Glossary

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A.R.T.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (see definition below).

A.S.R.M.
American Society for Reproductive Medicine: a professional medical organization of health care professionals interested in reproductive medicine.

Abortion
The premature termination of a pregnancy; may be induced or spontaneous (miscarriage).

Adhesion
A union of adjacent organs by scar tissue.

Amenorrhea
Absence of menstruation.

Amniocentesis
The aspiration of amniotic fluid from the uterus, usually performed at three to three and one-half months of pregnancy, to test the fetus for genetic abnormalities.

Androgens
Male sex hormones.

Andrologist
A specialist who treats sperm problems.

Anovulation
The absence of ovulation.

Antibody
A protective agent produced by the body’s immune system in response to a foreign substance.

Antigen
Any substance that induces the formation of an antibody.

Antisperm antibodies
Antibodies that can attach to sperm and inhibit movement of sperm or fertilization.

Artificial Insemination
The process in which sperm is placed into the female reproductive tract for the purpose of producing a pregnancy.

Aspiration
The application of light suction to the ovarian follicle during the egg retrieval procedure to remove the eggs for use in in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Assisted hatching
A type of micromanipulation procedure designed to improve implantation, whereby the embryologist makes a chemical opening on the zona pellucida of an embruo to allow the cleaved embryo to exit prior to implantation.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Treatments and procedures involving the handling of human eggs and sperm for the purposes of establishing a pregnancy. Types of ART include IVF, ICSI, assisted hatching, embryo cryopreservation, frozen embryo transfer and oocyte donation.

Asymptomatic
Without any symptoms.

Autoantibodies
Antibodies formed against one’s own tissues.

Autoimmunity
An immune reaction against one’s own tissues.

Azoospermia
Absence of sperm.

Bacteria
Microcospic, single-celled organisms that can cause infections of the genital tract.

Basal body temperature (BBT)
The temperature taken at its lowest point in the day, usually in the morning before getting out of bed.

Biochemical pregnancy
A pregnancy confirmed by blood and urine test only.

Biopsy
A fragment of tissue removed for study under the microscope.

Blastocyst
The developing multi-cell embryo at approximately 5-7 days after fertilization occurs.

Bromocryptine (Parlodel)
A drug that reduces levels of the pituitary hormone prolactin.

Capacitation
The process by which sperm become capable of fertilizing an egg.

Catheter
A flexible tube used for aspirating or injecting fluids.

Cauterize
To destroy tissue with heat, cold, or caustic substances usually to seal off blood vessels or ducts.

Cervicitis
Inflammation of the cervix.

Cervix
The lower portion of the uterus that opens into the vagina.

Chlamydia
A type of bacteria that is frequently transmitted sexually between partners of from an infected mother to her newborn child; the most common sexually transmitted bacterial disease.

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
Taking a biopsy of the placenta, usually at the end of the second month of pregnancy, to test the fetus for genetic abnormalities.

Chromosome
Threads of DNA in a cell’s nucleus that transmit hereditary information.

Cleaved embryo
A fertilized oocyte which has undergone cellular division.

Clinical pregnancy
An ultrasound-confirmed gestational sac within the uterus or with an increasing level of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin).

Colposcopy
Examination of the cervix through a magnifying telescope to detect abnormal cells.

Condom
A latex (rubber) device that fits over the penis to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

Congenital defect
A birth defect.

Conization
Surgical removal of a cone-shaped portion of the cervix, usually as a treatment for a precancerous condition.

Contraindication
A reason not to use a particular drug or treatment.

Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH)
Pharmacologic stimulation of the ovaries, generally with gonadotropins and/or clomiphene citrate, with the objective of stimulating the development of multiple follicles and hence retrieval of multiple eggs.

Corpus luteum
A special gland that forms on the surface of the ovary at the site of ovulation and produces progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle. Its function is necessary to prepare the uterine lining for implantation by the fertilized egg.

Cryocautery
Cautery by freezing.

Cryopreservation
A technique that involves freezing and preserving embryos or sperm for transfer at a later date.

Cryptorchidism
Failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum.

Cul-de-sac
Pouch located at the bottom of the abdominal cavity between the uterus and rectum.

Culdoscopy
Examination of the internal female pelvic organs through an incision in the vagina.

Cyst
A sac filled with fluid.

