The following is a list of frequently used words and terms:
A small “cap” overlaying the sperm head.
The loss of the acrosome that is necessary for successful fertilisation. Normally only about 10% of sperm undergo an acrosome reaction.
In infertility, the sticking of ovaries, tubes, uterus, bowel and abdominal lining to one or more of each other so as to affect fertility. May follow pelvic surgery, tubal infections or endometriosis.
Small glass bottle containing drugs.
Male sex hormones.
The branch of medicine concerned with men's health, particularly male infertility and sexual dysfunction. Andrology is literally the study of man (Greek andros, man). It is the male counterpart of gynaecology.
The absence of ovulation. A period may still occur.
In infertility, a compound in the blood, mucus or semen which interferes with normal sperm function.
Assisted Reproductive Technology — the term used to describe fertility treatments such as IVF, ICSI, Assisted conception and Frozen Embryo transfers.
The absence of sperm in seminal fluid due to blockage of sperm ducts or impairment of sperm production.
Is a positive hCG blood test with no evidence of a gestation sac on ultrasound.
A thin-walled hollow structure in early embryonic development (Day 5/6 post egg collection) that contains a cluster of cells called the inner cell mass from which the embryo (foetus) arises. The outer layer of cells gives rise to the placenta and other supporting tissues needed for foetal development within the uterus while the inner cell mass cells gives rise to the tissues of the body.
The medication Synarel is used to create an initial surge of hormones from the pituitary gland, which causes development of many follicles. Puregon or Gonal F (FSH) is used in combination with Synarel for several days until the administration of hCG, followed by 36 hours later by egg collection. This is called the BOOST treatment.
Fine tubing especially developed for the transporting of eggs, sperm or embryos into the woman’s fallopian tubes or uterus.
Secretions produced by the cervix that, at the time of ovulation, assist the passage of sperm through the cervix.
The lower part of the uterus that connects with the vagina.
Injectable medication given to prevent spontaneous ovulation.
The presence of a gestation sac at ultrasound.
The presence of a foetal heartbeat at ultrasound.
A medication in tablet form taken to stimulate the ovary to produce several follicles.
A glandular mass in the ovary formed by an ovulated follicle.
A form of progesterone that is inserted into the vagina. It is used as alternative to progesterone pessaries following embryo transfer.
Eggs collected from one woman and donated to another.
Sperm produced from a man who is not the woman’s partner to be used for artificial insemination or IVF.
This refers to the “shutting down” of the messages from the pituitary gland (part of the brain) to the ovary which enables complete control over the events in a cycle.
A pregnancy in which the fertilised egg implants anywhere but in the uterine cavity, usually in the fallopian tubes, or rarely the ovary or the abdominal cavity.
Semen ejected from the penis.
The organism in the early stages of growth and differentiation from fertilization to, in humans, the beginning of the third month of pregnancy. After that point in time, it is termed a foetus.
The deep-freezing of embryos.
A professional trained in advanced laboratory Assisted Reproduction Techniques who prepares and provides the necessary conditions for the fertilization of eggs, as well as facilitates the growth, development, maturation, and preservation of embryos.
The placement of embryos into the uterus using a fine catheter.
A presence of endometrial tissue (the normal uterine lining) in abnormal locations such as the tubes, ovaries and peritoneal cavity (in the abdomen).
The lining of the uterus, which grows and is shed each cycle.
A special duct at the back of the testis for the storage of sperm as they mature.
A pair of narrow tubes that carry the egg from the ovary to the body of the uterus. Fertilisation occurs in the outer end of the tube. Easily damaged by Chlamydia infection.
The penetration of the egg by the sperm.
A benign tumour of fibrous tissue that may occur in the uterine wall. Fibroids can be totally without symptoms or may cause abnormal menstrual patterns. They rarely cause infertility.
The fringed and flaring out ends of the fallopian tubes that picks up the sticky egg from the ovary.
The developing human after embryo stage from the ninth week of pregnancy to birth.
The cells surrounding a developing egg in the ovary.
A hormone naturally produced by the pituitary gland (in the brain), which is essential for the growth of ovarian follicles in the woman and sperm production in the man.
The first half of the menstrual cycle when ovarian follicular development occurs.
The male or female reproductive cells, the sperm or the egg.
GIFT (Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer) is where sperm and an egg are placed into the fallopian tube to allow natural fertilisation. Rarely used today.
An injection used to suppress spontaneous ovulation during an ART cycle.
