Cornell University

Cornell University
Weill Medical College

Cornell Institute for Reproductive Medicine

Center for Male Reproductive Medicine and Microsurgery

"State-of-the-Art Compassionate Care for the Infertile Couple"


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-- A --

    the premature termination of a pregnancy; may be induced or spontaneous (miscarriage)

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
    a fatal disease caused by a virus that destroys the immune system's ability to fight off infection

    the packet of enzymes in a sperm's head that allows the sperm to dissolve a hole in the coating around the egg, which allows the sperm to penetrate and fertilize the egg

Acrosome reaction
    a chemical change that enables a sperm to penetrate an egg

    a union of adjacent organs by scar tissue

Adrenal glands
    the endocrine gland on top of each kidney

Aerobic bacteria
    the bacterial organisms that require relatively high concentrations of oxygen to survive and reproduce

    Occurs when sperm clump or stick together. This may occur when either man or woman develops immunity to the sperm.

    The absence or abnormal cessation of menstruation due to a number of factors including dietary, emotional, hormonal and exercise.

    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

Anaerobic bacteria
    bacterial organisms that survive in relatively low oxygen concentrations

    male sex hormones

    A specialist who treats male fertility and sperm problems

    the absence of ovulation

    a protective agent produced by the body's immune system in response to a foreign substance

    any substnace that induces the formation of an antibody

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

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

    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). In the male, techniques are used to suck sperm out of the testis or out of a blocked epididymis.

    American Society for Reproductive Medicine

    American Society of Andrology

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

Assisted Reproductive Technology ( ART)
    A set of techniques to help couples achieve pregnancy after other surgical and hormonal methods have failed, encompassing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) and intrauterine insemination (IUI), in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET), gamete intrafallopian transfer GIFT and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) (see additional definitions).

    without any symptoms

    American Urologic Association

    antibodies formed against one's own tissues

    an immune reaction against one's own tissues

    Condition in which there are no sperm in the seminal fluid. This may be due to blockage of transport of sperm or to an impairment of sperm production.

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-- B --

    microscopic, 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

    The removal and examination of tissue, cells, or fluids from the living body

Blood-testis barrier
    the barrier that separates sperm from the bloodstream

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

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-- C --

    Ovulation induction cycles for IVF are occasionally cancelled because of a poor response (not enough follicles or low estradiol levels) or hyperstimulation (too many follicles with a high estradiol level).

    A small hollow tube used for insertion into a body cavity, duct, or vessel; for example used to artificially inseminate.

    The alteration of sperm during the passage through the female reproductive tract that gives them the capacity to penetrate and fertilize the ovum.

    a flexible tube used for aspirating or injecting fluids

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

    The lower section of the uterus which protrudes into the vagina and dilates during labor to allow the passage of the fetus.

    inflammation of the cervix

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

Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
    A biopsy of the placenta through the abdominal wall or by way of the vagina and uterine cervix at nine to 12 weeks of gestation to obtain fetal cells for the prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorder.

    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).

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid, Serophene)
    a fertility pill that stimulates ovulation through release of gonadotropins from the pituitary gland

    examination of the cervix through a magnifying telescope to detect abnormal cells

    The fertilization of a woman's egg by a man's sperm to form a zygote.

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

Congenital defect
    a birth defect

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

    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
    ("yellow body") 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.

    cautery by freezing

    Maintaining the viability of cells or tissue by storing at very low temperatures (freezing) -- used to preserve and store embryos or gametes (sperm or oocytes).

    failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum

    pouch located at the bottom of the abdominal cavity between the uterus and rectum

    examination of the internal female pelvic organs through an incision in the vigina

    A closed sac having a distinct membrane and developing abnormally in a body cavity or structure.

