Glossary

 

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): a general term referring to methods used to unite sperm and eggs by artificial or partially artificial means, e.g. IVF, ICSI

Blastocyst: an embryo that has grown for 5 days and has developed a central cavity ready for implantation

Chromosome: a tiny structure within the cell’s centre (nucleus) which contains the genetic material that determines a person’s physical traits

Cryopreserve: to preserve by freezing

Culture medium: special fluid in which eggs, sperm and embryos may survive and grow

Cumulus cells: the fluffy cloud of cells which surrounds the oocyte and coordinates maturation

Ectopic pregnancy: a pregnancy growing in one of the fallopian tubes; usually requires urgent surgical treatment to prevent rupture of the tube

Embryo: an egg that has been fertilised by (united with) a sperm and has begun to grow

Embryo transfer: placing an embryo back into the womb; also called an ‘embryo replacement’

Epididymis: the thin coiled tube connecting the testis to the vas deferens

FSH: follicle stimulating hormone; a chemical produced by the pituitary gland ofboth males and females; it stimulates growth of follicles on the ovary and the production of sperm in the testis. This is the main ingredient of fertility drugs

Fallopian tubes: the pair of tubes that allows sperm to travel from the womb to the egg; is usually the site of fertilisation

Fertilisation: the process by which a sperm unites with an egg

Follicles (ovarian): a fluid-filled sac in the ovary that produces female hormones, particularly oestrogen, and in which an egg develops

hCG: human chorionic gonadotrophin; a chemical substance (hormone) produced by the placenta in early pregnancy. The principal action is to stimulate your ovaries to produce more hormones to maintain the pregnancy

ICSI: Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection; the laboratory process of injecting a single sperm into an egg

IVF: In Vitro Fertilisation; allows an egg to unite with a sperm outside the body.  The embryo is allowed to grow for about 48 hours before it is placed back in the womb

IUI: a procedure in which sperm are inserted directly into the uterus around the time of ovulation

Implantation: the process whereby an embryo successfully sticks to the lining of the uterus and starts to grow and develop

LH: luteinising hormone; a chemical substance produced by the pituitary gland of both males and females. LH causes ovulation, stimulates the production of progesterone in women and testosterone in men

Luteal phase: the last 2 weeks of a menstrual cycle after an egg has been released and during which the ovary produces progesterone

Menstrual cycle: refers to the maturing and release of an egg and to the preparation of the uterus to receive and nurture an embryo

Oestrogen: a female hormone produced by the ovary in varying amounts throughout the menstrual cycle

OI-IUI: This treatment combines stimulation of ovulation (using a low dose of an injectable hormonal medication) with artificial insemination of the partner’s semen into the uterus

Oocyte: the egg, also called the ovum

OPU: oocyte pick-up; retrieval of the eggs from the follicles

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: a rare but serious illness that occurs when the ovaries have been overly stimulated by various fertility medications; it is characterised by pain and bloating in the abdomen

Ovulation: release of a mature egg from the ovary; this usually occurs mid-way between two menstrual periods

Ovulation induction: women may use hormonal medication to improve follicular growth and encourage egg release

Ovum: egg, also called the oocyte

Progesterone: a female hormone produced by the ovary after ovulation with the function of supporting the lining of the womb to maintain the pregnancy

Semen: the fluid ejaculated by a man, which contains sperm

Sperm: the male reproductive cells or male gametes

Sperm antibodies: substances produced by the immune system of either men or women, which are capable of inactivating sperm

Ultrasound: uses sound waves to ‘see’ inside the body, it is used to visualise the uterus, the ovaries and the developing follicles

Uterus/womb: the female reproductive organ that supports the growing fetus and is the source of a woman’s menstrual bleeding

Attend an information seminar
Westmead ButtonWestmead Doctor, IVF clinic
When: Wednesday, August 9th, 2017
Time: 5:30pm for 6:00pm start
Where: Westmead Fertility Centre
Cost: Free