Danazol
(Danocrine) a synthetic androgen frequently prescribed for endometriosis.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)
The combination of amino acids in the cell’s nucleus that make up the chromosomes, which transmit hereditary characteristics.

Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
A synthetic estrogen (originally prescribed to prevent miscarriage) that caused malformations of the reproductive organs in some who were exposed to the drug during fetal development.

Dilatation and curettage (D&C)
An operation that involves stretching the ce3rvical opening to scrape out the uterus.

Donor coordinator
A staff member of CWRC who is the recipient couple’s primary contact for all questions and concerns regarding checklist requirements, the Recipient Profile Form, Whish List, the donor matching process, or any other issues prior to the beginning of medications.

Donor egg
Eggs (oocytes) that are donated by a woman for another person’s use in IVF.

Donor Embryo
An embryo formed from the egg of a woman who donated it (the donor) for transfer to a woman who is unable to conceive with her own eggs (the recipient).

Donor in vitro fertilization (DIVF)
A process by which donor eggs are utilized in a laboratory setting and combined with sperm for the purpose of achieving fertilization for transfer to a recipient.

Donor insemination
Artificial insemination with donor sperm.

Donor presentation
A scheduled conference call during which CWRC presents a potential match to the recipient and her partner. During this presentation, the donor is described in terms of physical attributes, family and health history, education, and personality.

Donor sperm
Sperm from an individual that is donated for another person’s use in IVF.

Ectopic pregnancy
Pregnancy located outside of the uterus, most commonly in a fallopian tube.

Egg
A female reproductive cell, also called an oocyte or ovum.

Egg donation
Donation of an egg by one woman to another who attempts to become pregnant by in vitro fertilization.

Egg Retrieval
Using a needle to puncture the wall of the vagina while a patient is under sedation, the physician enters the ovaries to retrieve the ripened eggs.

Ejaculate
The sperm-containing fluid released at orgasm.

Ejaculatory ducts
The male ducts that contract with orgasm to cause ejaculation.

Electrocautery
Cauterization using electrical current.

Electroejaculation
Controlled electrical stimulation to induce ejaculation I a man with damage to the nerves that control ejaculation.

Embryo
A fertilized egg from conception to the eighth embryologic week.

Embryo Transfer
A procedure in which the physician passes a catheter into the woman’s uterus, discharging the embryos and fluid it holds.

Embryologist
A specialist in embryo development.

Embryology
A specialty focusing on embryo development.

Endocrine gland
An organ that produces hormones.

Endometrial biopsy
Removal of a fragment of the lining of the uterus for study under the microscope.

Endometrioma
A special type of ovarian cyst that is chocolate in color and contains endometrial cells that grow and bleed during menstruation.

Endometriosis
Growth of endometrial tissue outside of its normal location in the uterus.

Endometritis
Inflammation of the endometrium.

Endometrium
The inner lining of the uterus.

Epididymis
The tightly coiled, thin-walled tube that conducts sperm from the testicles to the vas deferens.

Estradiol
The principal estrogen produced by the ovary.

Estrogens
Female sex hormones.

Fallopian tubes
Ducts that pick up the egg from the ovary; where a sperm normally meets the egg to fertilize it.

Fecundability
The ability to become pregnant.

Fertilization
The process during which sperm penetrates an egg, fusion of genetic material occurs and an embryo develops.

Fetus
The developing baby from the second month of pregnancy until birth.

Fibroid (myoma or leiomyoma)
A benign tumor of the uterine muscle and connective tissue.

Fimbria
The finger-like projections at the end of the fallopian tube nearest the ovary that capture the egg and deliver it into the tube.

Fimbrioplasty
Plastic surgery on the fimbia of a damaged or blocked fallopian tube.

Follicle
A fluid-filled sac in the ovary that releases an egg at ovulation.

Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)
The pituitary hormone that stimulates follicle growth in women and sperm formation in men.

Follicular phase
The pre-ovulatory phase of a woman’s cycle during which the follicle grows and high estrogen levels cause the uterine lining to proliferate.

Frozen embryo transfer (FET)
The replacement of cryopreserved embryo in a monitored, natural medicated hormone replacement cycle.

Gamete
A reproductive cell; the sperm in men, the egg in women.

Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)
A method of assisted reproduction that involves surgically removing an egg from the ovary via laparoscopy, combining it with sperm and immediately placing the sperm/eggs into the fallopian tube, where fertilization may occur.

