shape of sperm.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    M

    Morula

    The ball of cells which forms at about 3-4 days after insemination of the egg, resulting from the cleavage of the fertilized ovum.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    M

    Motility

    The ability of sperm to move by themselves.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    M

    Myomectomy

    The surgical removal of benign fibroid tumors from the uterine wall.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    N

    Natural Cycle

    Treatment cycle in which no drugs are given to stimulate egg production.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    N

    Nucleus

    The part of a cell which contains the genetic material DNA.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    O

    Oligmenorrhea

    Menstrual periods occurring less frequently than normal.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Wellness
    O

    Oligospermia

    Low levels of sperm in the semen.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    O

    Oocyte

    The female sex cell that is produced in the ovaries (also see egg, ovum, gamete).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    O

    Oocyte Retrieval

    When a needle is inserted into the ovarian follicles to extract eggs during surgery.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    O

    Ovarian Cyst

    A fluid-filled sac in the ovary that can vary in size; may or may not be problematic, but can sometimes cause pain and can be an indicator of PCOS if there are multiple cysts.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Wellness
    O

    Ovarian Failure

    A situation where levels of FSH in the blood are elevated, usually indicating a lack of ovarian response to FSH stimulation.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    O

    Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

    A serious complication following stimulation of the ovaries with gonadotrophin drugs.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    O

    Ovary

    Female sex glands that produce eggs (ova) and female hormones (estrogen and progesterone).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy, Fertility Term
    O

    Ovulation

    When the ovary releases a mature egg in the middle of the menstrual cycle, often around day 14.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Drugs/Medications, Fertility Preservation
    O

    Ovulation Induction

    Use of a group of medications (fertility drugs) to improve hormone levels and/or boost the development and release of eggs during fertility treatment.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Wellness
    O

    Ovulatory Failure (anovulation)

    Lack of ovulation during the menstrual cycle (no egg is released for fertilization).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    O

    Ovulatory Phase

    Occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle; the release of the egg for fertilization.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    O

    Ovum

    Female sex cell that contains genetic material for the embryo (also called egg, gamete).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    P

    Pap Test

    A test to detect abnormal (cancerous) cells in the cervix.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    P

    PID

    Infection within the pelvis that can cause fever, pain, and possibly infertility and may lead to the development of scar tissue and/or tubal problems.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    P

    Pituitary Gland

    A gland located at the base of the brain known as the master gland of the endocrine system that releases and regulates the body’s hormones.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    P

    Placenta

    This organ connects the fetus to the uterus via the umbilical cord, providing nutrients and oxygen for development.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    P

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS or Stein Leventhal Syndrome)

    A hormonal disturbance linked to infrequent ovulation that may include symptoms like menstrual problems, weight gain, pain, infertility, and hair/skin problems.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    P

    Post Coital Test (PCT)

    A test done several hours after intercourse to look for the presence of healthy, active sperm, fertile-quality cervical mucus, and healthy sperm-mucus interaction.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    P

    Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

    In conjunction with IVF, where a recognised practitioner removes one or two cells from an embryo, for those cells to be tested for specific genetic disorders/characteristics before embryo transfer takes place.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    P

    Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)

    A syndrome associated with high levels of gonadotropins and low levels of estrogen, often causing menstruation to end before age 40.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    P

    Primary Infertility

    Infertility in couples that have never had a successful pregnancy or in couples that have gotten pregnant but never had a live birth.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    P

    Progesterone

    The corpus luteum in the ovary produces this hormone that prepares the uterus for pregnancy after ovulation.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    P

    Prolactin

    A hormone that helps women to make breastmilk after childbirth and in women that are not nursing, abnormal levels can hinder ovulation, possibly causing infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    P

    PROST

    An assisted reproductive technology (ART) procedure where eggs are retrieved, fertilized by sperm in vitro, and then transferred to the woman’s body before the cells divide.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    P

    Prostaglandins

    These hormone-like substances are found in both men and women while sperm washing techniques remove prostaglandins during artificial insemination to reduce cramping in the woman’s body.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    P

    Prostate Gland

    A male gland circling the urethra, the tube that carries urine out of the body.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Wellness
    R

    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

    Refers to two or more failed pregnancies, especially if they happen successively.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Specialist
    R

    Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE)

    Doctors trained in obstetrics and gynecology that are board certified in reproductive endocrinology.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Wellness
    R

    Retrograde Ejaculation

    When the semen is ejaculated, it travels backwards into the bladder due to a problem with the sphincter muscle.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    R

    Rh Factor

    A protein found in red blood cells in most people, yet if the fetus has Rh factor in the blood but the mother does not, the mother’s body will produce antibodies that start to attack red blood cells in the fetus.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    R

    Round Spermatid Nucleus Injection (ROSNI)

    An experimental fertilization technique in which immature sperm cells are removed from the testicle and the genetic material is injected into an egg.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    S

    Salpingectomy

    The removal of the fallopian tubes which is done during surgery.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    S

    Scrotum

    The sac of skin on the external genitalia of the male that contains the testes.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    S

    Secondary Infertility

    Infertility that occurs after a couple have had a successful pregnancy and/or live birth.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    S

    Secondary Sex Characteristics

    Physical characteristics such as breasts, facial and body hair, voice changes and other characteristics that appear during puberty, distinguishing males from females.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    S

    Semen

    A liquid medium that carries the male’s sperm outside of his body and protects and nourishes the sperm.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    S

    Semen Analysis

    Examination of semen under a microscope to assess sperm count, movement (motility), and the size and shape of the sperm.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    S

    Singleton Birth

    The birth of a single baby at a live birth event.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    S

