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Medical Terms, Diagnosis and Procedures

Scar tissue that occurs in the abdominal cavity, fallopian tubes or inside the uterus. Adhesions can interfere with transport of the egg and implantation of the embryo in the uterus.

Male hormones produced by the adrenal gland which, when found in excess, may lead to fertility problems in both men and women. Excess androgens in the woman may lead to the formation of male secondary sex characteristics and the suppression of LH and FSH production by the pituitary gland. Elevated levels of androgens may be found in women with polycystic ovaries, or with a tumor in the pituitary gland, adrenal gland, or ovary. May also be associated with excess prolactin levels.

When menstrual periods stop for six months or more at a time. Primary Amenorrhea afflicts a woman who has never menstruated. Secondary Amenorrhea afflicts a woman who has menstruated at one time, but who has not had a period for six months or more.

A scientist who evaluates male infertility in the laboratory. May hold a Ph.D. degree instead of an M.D. Usually affiliated with a fertility treatment center working on in vitro fertilization.

The failure to ovulate or ovulatory failure.

Chemicals made by the body to fight or attack foreign substances entering the body. Normally they prevent infection, however, when they attack the sperm or fetus, they cause infertility. Either the man or the woman may make sperm antibodies.

Antibodies are produced by the immune system to fight off foreign substances, like bacteria. Antisperm antibodies attach themselves to sperm and inhibit movement and their ability to fertilize.

An artificial, surgically created pouch used to collect sperm from men with irreversible tubal blockage.

An artificial, surgically created pouch used to collect sperm from men with irreversible tubal blockage.

Several procedures employed to bring about conception without sexual intercourse, including IUI, IVF, GIFT and ZIFT.

Low sperm motility.

Semen containing no sperm, either because the testicles cannot make sperm or because of blockage in the reproductive tract.

Your body temperature when taken at its lowest point, usually in the morning before getting out of bed. Charting BBT is used to predict ovulation. Biphasic A BBT pattern consistent with ovulation and the formation of the corpus luteum, which secretes progesterone. This hormone will elevate the basal body temperature about one half degree during the latter half of the menstrual cycle. Monophasic An anovulatory BBT pattern where the temperature remains relatively constant throughout the cycle.

A blood test used to detect very early pregnancies and to evaluate embryonic development.

A congenital malformation of the uterus where the upper portion horn is duplicated.

An infection that may be uncomfortable and itchy and may impair fertility.

A process that sperm undergo as they travel through the woman’s reproductive tract. Capacitation enables the sperm to penetrate the egg.

A blockage of the cervical canal from a congenital defect or from complications of surgical procedures.

A viscous fluid plugging the opening of the cervix. Most of the time this thick mucus plug prevents sperm and bacteria from entering the womb. However, at midcycle, under the influence of estrogen, the mucus becomes thin, watery, and stringy to allow sperm to pass into the womb.

A sample of the cervical mucus examined microscopically to assess the presence of oestrogen ferning and white blood cells, indicating possible infection.

A blockage of the cervical canal from a congenital defect or from complications of surgical procedures.

The opening between the uterus and the vagina. The cervical mucus plugs the cervical canal and normally prevents foreign materials from entering the reproductive tract. The cervix remains closed during pregnancy and dilates during labor and delivery to allow the baby to be born.

A weakened cervix which opens prematurely during pregnancy and can cause the loss of the fetus.

A cyst in the ovary that is filled with old blood endometrioma. Occurring when endometriosis invades an ovary, it causes the ovary to swell. Frequently, patients with large endometriomas do not have any symptoms. If the cyst ruptures or the ovary containing the cyst twists, emergency surgery may be necessary. Usually treatment can be carried out through the laparoscope.

The structures in the cell that carry the genetic material genes the genetic messengers of inheritance. The human has forty-six chromosomes, twenty-three coming from the egg and twenty-three coming from the sperm.

Tiny hair like projections lining the inside surface of the fallopian tubes. The waving action of these hairs sweeps the egg toward the uterus.

This coenzyme is essential for our body as it is intimately involved in the energy generation process inside of all our cells.

Therapy prescribed to reduce the number of sperm antibodies in the woman by using a condom during intercourse for six months or more and by the woman refraining from all skin contact with the husband’s sperm. The woman’s antibody level may fall to levels that will not adversely affect the sperm.

A surgical procedure used to remove precancerous cells from the cervix. The procedure may damage the cervix and thus disrupt normal mucus production or cause an incompetent cervix, which may open prematurely during pregnancy.

A congenital condition characterized by elevated androgens, which suppress the pituitary gland and interfere with spermatogenesis or ovulation. Women may have ambiguous genitalia from the excess production of male hormone.

The yellow pigmented glandular structure that forms from the ovarian follicle following ovulation. The gland produces progesterone, which is responsible for preparing and supporting the uterine lining for implantation. Progesterone also causes the half-degree basal temperature elevation noted at midcycle during an ovulatory cycle. If the corpus luteum functions poorly, the uterine lining may not support a pregnancy. If the egg is fertilised, a corpus luteum of pregnancy forms to maintain the endometrial bed and support the implanted embryo. A deficiency in the amount of progesterone produced or the length of time it is produced by the corpus luteum can mean the endometrium is unable to sustain a pregnancy. This is called Luteal Phase Defect LPD.

The protective layer of cells surrounding the egg.