Gardnerella
A bacteria that may cause a vaginal infection.

Gene
The unit of heredity, composed of DNA; the building block of chromosomes.

Gestational carrier
A woman who gestates an embryo (carries a pregnancy for another couple which is not genetically related to her), and then turns over the childto its genetic parents (see Surrogate Gestational Carrier).

Gestational sac
A fluid-filled structure surrounding an embryo that develops within the uterine cavity early in pregnancy.

GIFT
See Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer.

GnRH analogs
Synthetic hormones similar to the naturally occurring gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH).

Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)
Hormone secreted by the hypothalamus that prompts the pituitary gland to release follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) into the bloodstream.

Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa)
An agonist for a hormone capable of stimulating the testicles or the ovaries to produce sperm or an egg, respectively.

Gonadotropins
The hormones produced by the pituitary gland that control reproductive function follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH).

Gonads
Organs that produce the sex cells and sex hormones; testicles in men and ovaries in women.

Gonorrhea
A sexually transmitted infection caused by bacteria Neisseria gonococcus that can lead to infertility.

Grading of embryos
An assessment of the quality of embryos, as determined by a physician and embryologists at the time of transfer. Embryos are assigned a grade according to specific criteria, such as cell number, cell regularity of size, the degree of cellular fragmentation, and the clarity or granularity of the cell’s contents. Embryo grade has been shown to correlate with the likelihood of implantation of a fertilized ovum in the endometrium of the uterus, pregnancy, and the ability of the embryos to survive freezing and thawing.

Granuloma
A ball of inflamed tissue, commonly formed after vasectomy due to sperm leaking from the vas deferens.

Habitual abortion
Repeat miscarriages.

Hamster test
A test of the ability of a man’s sperm to penetrate a hamster egg stripped of its outer membrane, the zona pellucida. Also called Hamster Zona-Free Ovum (HZFO) Test or Sperm Penetration Assay (SPA).

Hemizona assay
A laboratory test of the ability of sperm to penetrate into a human egg; first the egg is split in half, then one half is tested against the husband’s sperm and the other half against sperm from a fertile man.

HIPAA
Rights held by qualifying individuals under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) of 1996. HIPPA was implemented in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with the issuing of the “Privacy Rule”. This established a set of national standards regarding patient data, privacy, and security. For more information on HIPPA, please ask at reception for a packet.

Hirsutism
Excessive hair growth.

Hormone
A substance, produced by an endocrine gland, that travels through the bloodstream to a specific organ, where it exerts its effect.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
The hormone produced early in pregnancy to keep the corpus luteum producing progesterone; may be injected to stimulate ovulation and progesterone production.

Human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG)
An ovulation drug, containing follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), derived from the urine of postmenopausal women.

Hydrotubation
Injection of fluid, often into the fallopian tubes to determine if they are open.

Hyperandrogenism
Excessive production of androgens in women, frequently a cause of hirsutism and also associated with polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD).

Hyperprolactinemia
Excessive prolactin in the blood.

Hyperstimulation
Excessive stimulation of the ovaries that can cause them to become enlarged.

Hyperstimulation syndrome
A possible side effect of treatment with human menopausal gonadotropin in which the ovaries become painful and swollen and fluid may accumulate in the abdomen and chest.

Hypothalamus
The endocrine gland at the center of the brain that produces gonadotropin releasing hormone and controls pituitary function.

Hypothyroidism
Underactivity of the thyroid gland.

Hysterectomy
Surgical removal of the uterus.

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
An X-ray examination of the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Hysteroscopy
A diagnostic procedure in which the physician uses a fiber optic scope, inserted through the vagina and cervical canal, to examine of the inside of the uterus.

Immune system
The body’s defense against any injury or invasion by a foreign substance or organism.

Immunoglobulins
A class of proteins endowed with antibody activity; antibodies.

Immunosuppressive drug
A drug that interferes with the normal immune response.

Immunotherapy
A medical treatment for an immune system disorder that involves transfusing donor white blood cells into a woman who has had recurrent miscarriages.

Implantation
The embedding of the fertilized egg in the endometrium of the uterus.

Impotence
Inability of a man to achieve an erection or ejaculation.