    Sonogram (ultrasound)

    These are high-frequency sound waves used to monitor pregnancy and observe images of internal body parts to detect any abnormalities.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    S

    Sperm

    Male sex cell carried in semen that holds genetic information from the male (also called gamete).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Preservation
    S

    Sperm Bank

    At a sperm bank, sperm are kept frozen in liquid nitrate to be thawed later for use in insemination and ART procedures.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    S

    Sperm Maturation

    Sperm take 90 days to fully mature as they grow and attain better motility for fertilization.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Wellness
    S

    Sperm Morphology

    Refers to the size and shape of the sperm and abnormal sperm morphology can indicate male factor infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    S

    Sperm Motility

    Movement of sperm, and good motility is a sign of male fertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    S

    Sperm Penetration

    Refers to the ability of a sperm to penetrate an egg during fertilization.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    S

    Sperm Penetration Assay (SPA)

    A test usually done before IVF where a man’s sperm are mixed with hamster eggs to see how many sperm penetrate the egg (also called hamster test).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    S

    Sperm Wash

    Washing of sperm, a procedure done for artificial insemination, removes toxic chemicals, reducing cramping and allergic reactions in females after artificial insemination.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Condition
    S

    Sterility

    A condition where an individual is completely unable to conceive.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    S

    Stillbirth

    The loss of a fetus between 20 weeks gestation and birth.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Drugs/Medications, Fertility Term
    S

    Stimulated Cycle

    A treatment cycle in which stimulation drugs are used to produce more eggs than usual in the woman's monthly cycle.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Drugs/Medications, Fertility Term
    S

    Superovulation

    The use of fertility drugs to stimulate a woman to release multiple eggs (also called controlled ovarian hyperstimulation or COH).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    S

    Surrogacy

    The process of a woman carrying a baby for another person. Full surrogacy involves the implantation of an embryo created using either the eggs and sperm of the intended parents, a donated egg fertilized with sperm from the intended father or an embryo created using donor eggs and sperm. Partial surrogacy involves sperm from the intended father and an egg from the surrogate.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term
    S

    Surrogate Mother

    A woman who gets pregnant and gives birth for a couple who are infertile.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    T

    Testicles

    Pair of male reproductive glands that produce testosterone and sperm.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    T

    Testicular/Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (TESA)

    Sperm are extracted from the testes or epididymis with a needle.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    T

    Testosterone

    AA male sex hormone necessary for the development of male secondary sex characteristics, sex drive, and sperm development.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    T

    TET (Tubal Embryo Transfer)

    A procedure that occurs after cell division of a fertilized egg when the egg is then placed directly into the fallopian tubes.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    T

    Trisomy

    A syndrome reflecting the presence of three chromosomes of one type instead of the normal human chromosome number of two. An example is Trisomy 21 resulting in Down's syndrome.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Procedure
    T

    Tubal Ligation

    A permanent form of female birth control where the fallopian tubes are cut or tied, making the woman sterile.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    T

    Turner's Syndrome

    A condition where a female has one X-chromosome and no Y-chromosomes, resulting in limited height, underdeveloped ovaries, lack of ovulation, and infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    U

    Ultrasound

    High-frequency sound waves used to monitor pregnancy and observe images of internal body parts to detect any abnormalities (also called sonogram).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Term, Wellness
    U

    Unexplained Infertility

    When no reason or cause can be found for a couple’s infertility problems.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    U

    Unicornuate Uterus

    Uterine abnormality characterized by a smaller size and a single horn shape in the uterus that can cause discomfort and infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Drugs/Medications, Fertility Term
    U

    Unstimulated Cycle

    No drugs are given to stimulate egg production. Also known as a natural cycle.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    U

    Urethra

    The tube that carries urine outside of the body in males and females, and in males this tube also carries semen outside of the body.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Specialist
    U

    Urologist

    A doctor who specializes in urinary and urogenital medicine.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    U

    Uterine Tube

    One of two tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus through which the egg is released during ovulation, where it waits to be fertilized (also called fallopian tube).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    U

    Uterus

    A muscular organ that contains, protects and nourishes the embryo and fetus during pregnancy (also called womb).

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Testing
    V

    Vaginal Ultrasound

    Placing a probe into the vagina and using sound waves to view the follicles, ovaries, eggs, fetus, and other internal organs.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    V

    Vaginitis

    Inflammation of the vagina caused by a fungal or bacterial infection and a condition that may cause irritation and discharge.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Wellness
    V

    Varicocele

    Varicose veins found in the scrotum that cause an abnormal flow of blood in the male genitalia and can sometimes lead to male infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    V

    Vas Deferens

    Pair of tubes which connect the epididymis to the urethra and transport sperm during ejaculation.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure, Wellness
    V

    Vasectomy

    A permanent form of male birth control where the vas deferens is blocked.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    V

    Vasectomy Reversal

    A surgical procedure to reconnect the vas deferens after a vasectomy that restores fertility in many cases.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Disease or Syndrome
    V

    Venereal Disease

    Sexually transmitted infections including Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and others that can cause illness and infertility.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Fertility Preservation
    V

    Vitrification

    The process of gamete or embryo storage (cryopreservation) that avoids ice crystal formation by the use of high cooling rates and a high concentration of cryoprotectant.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Biological Term or Anatomy
    Z

    Zona Pellucida

    The thick transparent membrane surrounding an ovum before implantation.

    Component: Glossary List Item Categories: Procedure
    Z

    Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)

    An ART procedure where a fertilized egg is transferred into the fallopian tube one day after fertilization.