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    (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) but contraindicated in pregnancy for its tendency to cause cancer or birth defects in offspring of the reproductive organs in some who were exposed to the drug during fetal development

Dilatation and curettage (D&C)
    an operaton that involves stretching the cervical opening to scrape out the uterus

Donor Egg
    An assisted reproductive technology employing the use of donated egg(s) (oocytes) in a recipient couple undergoing in vitro fertilization; the egg donor undergoes ovarian stimulation prior to oocyte retrieval to increase the number of oocytes recovered at harvest and insemination is performed in vitro with the recipient's husband's spermatozoa; after fertilization and embryo culture, the embryo(s) is transferred transcervically into theendometrial cavity. Used to help post-menopausal women, for women with ovarian failure or women without ovaries in order to get pregnant with younger woman's eggs.

Donor insemination
    artificial insemination with donor sperm

    abnormal function

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-- E --

Ectopic pregnancy
    A pregnancy that develops outside of the uterine cavity. Usually these are formed in the fallopian tubes. Because of the risk of rupturing the tube and bleeding, these pregnancies must be identified and removed as soon as possible.

Egg (ovum)
    the female reproductive cell

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

Ejaculate (see semen)
    The sperm-containing fluid released at orgasm. It is also called semen. A mixture of sperm, prostate fluid and seminal vesicle fluid.

Ejaculatory ducts
    the male ducts that contract with orgasm to cause ejaculation

    cauterization using electircal current

    controlled electrical stimulation to induce ejaculation in a man with damage to the nerves that control ejaculation

    the developing baby from implantation to the second month of pregnancy

    a specialist in embryo development

Embryo transfer
    Replacement of pre-embryos, following in vitro fertilization (IVF), either transcervically or via cannulation of the fallopian tubes with the goal of achieving implantation and ensuing pregnancy.

Endocrine gland
    an organ that produces hormones

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

    A disease in which normal endometrial tissue (the lining of the uterus) grows outside of the uterus.

    inflammation of the endometrium

    The inner layer of the uterine wall that contains tubular uterine glands; the structure, thickness, and state of the endometrium undergo marked change with the menstrual cycle.

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

    inflammation of the epididymis

    The principal estrogen ( female hormone) produced by the ovary. It is used in the treatment of menstrual disorders , menopause problems, etc.

    A female hormone produced mainly by the ovaries from puberty to menopause. It is responsible for thickening of the uterine lining during the first half of the menstrual cycle in preparation for ovulation and possible pregnancy

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-- F --

Fallopian tubes
    A pair of ducts that pick up the egg from the ovary; where a sperm normally meets the egg to fertilize it

    the ability to become pregnant

    the developing baby from the second month of pregnancy until birth

    The penetration of the egg by the sperm and fusion of genetic materials to result in the development of an embryo.

Fibroid (myoma or leiomyoma)
    A benign tumor that consists of fibrous and muscular tissue and occurs specially in the uterine wall.

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

    plastic surgery on the fimbria of a damaged or blocked fallopian tube

    Use of an agonist starting with or after onset of menses of the cycle being entered to augment stimulation. (See also Short Protocol)

Flare protocol of LH-RHa (GnRHA)
    An LH-RH agonist which initially causes the release of endogenous gonadotropins is used early in a cycle of ovulation induction (follicular phase) in an attempt to recruit more follicles along with exogenous gonadotropin administration.

    an imaging device that uses X-rays to view internal body structures on a screen

    The fluid-filled sac in the ovary that nurtures the ripening egg and from which the egg is released during 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.

    The sugar that sperm use for energy it is produced by the seminal vesicles

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-- G --

    The male and female reproductive cells - the sperm (spermatozoon) and the egg (ovum).

Gamete Intra Fallopian 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.

    A bacteria that is often present in the flora of the healthy vagina and present in greatly increased numbers in nonspecific vaginitis.

    The unit of heredity found on a chromosome, which is composed of DNA (humans) or RNA (microorganisms).

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 child to its genetic parents. (See Surrogate Gestational Carrier)

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

    Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer

    A cell, group of cells, or organ that selectively removes materials from the blood, concentrates or alters them, and secretes them for further use in the body or for elimination from the body.

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

    organs that produce the sex cells and sex hormones; testicles in men and ovaries in women

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

Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH)
    The hormone produced and released by the hypothalamus that controls the pituitary gland's production and release of gonadotropins.