In utero
While in uterus during early development.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
A process in which an egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory dish to facilitate fertilization. If fertilization occurs, the resulting embryo is transferred to the uterus.

Incompetent cervix
Cervix with the inability to remain closed throughout an entire pregnancy; a frequent cause of premature birth.

Infertility
Inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy or to carry a pregnancy to term after one year of unprotected intercourse.

Inflammation
A response to some type of injury such as infection, characterized by increased blood flow, heat, redness, swelling, and pain.

Insemination
The installation of semen into a woman’s cervix or uterus for the purpose of conception.

Intracervical insemination (ICI)
Artificial insemination of sperm into the cervical canal.

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
Direct injection of a single sperm into an egg.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Artificial insemination of sperm, which have been washed free of seminal fluid, into the uterine cavity.

Karyotype
A chromosome analysis.

Klinefelter’s syndrome
A chromosome abnormality that prevents normal male sexual development and causes irreversible infertility due to the presence of an extra female (X) chromosome.

Known ovum donation cycle
A Donor/Recipient IVF cycle in which the eggs are retrieved from a non-anonymous donor, fertilized, and transferred to the recipient.

Laparoscopy
Visualization of the ovaries and the exterior of the Fallopian tubes and uterus by means of the inserting a surgical instrument through a small incision below the naval; one or two other punctures may be made through which additional instruments can be inserted and manipulated.

Laparotomy
A surgical opening of the abdomen.

Leiomyoma (fibroid)
A benign tumor of the uterus.

Leutenizing Hormone (LH)
The increase in LH level during the middle of a woman’s cycle triggers ovulation, the release of a ripened egg from a follicle.

Leydig cells
The cells in the testicles that make testosterone.

LH surge
The sudden release of luteinizing hormone (LH) that causes the follicle to release a mature egg.

Luteal phase
Post-ovulatory phase of a woman’s cycle; the corpus luteum produces progesterone, which in turn causes the uterine lining to secrete substances to support the implantation and growth of the early embryo.

Luteal phase defect (LPH)
Inadequate function of the corpus luteum that may prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus or may lead to early pregnancy loss.

Luteal phase protocol
A LH-RH (GnRH) agonist is administered in the luteal phase of the prior cycle to cause pituitary down-regulation. The exogenous gonadotropins administered are the only stimulation given to cause follicles to develop. This protocol does not utilize the “flare” potential of a LH-RH agonist.

Luteinized Unruptured Follicle (LUF) syndrome
The failure of a follicle to release the egg even though a corpus luteum has formed.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)
The pituitary hormone that causes the testicles in men and ovaries in women to manufacture sex hormones.

Male factor
Infertility caused by a problem in the male partner such as the inability to ejaculate or suboptimal semen quality or sperm preventing pregnancy from occurring; it might include the presence of a varicocele, cryptorchidism, chromosomal abnormality, vas deferens obstruction and exposure to environmental toxins or drugs.

Male partner
A husband or male who may undergo the Donor/Recipient IVF cycle with the female recipient, and whose sperm is used.

Menarche
The time when a woman has her first menstrual period.

Menopause
The time when a women stops having menstrual periods.

Micromanipulation
The mechanical manipulation of eggs, sperm or embryos under a microscope. Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), assisted hatching and embryo biopsy are all forms of micromanipulation.

Microsurgery
Reconstructive surgery performed under magnification using delicate instruments and precise techniques.

Miscarriage
Spontaneous abortion.

Morphology
The study of form, such as assessing the shape of sperm during semen analysis.

Motility
Motion, such as the forward swimming motion of health sperm.

Mucus
Secretion from a gland that can be watery, gel-like, stretchy, sticky or dry; fertile mucus is watery and stretchy.

Mycoplasm
An infectious agent that falls structurally between a virus and a bacterium.

Myomectomy
Surgical removal of a uterine fibroid tumor.

Natural cycle IVF
In vitro fertilization following retrieval of preovulatory oocyte(s) from unstimulated ovaries.

Nurse coordinator
A staff member of CWRC who is the recipient couple’s primary contact for all medical questions once the medication phase begins.

Obstetrician-gynecologist (Ob-gyn)
A physician who specializes in the treatment of female disorders and pregnancy.

Oligo-ovulatory
A term describing a woman who ovulates infrequently.

Oligomenorrhea
Infrequent and irregular menstrual cycles.

