Infertility/ Pregnancy Dictionary
permission from the InterNational Council on Infertility Information
Dissemination (INCIID), a nonprofit organization committed to providing
the most current information regarding the diagnosis, treatment and
prevention of infertility and pregnancy loss.
Spontaneous: A pregnancy loss during the first twenty weeks of
Habitual: When a woman has had three or more miscarriages.
Incomplete: An abortion after which some tissue remains inside the
uterus. A D&C must be performed to remove the tissue and prevent
Missed: The fetus dies in the uterus but there is no bleeding or
cramping. A D&C will be needed to remove the fetal remains and prevent
Therapeutic: A procedure used to terminate a pregnancy before the
fetus can survive on its own.
Threatened: Spotting or bleeding that occurs early in the pregnancy.
May progress to spontaneous abortion.
The Premature parting
of the placenta from the uterine wall. Also called abruptio placentae.
A hormone produced by the pituitary gland to stimulate the adrenal glands.
Excessive levels may lead to fertility problems.
The normal progress of the birth process, including tightening of the uterus,
cervical dilation, and descent of the fetus into the birth canal.
A plasma protein normally produced by the fetus' liver. The AFP test is
offered to almost all pregnant women in the U.S. to assess the risk (not
diagnose) of neural tube defects and Down Syndrome.
Scar tissue occurring in the abdominal cavity, fallopian tubes, or inside the
uterus. Adhesions can interfere with transport of the egg and implantation of
the embryo in the uterus.
Male hormones produced by the adrenal gland which, when found in excess, may
lead to fertility problems in both men and women. Excess androgens in the
woman may lead to the formation of male secondary sex characteristics and the
suppression of LH and FSH production by the pituitary gland. Elevated levels
of androgens may be found in women with polycystic ovaries, or with a tumor
in the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, or ovary. May also be associated with
excess prolactin levels.
AID(Artificial Insemination Donor) or AIH (Artificial Insemination Homologous/Husband)
See Artificial Insemination, Donor Insemination, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
The cessation of the menstrual periods for six months or more at a time.
Primary Amenorrhoea afflicts a woman who has never menstruated. Secondary
Amenorrhoea afflicts a woman who has menstruated at one time, but who has not
had a period for six months or more.
Removing a small amount of fluid (amniotic) from the sac surrounding
the fetus. Testing the fluid can check for fetal abnormalities, such as Down
Syndrome, spina bifida, and Tay-Sachs disease.
A liquid consisting mostly of water made by the amnion (see amniotic sac) and the
fetus. It usually totals 1500 ml at night months. It surrounds the fetus
during pregnancy, providing it with protection.
The thin-walled bag that contains the protective liquid, that surrounds the
fetus during pregnancy.
A physician-scientist who performs laboratory evaluations of male fertility.
May hold a Ph.D. degree instead of an M.D. Usually affiliated with a
fertility treatment center working on in vitro fertilization.
A condition characterized by an iron deficiency common in pregnancy, in which
the number (concentration) of red blood cells in the blood is abnormally low.
A doctor trained in the area of anesthesiology, the branch of medicine that
deals with the control of sensations of pain and administering drugs like an
epidural to relieve pain.
The failure to ovulate; ovulatory failure.
Means in front of, usually with reference to the front part of the body.
Often used in association with the term 'anterior presentation' . Usually,
babies are born with the back of the head pointed up or slightly to the left
or right side. It is as if the child was looking at the floor during
emergence from the birth canal. This is the best position in most cases since
it allows the child to negotiate more easily the turns required to get
through the mother's pelvis and birth canal.
Chemicals made by the body to fight or attack foreign substances entering the
body. Normally they prevent infection; however, when they attack the sperm or
fetus, they cause infertility Sperm antibodies may be made by either the man
or the woman.
Antibodies are produced by the immune system to fight off foreign substances,
like bacteria. Antisperm antibodies attach themselves to sperm and inhibit
movement and their ability to fertilize.
A test to determine a newborn physical health. It is done 1 minute and 5
minutes after birth. Scoring is based on five factors that refer to how well
the infant is able to adjust to life outside the womb. A doctor, Virginia
Apgar, MD, created the system to tell quickly which infants require treatment
right away or transfer to an intensive care nursery. Ratings are based on
Appearance - skin color ; Pulse - the infant's heart rate, Grimace- reflexes,
Activity- muscle tone and Respiration- breathing.
The dark ring of skin around the nipple of the breast. The areola often
becomes more prominent during pregnancy.
Artificial Insemination (AI)
Placing sperm into the vagina, uterus or fallopian tubes through artificial
means instead of by coitus - usually injected through a catheter or cannula
after being washed. This procedure is used for both donor (AID) and husband's
(AIH) sperm. This technique is used to overcome sexual performance problems,
to circumvent sperm-mucus interaction problems, to maximize the potential for
poor semen, and for using donor sperm. See Intrauterine Insemination.
An artificial, surgically created pouch used to collect sperm from men with
irreversible tubal blockage.
A condition where the uterine walls adhere to one another. Usually caused by
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Several procedures employed to bring about conception without sexual
intercourse, including IUI, IVF, GIFT and ZIFT.
Low sperm motility.
Semen containing no sperm, either because the testicles cannot make sperm or
because of blockage in the reproductive tract.
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Bags of Water
Another term that refers to the amniotic membranes which contain the amniotic fluid.
See amniotic fluid.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT)
Your body temperature when taken at its lowest point, usually in the morning
before getting out of bed. Charting BBT is used to predict ovulation.
Biphasic: A BBT pattern consistent with ovulation and the formation of the
corpus luteum, which secretes progesterone. This hormone will elevate the
basal body temperature about one-half degree during the latter half of the
menstrual cycle. Monophasic: An anovulatory BBT pattern where the temperature
remains relatively constant throughout the cycle.
Beta HCG Test
A blood test used to detect very early pregnancies and to evaluate embryonic
A steroid medication that helps the baby's lungs develop when it appears the woman will
deliver prematurely. Not only does betamethasone hasten lung development, but
it may also help intestines, kidneys and others systems to mature.
A congenital malformation of the uterus where the upper portion (horn) is
The orange-yellow pigment in bile, formed mainly by the breakdown of
hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is normally excreted from the body as the
main component of bile. See Jaundice.