Hormones which are capable of stimulating the testicles or ovaries to produce sperm or eggs respectively.
A test done on male and female to test for exposure to the AIDS virus. A positive test does not necessarily mean that exposure to AIDS has occurred or that the person has or will get AIDS. A positive test may mean that the antibody is present in the blood, which means that, even though the person may not be sick, he/she may still infect others by sharing needles or having intercourse without condoms. If a woman is pregnant and is HIV positive, there is a strong chance that the baby will be infected with he AIDS virus without antiviral therapy. All couples having IVF are asked to have this test.
A chemical produced by an endocrine gland in the body that circulates in the blood and has widespread action throughout the body.
The measurement of hormones present in the blood.
A hormone secreted by the placenta and extracted from the urine of pregnant women. hCG stimulates ovarian secretion of oestrogen and progesterone and maintains the corpus luteum. This hormone accounts for pregnancy tests being positive. It may be administered therapeutically to males for the treatment of cryptorchidism and as an aid to ovulation in anovulatory women by substituting for the preovulatory surge of endogenous LH.
The direct injection of a single sperm into the substance of the egg to produce fertilisation. This technique is used when there are very few sperm in the ejaculate, when the sperm show poor motility or abnormal structure (morphology) or have been obtained from the testis or have previously failed to fertilise in conventional IVF treatments. ICSI stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection where the term “cytoplasm” refers to the substance of the egg. This technique is also called microinjection.
The embedding of an embryo in the endometrium of the uterus.
The inability to conceive or carry a baby to term after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.
The placement of prepared sperm into the uterus using a fine catheter.
IVF is the procedure by which the egg from a female partner and the sperm from a male partner are mixed in the laboratory. Provided fertilisation occurs in the laboratory and the resultant embryos look normal, they are transferred into the uterus (uterus) of the female. In natural conception, the egg and sperm meet in the fallopian tube and fertilisation and early development occurs in the tube before implantation in the uterus.
A surgical investigation using a telescope-like instrument to have a look at the abdominal pelvic organs.
The release of large amounts of Luteinising Hormone (LH) that triggers ovulation in a normal menstrual cycle.
The days of a menstrual cycle following ovulation up to menstruation.
A hormone secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary (in the brain). Its main function is to mature and release the egg (LH surge).
When the male sperm is below normal limits and special techniques are required to prepare the sperm for fertilisation.
A hormone released by developing follicles in the ovary. Plasma oestradiol levels are used to help determine progressive growth of the follicle during ovulation induction. Part of the Oestrogen family of hormones.
A hormone produced by the ovary in increasing amounts prior to ovulation and by the placenta during pregnancy.
An abnormally low number of sperm in the seminal fluid.
The egg cell produced in the ovary, also called ovum, egg or gamete.
Injectable medication given to prevent spontaneous ovulation.
The release of a mature egg from the ovary.
The use of medication to promote ovulation in women who normally do not ovulate or who have irregular periods.
The use of blood tests to identify the optimum time for intercourse.
An important screening test for cancer of the cervix. This painless test is recommended every two years for all women. Women having IVF treatment must continue to have these tests, as they are not performed as a routine part of treatment for infertility.
A gland located at the base of the human brain that secretes a number of important hormones related to normal growth, development and reproduction.
Hormone produced by corpus luteum (follicle which has now expelled the egg) after ovulation and the placenta during pregnancy. Progesterone is important for its role in preparing and maintaining the lining of the uterus for implantation of the fertilized egg.
A wax capsule containing progesterone which is inserted into the vagina or rectum to supplement the body’s naturally produced progesterone. These pessaries are usually prescribed during IVF treatment.
When the embryo forms, one chromosome comes from the female partner, and one chromosome comes from the male partner. This creates pro-nuclear embryo.
Sperm must bind to the zona before they can fertilise. Tests have been developed to determine whether this function is taking place.
The male sex gland that produces testosterone and sperm.
Open — the removal of testicular tissue from men with very poor sperm production and the isolation of sperm for ICSI. This procedure is performed under sedation.
Fine Needle — this is performed under a local anaesthetic or sedation and involves the insertion of a needle into the testis to remove a small fragment of sperm tubule in cases of obstruction. In this setting an adequate number of sperm can be obtained for use in ICSI.
Technique used to visualize the female reproductive system. This ultrasound can detect the presence of cysts and other problems, follicles and pregnancy.
The outer protective coat of the egg.
© ISIS Fertility 2013