Oligospermia
A low sperm count.

Ongoing pregnancy
A clinical pregnancy which is continuing but undelivered at time of reporting.

Oocyte
The immature ovum, the unfertilized female gamete or sex cell (egg) produced in the ovaries each month, that contains the genetic information to be transmitted by the female.

Oocyte retrieval
A surgical procedure to collect the eggs contained within the ovarian follicles, either via laparoscopy or ultrasound-guided follicular aspiration through which a needle is inserted into the follicle, the fluid and egg are aspirated into the needle, and then placed into a culture medium-filled dish.

Oolemma
The plasma membrane of the oocyte.

Ovarian cyst
A fluid-containing enlargement of the ovary.

Ovarian failure
The inability of the ovary to respond to any gonadotropic hormone stimulation, usually due to the absence of follicular tissue on a genetic basis or postmenopausal condition (absence of oocytes).

Ovarian reserve
The biologic “age” of an individual’s oocytes: diminished ovarian reserve, which may be reflected by an elevated early follicular phase FSH and/or estradiol level, correlates with reduced chances for success following in vitro fertilization.

Ovarian wedge resection
Surgical removal of a portion of a polycystic ovary to produce ovulation.

Ovaries
The sexual glands of the female which produce the hormones estrogen and progesterone, and in which the ova are developed.

Ovary
The female gonad; produces eggs and female hormones.

Ovulation
The release of a ripened egg from its follicle.

Ovulation Induction
A type of infertility treatment that uses hormone therapy to stimulate oocyte (egg) development and release.

Ovulation induction or controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH)
Pharmacologic stimulation of the ovaries, generally with gonadotropins and/or clomiphene citrate, with the objective of stimulating the development of multiple follicles and hence multiple eggs.

Ovum
The unfertilized female gamete or sex cell (egg) produced in the ovaries each month, that contains the genetic information to be transmitted by the female.

Ovum donation cycle (standard)
A Donor/Recipient IVF cycle in which the eggs retrieved from the donor are transferred to one recipient after fertilization.

Pap smear
Removal of cells from the surface of the cervix to study microscopically.

Patent
Open; for example, fallopian tubes should be patent after a sterilization reversal operation.

Pelvic cavity
The area surrounded by the pelvic bone that contains the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries in women, and the prostate gland and seminal vesicles in men.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Inflammation of any of the female pelvic organs, usually due to infection from a sexually transmitted disease.

Penis
The male organ of sexual intercourse.

Pergonal (hMG)
The luteinizing and follicle stimulating hormones recovered from the urine of postmenopausal women that is used to induce multiple ovulation in various fertility treatments.

Pituitary gland
The endocrine gland at the base of the brain that produces the gonadotropin luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, which in turn stimulate the gonads to produce sex cells and hormones.

Polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD)
A condition found among women who do not ovulate, characterized by multiple ovarian cysts.

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCO)
Development of multiple cysts in the ovaries due to arrested follicular growth, anovulation.

Polyp
A growth or tumor on an internal surface usually benign.

Polyspermia
Fertilization of the egg by more than one sperm.

Post-coital test (PCT)
Microscopic examination of a woman’s cervical mucus at the fertile time of the cycle to determine the number and motility of sperm following intercourse.

Pre-embryo
A fertilized egg in the early stage of development prior to cell division.

Progesterone
The female hormone, produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation, that prepares the uterine lining for implantation of a fertilized egg and helps maintain the pregnancy.

Progestin
A synthetic hormone that has an action similar to progesterone.

Prolactin
A pituitary hormone that stimulates milk production.

Prostaglandins
A group of hormone-like chemicals that have various effects on reproductive organs; so named because they were first discovered in the prostate gland.

Prostate gland
The male gland encircling the urethra that produces one third of the fluid in the ejaculate.

Recipient
A female patient who is undergoing the Donor/Recipient IVF process, using eggs retrieved from a donor for fertilization and transfer into her own uterus for the purpose of achieving pregnancy.

Recipient checklist
A listing of test procedures that a recipient couple will require as preliminary testing before entering a Donor/Recipient IVF cycle. The Recipient Checklist will vary from patient to patient based on age and clinical condition.

Recipient orientation class
A small group class that is held every Wednesday at CWRC at 11am and lasts approximately one hour. During the class, an IVF coordinator will review in detail the Donor/Recipient IVF process as well as the different medications and methods of administration.

