Often, a lot of information is conveyed during a doctor’s visit and concepts are discussed that you may not have heard of before. Here you will find explanations of commonly used terms in fertility treatment.
conscious avoidance of ejaculation prior to providing a semen sample for analysis
absence of menstruation
a specialty that deals with a man’s reproductive health, i.e. his ability to reproduce or his fertility
there was no release of the ovum from the follicle during the menstrual cycle
reduction in sperm motility
a chronic state of illness caused by an attack of the immune system on the body’s own cells and tissues
no sperm in the semen
the collecting of a tissue sample to clarify or confirm a diagnosis
an early stage of embryonic development, which develops before implantation
a fertility treatment procedure in which an embryo that has developed to the blastocyst stage is transferred into the uterine cavity using a special catheter.
Embryologist - a specialist working in a fertility treatment laboratory, who performs various procedures on sperm, ova and embryos
an organ located in the pelvis minor of men. The role of the prostate is to control the processes of urination and ejaculation.
semen. Sperm and the fluid surrounding them
located in the lower part of the uterine cavity, divided into the anterior part of the vagina and the part reaching the vagina. Sperm enter into the uterine cavity through the cervical canal after intercourse, and from there head to the upper genital tract. During artificial insemination procedures, semen or implanted embryos are inserted into the uterine cavity through the cervical canal.
a transparent secretion that is secreted from the cervix and stimulated by hormones. Plays an important role in promoting fertility. Sperm are able to remain viable for several days in cervical mucus. The secretion prevents poor quality sperm from advancing.
Intrauterine contraceptive or coil
a very effective, long-acting reversible contraceptive. The coil is implanted in the uterine cavity by a gynaecologist. Fertility is restored quickly following the removal of the coil. The coil does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
refers to a condition in which a fertilized egg is attached and grows outside the uterine cavity. The most common ectopic pregnancies are in the fallopian tubes (98%) and very rarely in the abdomen (1.5%), ovaries or cervix (both less than 1%).
– a small cavity above the cervical canal that is lined with endometrium or mucosa, with fallopian tube openings in the upper corners.
a fertilized egg that has begun to divide
a specialist working in an infertility treatment laboratory, who performs various procedures on sperm, ova and embryos.
ET (embryo transfer) i.e. transplanting of the embryo
an infertility treatment procedure in which an embryo is inserted into the uterine cavity using a special catheter
a doctor who deals with the diagnosis, examination and treatment of diseases of the endocrine system and the parts thereof (including hormones)
a multi-layered mucosa lining the inside of the uterus. Changes in the endometrium occurring during the menstrual cycle provide the necessary conditions for the embryo to nest (become pregnant)
a tissue sample collected from the lining of the uterus
a chronic disease, characterized by the location and functioning of the uterine lining outside the uterine cavity
During the course of the infertility treatment procedure, an embryo or embryos, which have been pre-frozen, thawed and prepared for transplantation, are implanted in the uterine cavity using a special catheter
surrounds an ovum that is maturing in the ovary.
Follicle puncture for oocyte collection or pick-up
Ultrasound-controlled vaginal procedure to obtain oocytes from the ovaries
FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)
a hormone that stimulates the growth of eggs and follicles in the ovary
gamete (oocyte, sperm)
Gene or heredity factor – a heredity factor located at a specific locus on a chromosome that directly or indirectly (often in interaction with other genes) determines the development of one or more traits
a sexually transmitted viral disease. In the acute phase, it causes a painful herpes rash on the external genitals
the expression of the sexually transmitted viral disease HPV (human papillomavirus) on the external genitalia. Usually cauliflower-like small skin lesions.
GnRH analogues (agonists and antagonists)
hormones that affect the work of the pituitary gland and are used to treat infertility
GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone)
a hormone produced by the hypothalamus, in the brain, which releases the production of gonadotropins from the pituitary gland
– follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), produced in the pituitary gland, are among the most powerful hormones that regulate germ cell development and maturation
a bacterial disease (caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae) that spreads through sexual intercourse and affects the urethral mucosa in men, and the cervix and the cervical mucosa in women
a woman’s doctor, who deals with gynaecological and infertility problems.
a women’s gynaecological examination performed in a special gynaecological examination chair
inflammation of the liver cells, which can be caused by five different types of hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E
HIV and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
The HI virus attacks and destroys important cells in the human immune system. As a result, acquired immune deficiency syndrome develops
Embryologist – a specialist working in an infertility treatment laboratory, who performs various procedures on sperm, ova and embryos.