A large rubber ball,
designed specifically for use during labor. The woman can lie on top of the
ball and rock or sit on the ball and rock or bounce lightly.,
A medical facility that simulates the homebirth experience.
A classic indicator of beginning or progressing labor. As the cervix dilates,
blood-tinged mucous and the cervical mucous plug pass from the vagina.
Periodic contractions of the uterus that do not represent true labor.
They happen at random, are typically not painful and they do not dilate the
cervix as "real" contractions do. These contractions may begin as
early as the first trimester and can become increasingly more frequent and
intense toward the end of the third trimester.
Birth in which the baby comes out feet, knees or buttocks first. Breech
positioning is relatively uncommon, occurring in fewer than five percent of
A drug sometimes used in pregnancy to slow or stop labor because of its
relaxant effect on smooth muscle. The uterus is a smooth muscle.
An oral medication used to reduce prolactin levels and reduce the size of a
pituitary tumor when present. This medication often causes dizziness and
upset stomach and must be started with a small dose which is gradually
increased as needed. This medication is equally effective when the tablet is
placed into the vagina.
A long-acting GnRH available in Europe as a nasal spray and used to create
the pseudomenopause desirable for reducing the size and number of
endometriotic lesions. It can also be used to treat fibroid tumors, PMS,
hirsutism, ovulation induction and for in vitro fertilization.
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An infection that may be uncomfortable and itchy and may impair fertility.
A process that sperm undergo as they travel through the woman's reproductive
tract. Capacitation enables the sperm to penetrate the egg.
A small, hollow, flexible tube used to take out or add fluids.
Catheters are commonly used in epidurals and when a woman cannot urinate.
The most common reason for doing a cesarean section. A condition in which the
baby's head is too large or the mother's birth canal is too small to allow
normal labor or birth.
An obstetric method in which stitches are used to hold the lower end of the
uterus (cervix closed) to prevent miscarriage. The band is usually removed
when the pregnancy goes to full term. This allows labor to begin.
A blockage of the cervical canal from a congenital defect or from
complications of surgical procedures.
See also Cervix.
A sample of the cervical mucus examined microscopically to assess the
presence of estrogen (ferning) and white blood cells, indicating possible
A viscous fluid plugging the opening of the cervix. Most of the time this
thick mucus plug prevents sperm and bacteria from entering the womb. However,
at midcycle, under the influence of estrogen, the mucus becomes thin, watery,
and stringy to allow sperm to pass into the womb. See also Cervix.
A medication used to induce labor.
A surgical procedure in which the abdomen and uterus are cut open for
The opening between the uterus and the vagina. The cervical mucus plugs the
cervical canal and normally prevents foreign materials from entering the
reproductive tract. The cervix remains closed during pregnancy and dilates
during labor and delivery to allow the baby to be born.
A weakened cervix which opens prematurely during pregnancy and can cause the
loss of the fetus. A CERVICAL CERCLAGE is a procedure in which a stitch or
two is put around the cervix to prevent its opening until removed when the
pregnancy is to term.
A cyst in the ovary that is filled with old blood; endometrioma. Occurring
when endometriosis invades an ovary, it causes the ovary to swell.
Frequently, patients with large endometriomas do not have any symptoms. If
the cyst ruptures or the ovary containing the cyst twists, emergency surgery
may be necessary. Usually treatment can be carried out through the
Cholestasis of Pregnancy
A liver disease that only occurs in pregnancy. Usually the only symptom
is itching, particularly on the arms, legs, hands and feet. The itching
completely disappears within a week or two of the birth and does not cause
long term health problems for mothers . However, it is important that the
condition is recognized and treated or it may prove fatal to babies.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
procedure tests for genetic genetic disorders, such as sickle cell disease
and cystic fibrosis, and chromosomal abnormalities, such as down syndrome.
The advantage of this test over amniocentesis is that (CVS) can be done
earlier in gestation than the amniocentesis.
The structures in the cell that carry the genetic material (genes); the genetic
messengers of inheritance. The human has forty-six chromosomes, twenty-three
coming from the egg and twenty-three coming from the sperm.
Tiny hairlike projections lining the inside surface of the fallopian tubes.
The waving action of these "hairs" sweeps the egg toward the
Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid, Serophene)
A fertility drug that stimulates ovulation through the release of
gonadotropins from the pituitary gland.
The fluid released by the breast during pregnancy before milk production
(lactation) begins. It is a thin, yellow fluid that contains white blood
cells, water, protein, fat and carbohydrate.
position of the fetus in the womb in which the baby's buttocks and feet are
toward the birth canal. The posture of the fetus is the same as in a normal
head-first position, but upside down.
The beginning of pregnancy. The fusion of the sperm and the egg.
Therapy prescribed to reduce the number of sperm antibodies in the woman by
using a condom during intercourse for six months or more and by the woman
refraining from all skin contact with the husband's sperm. The woman's
antibody level may fall to levels that will not adversely affect the sperm.
A surgical procedure used to remove precancerous cells from the cervix. The
procedure may damage the cervix and thus disrupt normal mucus production or
cause an incompetent cervix, which may open prematurely during pregnancy.
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia
A congenital condition characterized by elevated androgens which suppress the
pituitary gland and interfere with spermatogenesis or ovulation. Women may
have ambiguous genitalia from the excess production of male hormone.
The shortening and tightening of the uterine muscle, working to dilate
and efface the cervix and squeeze the baby through the birth canal.
A condition where the umbilical cord falls down below the baby and into the
vaginal canal during birth, directly blocking the baby from being born
(without compression on the cord which would cut off baby's oxygen and blood
The phase at the end of labor when the infant's head becomes visible at the
The yellow-pigmented glandular structure that forms from the ovarian follicle
following ovulation. The gland produces progesterone, which is responsible
for preparing and supporting the uterine lining for implantation.
Progesterone also causes the half-degree basal temperature elevation noted at
midcycle during an ovulatory cycle. If the corpus luteum functions poorly,
the uterine lining may not support a pregnancy. If the egg is fertilized, a
corpus luteum of pregnancy forms to maintain the endometrial bed and support
the implanted embryo. A deficiency in the amount of progesterone produced (or
the length of time it is produced) by the corpus luteum can mean the
endometrium is unable to sustain a pregnancy. This is called Luteal Phase
The protective layer of cells surrounding the egg.
A condition characterized by an overproduction of adrenal gland secretions.
