AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) – a blood test that helps to estimate the amount or number of remaining eggs (egg supply) a woman has. It forms a part of ovarian reserve testing.
Blastocyst – an embryo which has developed for 5-6 days
Bleeding – to lose blood or having blood flow.
CCS (Comprehensive Chromosomal Screening) – a technique that is used with IVF to determine if an embryo contains a normal number of chromosomes.
Donor Egg – Women who are unable to produce their own eggs or have eggs of poor quality have the option to obtain eggs that have been produced by another woman.
Donor Sperm – sperm which can be purchased through an approved Health Canada sperm bank.
Ectopic Pregnancy – a pregnancy that occurs when the fertilized egg starts to grow in a location other than the uterus. In 95% of cases, ectopic pregnancies are in the fallopian tube, but they can also occur in other sites.
Egg Freezing (oocyte freezing) – a method of preserving a woman’s eggs (oocytes) by vitrifying them.
Embryo – a fertilized egg up to the 8th week of development.
Endometrium – the lining of the uterus.
Estradiol – This is the measure of circulating estrogen in a woman’s body. It forms a part of ovarian reserve testing. It is also used to monitor response to treatment.
FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer) – previously frozen embryos (from an IVF cycle) that are thawed and transferred back into a prepared uterus.
Follicles – small sacs filled with fluid that are found inside a woman’s ovaries that may contain immature eggs.
FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) -a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that regulates the functions of both the ovaries and testes. In women, this hormone stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles in the ovary. Lack or insufficiency of FSH can cause infertility in both women and men. It forms a part of ovarian reserve testing.
HCG (Human Chorionic Hormone) – a hormone used to trigger ovulation when undergoing in vitro fertilization. It causes final maturation of the egg before it is released.
ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) – a procedure whereby one sperm is injected directly into an egg for fertilization purposes.
Infection – occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are not normally in the body, become present or invade it. A feeling of general unwellness, fever, and pain are all signs of an infection.
Implantation Failure – occurs when an embryo does not implant in the uterus. Implantation failure is often the result of the embryo quality and may also be because of local factors in the lining of the uterus. Implantation failure is greatly influenced by a woman’s age.
IUI (Intra uterine insemination) – a fertility treatment where the sperm is placed in the woman’s birth canal, using a narrow catheter. The sperm is washed to separate the sperm from the seminal fluid so that the most vigorous motile sperm are deposited in the birth canal.
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) – a procedure where the fertilization of an egg takes place outside of the body. A woman’s eggs are removed from her ovaries, placed in a laboratory culture dish and then mixed with sperm. Fertilization takes place in the dish. Once an egg has been fertilized and an embryo has formed, it is placed back inside the woman’s uterus with hopes of it implanting to achieve a pregnancy.
Miscarriage – the loss of a fetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Monitoring – refers to ultrasounds and blood work which will be carried out throughout a fertility treatment cycle. The results of these tests determine how well a woman is responding to her treatment.
Multiple Pregnancy – occurs when a woman is pregnant with more than one baby (ie: twins, triplets, quads, etc.)
Natural Cycle Monitoring – involves performing serial ultrasound scans to monitor egg development in a natural (no treatment) cycle and triggering ovulation when the egg is mature. This is normally followed by timed intercourse or IUI.
Natural Cycle IVF – may be appropriate for some patients where multiple egg development may not be recommended or those who wish to avoid any drugs during an IVF cycle.
OHSS – (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome) – a complication of fertility medications. It occurs when the ovaries over react to the medication being taken and produce too many ovarian follicles.
Oocyte – another word for egg or ovum.
Ovarian Reserve – refers to the extent to which the ovary is able to provide egg cells that are capable of being fertilized to achieve a pregnancy. It is used to determine woman’s fertility potential and to decide on what treatment options would be the most appropriate.
OI (Ovulation Induction) – a method of stimulating ovulation by using medication. OI is prescribed for women who do not ovulate or that have irregular menstrual periods. It can also be used in women who ovulate regularly as a method of increasing the number of eggs produced.
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) – a condition that affects one in ten women of childbearing age. It is caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones which can affect the ovaries. Typically, the ovary produces one egg each month as part of the menstrual cycle. This hormone imbalance can interfere with egg production or the release of the egg thereby impacting fertility.
Premature Birth – a birth that takes place before 37 weeks of pregnancy.
Recurrent Miscarriage – refers to three or more concurrent pregnancy losses.
SFA (Sperm Functional Assessment) – is a diagnostic test that is much more complex than the basic semen analysis. This assessment is performed by preparing the sperm in a special way and examining it under the microscope to assess the count, function and morphology of the sperm. It is one of the best methods of determining if there is something wrong with the sperm.
Sperm Freezing (sperm cryopreservation) – a method used to preserve sperm cells by vitrifying them.
Superovulation – a highly effective fertility treatment which uses injectable medications to induce the production of multiple ovarian follicles, thereby increasing the chances of pregnancy.
Therapeutic Donor Insemination – refers to the use of donor sperm to achieve a pregnancy.
Time lapse monitoring – provides the ability to watch the development of embryos and to make informed decisions when selecting an embryo to transfer. It assists in choosing the embryo most likely to implant and develop into a baby.
Transfer – a painless procedure (using ultrasound guidance) where a narrow catheter is inserted into the endometrial cavity to place embryos.
Tubal Ligation – a surgical procedure in which a woman’s Fallopian tubes are cut or permanently blocked to prevent the egg from reaching the uterus where it may be fertilized.