Hormone or secretion
a biologically active substance that is produced in the body. The secretions released by certain organs (e.g. pituitary gland, testicles, ovaries, thyroid gland, etc.) regulate metabolism, sexual development, the menstrual cycle, and brain activity, including mood and other important body functions and processes.
for some reason, the production and release of a hormone in the body is either too low or too high
decreased levels of gonadotropins and sex hormones in the blood . May be a congenital or acquired condition .
examination of the uterine cavity with a special optical instrument. A hysteroscopy can be used to diagnose and, if possible, treat the causes of infertility.
a procedure during which a single sperm is injected directly into an oocyte using a micromanipulator
the cause of infertility is unknown
Immune system disorders
The body's natural defences are deficient or out of balance
occurrence of pregnancy, when the embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)
a hormone that is synthesized in placental trophoblasts from the moment the embryo attaches to the uterine wall. The function of hCG is to prevent the corpus luteum from breaking down and thus to support the synthesis of progesterone in the first weeks of pregnancy, until the placenta itself beings to produce progesterone.
an infertility treatment method during the course of which an ovum and sperm are brought together in a special laboratory dish. The best quality sperm are selected from the semen. The sperm finds and fertilizes the egg itself; fertilization takes place under artificial conditions
‘in glass’ (in Latin). The term refers to the performance of natural biological processes in a laboratory (test tube) under certain specified conditions
‘within the living’ (in Latin). The term refers to a process or experiment that takes place or is performed in a living cell or organism
abnormalities in the normal development of the foetus (e.g. cleft palate)
– a sexually transmitted bacterial disease (caused by Chlamydia trachomatis). Causes an inflammatory process in the pelvis minor. Chlamydia is often the cause of infertility due to damage to the fallopian tubes
a follicle having ruptured (ovulated) in the ovary develops a corpus luteum that produces a hormone called progesterone, or corpus luteum. This hormone is essential for the onset and development of pregnancy
chromosomes contain species-specific hereditary information – genes. Humans have 46 chromosomes. We receive them from our parents, 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. Thus, we have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Pair number 23 is different for men and women, this pair is called sex chromosomes. There are two types of sex chromosomes, one is called the X chromosome and the other is the Y chromosome. Women have two X chromosomes (XX). Women receive one X chromosome from their mother and the other from their father. Men have an X and a Y chromosome (XY). Men receive the X chromosome from their mother and the Y chromosome from their father.
one or both testicles have not descended into the scrotum at birth
fertilization of an ovum with a sperm under laboratory conditions
an operation (under general anaesthesia) using optical instruments to see the abdominal organs This allows surgery to be performed with an opening of only a few centimetres in the region of the navel and lower abdomen. Special thin surgical instruments are introduced via the latter. Special thin surgical instruments are introduced via the latter.
includes the diagnosis of gynaecological diseases, male diseases and the causes of infertility, and various treatment options
LH (luteinizing hormone)
LH hormone, together with FSH, is responsible for follicular growth and egg maturation. A sharp rise in LH levels causes the follicle to explode and release a mature egg. Ovulation tests sold in pharmacies are based on the levels of this hormone in urine
the last menstrual period in life, if the next menstruation has not followed within the next year. May occur between the ages of 45-55
Menstruation or menses
physiological bleeding from the uterus caused by hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. If the egg released during ovulation is not fertilized, or it fails to nest in the lining of the uterus, the lining of the uterus comes off (menstruation).
