Key Terms Used in Fertility Treatments:
A Simplified Guide
Navigating the world of fertility treatments can be complex. To help simplify the journey, here’s a curated list of key terms and diagnostics commonly encountered in fertility treatments.
Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF): Eggs are fertilised with sperm in a lab, with embryos later transferred to the uterus.
Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): Sperm is directly placed in the uterus to facilitate fertilisation.
Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): A single sperm is injected into an egg, used in cases of severe male infertility.
Embryo Freezing (Cryopreservation): Embryos are frozen for future fertility treatments.
Oocyte Cryopreservation (Egg Freezing): Eggs are harvested, frozen, and stored for future use.
Assisted Hatching: A technique where the embryo's outer layer is thinned to help implantation.
Preimplantation Genetic Screening (PGS): Screens embryos for chromosomal normality during IVF.
Ultrasound: An imaging method using sound waves to visualise internal body structures, crucial in monitoring ovaries and the uterus.
Hysterosalpingography (HSG): A radiographic test to assess the uterus and fallopian tubes for blockages or abnormalities.
Semen Analysis: Evaluates sperm quality and quantity to identify male infertility issues.
Hormone Testing: Involves checking blood levels of key reproductive hormones like FSH, LH, and oestrogen.
Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) Test: Measures FSH levels to assess ovarian reserve and fertility potential.
Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH) Test: A blood test indicating the number of viable eggs remaining in the ovaries.
Transvaginal Ultrasound: Offers a detailed view of the uterus and ovaries, essential for tracking follicle development.
Endometrial Biopsy: Involves taking a tissue sample from the uterine lining to check for conditions affecting pregnancy.
Fertility Medication Names
Clomiphene Citrate (Clomid): A medication that stimulates ovulation by blocking oestrogen receptors, commonly used in women with irregular ovulation.
Gonadotrophins: Hormones that stimulate the ovaries to produce multiple eggs, used in various assisted reproductive techniques.
Metformin: Primarily used for women with PCOS, it improves insulin resistance and can enhance ovulation.
Progesterone: A hormone used in fertility treatments to support the uterine lining and maintain pregnancy.
Letrozole: An oral drug that induces ovulation, particularly effective in women with PCOS.
Bromocriptine: Treats high levels of prolactin that can interfere with ovulation and menstrual function.
Other Common Terms
Ovulation Predictor Kits (OPKs): Detect the surge in LH hormone, indicating imminent ovulation.
Follicular Monitoring: Regular ultrasounds to observe follicle development in the ovaries during treatment.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD): Checks embryos for genetic disorders before uterine transfer.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT) Charting: Tracking daily body temperature to detect ovulation.
Reproductive Immunology: Studies the interaction between the immune system and reproductive system, often related to recurrent pregnancy loss.
Sperm Function Tests: Assess sperm's ability to survive in cervical mucus and penetrate an egg.
Disclaimer: Description of terms, or explanations of procedures and use of medications are NOT medical advice and should not be self-administered.