IVF Glossary

Abortus Loss of the foetus within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Agonist A synthetic hormone produced as a copy of a natural hormone.
Androgen A male sex hormone also found in females at lower levels. Extremely elevated levels of androgen in women can cause hairiness, weight gain and acne.
Andrologist A specialist in male infertility (a urologist or a gynaecologist).
Anovulation Absence of ovulation.
Amenorrhea Absence of menstruation.
Amniocentesis A prenatal test in which a small amount of amniotic fluid surrounding the foetus is biopsied for testing.
Assisted Hatching The thinning or rupturing of the membrane coating the embryo.
Asthenozoospermia Reduced sperm motility.
Intrauterine injection The injection of previously washed and prepared sperm into the uterus.
Azoospermia Absence of sperm in the semen.
Biochemical Pregnancy Early pregnancy loss that occurs shortly after implantation.
Biopsy Tissue sampling for examination.
Chocolate Cysts Presence of intrauterine tissue inside the abdomen or ovaries. Also known as endometriosis.
Fertilisation The fusion of egg and spermatozoid into a single cell.
Diminished Ovarian Reserve Low number of eggs in women.
Ejaculation Discharge of semen from the body.
Ejaculate Semen
Embryo The name given to the egg after it has been fertilised.
Endometrium The membrane lining the uterus.
Endometrioma Cystic formation resulting in the presence of endometrium within the ovaries.
Male Factor IVF procedure attempted due to male factors.
Oestrogen Female sex hormone.
ET Embryo transfer.
FSH Follicle Stimulating Hormone. A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, helping with the maturation of follicles in women and spermatogenesis in men.
GnRH Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone. A hormone secreted by the brain which controls the pituitary gland.
HCG Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. A hormone secreted by the embryo, used in the diagnosis of pregnancy.
Haemophilia A bleeding disorder in which the blood does not clot normally.
Hyperstimulation Overreaction of the ovaries due to the hormones used during the stimulation of the ovaries.
Pituitary Gland A secretory gland located just below the brain that controls most of the glands.
Fallopian Tubes Where egg and sperm meet in the female body.
Fertilisation Fertilisation happens when the sperm enters the egg. 24 hours after that, egg and sperm fuse and cellular division starts to take place in the embryo.
Follicle Liquid-filled pouch with eggs in it.
Frozen Embryo The storing of embryos after freezing.
Hydrosalpinx Expansion of the tubes because of the presence of fluid.
HSG Uterine X-ray.
HSK (Hysteroscopy) Examination of the inside of the uterus using special tools to detect problems.
ICSI Microinjection. A technique in which a single sperm is introduced into the egg using a special needle.
IUI Intrauterine insemination. The injection of previously washed and prepared sperm into the uterus.
IVF In vitro fertilisation.
Implantation The attachment of the embryo to the uterus at the start of pregnancy.
Infertile Unable to conceive.
Incubator A special apparatus in which embryos are cultured.
Intramural fibroid Benign tumours growing on the uterine wall.
Gynaecologist A physician specialised in gynaecology.
Catheter A straw-like plastic tube that allows the sperm and embryo to be placed into the uterus.
Cleavage The series of cell divisions of the embryo.
Cordocentesis Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling for prenatal diagnosis purposes.
Culture Environment Fluid allowing the culture of the embryo in the laboratory.
Abortion Termination of the pregnancy within the first 10 weeks.
Laparoscopy (LSK) A method that allows the examination of the inside of the abdomen. An optical instrument is used to examine whether the tubes are open or whether there is another problem in the abdomen.
Masturbation Stimulation of the genitals for sexual pleasure (without sexual intercourse).
Menopause The ceasing of menstruation.
Microinjection The injection of a sperm directly into the egg.
Fibroid Benign tumours in the uterus.
Molecular Biology A branch of science which investigates the structures within the cells.
Morphology Determination of the dimensions and the shape of sperm cells.
Oligospermia Low live sperm count in the semen.
Oocyte Egg cell
OPU Egg collection.
Ovary The female reproductive organ in which the eggs are produced.
Ovulatory Factor IVF procedure performed due to problems in the woman’s ovaries.
Ovulation The release of eggs from the ovaries.
Oestrogen Female sex hormone.
PESA Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration
PGD – PGT Genetic screening of embryos.
PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) Presence of multiple small cysts in the ovaries.
Polyp Growth of tissue inside the uterus or the cervix.
Polyspermy The fertilisation of an egg with more than one sperm.
Progesterone The hormone secreted by the corpus luteum.
Primary Infertility Infertility patients who have never had children.
Secondary Infertility Infertility patients who have had children before, but who cannot conceive now despite 2 years of unprotected sexual intercourse.
Serum The fluid remaining after coagulation.
Semen Fluid produced in the male reproductive organs, containing spermatozoa.
Semen Analysis (Spermogram) Analysis of sperm count, motility and morphology in the laboratory.
Cervix Lower end of the uterus.
Cycle The period from the first day of menstruation until the next menstruation. It lasts about 28 days.
Sonohysterography Enlarging the cavity of the uterus to identify any polyps or fibroids.
Sperm Semen
Sperm Ducts Ducts going from the testis to the end of the penis and allowing the passage of the sperm.
Spermatozoid Male reproductive cell.
Step Down Stimulating the ovaries by reducing the dose of the stimulating medication.
Step Up Stimulating the ovaries by increasing the dose of the stimulating medication.
Sterile Free of all kinds of microorganism, aseptic.
Submucous Fibroid Benign tumour bulging into the uterine cavity.
Subserosal Fibroids Benign tumour projecting outside of the uterus.
Teratospermia High percentage of morphologically abnormal spermatozoa in semen.
Testosterone Male reproductive hormone.
Testis Male reproductive gland that produces sperm.
TESA Testicular Sperm Aspiration
TESE Testicular biopsy performed in order to find spermatozoa.
Tubal factor IVF performed due to problems in the fallopian tubes.
IVF One of the assisted reproductive technologies that help the embryo to develop outside the womb.
Ultrasonography Examination of the internal organs using high-frequency sound waves.
USG Examination using ultrasonography.
Urologist Physician who specialises in the disorders of the urinary system and male sexual diseases.
Uterus Womb
Varicocele Enlargement of the veins in a man’s scrotum.
Viability Percentage of live sperm in the semen.
XX Female chromosomes
XY Male chromosomes
Ovarian Stimulation Stimulation of the ovaries of a woman in order to harvest more than one egg.
Zygote An embryo at an early stage.

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