Use this glossary of frequently used terms to better understand methods such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), available to Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area couples seeking fertility treatment.
Absence of menstruation.
Science of male reproductive diseases, including infertility, spermatogenesis, and sexual dysfunction.
Total absence of ovulation; menstruation may still occur (see Amenorrhea).
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
Various procedures and techniques involving the handling of human oocytes (eggs) and/or embryos in the laboratory.
Pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterine cavity.
Embryo preservation by freezing.
Presence of endometrial tissue in abnormal locations.
Mucous membrane lining the uterus.
Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)
Procedure that involves inserting a fiber-optic instrument called a laparoscope through small incisions in the abdomen to transfer unfertilized eggs and sperm (gametes) into the fallopian tubes. GIFT is used in less than 2 percent of all ART procedures.
Diagnostic procedure that involves inserting a lighted scope (hysteroscope) through the cervix to view the inside of the uterus.
In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Procedure that involves extracting a woman’s eggs, fertilizing them in the laboratory, and then transferring the resulting embryo(s) into the uterus through the cervix. IVF is used in 73 percent of all ART procedures.
In vitro oocyte insemination
Placement of sperm into a culture dish containing an egg.
Inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy after one year of regular unprotected sexual relations, or the inability of the woman to carry a pregnancy to live birth.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
Injection of a single sperm directly into an egg to facilitate fertilization.
Intrauterine insemination (IUI)
Placement of washed sperm into the uterus.
Procedure that involves inserting a surgical instrument through a small incision below the navel to visually examine the ovaries and exterior of the fallopian tubes and uterus.
Surgical removal of a tumor (myoma) in the uterine muscular wall.
Use of female hormone therapy to stimulate egg development and release.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome
Development of multiple cysts in the ovaries due to arrested follicular growth.
Premature ovarian failure (POF)
Also known as premature menopause; occurs when a woman’s periods stop before the age of 40.
Benign tumors in the uterine wall made up of fibrous and muscular tissue.
Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT)
Procedure that involves fertilizing eggs in the laboratory and then using a laparoscope to transfer the eggs (zygotes) into the fallopian tubes after the eggs have been fertilized. ZIFT is used in about 1.5 percent of all ART procedures.
For more information
Please speak to your personal infertility physician about any questions or concerns you might have. To schedule an appointment with your physician or for more information, please call (888) 331-5601 for our Fremont office, or (888) 381-0627 for Sacramento.