The person will suffer from high blood pressure and water retention as well
as a number of other symptoms. A concurrent elevation of adrenal androgens
will suppress pituitary output of LH and FSH and result in low sperm
production or ovulatory failure. A woman may also develop male secondary sex
characteristics, including abnormal hair growth. Cushing's Disease is another
condition in which these same symptoms occur, but as the result of a
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D&C (Dilation and Curettage)
A procedure used to dilate the cervical canal and scrape out the lining and
contents of the uterus. The procedure can be used to diagnose or treat the
cause of abnormal bleeding and to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.
A medication used to treat endometriosis. Suppresses LH and FSH production by
the pituitary and causes a state of amenorrhea during which the endometrial
implants waste away. Many women experience oily skin, acne, weight gain,
abnormal hair growth, deepening of the voice and muscle cramps with this
A narcotic drug used to relieve pain during pregnancy.
A medication prescribed in the 1950s and 1960s to women to prevent
miscarriage. Male and female fetuses exposed in utero to this drug developed
numerous deformities including blockage of the vas deferens, uterine
abnormalities, cervical deformities, miscarriages, and unexplained
infertility. DES is no longer prescribed for this indication.
DHEAS (Dihydroepiandrosterone Sulfate)
An androgen produced primarily by the adrenal gland. A high level suggests
too much adrenal androgen output. See Adrenal Androgens.
Opening up, enlargement of a tubular structure. This usually refers to the cervical
dilation that occurs during labor. Dilation is measured in
centimeters or, less accurately, in "fingers." "Fully
dilated" means you're at 10 centimeters and are ready to push.
Artificial insemination with donor sperm. See Artificial Insemination.
A device which employs ultrasound to listen to
the fetal heart beat, examine the fetal heart for defects, and estimate
placental blood flow.
A woman trained to help a couple through labor, deliver and the postpartum
A tetracycline derivative; an antibiotic that inhibits many of the
microorganisms infecting the reproductive tract. Often used for treating
ureaplasma infections. Many physicians find routine treatment with this
antibiotic more cost-effective than performing multiple cultures on both the
husband and wife looking for infection.
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At this stage a women is having contractions for two hours or more, as
frequent as every five minutes to every twenty minutes and her cervix is
dilating up to three or four centimeters.
Pregnancy-induced hypertension, a dangerous condition that may occur during
pregnancy. Symptoms may include high blood pressure, swelling or
"edema" and protein in the urine.
A pregnancy outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Such a pregnancy
can rarely be sustained, and often leads to decreased or complete loss of
function in the affected tube. Methotrexate is now used to dissolve the
pregnancy without causing major damage to the tube.
Anabnormall accumulation of water in the soft tissues of the body.
The shortening of the cervix and thinning of its walls as it is stretched
and widened by the fetus during labor.
A procedure used to obtain eggs from ovarian follicles for use in in vitro fertilization.
The procedure may be performed during laparoscopy or by using a long needle
and ultrasound to locate the follicle in the ovary.
The semen and sperm expelled during ejaculation.
Electronic Fetal Monitor (EFM)
An electronic device that is used to monitor the heart rate of the fetus
The early products of conception; the undifferentiated beginnings of a baby;
Placing an egg fertilized outside the womb into a woman's uterus or fallopian
Empty Sella Syndrome
A condition that occurs when spinal fluid leaks into the bony chamber (fossa)
housing the pituitary gland. The fluid pressure compresses the pituitary
gland and may adversely affect its ability to secrete LH and FSH and may
elevate prolactin levels.
A test to check for Luteal Phase Defect. A procedure during which a sample of
the uterine lining is collected for microscopic analysis. The biopsy results
will confirm ovulation and the proper preparation of the endometrium by
estrogen and progesterone stimulation.
A condition where endometrial tissue is located outside the womb. The tissue
may attach itself to the reproductive organs or to other organs in the
abdominal cavity. Each month the endometrial tissue inbreeds with the onset
of menses. The resultant irritation causes adhesions in the abdominal cavity
and in the fallopian tubes. Endometriosis may also interfere with ovulation
and with the implantation of the embryo.
The lining of the uterus which grows and sheds in response to estrogen and
progesterone stimulation; the bed of tissue designed to nourish the implanted
Natural narcotics manufactured in the brain to reduce sensitivity to pain and
stress. May contribute to stress-related fertility problems.
Refers to the point in labor/delivery at which the baby's head begins to
descend through (engage) the pelvic canal.
A coiled, tubular organ attached to and lying on the testicle. Within this
organ the developing sperm complete their maturation and develop their
powerful swimming capabilities. The matured sperm leave the epididymis
through the vas deferens.
A common method of administering anesthesia during labor. A small
amount of anesthesia is inserted into the dura a tough, fibrous, whitish
membrane; the outermost of the 3 membranes covering the brain and spinal
An operation to enlarge the opening of the vagina with a cut. This is done
during childbirth to aid in delivery or to prevent stretching of the mother's
muscles and connective tissues.
The principal estrogen produced by the ovary. Responsible for formation of
the female secondary sex characteristics such as large breasts; supports the
growth of the follicle and the development of the uterine lining. At midcycle
the peak estrogen level triggers the release of the LH spike from the
pituitary gland. The LH spike is necessary for the release of the ovum from
the follicle. Fat cells in both obese men and women can also manufacture
estrogen from androgens and interfere with fertility. The blood test to
monitor estradiol is E2--Rapid Assay. Women on Pergonal and other fertility
drugs have routine E-2 monitoring.
Female sex hormone.
A manual procedure where the doctor attempts to move a breech baby
into the typical head-down position for birth.
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During this labor presentation the infant is head down but has its
neck extended, rather than with its chin tucked.
Failure to Progress
Labor does not follow a "normal" pattern and is severely
Ducts through which eggs travel to the uterus once released from the
follicle. Sperm normally meet the egg in the fallopian tube, the site at
which fertilization usually occurs.
This is when you experience irregular tightening of the pregnant uterus that
begins during the first three months of pregnancy. The
contractions increase in time, length and strength as pregnancy continues. It
may be impossible for you to differentiate from "real" labor.
Female Kallman's Syndrome
A condition characterized by infantile sexual development and an inability to
smell. Since the pituitary cannot produce LH and FSH, the woman must take
hormone supplements to achieve puberty, to maintain secondary sex
characteristics, and to achieve fertility.
