Logo

Glossary

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.

Amenorrhea

Absence of menstruation.


Back to Top

Andrology

Science of male reproductive diseases, including infertility, spermatogenesis, and sexual dysfunction.


Back to Top

Anovulation

Total absence of ovulation; menstruation may still occur (see Amenorrhea).


Back to Top

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

Various procedures and techniques involving the handling of human oocytes (eggs) and/or embryos in the laboratory.


Back to Top

Ectopic pregnancy

Pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants outside the uterine cavity.


Back to Top

Embryo cryopreservation

Embryo preservation by freezing.


Back to Top

Endometriosis

Presence of endometrial tissue in abnormal locations.


Back to Top

Endometrium

Mucous membrane lining the uterus.


Back to Top

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.


Back to Top

Hysteroscopy

Diagnostic procedure that involves inserting a lighted scope (hysteroscope) through the cervix to view the inside of the uterus.


Back to Top

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.


Back to Top

In vitro oocyte insemination

Placement of sperm into a culture dish containing an egg.


Back to Top

Infertility

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.


Back to Top

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

Injection of a single sperm directly into an egg to facilitate fertilization.


Back to Top

Intrauterine insemination (IUI)

Placement of washed sperm into the uterus.


Back to Top

Laparoscopy

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.


Back to Top

Myomectomy

Surgical removal of a tumor (myoma) in the uterine muscular wall.


Back to Top

Ovulation induction

Use of female hormone therapy to stimulate egg development and release.


Back to Top

Polycystic ovarian syndrome

Development of multiple cysts in the ovaries due to arrested follicular growth.


Back to Top

Premature ovarian failure (POF)

Also known as premature menopause; occurs when a woman's periods stop before the age of 40.


Back to Top

Uterine fibroids

Benign tumors in the uterine wall made up of fibrous and muscular tissue.


Back to Top

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.


Back to Top

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.