Fertility Definitions

(The following brief definitions are not complete or all-encompassing. They are meant to refer only to the terms' use in the context of infertility treatment. Please use the enclosed information as quick reference and for discussion aids with your practitioner.)

Amenorrhea
absent menstruation
Androgen
male sex hormones; produced by males primarily in the testes, and in females by adrenal glands and ovaries
Androstenedione
a weaker androgen
Anovulation
absent ovulation
Azoospermia
lack of sperm
Blastocyst
stage of embryonic development about 5 days post-fertilization
Cervix
"doorway" into woman's uterus from the vagina; circular in shape, made of very strong muscles;
synonym: uterine neck
Conceptus
any results of the union of a sperm and egg, from zygote to fetus
Cryopreservation
process by which sperm or embryos are frozen for later use
Culture
special liquid used to provide nutrients and protection for growing embryos in IVF process;
synonym: media
Cytoplasm
usually referring to the area outside the nuclear cell of the oocyte that contains the physical elements or reproduction
Dyspareunia
persistent painful sexual intercourse or when such pain develops after long period of time without pain
Embryo
a fertilized egg that has undergone division or cleavage
Endometrium
tissue lining the uterus; its cyclical build up and shedding strongly impacts a woman's fertility
Epididymis
tubular structure attached to the testicle that serves as a reservoir where sperm mature and are stored
Estradiol
the most powerful and fertility-impacting of two types of estrogen, produced by the ovarian follicle
Estrone
the weakest of two types of estrogen