Glossary of Terms for Infertility - Large

Here’s a glossary of many words and terms you might come across:

Body Parts and Functions

Egg: The female reproductive cell produced in the ovaries, then released. Also called the ovum.

Embryo: The developing organism from when implants in the uterus up until the 8th week of pregnancy.

Fallopian Tubes: Tubes through which the egg travels, going from the ovary to the uterus.

Follicles: Sac-like structures in which eggs develop inside the ovary.

Hormones: Substances produced by your body, aiding in the function of various organs.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG): This hormone is produced during pregnancy. Most pregnancy tests are done by detecting whether or not you have hCG.

Ovaries: Two glands, located on each side of the uterus. Ovaries contain the eggs that are released at ovulation.

Ovulation: The release of an egg from an ovary.

Progesterone: A female hormone produced in the ovaries. It prepares the lining of the uterus for pregnancy.

Sexual intercourse: The male penis enters the vagina of the female.

Sperm: A male cell, produced in the testes, which can fertilize a female egg.

Uterus: An organ located in the female pelvis. It holds and nourishes the fetus during pregnancy.

Varicocele: Varicose veins in the scrotum.

It pays to know the jargon you’ll hear.

Conditions and Techniques

Endometriosis: A condition in which tissue normally lining the uterus is found outside of the uterus, usually on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or other pelvic structures.

Multiple pregnancy: Two or more fetuses are present.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: A condition caused by over-stimulation of the ovaries. It may result in painful swelling of the ovaries and fluid in the abdomen and lungs.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A condition with two of the following: the presence of growths called cysts on the ovaries, irregular menstrual periods, and an increase of certain hormones.

Premature Ovarian Failure: Ovulation and the menstrual cycle stop before age 35.

Ultrasound: A test using sound waves to examine internal parts of the body.