Recipient Profile form
A form in which the recipient and her male partner will describe their physical characteristics, personal histories, and personalities for use by CWRC in finding a suitable egg donor. The Recipient Profile Form also includes a Wish List, in which recipients will list those donor characteristics that they require and/or desire.

Reproductive endocrinologist
An 0b-gyn who specialize in the treatment of hormonal disorders that affect reproductive function.

Reproductive surgeon
An OB-GYN or urologist who specializes in the surgical correction of anatomical disorders that impair reproductive function.

Requisition order
A form that offices may request from a patient before consenting to perform tests at their site. For out-of-town patients of CWRC who are getting checklist tests performed at a local office, requisition may be needed.

Retrograde ejaculation
Ejaculation backwards into the bladder instead of forward through the urethra.

S.A.R.T.
Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies affiliated with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine comprised of representatives from assisted reproduction technology programs that have demonstrated their ability to perform in vitro fertilization.

Salpingectomy
Surgical removal of the fallopian tubes.

Salpingitis
Inflammation of one or both fallopian tubes.

Salpingitis isthmica nodosa
An abnormal condition of the fallopian tube where it attaches to the uterus, characterized by nodules.

Salpingostomy
An incision in a fallopian tube, such as to remove an ectopic pregnancy.

Salpingotomy
An operation to open a blocked fallopian.

Scrotum
The sac containing the testicles, epididymis, and vas deferens.

Selective reduction
An intentional reduction in the number of fetuses in women with multifetal gestation.

Semen
The fluid containing sperm and secretions from the testicles, prostate, and seminal vesicles that is expelled during ejaculation.

Semen analysis
The study of fresh ejaculate under the microscope to count the number of sperm per milliliter or cubic centimeter, to check the shape and size of the sperm (morphology), and to note their ability to move (motility).

Seminal vesicles
The paired glands at the base of the bladder that produce seminal fluid and fructose.

Seminiferous tubules
In the testicles, the network of tubes where sperm are formed.

Septum
A wall that divides a cavity in half, such as a uterine septum.

Sertoli cells
The cells in the testicles that provide nourishment to the early sperm cells.

Sexually transmitted disease (STD)
A disease caused by an infectious agent transmitted during sex.

Sonohysterogram (SHG)
An ultrasound study of the uterus and fallopian tubes to assess physical structure. An SHG is usually required as part of preliminary testing before beginning the Donor/Recipient IVF cycle.

Sperm
Male gamete or reproductive cell.

Sperm bank
A place where sperm are kept frozen in lizuid nitrogen for later use in artificial insemination.

Sperm count
The number of sperm in the ejaculate (when given as the number of sperm per milliliter it is more accurately known as the sperm concentration or sperm density).

Sperm density
The number of sperm present per millileter of semen.s is prepared to accept embryos at transfer.

Sperm morphology
Shape or form of the sperm cells.

Sperm Motility
The ability of sperm to move and swim.

Sperm penetration assay (SPA)
See Hamster test.

Sperm viability
Whether or not the sperm are alive.

Sperm washing
A technique that separates the sperm from the seminal fluid in preparation for use in assisted reproduction.

Spermicide
An agent that kills sperm.

Spontaneous miscarriage
A pregnancy ending in miscarriage with or without an operative procedure.

Spontaneous reduction
An ultrasound-confirmed documentation of a reduction in the number of fetuses observed, be it a “vanishing twin” or a spontaneous loss of a single fetus.

Start date
The date on which the Donor/Recipient IVF cycle is commenced, following the successful synchronization of the menstrual cycles of the donor and recipient.

Sterilization
A surgical procedure (such as tubal ligation or vasectomy) designed to produce infertility.

Sterilization reversal
A surgical procedure used to undo a previous sterilization operation and restore fertility.

Strict morphology criteria
In the semen analysis, a strict criteria for the analysis includes the measurement of acrosome size, head width, tail length, etc., for determining the percent normal forms of sperm.

Subcutaneous injection (SC)
A short-needle injection of medication that is given into the tissue just beneath the skin layers. Common recommended sites for subcutaneous injections include the abdomen and upper thighs.

Superovulation
Stimulation of multiple ovulation with fertility drugs; also known as controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH).

