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A small ‘cap’ overlaying the sperm head
The loss of the acrosome, which is necessary for successful feritlisation. Normally only abut 10% of sperm undergo an acrosome reaction.
In infertility, the sticking of ovaries, tubes, uterus, bowel and abdominal lining to one or more of each other so as to affect fertility. This may follow pelvic surgery, tubal infections or endometriosis.
Male sex hormones.
The absence of ovulation. A period may still occur.
In infertility, a compound in the blood, mucus or semen which interferes with normal sperm function.
The absence of sperm in seminal fluid due to blockage of sperm ducts or impairment of sperm production.
The drug Synarel is used to create an initial surge of hormones from the pituitary gland, which causes development of many follicles. Puregon or Gonal F are used in combination with Synarel for several days until the administration of hCG, followed 36 hours later by egg collection. This is the BOOST treatment.
A fine tubing especially developed for the transporting of eggs, sperm or embryos into the woman’s fallopian tubes or uterus.
Secretions produced by the cervix, which, at the time of ovulation, assist the passage of sperm through the cervix.
The lower part of the uterus that connects with the vagina.
A positive hCG test and the presence of a foetal heartbeat in ultrasound.
CLOMIPHENE CITRATE or CLOMID
A drug to stimulate the ovary to produce follicles.
DONOR EGG ( OOCYTE):
Eggs taken from one woman and donated to another.
Sperm collected from a man who is not the woman’s partner to be used for artificial insemination or for IVF.
This refers to the “shutting off” of the messages form the pituitary gland to the ovary enabling complete control over the events in a cycle. This is used for patients who have not responded well to a shorter treatment regime.
A pregnancy in which the fertilised egg implants anywhere but in the uterine cavity, usually in the fallopian tubes, or rarely the ovary or the abdominal cavity.
Semen ejected from the penis
The deep-freezing of embryos not transferred fresh.
The placement of embryos into the womb or fallopian tubes using a fine catheter.
A presence of endometrial tissue (the normal uterine lining) in abnormal locations such as the tubes, ovaries and peritoneal cavity.
The lining of the uterus which grows and is shed each cycle.
A special duct at the back of the testes for the storage of sperm as they mature.
A pair of narrow tubes that carry the egg from the ovary to the body of the uterus. Fertilisation occurs in the outer end of the tube.
The penetration of the egg by the sperm.
A benign tumour of fibrous tissue that may occur in the uterine wall. May be totally without symptoms or may cause abnormal menstrual patterns. They rarely cause infertility.
The fringed and flaring outer ends of the fallopian tubes, which pick up the sticky egg from the ovary.
The developing human after embryo stage from the ninth week of pregnancy to birth.
The cells surrounding a developing egg in the ovary.
FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE (FSH):
A hormone from the pituitary gland, which is essential for the growth of ovarian follicles in the woman and sperm production in the man.
The first half of the menstrual cycle when ovarian follicular development occurs.
The male or female reproductive cells, the sperm or the egg.
GAMETE INTRA-FALLOPIAN TRANSFER (GIFT):
Mimics natural conception more closely than IVF. In GIFT, eggs are collected from the female partner but instead of being taken to the laboratory for fertilisation, the eggs plus the previously collected and washed sperm are placed directly into a normal fallopian tube using a fine sterile plastic tube.
A hormone, which is capable of stimulating the testicles or ovaries to produce sperm or egg respectively.
HIV (HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS) ANTIBODIES:
Test done on partner and partner to test for exposure to the AIDS virus. A positive test does not necessarily mean that exposure to AIDS has occurred or that the person has or will get AIDS. A positive test may mean that the antibody is present in the blood, which means that, even though the person may not be sick, he/she may still infect others by sharing needles or having sex without condoms. If a woman is pregnant and is HIV positive, there is a strong chance that the baby will be infected with the AIDS virus. All couples having IVF/GIFT are asked to have this test.
A chemical produced by an endocrine gland in the body that circulates in the blood and has widespread action throughout the body.
The measurement of hormones present in the blood.
HUMAN CHORIONIC GONADOTROPHIN (hCG):
A hormone secreted by the placenta in pregnancy that prolongs the life of the corpus luteum and thus preserves the pregnancy. This hormone accounts for pregnancy tests being positive. It may also be administered therapeutically in some infertility problems and is used in the IVF treatment cycles to trigger ovulation.