A pattern characteristic of dried cervical mucus viewed on a slide. When the
fern pattern appears, the mucus has been thinned and prepared by estrogen for
the passage of sperm. If it does not fern, the mucus will be hostile to the
passage of the sperm.
Any method or procedure used to enhance fertility or increase the likelihood
of pregnancy, such as ovulation induction treatment,varicocelee repair, and
microsurgery to repair damaged fallopian tubes. The goal of fertility
treatment is to help couples have a child.
A physician specializing in the practice of fertility. The American Board of
Obstetrics and Gynecology certifies a subspecialty for OB-GYNs who receive
extra training in endocrinology (the study of hormones) and infertility.
Those who acquire certification are Reproductive Endocrinologists (REs).
The combining of the genetic material carried by sperm and egg to create an
embryo. Normally occurs inside the fallopian tube (in vivo) but may also
occur in a petri dish (in vitro). See also In Vitro Fertilization.
Problems with the fetus during labor. When the fetus does not get enough
oxygen from the placenta and becomes "distressed", immediate
delivery is sometimes required.
Fetal Scalp Electrode
A device placed under the skin of the baby's scalp (while still in the
uterus) to monitor the baby's heartbeat. See Internal Monitoring.
A term used to refer to a baby during the period of gestation between eight
weeks and term.
Fibroid (Myoma or Leiomyoma)
A benign tumor of the uterine muscle and connective tissue.
Finger-like projections at the end of the fallopian tube nearest the ovary.
When stimulated by the follicular fluid released during ovulation, the
fingerlike ends grasp the ovary and coax the egg into the tube.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
A pituitary hormone that stimulates spermatogenesis and follicular
development. In the man FSH stimulates the Sertoli cells in the testicles and
supports sperm production. In the woman FSH stimulates the growth of the
ovarian follicle. Elevated FSH levels are indicative of gonadal failure in
both men and woman.
Fluid-filled sacs in the ovary which contain the eggs released at ovulation.
Each month an egg develops inside the ovary in a fluid filled pocket called a
follicle. This follicle is one inch in size and is about ready to ovulate.
The fluid inside the follicle that cushions and nourishes the ovum. When
released during ovulation, the fluid stimulates the fimbria to grasp the
ovary and coax the egg into the fallopian tube.
The pre-ovulatory portion of a woman's cycle during which a follicle grows
and high levels of estrogen cause the lining of the uterus to proliferate.
Normally takes between 12 and 14 days.
The soft spots found between the cranial bones of an infant's skull. These
spots allow the baby's head to compress slightly during passage through the
Refers to a position in which the baby is upside-down and one or both
feet are folded under the buttocks.
Obstetrics Forceps are used to assist birth of the fetal head. Forceps are a
two-bladed instrument that could be compared to a pair of kitchen tongs in
design but have the additional feature of two blades that are easily taken
apart to facilitate placement on the baby within the birth canal.
The buttock of the baby are at the mother's pelvic opening. The legs are
straight up in front of the body, and the feet are at the shoulders.
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A clear or milky discharge from the breasts associated with elevated
A reproductive cell: Sperm in men, the egg in women.
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
A technique that may be used in lieu of in vitro fertilization for women with
patent (clear and open) tubes. After egg retrieval the eggs are mixed with
the husband's sperm and then injected through the fimbria into the woman's
fallopian tubes for in vivo fertilization.
In the male the testicular cell that divides to produce the immature sperm
cells; in the woman the ovarian cell that divides to form the egg (ovum). The
male germ cell remains intact throughout the man's reproductive life; the
woman uses up her germ cells at the rate of about one thousand per menstrual
cycle, although usually only one egg matures each cycle.
Germ Cell Aplasia (Sertoli Cell Only)
An inherited condition in which the testicles have no germ cells. Since men
with this condition have normal Leydig cells, they will develop secondary sex
characteristics. May also be caused by large and/or prolonged exposure to
toxins or radiation.
The period of time from fertilization of the egg until birth.
Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is high blood sugar diagnosed during
The gland that makes reproductive cells and "sex" hormones: the
testicles, which make sperm and testosterone, and the ovaries, which make
eggs (ova) and estrogen.
Hormones which control reproductive function: Follicle Stimulating Hormone
and Leutenizing Hormone.
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GNRH)
The hormone which controls the production and release of gonadotropins.
Secreted by the hypothalamus every ninety minutes or so, this hormone enables
the pituitary to secrete LH and FSH, which stimulate the gonads. See FSH, LH.
Group B Strep
Short name for group B streptococci. It is an infection that affects 10-25% of
all pregnant women and can be passed from the mother to the newborn during
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A test of the ability of sperm to penetrate a hamster egg which has been
stripped of the Zona Pellucida (outer membrane). Also called Sperm
Penetration Assay (SPA).
A loss of a large amount of blood in a short period of time, either
internally or externally.
An enlarged vein in the lower rectum or anus caused by blocking in veins of
the area. Straining to defecate, constipation and too much sitting can cause
hemorrhoids. This condition can be quite common in pregnancy.
High Risk Pregnancy
A pregnancy where there are fetal or maternal complications that may
require specific medical attention or bed rest. Pregnancies at high risk of fetal or maternal complications.
The overabundance of body hair, such as a mustache or pubic hair growing
upward toward the navel, found in women with excess androgens.
Also called a "surrogate gestational mother." A couple's embryo is
transferred to another woman who carries the pregnancy to term and returns
the baby to the genetic parents immediately after birth.
Cervical mucus that impedes the natural progress of sperm through the
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
The hormone produced in early pregnancy which keeps the corpus luteum
producing progesterone. Also used via injection (Profasi) to trigger
ovulation after some fertility treatments, and used in men to stimulate
Human Menopausal Gonadotripin (HMG -Pergonal, Humegon)
A combination of hormones FSH and LH, which is extracted from the urine of
post-menopausal women. Used to induce ovulation in several fertility
Similar to Pergonal: the lutenizing and follicle-stimulating hormones
recovered from the urine of post-menopausal women. Used to stimulate multiple
ovulation in some fertility treatments.
An abnormal condition during pregnancy know by an excess of amniotic fluid
surrounding the fetus.
A condition marked by severe nausea ("morning sickness"),
resulting in weight loss, ketosis, and fluid and electrolyte imbalance. It
can lead to hospitalization if dehydration occurs.
A condition in which the pituitary gland secretes too much prolactin.
