MCRM Term Glossary
Assisted Reproductive Technology. All treatments or procedures that include the handling of human eggs or embryos to help a woman become pregnant. ART includes but is not limited to in vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT), tubal embryo transfer, egg and embryo cryopreservation, egg and embryo donation, and gestational surrogacy.
Antral Follicle Count, a procedure completed utilizing transvaginal ultrasound that evaluates the number of follicles produced per ovary during a cycle.
Antimulerrian Hormone, a hormone produced which can be measured and the value obtained utilized to assist in knowing how many eggs one has within their ovaries. Often utilized in conjunction with an AFC to evaluate female fertility potential
The placement of a small opening in the zona pellucida ,"shell", surrounding an embryo usually with the application of an acid or laser. This process assists the embryo in being able to break through the shell to better implant. Also, utilized in order to be able to complete an embryo biopsy for the process of PGD/PGS
An embryo which is 5 or 6 days of age and clearly displays an inner cell mass and trophectoderm.
An ART cycle in which ovarian stimulation was performed but the cycle was stopped before eggs were retrieved or, in the case of frozen embryo cycles, before embryos were transferred. Cycles are canceled for many reasons: eggs may not develop, the patient may become ill, or the patient may choose to stop treatment.
A pregnancy diagnosed by the detection of hCG in a blood or urine sample and does not develop into a clinical pregnancy.
The division of a single cell to 2, then to 4, then to 8, …., etc. A term often utilized with regards to embryo development.
A pregnancy documented by ultrasound visualization of one or more gestational sacs or definitive signs of pregnancy.
The practice of freezing sperm, eggs or embryos from a patient’s ART cycle for potential future use.
This diagnosis means that the ability of the ovary to produce eggs is reduced. Reasons include congenital, medical, or surgical causes or advanced age.
An embryo is formed from the egg of one woman (the donor) and then transferred to another woman (the recipient).
An embryo that is donated by a patient or couple who previously underwent ART treatment and had extra embryos available.
A pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants in a location outside of the uterus—usually in the fallopian tube, the ovary, or the abdominal cavity. Ectopic pregnancy is a dangerous condition that must receive prompt medical treatment.
An ART cycle started with the intention of freezing (cryopreserving) all resulting eggs or embryos for potential future use.
Elective single embryo transfer is a procedure in which one embryo, selected from a larger number of available embryos, is placed in the uterus . The embryo selected for eSET might be a frozen (cryopreserved) embryo from a previous IVF cycle or a fresh embryo selected from a larger number of fresh embryos yielded during the current fresh IVF cycle.
An egg that has been fertilized by a sperm and has then undergone one or more cell divisions.
The study of hormones and their function and the organs that produce them and how they are produced.
A medical condition that involves the presence of tissue similar to the uterine lining in abnormal locations.
Endometrial Receptivity Assay, tests the endometrial "receptivity" on the day of a woman's cycle that is the same as that of a planned embryo transfer. The uterus is prepared as it would for an ET or FET but instead a endometrial biopsy is performed. The ERA provides whether it was "receptive" or "not receptive".
The principle hormone produced by the growing ovarian follicle. It is frequently measured to evaluate the development of follicle during one's cycle.
Infertility due to ovulatory disturbances, diminished ovarian reserve, pelvic abnormalities affecting the reproductive tract, or other abnormalities of the reproductive system.
The controlled freezing of sperm, eggs or embryos to preserve for future fertility treatment.
A hormone produced by the pituitary gland which stimulates ovarian follicles to grow and develop.
The first of two phases of a woman's menstrual cycle. This phase occurs from the onset of menses to ovulation, approximately a period of 14 days.
An ART cycle in which frozen (cryopreserved) embryos are thawed and transferred to the woman.
The deviation of time from estimated last LMP to birth. LMP is estimated using the date of retrieval or transfer.
A fluid-filled structure that develops within the uterus early in pregnancy. In a normal pregnancy, a gestational sac contains a developing fetus.
A woman who gestates, or carries, an embryo that was formed from the egg of another woman with the expectation of returning the infant to its intended parents.