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.

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

    A sexually transmitted infection, which causes inflammation of the mucous membrane and can also lead to infertility. It is caused Neisseria gonococcus, a bacteria.

    A mass or nodule of inflamed tissue commonly formed after vasectomy due to sperm leaking from the vas deferens. Relieves pressure on the ducts (epididymis). Its presence predicts a good outcome for vasectomy reversal.

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-- H --

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

    The growth of excessive bodily and facial hair in women, in a male pattern, as the result of androgen excess due to tumors or drugs.

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

Host uterus procedure
    a woman carries to term a pregnancy produced by an infertile couple through in vitro fertilization

Hostile mucus
    cervical mucus that impedes the natural progress of sperm through the cervical canal

Human chorionic gonadotropin(hCG)
    The hormone produced early in pregnancy by the placenta to keep the corpus luteum producing progesterone; its detection is the basis for most pregnancy tests. Also used during ovulation induction to trigger ovulation.

Human menopausal gonadotropins(hMG)
    See Pergonal; an ovulation drug, containing follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), derived from the urine of postmenopausal women.

    injection of fluid, often into the fallopian tubes to determine if they are open

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

    excessive prolactin in the blood

    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.

    A thumb-sized endocrine gland in the base of the brain that controls many body functions and regulates the pituitary gland; also produces gonadotropin releasing hormone.

    underactivity of the thyroid gland

    surgical removal of the uterus

    A radiographic procedure in which a special dye is injected into the uterus to illustrate the inner contour of the uterus and degree of openness (patency) of the fallopian tubes.

    Examination of the inner cavity of the uterus through a fiberoptic telescope inserted through the vagina and cervical canal

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-- I --

Idiopathic Infertility
    Occurs when no cause of infertility can be identified in either partner, yet pregnancy does not ensue.

Immune system
    The body's line of defense against from foreign substances, cells, and tissues by producing the immune response. It includes the spleen, lymph nodes, white blood cells and antibodies.

Immunoglobulins (antibodies)
    (Also known as antibodies); proteins produced by specialized white blood cells in an immune response to a foreign substance.

Immunosuppressive drug
    a drug that interferes with the normal immune response

    a medical treatment for an immune system disorder that involves transfusing donor white blood cells in order to generate a specific type of immune response; It is used to treat women who have had recurrent miscarriages.

    attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine lining, usually occurring five to seven days after ovulation

    Complete or partial inability of a man to achieve an erection or ejaculation.

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

    The inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy or to carry a pregnancy to term after one year of unprotected intercourse or the inability of the woman to carry a pregnancy to live birth. Primary infertility indicates that the patient has never achieved a pregnancy, whereas secondary infertility denotes that a previous pregnancy was achieved, regardless of outcome.

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

Intracervical insemination (ICI)
    artificial insemination of sperm into the cervical canal

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)
    ICSI is a micromanipulation technique requiring the penetration of the zona pellucida and oolemma ( outer coatings) of the egg with a sharp glass needle through which a single, selected sperm is introduced directly into the cytoplasm ( outside of the egg).

Intratubal insemination (ITI)
    artificial insemination of sperm, which have been washed free of seminal fluid, into the fallopian tubes

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

In utero
    while in the uterus during early development

In vitro fertilization (IVF)
    A method of assisted reproduction that involves surgically removing eggs from the ovary with a long needle (by ultrasound-guided retrieval) after ovulation induction, combining it with sperm in a petri dish and, after fertilization, replacing the resulting embryo(s) in the woman's uterus. Also called "test tube baby" and "test tube fertilization".

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-- J --

-- K --

    a chromosome analysis

Kartagener's syndrome
    A syndrome, first described in 1933 by Kartagener, which consisting of situs inversus, bronchiectasis and chronic sinusitis. Fifty percent of the patients with immotile cilia syndrome have features of Kartagener;s syndrome.

