In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) article.

Abdomen: The belly, that part of the body that contains all of the structures between the...

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Anesthesia: Loss of feeling or awareness, as when an anesthetic is administered before sur...

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Artificial insemination: A procedure in which a fine catheter (tube) is inserted through t...

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Birth control: Birth control is the use of any practices, methods, or devices to prevent p...

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Birth rate: The birth rate is usually given as the number of live births divided by the av...

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Bowel: The small and large intestine.

Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

Cell: The basic structural and functional unit of any living thing. Each cell is a small c...

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Cervix: The cervix is the lower, narrow part of the uterus (womb). The uterus, a hollow, ...

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Chemotherapy: 1. In the original sense, a chemical that binds to and specifically k...

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Contrast: Short for "contrast media." Contrast media are X-ray dyes used to provide contra...

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Cryopreservation: The process of cooling and storing cells, tissues, or organs at very low...

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Dissection: The process of cutting apart or separating tissue as, for example, in the stud...

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Donor: The giver of a tissue or an organ, such as a blood donor or kidney donor.

Ectopic: In the wrong place, out of place. For example, an ectopic kidney is a kidney that...

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Ectopic pregnancy: A pregnancy that is not in the uterus. The fertilized egg settles and g...

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Egg donor: A woman who provides her own eggs for another woman or couple to use in creati...

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Embryo: An organism in the early stages of growth and differentiation, from fertilization ...

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Endometriosis: The presence of tissue that normally grows inside the uterus (womb) in an ...

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Estrogen: A female steroid hormone that is produced by the ovaries and, in lesser amounts,...

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Fallopian tube: One of the two Fallopian tubes that transport the egg from the ovary to th...

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Fertilization: The process of combining the male gamete, or sperm, with the female gamete,...

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Fetus: An unborn offspring, from the embryo stage (the end of the eighth week after concep...

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Gamete: Germ cell.

Genetic: Having to do with genes and genetic
information.

Genetic disease: A disease caused by an abnormality in an individual's genome.

HCG: Human chorionic gonadotropin.

Hormone: A chemical substance produced in the body that controls and regulates the activit...

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Hysteroscopy: A procedure to see inside the uterus (the womb) using a viewing scope that i...

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ICSI: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

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Implant: 1. To embed; to set in firmly. In embryology, the fertilized egg implants ...

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Implantation: The act of setting in firmly.

In vitro: In glass, as in a test tube. An in vitro test is one that is done in glass or pl...

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In vitro fertilization: A laboratory procedure in which sperm are put in a special dish wi...

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Infection: The invasion and multiplication of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, an...

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Infertile: Not able to conceive after a year of regular intercourse without contraception.

Infertility: Diminished or absent ability to conceive and bear offspring. A couple is cons...

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Insemination: The deposition of semen in the female reproductive tract. With sexual interc...

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Intrafallopian: A term meaning "within the fallopian tube." There are two fallopian tubes ...

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Intrauterine: In the uterus.

IVF: In vitro fertilization.

Laboratory: A place for doing tests and research procedures, and for preparing chemicals a...

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Louise Brown: See: Brown, Louise.

Maternal: 1. Pertaining to the mother as, for example, the maternal mortality rate....

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Maternal age: The age of the mother at the time of delivery. Advanced maternal age is usua...

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Oral contraceptive: A birth control pill taken by mouth. Most oral contraceptives include...

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Outpatient: A patient who is not hospitalized, but instead comes to a physician?s office, ...

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Ovarian: Of or pertaining to the ovary.

Ovary: The female gonad, one of a pair of reproductive glands in women. The ovaries are lo...

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Pain: An unpleasant sensation that can range from mild, localized discomfort to agony. Pa...

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Pelvic: Having to do with the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen, located between the h...

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Pelvic exam: An examination of the organs of the female reproductive system.

Perinatal: Pertaining to the period immediately before and after birth. The perinatal peri...

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Pregnancy: The state of carrying a developing embryo or fetus within the female body. Thi...

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Pregnant: The state of carrying a developing fetus within the body.

Progesterone: A female hormone, the principal hormone that prepares the uterus to receive ...

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Recipient: In medicine, someone who is given something, such as a blood transfusion or an ...

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Reproduction: The production of offspring. Reproduction need not be sexual; for example, y...

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Semen: The fluid that is released through the penis during orgasm. Semen is made up of flu...

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Shortness of breath: Difficulty in breathing. Medically referred to as dyspnea. Shortness ...

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Speculum: An instrument that is used to widen the opening of the vagina so that the cervix...

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Sperm: A sperm is the male "gamete" or sex cell. It combines with the female &qu...

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Surgeon: A physician who treats disease, injury, or deformity via operative or manual meth...

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Surgery: The branch of medicine that employs operations in the treatment of disease or inj...

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Syndrome: A combination of symptoms and signs that together represent a disease process.

Transvaginal ultrasound: The creation of a picture called a sonogram by sending sound wave...

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Tubes: The "tubes" are medically known as the Fallopian tubes. There are two Fallopian tub...

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Ultrasound: High-frequency sound waves. Ultra-sound waves can be bounced off tissues by us...

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Uterus: A hollow, pear-shaped organ that is located in a woman's lower abdomen, between th...

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Vagina: The muscular canal that extends from the cervix to the outside of the body. It is ...

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Viable: Capable of life. For example, a viable premature baby is one who is able to surviv...

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Womb: The womb (uterus) is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman's lower abdomen ...

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ZIFT: Stands for zygote intrafallopian transfer, a method used to treat infertility in whi...

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Zona: 1. A synonym for shingles. 2. Any zone or encircling area. 3. A...

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Zygote: The cell formed by the union of a male sex cell (a sperm) and a female sex cell (...

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Medical Dictionary