It is a hormone utilized as an injection to induce ovulation and maturation of oocyte(s) during ovarian stimulation protocols. It is also a hormone of early pregnancy which is monitored for pregnancy viability.
A minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a small telescopic camera is utilized to visualize the endometrium.
An ART procedure that involves removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them outside her body. The resulting embryos are then transferred into a woman’s uterus through the cervix.
In general, infertility refers to the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse. Women aged 35 and older unable to conceive after 6 months of unprotected intercourse generally are considered infertile for the purpose of initiating medical treatment.
A procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg; this procedure is commonly used to overcome male infertility problems.
A medical procedure that involves placing sperm into a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization. IUI is not considered an ART procedure because it does not involve the manipulation of eggs.
An IVF cycle begins when the patient begins taking fertility medications and/or when the baseline ultrasound occurs for the monitoring of follicle production. If eggs are produced, the cycle progresses to an egg retrieval. Retrieved eggs are combined with sperm to create embryos. Fertilized embryos will be allowed to mature and grow for a period of five or six days. The heathy embryos will then either be cryopreserved for future transfer or a fresh embryo transfer will be completed.
The second phase of a woman's menstrual cycle occurring from the time of ovulation to the onset of menses. However, it is prolonged during pregnancy. It is associated with the production of progesterone to facilitate implantation and support early pregnancy
Any cause of infertility due to low sperm count or problems with sperm function that makes it difficult for a sperm to fertilize an egg under normal conditions.
A pregnancy ending in the spontaneous loss of the embryo or fetus before 20 weeks of gestation.
Embryo growth stage between cleavage stage and blastocyst development. The embryo becomes a cluster of cells and it is difficult to distinguish individual cells.
A cleavage stage embryo. At this stage, the embryo increases in cell number without increasing in size. The age of the embryo during this stage is from day 2 until day 4.
A diagnostic category used when one or more female cause of infertility and male factor infertility are diagnosed.
A possible complication of ovarian stimulation or ovulation induction that can cause enlarged ovaries, a distended abdomen, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, fluid in the abdominal cavity or chest, breathing difficulties, changes in blood volume or viscosity, and diminished kidney perfusion and function.
The use of ultrasound, or blood or urine tests to monitor follicle development and hormone production.
The use of drugs (oral or injected) to stimulate the ovaries to develop follicles and eggs.
A diagnostic category used when a woman’s ovaries are not producing eggs normally. It is usually characterized by irregular menstrual cycles reflective of ovaries that are not producing one mature egg each month. It includes polycystic ovary syndrome and multiple ovarian cysts.
A common endocrine system disorder among women of reproductive age. It can lead to infrequent or prolonged menstrual cycles, ovulation dysfunction, infertility, weight gain, excess hair growth, acne, pre-diabetes and an increase in testosterone.
Technique performed on embryos prior to transfer. PGD is for detecting specific genetic conditions to reduce the risk of passing inherited diseases to children.
Technique performed on embryos prior to transfer. PGS screens embryos for an abnormal number of chromosomes, which is of special value for women with advanced age, recurrent miscarriages, or failed IVF.
A qualitative assessment of male factor fertility. It is a simple test completed either independently or in conjunction with a semen analysis.
A process completed within the laboratory utilized to isolate sperm from debris within an sperm sample
An ART cycle in which a woman receives oral or injected fertility drugs to stimulate her ovaries to develop follicles that contain mature eggs.
Testicular Epididymal Sperm Aspiration. It is a minor surgical procedure utilized to collect sperm directly from the testis or the epididymis using a needle for aspiration. The procedure is utilized for men who have had a previous vasectomy or for men who have zero sperm in their ejaculate.
A diagnostic category used when the woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, making it difficult for the egg to be fertilized or for an embryo to travel to the uterus.
A technique used in ART for visualizing the follicles in the ovaries, the gestational sac, or the fetus.
An ART cycle in which the woman does not receive drugs to stimulate her ovaries to produce more follicles and eggs. Instead, follicles and eggs develop naturally.
A structural or functional disorder of the uterus that results in reduced fertility.