Surrogate gestational carrier
A woman who gestates an embryo which is not genetically related to her, and then turns over the child to its genetic parents. Gestational surrogacy should be differentiated from conventional (or traditional) surrogacy in that the conventional surrogate pregnancy is the product of the gestational mother’s oocyte and the infertile couple’s husband’s sperm. Thus, the surrogate is expected to relinquish a child which is genetically partly hers. In gestational surrogacy, the embryo is the genetic product of both the egg and sperm of the infertile couple which is transferred to the uterus of the gestational carrier who has no genetic relationship to the offspring.

Surrogate mother
A woman who becomes artificially inseminated with a man’s sperm and carries the pregnancy for an infertile couple, who adopt the baby after its birth (the man being the biological father of the child).

Synchronization
The harmonization of the menstrual cycles of the donor and recipient, so that eggs may be retrieved from the donor at the same time that the recipient’s uterus is prepared to accept embryos at transfer.

Testicle
The male gonad; produces sperm and male sex hormones.

Testicular biopsy
The removal of a fragment of a testicle for examination under the microscope.

Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE)
A procedure for extracting sperm by removing a small piece of testicular tissue through an incision in the testes. In the laboratory, the tissue is processed to extract sperm for use with ICSI.

Testosterone
The primary male sex hormone.

Therapeutic abortion
A pregnancy ending in an induced abortion using an operative procedure to electively terminate the pregnancy.

Thyroid gland
The endocrine gland in the front of the neck that produces thyroid hormones, which regulate the body’s metabolism.

Tocolytic
A drug that relaxes smooth muscles and therefore interferes with uterine contractions; frequently used to stop premature labor.

Total effective sperm count
An estimate of the number of sperm in an ejaculate capable of fertilization; total sperm count X percent motility X percent forward progressive motility X percent normal morphology.

Toxin
A poison produced by a living organism, such as by some bacteria.

Transabdominal transfer
The transfer of embryos or oocytes by placement of a catheter via laparoscopy through the fimbria.

Transcervical transfer
The transfer of embryos or oocytes by placement of the catheter through the cervix.

Transuterine falloposcopy
Visual inspection of the fallopian tube through a flexible endoscopic device (falloposcope).

Tubal embryo transfer
The ZIFT-like technique using an embryo in its early stages of development (see zygote intrafallopian transfer).

Tubal Factor
A cause of infertility related to structural or functional damage to one or both fallopian tubes.

Tubal ligation
Surgical sterilization of a woman by obstructing or “tying” the fallopian tubes.

Tubal patency
Unobstructed Fallopian tubes.

Tuboplasty
Plastic or reconstructive surgery on the fallopian tubes to correct abnormalities that cause infertility.

Tumor
An abnormal growth of tissue that can be benign or malignant (cancerous).

Two-way split ovum donation cycle
A Donor/Recipient IVF cycle in which the eggs retrieved from te donor are shared by two recipients after fertilization.

Ultrasound (US)
Use of high-frequency sound waves for creating an image of internal body parts.

Unexplained (Idiopathic) Infertility
Infertility for which no cause has been determined despite a comprehensive evaluation.

Ureaplasma
A microorganism similar to mycoplasma.

Urethra
The tube through which urine from the bladder is expelled.

Urologist
A physician who specializes in the surgical treatment of disorders of the urinary tract and male reproductive tract.

Uterus
The womb; female reproductive organ that nourishes the fetus until birth.

Vagina
A tubular passageway in the female connecting the external sex organs with the cervix and uterus.

Varicocele
A varicocele vein of the testicles, sometimes a cause of male infertility.

Vas deferens
A pair of thick-walled tubes about 45 cm long in the male that lead from the epididymis to the ejaculatory duct in the prostate. During ejaculation, the ducts make wavelike contractions to propel sperm forward.

Vas deferens
The tubes that conduct sperm and testicular fluid to the ejaculatory ducts.

Vasectomy
Surgical sterilization of a man by interrupting both vas deferens.

Vasectomy reversal
Surgical repair of a previous vasectomy for a man who wants to regain his fertility.

Venereal disease
See Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD).

Virus
A microscopic infectious organism that reproduces inside living cells.

Zona pellucida
The protective coating surrounding the egg.

Zygote
An embryo in early development state.

Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT)
Transfer of a zygote into a Fallopian tube, usually done by laparoscopy.