Klinefelter's syndrome
    A chromosome abnormality with a 47 XXY pattern, which prevents normal male sexual development and causes reversible infertility due to the presence of an extra female (X) chromosome. These men present with azoospermia, gynecomastery and tall stature. Follicle stimulating hormone ( FSH) and luteinizing hormone ( LH) levels are increased, but testosterone ( T) decreased in 50% of cases. The testes are atrophic, firm and less than 2 cm. Testicular biopsy shows hyalinized tubules, relative Leydig cell hyperplasia and absence of sperm spermatogenesis.

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-- L --

    Visualization of the inside of the abdomen or pelvis using special thin telescopes called laparoscope. The instrument is inserted through a small incision below the naval; one or two other punctures may be made through which additional instruments can be inserted and manipulated. In women, the ovaries and outside of the fallopian tubes and uterus may be visualized and repaired without large abdominal incisions.

    abdominal surgery

Leiomyoma (fibroid)
    A benign tumor consisting of smooth muscle fibers; for example of the uterus.

Leydig cells
    the cells in the testicles that make testosterone (T)

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

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 hormone that normally triggers ovulation and stimulates the corpus luteum to secrete progesterone it is produced and released by the pituitary gland. In the male, it stimulates testosterone production.

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-- M --

Male factor or Male Infertility
    Infertility caused by a problem in the male partner such as the inability to ejaculate or suboptimal semen quality of 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.

    the time when a woman has her first menstual period

    the time when a woman stops having menstrual periods

  Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration.

Metrodin(Pure FSH)
    an injectable drug consisting of pure follicle stimulating hormone used to stimulate ovulation

    Surgical technique employing especially designed instruments, small caliber non-reactive fine suture materials and minimal tissue handling in order to avoid bleeding, inflammatory reaction and necrosis. The surgery is performed under high power optical magnification aids such as the operating microscope or magnifying spectacles ( loupes). The common reconstructive microsurgery for male infertility include varicocle repair, vasectomy reversal ( vasovasostomy), vaso-epididymostomy, epididymal sperm aspiration and microsurgical dissecting technique for testicular sperm retrieval ( aspiration and extraction).

    spontaneous abortion

    A branch in biology, which deals with the study of form and structure, such as assessing the shape of sperm during semen analysis.

    The quality or state of being motile; such as the forward swimming motion of healthy sperm

    A viscid slippery secretion that is produced by mucous membranes which it moistens and protects.

    an infectious agent that falls structurally between a virus and a bacterium

    surgical removal of a uterine fibroid tumor

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-- N --

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

Needle biopsy or percutaneous fine needle aspiration ( FNA)
    An alternative method to open testicular biopsy.

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-- O --

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

    infrequent and irregular menstrual cycles

    A term describing a woman who ovulates infrequently.

    An abnormally low number of sperm in the ejaculate of the male.

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

    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 laparoscopic 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.

    The plasma membrane of the oocyte.

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 cyst
    a fluid-containig enlargement of the ovary

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

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

    Release of a mature egg from the ovarian follicle. It usually occurs on approximately day 14 of a normal 28-day menstrual cycle.

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.

    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.

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-- P --

Pap smear
    removal of cells from the surface of the cervix to study microscopically

    see Bromocryptine

Patency ( patency rate)
    The states of being freely open or exposed. It is used as a word for describing the successful rate after reconstructive microsurgery.

    Being open and unobstructed; for example, the vas deferens or 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 imflammatory disease (PID)
    inflammation of any of the female pelvic organs, usually due to infection from a sexually transmitted disease

    a test of how fast sperm can travel up through cow mucus

    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

    Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration

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 and increased androgen production

    A projecting mass of swollen and hypertrophied or tumorous membrane.

    Fertilization of the egg by more than one sperm.

Post-coital test (PCT)
    A microscopic examination of a woman's cervical mucus after she has had intercourse to determine the number and motility of sperm in the mucus

    a fertilized egg in the early stage of development prior to cell division

Progesterone (female hormone)
    An ovarian hormone secreted by the corpus luteum during the second half of the menstrual cycle after ovulation has occurred; also produced by the placenta during pregnancy.

    the pituitary hormone that stimulates milk production

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

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

    Condition in which the presence of white cells in the semen indicates possible infection and/or inflammation.