Prolactin can suppress LH and FSH production, reduce male sex drive, and
directly suppress ovarian function.
Hyperstimulation (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome - OHSS)
A potentially life- threatening side effect of Pergonal, Humagon or Metrodin
ovulation induction. A woman's ovaries become enlarged and produce an
overabundance of eggs. Blood hormone levels rise, fluid may collect in the
lungs or abdominal cavity, and ovarian cyst may rupture, causing internal
bleeding. Blood clots sometimes develop. Symptoms include sudden weight gain
and abdominal pain. Cycles stimulated with these drugs must be carefully
monitored with ultrasound scans. OHSS may be prevented by withholding the hCG
injection when ultrasound monitoring indicates that too many follicles have
Overproduction of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. The resulting
increased metabolism "burns up" estrogen too rapidly and interferes
Having lower than normal levels of estrogen.
A less than normal amount of sugar in the blood.
A spectrum of diseases resulting in low pituitary gland output of LH and FSH.
Men with this disorder have low sperm counts and may lose their virility;
women do not ovulate and may lose their secondary sex characteristics.
Low sperm production.
A part of the brain, the hormonal regulation center, located adjacent to and
above the pituitary gland. In both the man and the woman this tissue secretes
GnRH every ninety minutes or so. The pulsatile GnRH enables the pituitary
gland to secrete LH and FSH, which stimulate the gonads. See also FSH; LH;
A condition in which the thyroid gland produces an insufficient amount of
thyroid hormone. The resulting lowered metabolism interferes with the normal
breakdown of "old" hormones and causes lethargy. Men will suffer
from a lower sex drive and elevated prolactin (see Hyperprolactinemia), and
women will suffer from elevated prolactin and estrogen, both of which will
interfere with fertility.
A congenital defect of the penis where the urethra is not at the tip
of the penis, but in the shaft. This can be corrected surgically.
An x-ray of the pelvic organs in which a radio-opaque dye is injected through
the cervix into the uterus and fallopian tubes. This test checks for
malformations of the uterus and blockage of the fallopian tubes.
A procedure in which the doctor checks for uterine abnormalities by inserting
a fiber-optic device. Minor surgical repairs can be executed during the
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ICSI-Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
A procedure in which a single sperm is injected into an egg.
Immature Sperm (Germinal Cell)
A sperm that has not matured and gained the ability to swim. In the presence of
illness or infection such sperm may appear in the semen in large numbers.
The embedding of the embryo into tissue so it can establish contact with the
mother's blood supply for nourishment. Implantation usually occurs in the lining
of the uterus; however, in an ectopic pregnancy it may occur elsewhere in the
The inability of the man to have an erection and to ejaculate.
A cervix that does not function properly during pregnancy. Miscarriage
or premature delivery may result.
The inability to urination or defecation. During pregnancy, urinary
incontinence can occur as the baby becomes heavy on the bladder.
When labor is started artificially by rupturing the fetal membranes or
giving medications such as Prostaglandin gel and oxytocin
The inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse or the
inability to carry a pregnancy to term.
A male feedback hormone made in the testicles to regulate FSH production by
the pituitary gland.
A female feedback hormone made in the ovary to regulate FSH production by the
A procedure that may be needed during labor. This involves the Fetal
Scalp Electrode procedure, in which a device placed under the skin of the
baby's scalp (while still in the uterus) to monitor the baby's heartbeat.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
A micromanipulation procedure where a single sperm is injected into the egg
to enable fertilization with very low sperm counts or with non-motile sperm.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
A relatively "low-tech" ART(Assisted Reproductive
Technology) which deposits "washed" sperm directly into the uterus,
bypassing cervical mucus and depositing the sperm more closely to the
fallopian tubes, where fertilization occurs. Used to bypass hostile cervical
mucus and to overcome sperm count and motility problems. See Artificial
A procedure in which a breathing tube is put through the mouth or nose or
into the throat to assist breathing or for other medical purposes.
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)
Literally means "in glass." Fertilization takes place outside the
body in a small glass dish.
(Intrauterine growth retardation)
After the birth, the baby appears smaller than the dates say he or she should
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A common condition in newborns, characterized by a yellow discoloring of
the skin, mucous membranes, and eyes and it is caused by the immature liver's
inability to process excess red blood cells.
A congenital hypothalamus dysfunction which has multiple symptoms including
the failure to complete puberty.
A test performed to analyze chromosomes for the presence of genetic defects.
A system of exercises in which a woman strengthens the muscles around her
pelvic diaphragm and pubic area, particularly after childbirth.
A genetic abnormality characterized by having one Y (male) and two X (female)
chromosomes. May cause a fertility problem.
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The inner and outer liplike edges of the vulva
(vagina) - the external female genitalia.
The time and processes that occur during childbirth from the beginning of cervical
dilation to the delivery of the placenta, or after childbirth.
The oldest, most common technique used in childbirth preparation where
relaxation, breathing techniques and informed decisions are paramount.
A small telescope that can be inserted into a hole in the abdominal wall for
viewing the internal organs; the instrument used to perform a laparoscopy.
Used to diagnose and treat a number of fertility problems including
endometriosis, abdominal adhesions, and polycystic ovaries. Also used in egg
retrieval for in vitro fertilization. Examination of the pelvic region by
using a laparoscope is called a laparoscopy.
Major abdominal surgery where reproductive organ abnormalities can be
corrected and fertility restored, such as tubal repairs and the removal of
A set of four steps used in feeling the belly of a pregnant woman to find the
position and location of the baby within the uterus.
Whitish mucousy vaginal discharge, common during pregnancy. If there is a lot of discharge,
talk to your doctor.
The testicular cell that
produces the male hormone testosterone. The Leydig cell is stimulated by LH
from the pituitary gland.
A sensation felt by many women late in pregnancy, when the baby
"drops" in preparation for delivery. See also Engagement.
A period-like discharge that flows from the vagina following childbirth.
Post-ovulatory phase of a woman's cycle. The corpus luteum produces
progesterone, which cause the uterine lining to thicken to support the
implantation and growth of the embryo.
Luteal Phase Defect (or deficiency) (LPD)
A condition that occurs when the uterine lining does not develop adequately
because of inadequate progesterone stimulation; or because of the inability
of the uterine lining to respond to progesterone stimulation. LPD may prevent
embryonic implantation or cause an early abortion.
