Infertility Glossary of Terms

The following are health and medical definitions of terms that appear in the Infertility article.

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

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Alcoholism: Physical dependence on alcohol to the extent that stopping alcohol use would b...

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Analysis: In psychology, a term for conversation-based therapeutic processes used to gain ...

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Anorexia: An eating disorder characterized by markedly reduced appetite or total aversion...

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Biopsy: The removal of a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope to check for ...

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

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Blood pressure: The blood pressure is the pressure of the blood within the arteries. It is...

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Bulimia: Also called bulimia nervosa. An eating disorder characterized by episodes of secr...

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Catheter: A thin, flexible tube.

Cervical: Having to do with any kind of neck, including the neck on which the head is perc...

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

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Chlamydia: The agent of a sexually transmitted disease, a type of bacteria found in the ce...

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Chronic: In medicine, lasting a long time. A chronic condition is one that lasts 3 months ...

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Cocaine: A substance derived from the leaves of the coca plant that is a bitter, addictive...

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Conception: 1. The union of the sperm and the ovum. Synonymous with fertilization.
...

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Congenital: A condition that is present at birth, whether or not it is inherited.

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

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Cuts: Severed skin. Washing a cut or scrape with soap and water and keeping it clean and d...

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Cysts: Cysts are abnormal, closed sac-like structures within a tissue that contain a liqui...

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Diagnosis: 1 The nature of a disease; the identification of an illness. 2 A ...

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Discharge: 1.The flow of fluid from part of the body, such as from the nose or vag...

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

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

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Ejaculation: Ejection of sperm and seminal fluid during an orgasm in a male.

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

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Endocrinology: The study of the medical aspects of hormones, including diseases and condit...

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Endometrial biopsy: A common procedure for sampling the inner lining of the uterus (the en...

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

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Endometrium: The inner layer of the uterus.

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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Family history: The family structure and relationships within the family, including inform...

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Fertile: Able to conceive and bear offspring. Also known as fecund.

Fertility: The ability to conceive and bear children, the ability to become pregnant throu...

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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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Fibroid: A common benign tumor of the uterus. Fibroids can be present without symptoms. Ho...

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Fibroids: Fibroids are common, benign tumors of smooth muscle in the uterus (womb). Uterin...

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Genital: Pertaining to the external and/or internal organs of reproduction.

Gonorrhea: A bacterial infection that is transmitted by sexual contact. Gonorrhea is one o...

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Gynecologist: A physician who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive ...

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Gynecology: The branch of medicine that is particularly concerned with the health of the f...

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Heroin: Semisynthetic drug derived from morphine. Discovered in 1874, it was introduced co...

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HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodefi...

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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.

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

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Impotence: A common problem among men characterized by the consistent inability to sustai...

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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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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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Laparoscopy: A type of surgery in which small incisions are made in the abdominal wall thr...

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Magnetic resonance imaging: A procedure that uses magnetism, radio waves, and a computer t...

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Marijuana: A common street and recreational drug that comes from the marijuana plant: the ...

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Medical history: 1. In clinical medicine, the patient's past and present which may ...

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Menstrual: Pertaining to menstruation (the menses), as in last menstrual period, menstrua...

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Menstrual cycle: The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uteru...

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MRI: Magnetic resonance imaging.

Mucus: A thick fluid that is produced by the lining of some organs of the body.

Nicotine: An alkaloid (a nitrogen-containing chemical) made by the tobacco plant or produc...

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Obesity: The state of being well above one's normal weight.

Obstetrics: The art and science of managing pregnancy, labor, and the puerperium (the time...

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Ovarian: Of or pertaining to the ovary.

Ovulation: The release of the ripe egg (ovum) from the ovary. The egg is released when the...

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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.

Pelvic pain: : Pain perceived in the area of the pelvis, the lower part of the abdomen loc...

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Pelvis: The lower part of the abdomen, located between the hip bones. Structures in the fe...

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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.

Primary care: A patient's main source for regular medical care, ideally providing continui...

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Prognosis: The forecast of the probable outcome or course of a disease; the patient's chan...

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Pulse: The rhythmic dilation of an artery that results from beating of the heart. Pulse is...

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Radiation: 1. Rays of energy. Gamma rays and X-rays are two of the types of energy ...

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Recurrent: Appearing or occurring again. For example, a recurrent fever is a fever that ha...

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Referral: The recommendation of a medical or paramedical professional. If you get a refer...

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

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Reproductive system: In women, the organs that are directly involved in producing eggs and...

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Saline: Relating to salt. As an adjective, "saline" means "salty, containing salt." As a n...

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Scan: As a noun, the data or image obtained from the examination of organs or regions of...

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

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

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Synthesis: Putting together different entities to make a whole which is new and different....

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Testicles: The testicles (also called testes or gonads) are the male sex glands. They are ...

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Testosterone: A "male hormone" -- a sex hormone produced by the testes that encourages th...

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Thyroid: 1. The thyroid gland. Also, pertaining to the thyroid gland. 2. A p...

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Tobacco: A South American herb (Nicotiana tabacum) whose leaves contain 2 to 8 percent nic...

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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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Uterine fibroids: Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus (the womb). They are th...

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Uterine lining: The inner layer of the uterus (womb); the cells that line the womb; anatom...

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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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Weight loss: Weight loss is a decrease in body weight resulting from either voluntary (die...

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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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X-ray: High-energy radiation with waves shorter than those of visible light. X-ray is used...

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Medical Dictionary