This glossary is intended to provide definitions and explanations for common fertility-related terms. Understanding these terms can be helpful for those seeking to understand their options for fertility treatments.
Fertility can be a complex and personal topic, and it is always recommended to consult with a medical professional for personalized and accurate information.
Amenorrhea: The absence of menstruation.
Artificial Insemination: A fertility treatment in which sperm are inserted into a woman's uterus or cervix using medical procedures.
Cervix: The lower, narrow end of the uterus that opens into the vagina.
Conception: The moment when a sperm fertilizes an egg, resulting in pregnancy.
Egg Freezing: A fertility preservation method in which a woman's eggs are extracted and frozen for future use.
Ejaculation: The release of semen from the penis during sexual climax.
Embryo: An early stage of human development, typically lasting up to eight weeks after fertilization.
Endometriosis: A condition in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of it, causing pain and fertility problems.
Fallopian Tube: A tube that connects the ovaries to the uterus, through which an egg travels to the uterus after ovulation.
Fertility: The ability to conceive and bear children.
Fertility Preservation: The process of storing eggs, sperm, or reproductive tissue in order to maintain the ability to have children in the future.
Fertility Testing: Tests to determine the cause of infertility and the best course of treatment.
Fertility Treatment: Medical procedures or medications used to increase the chances of conceiving.
Fertilization: The process of combining an egg and a sperm to form a new individual.
Fibroids: Benign tumors that grow in the uterus.
Freezing Eggs: A fertility preservation method in which a woman's eggs are extracted and frozen for future use.
Gonadotropins: Hormones produced by the pituitary gland that stimulate the ovaries or testes.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG): A hormone produced during pregnancy that is often used as a marker for pregnancy.
Infertility: The inability to conceive after trying for one year or more.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): A fertility treatment in which eggs are fertilized with sperm outside of the body and then transferred to the uterus.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): A fertility treatment in which sperm are inserted into the uterus through the cervix.
Laparoscopic Surgery: A type of surgery that uses small incisions and a laparoscope to access the inside of the abdomen.
Menstrual Cycle: The monthly process during which the uterus sheds its lining, resulting in menstruation.
Oocyte: Another term for an egg.
Ovarian Cancer: Cancer that begins in the ovaries.
Ovarian Cyst: A fluid-filled sac that develops in or on the surface of an ovary.
Ovarian Reserve: The number and quality of eggs remaining in the ovaries.
Ovarian Tissue Cryopreservation (OTC): A fertility preservation method in which a woman's ovarian tissue is removed and frozen for future use.
Ovulation: The release of an egg from the ovary.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): An infection of the reproductive organs that can cause fertility problems.
Pituitary Gland: A gland in the brain that produces hormones that regulate various body functions, including fertility.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A hormonal disorder that can cause fertility problems.
Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body.
Progesterone: A hormone that plays a role in the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Retrograde Ejaculation: A condition in which semen flows backward into the bladder instead of out of the penis.
Salpingitis: Inflammation of the fallopian tubes.
Salpingo-Oophorectomy: The surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Semen: The fluid released through the penis during ejaculation, containing sperm and other substances.
Sperm: Male reproductive cells that fertilize an egg.
Surrogacy: A fertility treatment in which a woman carries and gives birth to a child for another person or couple.
Testes: The male reproductive glands that produce sperm and hormones.
Testosterone: A male hormone produced by the testes that plays a role in fertility.
Tubal Cannulation: A procedure in which a tube is inserted through the cervix and into the fallopian tubes to unblock them.
Tubal Ligation: A surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are permanently blocked to prevent pregnancy.
Uterine Fibroids: Benign tumors that grow in the uterus.
Uterine Polyps: Small growths on the lining of the uterus.
Uterus: A muscular organ in the female reproductive system where a fertilized egg implants and grows.
Varicocele: Enlargement of the veins within the scrotum, which can affect fertility in men.
Vasectomy: A surgical procedure in which the vas deferens, the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles to the prostate gland, are cut and sealed to prevent pregnancy.