microsurgical aspiration of sperm from the testicular appendage, required for artificial insemination procedure in cases of severe male infertility
the simultaneous development of several foetuses in the uterus
– a tubular organ 10-12 cm in length, running from the uterus to the ovary. The fallopian tube is necessary for the ovulated ovum and sperm to meet. The fallopian tube directs the fertilized egg to nest in the uterus, as the egg does not move on its own
Testicles or testicles
male genital organs. The main function is the production of sperm. The testicles also produce the main male hormone, testosterone
surrounds the testicles
a tube-like structure on the surface of the testicle, which turns into a seminal duct
located in a woman's pelvis minor. Female reproductive organs, where oocytes develop and mature, and where female and male hormones are produced
LH (luteinizing hormone) – LH hormone, together with FSH, is responsible for follicular growth and egg maturation.
a benign tumour of the uterine muscle tissue
while one ovum per one month generally matures in a woman, drugs are used during ovarian stimulation to cause multiple eggs to mature at the same time. Each patient is assigned an individual treatment dose that depends on their age and the results of the hormonal tests performed. Preparatory treatment for the IVF procedure lasts for at least 2-4 weeks.
OHSS (ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome)
a rare condition caused by hormone medicines. This syndrome is triggered by the pregnancy hormone chorionic gonadotropin (used in the infertility treatment stimulation protocol prior to oocytes being aspirated from the follicles; it is also produced in a woman’s body when infertility treatment results in pregnancy). In this syndrome, the fluid permeable properties of the blood vessels change rapidly. The more liquid part of the blood leaves the choroid and accumulates in various cavities of the body: the abdominal cavity, the chest cavity, around the heart, etc. This redistribution of fluid results in increased abdominal circumference and abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, and in more severe cases, renal failure and blood clots. Severe cases require hospitalisation. Today, innovative infertility treatment stimulation protocols are being used, which makes it nearly 100% possible to prevent such a situation.
low sperm count in semen
an ovarian function disorder.
the rupturing of a follicle and the release of a mature egg from the ovary.
Induction of ovulation
supportive hormone therapy helps promote ovarian maturation and ovulation.
implantation of a fertilized egg (embryo, blastocyst) in the lining of the uterus
a vital metabolic organ that develops from the endometrium above the nest of a fertilized egg
PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome)
is a heterogeneous complex disease characterized by androgen overload, ovulation disorders, unruptured follicles in both ovaries, polycystic ovary disease (PCO) and insulin resistance. The latter is also associated with obesity, type II diabetes and a high cholesterol level. PCOS patients, for whom artificial insemination is indicated, have a very high risk of developing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)
a hormone produced by the corpus luteum in the ovary. The effect of the hormone supports the nesting of the fertilized egg and the early stages of pregnancy
a hormone that regulates breast growth and breast milk production after childbirth
the period of human sexual maturation, during which all sex characteristics develop, the gonads develop, and the first gametes mature
previous occurrences of pregnancy or the birth of children
a couple cannot get pregnant because the woman has no ovaries, fallopian tubes or uterus, is experiencing menopause or a man has no sperm. In the case of sterility, donor gametes should be used for infertility treatment
a fertilised egg
decreased number of sperm with a normal appearance
aspiration of sperm from the testicle during a surgical procedure. A procedure used to obtain sperm in cases of severe male infertility
a male hormone produced in the testicles of men and the ovaries of women; dihydroandrostenedione, a precursor produced by the adrenal glands located above the kidneys, is also converted to tissue-based testosterone; participates in the process of sperm formation or spermatogenesis.
Trichomoniasis – a sexually transmitted inflammatory disease of the genitourinary tract caused by the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis
Ultrasound examination or sonography
an ultrasound machine is used to observe the internal organs of a man or a woman, to assess blood flow in different organs, to monitor the development of the foetus; consists of a mechanical wave (not radiation), which means that the procedure is harmless
a doctor who deals with the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the urinary and genital tract
varicose vein on the scrotum
the merging of an egg and a sperm
medical procedures for the purpose of having a child
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
an inflammatory process caused mainly by sexually transmitted diseases, involving the internal genitals in the woman’s pelvis (vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries). Inflammation results in the formation of scar tissue between organs and damage to the fallopian tubes until they close. An important cause of infertility
a female sex hormone produced in a woman’s ovaries until menopause. Regulates sexual development and the menstrual cycle, participates in the metabolic processes of a woman’s body (e.g. protection against bone loss, mood, the condition of mucous membranes, etc.)