Luteinized Unruptured Follicle (LUF) Syndrome
A condition in which the follicle develops and changes into the corpus luteum
without releasing the egg.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
A pituitary hormone that stimulates the gonads. In the man LH is necessary for
spermatogenesis (Sertoli cell function) and for the production of
testosterone (Leydig cell function). In the woman LH is necessary for the
production of estrogen. When estrogen reaches a critical peak, the pituitary
releases a surge of LH (the LH spike), which releases the egg from the
Luteinizing Hormone Surge (LH Surge)
The release of luteinizing hormone (LH) that causes release of a mature egg
from the follicle. Ovulation test kits detect the sudden increase of LH,
signaling that ovulation is about to occur (usually within 24-36 hours).
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Sometimes used to stop or slow labor.
The fetus is not "presenting" (referring to position in the pelvis)
in the anterior (normal) position.
A testicular condition in which at one stage of sperm production all sperm
development halts throughout all testicular tubules. May result in
oligospermia or azozoospermia.
The material that collects in the intestines of a fetus and is
normally discharged shortly after birth.
The cell division, peculiar to reproductive cells, which allows genetic
material to divide in half. Each new cell will contain twenty-three
chromosomes. The spermatids (immature sperm) and ova (eggs) each contain
twenty-three chromosomes, so when they combine (fertilize), the baby will
have a normal complement of forty-six.
Heavy or prolonged menstrual flow.
Metrodin (Pure Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
An injectable form of Follicle Stimulating Hormone used to stimulate
Menstrual spotting during the middle of the cycle.
A person who assists the mother during childbirth. A DEM (Direct Entry
Midwife) assists homebirths while a CPM (Certified Professional Midwife)
assists births that take place in the hospital or birthing center.
Spontaneous loss of an embryo or fetus from the womb. See Abortion.
The division of a cell into two identical cells in which all forty-six human
chromosomes are duplicated; the first division of the germ cell.
The discomfort felt on one side of the lower abdomen at the time of
A natural process by which a baby's head is shaped during labor as it is
squeezed into the birth canal by the forces of labor. This molding will not
A collection of thick mucous in the cervix of the uterus, often released
before labor begins.
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Referring to the first four weeks of life of a newborn.
A specialist who cares for newborns.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
A noninvasive evaluation of the response of the heart rate of a fetus to
natural contractions or to an increase in fetal activity.
Artificial pain killer commonly used in labor and delivery.
Doctor specializing in care of women during pregnancy, labor and delivery.
Infrequent menstrual periods.
A condition which involves having too little amniotic fluid.
Having few sperm.
The failure of the ovary to respond to FSH stimulation from the pituitary
because of damage to or malformation of the ovary. Diagnosed by elevated FSH
in the blood.
A fluid-filled sac inside the ovary. An ovarian cyst may be found in
conjunction with ovulation disorders, tumors of the ovary, and endometriosis.
See also Chocolate Cyst.
Medical treatment performed to initiate ovulation. See also Clomiphene
Citrate, Humegon, Pergonal.
The release of the egg (ovum) from the ovarian follicle.
Ovulatory Failure (Anovulation)
The failure to ovulate.
The egg; the reproductive cell from the ovary; the female gamete; the sex
cell that contains the woman's genetic information.
A hormone produced by the pituitary gland that starts uterine contractions in
bringing on or increasing labor and release of milk from the breast. It also
refers to a drug that is like the hormone.
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Complete pituitary gland failure.
The condition of being open, as with tubes that form part of the reproductive organs.
The muscles and tissues surrounding the bottom of the pelvis.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
An infection of the pelvic organs that causes severe illness, high fever, and
extreme pain. PID may lead to tubal blockage and pelvic adhesions.
A medication used to replace the pituitary hormones LH and FSH. May be used
to induce ovulation in women who do not respond to clomiphene citrate. Most
frequently used with women who do not normally produce estrogen because of a
pituitary gland or hypothalamic malfunction. May also be used with men to
stimulate sperm production.
The part of the body between the inner thighs on either side, with the
buttocks to the rear and the sex organs at the front.
Synthetic oxytocin, a uterus stimulating drug.
The master gland; the gland that is stimulated by the hypothalamus and
controls all hormonal functions. Located at the base of the brain just below the
hypothalamus, this gland controls many major hormonal factories throughout
the body including the gonads, the adrenal glands, and the thyroid gland.
The embryonic tissue that invades the uterine wall and provides a mechanism
for exchanging the baby's waste products for the mother's nutrients and
oxygen. The baby is connected to the placenta by the umbilical cord.
Usually discovered in late pregnancy. The placenta lies low in the uterus, causing the
opening of the uterus to be partially or completely covered.
The discarded genetic material resulting from female germ cell division. See
Polycystic Ovaries (PCO or "Stein-Leventhal Syndrome")
A condition found in women who don't ovulate, characterized by excessive
production of androgens (male sex hormones) and the presence of cysts in the
ovaries. Though PCO can be without symptoms, some include excessive weight
gain, acne and excessive hair growth.
Post Coital Test (PCT)
A microscopic examination of the cervical mucus best performed twelve or more
hours after intercourse to determine compatibility between the woman's mucus
and the man's semen; a test used to detect sperm-mucus interaction problems,
the presence of sperm antibodies, and the quality of the cervical mucus.
This presentation describes the baby's face-up position during
delivery. Normal presentation is anterior (face down). Posterior
deliveries can cause back pain during labor.
Post testicular System
The ducts that store and deliver the sperm to the opening of the penis; also
includes the glands that produce seminal fluids.
The period of time right after Childbirth.
Any pregnancy that lasts more than 42 weeks.
A complication of pregnancy characterized by high blood pressure, swelling or
"edema" and protein in your urine (proteinuria). It usually occurs
in the second half of pregnancy and can be mild or severe.
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH)
A condition that occurs during pregnancy in which the patient has higher
blood pressure than the normal standard, placing the mother and baby at risk.
Premature Ovarian Failure
A condition where the ovary runs out of follicles before the normal age
associated with menopause.
Labor that starts before the 37th week of pregnancy. Since most pregnancies last between 37 and
42 weeks, preterm labor leading to preterm delivery, may put your baby at
risk for health problems.
The male hormonal system responsible for stimulating sperm production and the
development of male secondary sex characteristics.
The hormone produced by the corpus luteum during the second half of a woman's
cycle. It thickens the lining of the uterus to prepare it to accept
implantation of a fertilized egg.