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-- Q --

-- R --

Reproductive endocrinologist
    an ob-gyn who specializes 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

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

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-- S --

    surgical removal of the fallopian tubes

    inflamation 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

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

    an operation to open a blocked fallopian

    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. SART maintains a public registry of IVF program pregnancy rates in the U.S.

    the sac containing the testicles, epididymis, and vas deferens

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

    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 (semen sample) 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 baldder that produce seminal fluid and fructose

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

    A dividing wall or membrane specially between bodily spaces or masses of soft tissue, such as a uterine septum

Sertoli cells
    the cells in the testicles that provide nourshment to the early sperm cells

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

Short protocol
    Use of an agonist starting with or after onset of menses of the cycle being entered to augment stimulation.

    The male gamete or sex cell that contains the genetic information to be transmitted by the male, also known as spermatozoon (plural spermatozoa).

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

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

Sperm morphology
    Shape or form of the sperm cells.

Sperm motility
    Sperm cells demonstrating any type of movement.

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.

    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

    a surgical procedure (such as tubal ligation or vasedtomy) 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.

    stimulation of multiple ovulation with fertility drugs; also known as controlled ovarian
    hyperstimulation (COH)
Surrogate gestational carrier (surrogate mother)
    A woman who gestates an embryo that 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.

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-- T --

    The male sexual glands of which there are two, contained in the scrotum, which produce the male hormone testosterone and produce the male reproductive cells, the sperm.

    Testicular Sperm Extration

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

    The most potent male sex hormone produced in the testicles.

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

    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

    A poisonous substance that is a product of the metabolic activities of 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).

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 uses an embryo in its early stages of development. (See zygote intrafallopian transfer)

Tubal ligation
    surgical sterilization of a woman by obstructing or "tying" the fallopian tubes

Tubal patency
    Fallopian tubes are open, unobstructed fallopian tubes.

    plastic or reconstructive surgery on the fallopian tubes to correct abnormalities that cause
    an abnormal growth of tissue that can be benign or malignant (cancerous)

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-- U --

Ultrasound (US)
    A technique that uses high-frequency sound waves for creating an image of internal body parts; for example used to visualize the follicles in the ovaries, allowing the estimation of size. Also used to examine the testicle in men for tumors or varicoceles. Also used to visualize the fetus.

    a microorganism similar to mycoplasma

    the tube through which urine from the bladder is expelled

    A surgeon who specializes in the treatment of disorders of the urinary tract in men and women and the reproductive tract in men.

    The reproductive organ that houses protects and nourishes the developing embryo/fetus. It is a hollow, muscular structure that is part of the female reproductive tract and is the source of a woman's menses.

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-- V --

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

    inflammation of the vigina

    varicose veins in the scrotum, 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.

    surgical sterilization of a man by interrupting both vas deferens

Vasectomy reversal (vasovasostomy)
    Reconstructive microsurgical repair of a previous vasectomy for a man who wants to regain his fertility

Vasovasostomy (vasectomy reversal)
    Reconnecton of the vas deferens, to restore fertility in previously vasectomized male or man with vas blocked from other causes. Usually performed with an operating microscope.

    Connection of the vas deferens to the epididymis, to bypass an obstruction (blockage) of the epididymis. Extremely difficult operation requiring operating microscope and an experienced microsurgeon.

    An X-ray study of the vas deferens to see if it is blocked.

Venereal disease
    Relating to or resulting from sexual intercourse, see Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)

    a microscipic infectious organism that reproduces inside living cells

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-- W --

-- X --

XYY male 1-4 per 1000 newborn male.....

-- Y --

-- Z --

Zona pellucida
    The outer covering of the ovum that the sperm must penetrate before fertilization can occur.
    an egg that has been fertilized but not yet divided
Zygote Intra Fallopian transfer (ZIFT)
    in vitro fertilization with a transfer of the zygote into the fallopian tube; a combination of in
    vitro fertilization and gamete intrafallopian transfer

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