HUMAN MENOPAUSAL GONADOTROPHIN (HMG):
The combined hormones FSH and LH are produced in large quantities by menopausal women. These hormones are administered to encourage the development of follicles.
This term refers to the direct injection of a single sperm into the substance (called cytoplasm) of the egg, thus the term ICSI refers to Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. This microinjection procedure is used for the more severe forms of male infertility.
The embedding of an embryo in the endometrium of the uterus.
The inability to conceive or carry a baby to term after 12 months of unprotected sex.
The placement of prepared sperm into the womb using a fine catheter.
IN VITRO FERTILISATION (IVF):
Is the procedure by which the eggs from the female partner and the sperm of the male partner are mixed in the laboratory. Provided fertilisation occurs in the laboratory and the resultant embryos look normal, they are transferred into the uterus (womb) of the female. In natural conception, the egg and sperm meet in the fallopian tube and fertilisation and early development occurs there before implantation in the uterus.
A surgical investigation that uses a telescope-like instrument to view the pelvic organs.
The release of large amounts of Luteinising Hormone (LH), which triggers ovulation in a normal menstrual cycle.
The days of a menstrual cycle following ovulation up to menstruation.
LUTEINISING HORMONE (LH):
A hormone secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary. Its main function is to mature and release the egg.
Group of patients where the partner’s sperm is below normal limits and special techniques are required to prepare the semen for fertilisation.
Blood (drawn from the woman) is added to the solution used to culture embryos.
The direct injection of a sperm into the substance of the egg to produce fertilisation. This technique is used when there are very few sperm in the ejaculate, when the sperm show poor motility or abnormal structure or have been obtained from the testis or have previously failed to fertilise in conventional IVF treatments. This technique is also called ICSI, which stands for Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection where the term “cytoplasm” refers to the substance of the egg.
A hormone produced by the ovary in increasing amounts prior to ovulation.
An abnormally low number of sperm in the seminal fluid.
The egg cell produced in the ovary, also called ovum, egg or gamete.
The release of a mature egg from the ovary.
The use of medication to promote ovulation in women who normally do not ovulate.
PAPANICOLAOU SMEAR (Pap Smear):
An important screening test for cancer of the cervix. This painless test is recommended every two years for all women. Women having IVF/GIFT treatment must continue to have these tests, as they are not performed as a routine part of treatment and reproduction.
A gland located at the base of the human brain that secretes a number of important hormones related to normal growth, development and reproduction.
PREIMPLANTATION GENETIC DIAGNOSIS:
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) tests early-stage embryos produced through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) for the presence of a variety of conditions. One cell is extracted from the embryo in its eight-cell stage and analysed. Embryos free of conditions that would cause serious disease can be implanted in the uterus and allowed to develop.
Hormone produced by the corpus luteum after ovulation. Progesterone is important for its role in preparing the lining of the womb for implantation of the fertilised egg.
A wax capsule containing progesterone that is inserted into the vagina to supplement the body’s naturally produced progesterone. These pessaries are prescribed in some cases during IVF/GIFT treatment.
Sperm must bind to the zona before they can fertilise. Tests have been developed to determine whether this function is taking place.
A method of collecting a semen specimen so that the first half of the ejaculate is caught in one container and the rest in a second container. The first half may contain the vast majority of the sperm, which can then be used to inseminate the woman in appropriate cases.
SYNAREL (Nafarelin acetate):
Synarel is an artificially produced hormone similar to that, which is naturally produced by the body, which initially stimulates and then suppresses the pituitary gland. It is used in IVF and GIFT for BOOST and Down Regulation Treatment.
The male sex gland, which produces testosterone and sperm.
1. Open – the removal of testicular tissue (~0.5 ml) from men with very poor sperm production and the isolation of sperm for ICSI. This procedure is performed under a general anaesthetic.
2. Fine needle – this is performed under a local anaesthetic and involves the insertion of a needle into the testes to remove a small fragment of sperm tubule in cases of obstruction. In this setting an adequate number of sperm can be obtained for use in ICSI.
Technique used to visualise the female reproductive system. This ultrasound can detect the presence of cysts and other problems, follicles or pregnancy.
The outer protective coat of the egg.
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