A-Z Guide to Infertility




Article Courtesy of AmericanPregnancy.org

This glossary of terms will help you understand some of the terms you might hear during infertility treatment.

Adverse outcome: A pregnancy that does not result in a live birth including miscarriage, induced terminations, and stillbirths.

ART (Assisted Reproductive Technology): Any procedure where eggs are surgically removed from a woman’s ovaries and combined with sperm to assist a woman in getting pregnant. ART procedures include in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), and zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT).

ART cycle: The process includes 1) an ART procedure, 2) ovarian stimulation, or 3) frozen embryos thawed for transfer into a woman. This process begins when a woman starts fertility medications or has her ovaries monitored for follicle production.

Canceled cycle: An ART cycle in which ovarian stimulation was carried out but was stopped before eggs were retrieved, or in the case of frozen embryo cycles, before embryos were transferred. The reasons a cycle may be have been cancelled include: undeveloped eggs, patient became ill, or the patient chose to stop treatment.

Combination cycle: An ART cycle which uses more than one ART procedure. Combination cycles usually combine IVF with either GIFT or ZIFT.

Concentration of motile sperm: A measurement of the sperm that can readily swim to fertilize the egg. According to the World health organization, there should be a minimum of 10 million motile sperm per milliliter of semen.

Cryopreservation: The process of freezing extra embryos from a couple’s ART cycle for potential future use.

Diminished ovarian reserve: A diagnosed condition which means the ability of the ovary to produce eggs is reduced. The reasons may either be congenital, medical, surgical causes or advanced maternal age (older than 40).

Donor egg cycle: An embryo is formed from the egg of one woman (the donor) and then transferred to another woman who is unable to use her own eggs (the recipient). All parental rights are relinquished by the donor.