A diagnostic procedure used to analyze menstrual irregularity and amenorrhea;
uterine "bleeding" that occurs within two weeks after taking
progesterone; a procedure used to demonstrate the presence or absence of
estrogen and to demonstrate the ability of the uterus and reproductive tract
to "bleed." Prior to ovulation induction therapy, progesterone
withdrawal may be used to induce a menstrual period.
The hormone that stimulates the production of milk in breastfeeding women.
Excessive prolactin levels when not breastfeeding may result in infertility.
The term stands for premature rupture of membranes and signifies that
a woman's water has broken early.
Hormone-like substances found in men and women. It is hypothesized that
prostaglandins secreted by active, young endometrial implants may interfere
with the reproductive organs by causing muscular contractions or spasms.
Also, prostaglandins not "washed" from sperm can cause severe
cramping during IUI procedures.
Prostaglandin gel or cream
Medication used to ripen the cervix before labor is induced.
A gland in the male reproductive system that produces a portion of the semen,
including a chemical that liquefies the coagulated semen twenty minutes to
one hour after entering the vagina.
The slightly movable joint of the front of the pelvis.
Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling.
A needle is inserted into the mother's abdominal wall and through the uterus
as well as the umbilical cord at the base of the placenta. Blood is drawn for
A procedure that gives regional pain relief in the perineum area
during birth and is also used when repairing an episiotomy.
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An ovary that cannot respond to the follicle-stimulating message sent by FSH.
Primitive germ cells will be present in the ovary; however, they will not
respond to FSH stimulation.
A male fertility problem that allows the sperm to travel into the bladder
instead of out the opening of the penis due to a failure in the sphincter
muscle at the base of the bladder.
A substance (antigen) in the red blood cells of most people. An Rh+ fetus may
be exposed to antibodies to the factor made in the Rh-mother's blood.
Usually referred to as "breaking of the water bag," this is
when the fluid-filled sac that surrounds the baby breaks.
Surgical removal of the fallopian tube.
Surgery performed to remove adhesions that restrict the movement and function
of reproductive organs.
Surgical repair made to the fallopian tubes; a procedure used to open the
The bag of skin and thin muscle surrounding the man's testicles.
The inability of a couple to achieve a second pregnancy. This strict medical
definition includes couples for whom the pregnancy did not go to term. The
common vernacular, however, refers to a couple which has one biological child
but is unable to conceive another.
Secondary Sex Characteristics
The physical qualities that distinguish man and woman, such as beard, large
breasts, and deep voice. Formed under the stimulation of the sex hormones
(testosterone or estrogen), these characteristics also identify those people
who have gone through puberty (sexual maturity).
The liquid flow or consistency of the semen.
A laboratory test used to assess semen quality: sperm quantity,
concentration, morphology (form), and motility. In addition, it measures
semen (fluid) volume and whether or not white blood cells are present,
indicating an infection.
The fluid portion of the ejaculate consisting of secretions from the seminal
vesicles, prostate gland, and several other glands in the male reproductive
tract. The semen provides nourishment and protection for the sperm and a
medium in which the sperm can travel to the woman's vagina. Semen may also
refer to the entire ejaculate, including the sperm.
Glands in the male reproductive system which produce much of the semen
volume, including fructose (sugar) for nourishing the sperm and a chemical
that causes the semen to coagulate on entering the vagina.
The testicular tubules in which the sperm mature and move toward the
A uterus divided into right and left halves by a wall of tissue (septum).
Women with a septate uterus have an increased chance of early pregnancy loss.
Brand name for clomiphene citrate.
Sertoli (Nurse) Cell
A testicular cell responsible for nurturing the spermatids (immature sperm).
Secretes inhibin, a feedback hormone, which regulates FSH production by the
pituitary gland. When stimulated by FSH, the Sertoli cell initiates
A condition caused by profuse hemorrhage at the time of delivery. The severe
blood loss shocks the pituitary gland, which dies and becomes nonfunctional.
During delivery, the infant's shoulder gets caught on the mother's pubic
A medication that is used to prevent serious problems in the newborn's
eyes in the event that the mother has gonorrhea. It is generally administered
in both eyes within the first hour of life.
Use of high-frequency sound waves for creating an image of internal body
parts. Used to detect and count follicle growth (and disappearance) in many
fertility treatments. Also used to detect and monitor pregnancy.
A tool used to open the vagina slightly wider so that the cervix can be
seen more easily.
The microscopic cell that carries the male's genetic information to the
female's egg; the male reproductive cell; the male gamete.
Sperm clumping caused by antibody reactions or by infection.
Sperm production in the testicles.
A place where sperm are kept frozen in liquid nitrogen for later use in
The number of sperm in ejaculate. Also called sperm concentration and given
as the number of sperm per milliliter.
A process during which the sperm grow and gain their ability to swim. Sperm
take about ninety days to reach maturity.
A semen analysis factor that indicates the number or percentage of sperm in
the sample that appear to have been formed normally. Abnormal morphology
includes sperm with kinked, doubled, or coiled tails. The higher the
percentage of misshapen sperm, the less likely fertilization can take place.
The ability of sperm to swim. Poor motility means the sperm have a difficult
time swimming toward their goal---the egg.
The ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg so it can deposit the genetic
material during fertilization.
The stretchability of cervical mucus; the stringy quality that occurs at
midcycle under the influence of estrogen. See also Post Coital Test.
A method used to concentrate the sperm for insemination; separating the semen
into two portions: the first portion of the ejaculate, which is rich in
sperm, and the second portion, which contains mostly seminal fluid.
A narcotic pain used as an aid to anesthesia during labor and
This describes the location of the baby on its descent down the birth
canal. "Zero station" means he hasn't yet descended, while
"fully engaged" means he is ready to be born.
Another name for Polycystic Ovaries.
An irreversible condition that prevents conception.
The death of a fetus between the twentieth week of gestation and birth.
test is often used to test the heart,and the lungs, and the health of the
fetus in pregnant women.
Stimulation of multiple
ovulation with fertility drugs; also known as controlled ovarian
A woman who is artificially inseminated and carries to term a baby which will
be raised by its genetic father and his partner.
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Agents such as drugs, chemicals and infections that a mother is
exposed to during pregnancy that block the normal growth of the fetus,
causing one more developmental abnormalities in the fetus.
