IVF Terminology is Confusing and Intimidating - Let Us Help You Better Understand

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A condition where a woman does not menstruate.

A condition in which a woman doesn’t ovulate or ovulates rarely.

The general term for infertility procedures (involving both egg and sperm) such as IVF, GIFT, ZIFT, and ICSI.

When a man has no sperm present in his semen.


Mucus produced by the cervix that increases in quantity as ovulation approaches.

Cryo-conservation is a safe method of freezing and preserving embryos in special cryo-containers using liquid nitrogen at -196 ºC. This is a step taken to postpone motherhood or to preserve embryos before radiation or chemotherapy. This extremely fast freezing method, called vitrification, preserves the embryo’s tissue and they can remain frozen for as long as needed.

Cryo-conservation is followed by cryo-embryo transfer, which is the painless transfer of a heathy unfrozen embryo into the uterine cavity by an experienced physician.


Eggs that are taken from a fertile woman, fertilized, and implanted in another woman.


When an embryo implants outside the uterus.

Some women can have difficulty producing healthy oocytes. In the past, this was an insurmountable obstacle, but today the problem can be solved relatively easily thanks to modern infertility treatments and egg donation. The donated egg is fertilized in vitro and the embryo is then transferred to the perspective mother.

There are various legal regulations governing egg donation and it’s always important to learn the valid laws in a given country. Egg donation can be anonymous (where the identity of the egg donor is unknown) or non-anonymous (where the child from such an egg has the right to learn about the identity of the donor).

A painful condition in which tissue from the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside the uterus.

The tissue lining the inside of the uterus.


Two hollow tubes on either side of the uterus where the egg and sperm meet to begin the process of fertilization.

This treatment helps preserve fertility by collecting either women’s eggs or male sperm and then freezing it for future use. The fact is that many men and women delay starting a family, but this delay often then causes complications om natural conception. From a biological point of view, the quality and number of eggs that are available declines as women become older. Fertility starts to decline in women once they reach the age of about 35. The probability of giving birth to a healthy baby falls to below 5% once a woman is past 40. This is why preserving your fertility, or as it is commonly known as “social freezing” helps men, but especially women. This therapy is also offered to both male and female patients who have faced illness and need to freeze their eggs or sperm before invasive treatment. It is very common for cancer patients to freeze their reproductive material before chemical or biological therapy.

A group of cells forming a cavity in the ovary where the egg grows before it’s released during ovulation.

A hormone produced in the pituitary gland that causes cells in the ovaries to grow. It is sold under the name Follistim, Fertinex, and Gonal-F.


An X-ray that involves injecting dye through the cervix into the uterus to determine if the fallopian tubes are open and the uterine cavity is normal.

A procedure in which a thin, telescope-like instrument is inserted through the cervix into the uterus, allowing the doctor to see and photograph the area and correct problems if needed.


An assisted reproductive technique that involves removing sperm and eggs, fertilizing them in a laboratory, then placing a fertilized egg in the uterus.

Typically defined as an inability to become pregnant after a year of unprotected intercourse.

A laboratory procedure in which sperm and eggs are retrieved from both partners. A single sperm is injected directly into an egg and the fertilized egg is then implanted into the woman’s uterus.

An artificial insemination technique in which sperm are put directly into a woman’s uterus during ovulation.


A procedure that involves insertion of a narrow, telescope-like instrument called a laparoscope through a small incision in the abdomen.

The second half of the menstrual cycle


When the cause of a couple’s infertility is due to problems in the man or when it contributes to existing fertility problems in the woman.

The size and shape of sperm.

The ability of sperm to move by themselves.


When a man has too few sperm to fertilize an egg normally.

An egg

When the ovaries release a mature egg that is ready for fertilization.

An egg


A common hormonal condition in which an imbalance in the sex hormones may cause menstrual abnormalities, skin and hair changes, obesity, infertility, and other long-term health problems. The name comes from the multiple small cysts that line the ovaries of most women with the disorder.

This form of diagnosis can rule out the presence of serious genetic disorders carried by either parent. Following this test, we select healthy embryos and transfer them into the perspective mother’s body. This method requires highly-qualified staff and the corresponding certification. Our laboratory system and expertly-trained staff are fully-equipped and prepared to offer this extremely sought-after procedure.

There are two types of procedures. The first, a biopsy of the oocyte’s polar globules, analyses the genetic material from the mother. The second, which looks at trophectoderm cells (TE) from blastocysts, analyses genetic material from both partners.

A condition in which a woman enters menopause before the age of 40 as a result of the ovaries ceasing to produce oestrogen and ovulation ends.


(Reception of Oocytes from Partner); this allows lesbian partners to share the motherhood experience: one woman donates her eggs to her partner and is the ‘biological mother’, whilst the woman carries the baby in her uterus and experiences the pregnancy as the ‘birth mother’. This is a very inclusive and intimate experience, one that has brought great joy to the journey of motherhood for many mothers to be.


A standard test of a man’s semen to check the number and shape of his sperm and their motility.

The main agents of male reproduction that are produced in the testes and released into semen.

Sperm donation is a modern reproductive method used to overcome the unfortunate situation when functional male reproductive cells are lacking. IUI or an IVF treatment is usually applied after the selection of the donor’s sperm. These situations can differ greatly, but sometimes couples simply cannot become pregnant with the male partner’s own sperm for a myriad of reasons, including genetic or mechanical obstacles or chemotherapy damage. Lesbian couples or single women can also use sperm from a donor to complete fertilization.

Surrogacy is an arrangement, often supported by a legal agreement, whereby a woman (the surrogate mother) agrees to become pregnant and give birth to a child for another person(s) who is or will become the parent(s) of the child.


The womb; the main female reproductive organ.


A surgical procedure for men that prevents sperm from reaching the urethra, making him sterile.


An early stage in the development of a fertilized egg.

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