Please find below an explanation of terms and phrases on our website.
The use of ultrasound scan to determine the number of eggs that a woman starts a cycle with. This is one of the parameters of ovarian reserve and can predict a woman’s response to stimulation drugs. Must be considered in combination with other ovarian reserve tests
An Anti-Müllerian Hormone test, also commonly known as an AMH test, is a test that measures the level of the anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) in the blood. To carry out this test, a specialist will take a small sample of blood from the patient, which will then be analysed and the results explained at a later date.
Use of ultrasound scan, and if needed blood tests, to monitor the development and growth of a dominant follicle, the process of ovulation and the progesterone level 7 days after the ovulation.
A test that identifies the levels of DNA damage within a sperm population. A high level of DNA damage has been linked with use chance of pregnancy with the use of IUI. Some evidence suggests that it may contribute to an unfavourable outcome in IVF cycles as well.
Is a disease where the tissue that normally grows inside the uterus develops in areas outside it. Although pregnancies do occur naturally in women with endometriosis, pregnancy rates are superior with IVF.
An endocrinologist uses diagnostic tests to measure hormone levels for several reasons, including measuring the levels of various hormones in a patient's body; learning if the endocrine glands are working correctly; determining the cause of an endocrinological problem or confirming an earlier diagnosis.
A process that enables the scientists to store eggs for future use in fertility treatment. Vitrification is a fast/instant freezing process and has been proven to result in less damage to eggs compared to the old freezing method.
Endometrium Receptivity Array test used to determine the exact ideal time for replacement of embryos to the womb.
HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority) is the UK's independent regulator that oversees the use of gametes and embryos in fertility treatment and research. It also licenses fertility clinics and centres carrying out in vitro fertilisation (IVF). The authority presents success rates for every licensed clinic. These rates show the number of treatments carried out by the clinic and the number of pregnancies or live births that were born as a result.
Testing the primary female sex hormones is part of process that helps us direct IVF treatment and following initial consultations and physical examination. Usually it takes place during woman’s period, to check for hormone imbalances – measurement of FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), LH (luteinising hormone) and E2 (oestrogen). These tests can also identify the cause of subfertility and help direct the way that we manage your treatment protocols.
In Vitro Fertilisation. A process by which an embryo is created outside the body in the laboratory. The eggs, that are collected during a straightforward operative procedure, and the prepared sperm are mixed together in a culture dish, kept together over night before being assessed for signs of fertilisation.
Intrauterine Insemination. A process by which prepared sperm are introduced into the womb by means of a thin tube.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. A process by which sperm is placed into the heart of the egg under a high powered microscope. ICSI is recommended where there is a risk of low or failed fertilisation with IVF.
Luteinising hormone. A hormone involved in the production of oestrogen in the ovaries and testosterone in the testicles. It is also involved in the ovulation process and the final maturation of eggs. LH levels peak 24 hours – 48 hours before ovulation occurs naturally. LH is often measured during monitoring of ovarian stimulation cycles.
Low ovarian reserve is when there is a physiological decrease in the number of eggs, resulting in an insufficient number to ensure a reasonable chance of pregnancy. This only becomes an issue when a woman has problems getting pregnant. Other women experience this condition in their 30’s and 40’s.
Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration. An open surgical sperm retrieval procedure that uses an operating microscopy to extract sperm directly from the tubules of the epididymis, the sperm storage area in the testis.
Micro testicular sperm extraction like TESE using a microscope to look for areas which are more likely to have a sperm production in them.
The primary female sex hormone responsible for the development and regulation of the female reproductive system and secondary sex characteristics.
Use of pills or injections to assist the growth and maturation of eggs leading to ovulation in women with anovulation (lack of natural ovulation). Ovulation induction can be combined with Timed Sexual Intercourse or with Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
A term used to describe the number of eggs remaining in the ovaries at any given time. The reservoir of eggs dwindles from birth onwards, this drop in numbers speeds up from the mid-30s. There is no direct way of assessing a woman’s ovarian reserve. Antral Follicle Count, AMH blood test and FSH measurement can give an indirect picture of ovarian reserve
Preimplantation genetic testing is performed by assessing a small part of an egg, embryo or blastocyst to determine its genetic make-up. The test is performed before implantation to ensure the embryo has a balanced number of chromosomes or determine whether the embryo has a specific genetic sequence that is linked to a known genetic disorder.
Is a sex hormone involved in the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and the development of embryos. Produced following ovulation it plays a key role in embryo implantation and also helps to maintain a pregnancy. It is usual to take progesterone supplements during IVF as other drugs given during IVF and the egg retrieval process can decrease progesterone-producing cells.
Polycystic ovaries contain a large number of harmless follicles, these fluid filled sacs usually contain under-developed eggs. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work. It causes that the occurrence of multiple sacs but they are often unable to release an egg, which means that ovulation doesn't take place. Signs and symptoms can include no period, difficulty of getting pregnant, weight gain or excessive hair growth.
Physiological Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a technique that allows the embryologist to select a mature sperm for ICSI based on binding to a natural occurring product that is found outside and inside of the egg.
Pelvic adhesions (scar tissue) are usually caused by multiple pelvic/abdominal surgeries, infection, or endometriosis. Scar tissue can be completely asymptomatic and not cause any problems. When scar tissue causes infertility, pain or gastrointestinal problems, such as bloating and constipation, surgical resection needs to be considered
Also called a spermiogram. Serves for evaluating certain characteristics of semen and the sperm contained therein. It is often done to help evaluate male fertility.
Referring to any procedure carried out to extract sperm when there is no sperm in the ejaculate. This can be MESA, TESA, TESE or micro-TESE.
A process that enables the scientists to store sperm for future use in fertility treatment.
Is a male hormone that plays an important role in the development of the male reproductive system and sperm.
Testicular sperm extraction. An open surgical sperm retrieval procedure that involves opening up the scrotum and taking a large volume of testicular tissue, usually from several regions of the testicle. Sperm are then retrieved by embryology team members using a microscope to identify individual sperm.
Testicular sperm aspiration. A procedure by which a needle is passed through the scrotal skin into the testis and some tissue is aspirated. The tissue is then looked at under the microscope to search for sperm cells.
Intercourse before ovulation occurs (normally up to 24 hours before).
A Time-lapse Incubator is designed with a lapse camera that allows the embryologist to observe the embryo development at all times. The embryologists are able to make detailed assessments of positive or negative features that occur as the embryo grows. We have EmbryoScope time-lapse incubators at City Fertility.