A drug sometimes used in pregnancy to slow or stop labor because of its
relaxant effect on smooth muscle. The uterus is a smooth muscle. See Brethine.
Referring to a 40 week pregnancy ("full term,"
"preterm" and "post term").
A minor surgical procedure used to take a small sample of testicular tissue
for microscopic examination; a test used to diagnose male fertility problems
when no other means is available (this is because the biopsy procedure itself
may cause testicular damage).
A semen analysis result showing depressed sperm production, poor sperm
motility, and poor sperm morphology. The pattern is consistent with secondary
testicular failure or illness.
Testicular Enzyme Defect
A congenital enzyme defect that prevents the testes from responding to
hormonal stimulation. Will result in oligospermia or azozoospermia.
An enzymatic defect that prevents a man from responding to the male hormone
testosterone. The man will look like a woman, but karyotyping will reveal a
normal XY male chromosome pattern, and testosterone levels will be in the
normal male range.
Primary: A congenital, developmental, or genetic error resulting in a
testicular malformation that prevents sperm production.
Secondary: Acquired testicular damage, for example, from drugs, prolonged
exposure to toxic substances, or avaricocelee.
The male hormone responsible for the formation of secondary sex
characteristics and for supporting the sex drive. Testosterone is also
necessary for spermatogenesis.
The endocrine gland in the front of the neck that produces thyroid hormones
to regulate the body's metabolism.
To time your contradictions, use a stopwatch or the second hand on a clock.
Since contractions are usually measured from the beginning of one until the
beginning of the next, take note of the duration of each contraction.
The twisting of the testis inside the scrotum. Besides causing extreme pain
and swelling, the rotation twists off the blood supply and causes severe
damage to the testicle. Torsion of the ovary may also occur in a woman
suffering from hyperstimulation, a complication of ovulation induction
Pregnancy-induced hypertension, a dangerous condition that may occur during
pregnancy. See Eclampsia and PIH.
A protozoal infection acquired from coming in contact with infected cat feces,
garden soil or more rarely, raw, infected meat. Although this is a mild
infection in healthy adults, it can cause serious problems for the fetus.
Toxoplasma can cross the placenta and cause miscarriage, compromised fetal
growth, or other problems.
This is the phase after active labor when the cervix finishes dilating to 10
centimeters. Contractions are the strongest and closest together during this
phase (which is also the shortest phase).
to the position of the fetus within the uterus. Sometimes babies will become
positioned horizontally across the uterus, instead of the vertical position
with the head or buttocks pointing toward the cervix. Usually the fetus will
orient himself properly before labor. If the baby cannot be properly
oriented, a C-section may be needed.
Trimesters divide pregnancy into three 13-week periods. The development and
potential problems of pregnancy and the fetus vary by trimester.
Surgery performed to remove a blocked portion of the fallopian tube and to
reconnect the tube to the uterus. Tubouterine implantation may also be
performed to remove fallopian tube blockage near the uterus and reimplant the
tube in the uterus.
Surgery performed to remove a diseased portion of the fallopian tube and
reconnect the two ends; sterilization reversal.
The most common genetic defect contributing to female fertility problems. The
ovaries fail to form and appear as slender threads of atrophic ovarian
tissue, referred to as streak ovaries. Karyotyping will reveal that this
woman has only one female (X) chromosome instead of two.
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Two arteries and one vein encased in a gelatinous tube leading from the baby
to the placenta. Used to exchange nutrients and oxygen from the mother for
waste products from the baby.
The failure of the testicles to descend from the abdominal cavity into the
scrotum by one year of age. If not repaired by age six, may result in
permanent fertility loss.
An abnormality in which the uterus is "one sided" and smaller than usual.
An infection that may cause the formation of sperm antibodies and an
inflammation of the uterine lining, either of which may interfere with
implantation of the embryo.
The tube that allows urine to pass between the bladder and the outside of the
body. In the man this tube also carries semen from the area of the prostate
to the outside.
A physician specializing in the genitourinary tract.
The hollow, muscular organ that houses and nourishes the fetus during
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The application of a suction cup to the head for helping deliver the infant.
This technique performs a similar function as forceps and helps the baby to
descend through the birth canal. An instrument that attaches to
the baby's head and helps guide it out of the birth canal during delivery.
The part of the female genitals that forms a canal from the opening through
the passageway to the cervix.
Yeast, bacterial vaginosis, or trichomonas infections of the vagina. Frequent
vaginitis may indicate the presence of pelvic adhesions and tubal blockage
from other infections, such as chlamydia. Vaginitis may interfere with sperm
penetration of the cervical mucus, and the symptoms may even interfere with
the ability and desire to have intercourse.
A dilation of the veins that carry blood out of the scrotum. The resulting
swollen vessels surrounding the testicles create a pool of stagnant blood,
which elevates the scrotal temperature. A major cause of male infertility.
One of the tubes through which the sperm move from the testicles (epididymis)
toward the seminal vesicles and prostate gland. These tubes are severed
during a vasectomy performed for birth control.
The accidental or elective surgical separation of the vasa deferential a
procedure used for birth control.
Vaginal birth after cesarean.
Any infection that can be sexually transmitted, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea,
ureaplasma, and syphilis. Many of these diseases will interfere with
fertility and some will cause severe illness. See also PID.
A greyish-white cheeselike substance that coats and protects the
baby's skin in utero.
The outer genitals of a woman. This includes the fleshy skin folds (labia).
The opening of the vagina, and the various glands.
The congenital, developmental, or genetic information in the cell that
transmits the information necessary to make a female. All eggs contain one X
chromosome, and half of all sperm carry an X chromosome. When two X
chromosomes combine, the baby will be a girl.
The genetic material that transmits the information necessary to make a male.
The Y chromosome can be found in one-half of the man's sperm cells. When an X
and a Y chromosome combine, the baby will be a boy.
A fertilized egg which has not yet divided.
Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer (ZIFT)
An ART in which eggs are removed from a woman's ovaries, fertilized with the
man's sperm in a lab dish, and the resulting Zygotes are transferred into the
woman's fallopian tubes during a minor surgical procedure.
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Portions of this document
were compiled by Theresa Venet Grant, Public Information Director of the
InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID).
Other portions are from "Miracle Babies and Other Happy Endings," by Dr.
Mark Perloe & Gail Christie.
InterNational Council on
Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID)
P.O. Box 6836
Arlington, Virginia 22206