A condition characterized by an over production of adrenal gland secretions. The person will suffer from high blood pressure and water retention as well as a number of other symptoms. A concurrent elevation of adrenal androgens will suppress pituitary output of LH and FSH and result in low sperm production or ovulatory failure. A woman may also develop male secondary sex characteristics, including abnormal hair growth. Cushing’s Disease is another condition in which these same symptoms occur, but as the result of a pituitary tumor.

A procedure used to dilate the cervical canal and scrape out the lining and contents of the uterus. The procedure can be used to diagnose or treat the cause of abnormal bleeding and to terminate an unwanted pregnancy.

The failure of the testicles to descend from the abdominal cavity into the scrotum by one year of age. If not repaired by age six, may result in permanent fertility loss.

A pregnancy outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Such a pregnancy can rarely be sustained, and often leads to decreased or complete loss of function in the affected tube. Methotrexate is now used to dissolve the pregnancy without causing major damage to the tube.

A procedure used to obtain eggs from ovarian follicles for use in In vitro fertilization. The procedure may be performed during laparoscopy or by using a long needle and ultrasound to locate the follicle m the ovary.

The semen and sperm expelled during ejaculation.

The early products of conception the undifferentiated beginnings of a baby the conceptus.

Placing an egg fertilised outside the womb into a woman’s uterus or fallopian tube.

A condition that occurs when spinal fluid leaks into the bony chamber fossa housing the pituitary gland. The fluid pressure compresses the pituitary gland and may adversely affect its ability to secrete LH and FSH and may elevate prolactin levels.

A test to check for Luteal Phase Defect. A procedure during which a sample of the uterine lining is collected for microscopic analysis. The biopsy results will confirm ovulation and the proper preparation of the endometrium by estrogen and progesterone stimulation.

A condition where endometrial tissue is located outside the womb. The tissue may attach itself to the reproductive organs or to other organs in the abdominal cavity. Each month the endometrial tissue inbreeds with the onset of menses. The resultant irritation causes adhesions in the abdominal cavity and in the fallopian tubes. Endometriosis may also interfere with ovulation and with the implantation of the embryo.

The lining of the uterus, which grows and sheds in response to estrogen and progesterone stimulation; the bed of tissue designed to nourish the implanted embryo.

Natural narcotics manufactured in the brain to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress. May contribute to stress related fertility problems.

A coiled, tubular organ attached to and lying on the testicle. Within this organ the developing sperm complete their maturation and develop their powerful swimming capabilities. The matured sperm leave the epididymis through the vas deferens.

The principal estrogen produced by the ovary. Responsible for formation of the female secondary sex characteristics such as large breasts; supports the growth of the follicle and the development of the uterine lining. At midcycle the peak estrogen level triggers the release of the LH spike from the pituitary gland. The LH spike is necessary for the release of the ovum from the follicle. Fat cells in both obese men and women can also manufacture estrogen from androgens and interfere with fertility. The blood test to monitor estradiol is E2 Rapid Assay. Women on Menogon and other fertility drugs have routine E2 monitoring.

Female sex hormone.

Ducts through which eggs travel to the uterus once released from the follicle. Sperm normally meet the egg in the fallopian tube, the site at which fertilization usually occurs.

A condition characterized by infantile sexual development and an inability to smell. Since the pituitary cannot produce LH and FSH, the woman must take hormone supplements to achieve puberty, to maintain secondary sex characteristics, and to achieve fertility.

A pattern characteristic of dried cervical mucus viewed on a slide. When the fern pattern appears, the mucus has been thinned and prepared by estrogen for the passage of sperm. If it does not fern, the mucus will be hostile to the passage of the sperm.

The combining of the genetic material carried by sperm and egg to create an embryo. Normally occurs inside the fallopian tube in vivo but may also occur in a petri dish in vitro.

Any method or procedure used to enhance fertility or increase the likelihood of pregnancy, such as ovulation induction treatment, varicocele repair, and microsurgery to repair damaged fallopian tubes. The goal of fertility treatment is to help couples have a child.

A term used to refer to a baby during the period of gestation between eight weeks and full term at 40 weeks.

A benign tumor of the uterine muscle and connective tissue.

Finger like projections at the end of the fallopian tube nearest the ovary. When stimulated by the follicular fluid released during ovulation, the fingerlike ends grasp the ovary and coax the egg into the tube.

A pituitary hormone that stimulates spermatogenesis and follicular development. In the man FSH stimulates the Sertoli cells in the testicles and supports sperm production. In the woman FSH stimulates the growth of the ovarian follicle. Elevated FSH levels are indicative of gonadal failure in both men and women.

Fluid filled sacs in the ovary, which contain the eggs, released at ovulation. Each month an egg develops inside the ovary in a fluid filled pocket called a follicle. This follicle is one inch in size and is about ready to ovulate.

The fluid inside the follicle that cushions and nourishes the ovum. When released during ovulation, the fluid stimulates the fimbria to grasp the ovary and coax the egg into the fallopian tube.

The preovulatory portion of a woman’s cycle during which a follicle grows and high levels of estrogen cause the lining of the uterus to proliferate. Normally takes between 12 and 14 days.

In the male the testicular cell that divides to produce the immature sperm cells in the woman the ovarian cell that divides to form the egg ovum. The male germ cell remains intact throughout the mans reproductive life the woman uses up her germ cells at the rate of about one thousand per menstrual cycle, although usually only one egg matures each cycle.

A clear or milky discharge from the breasts associated with elevated prolactin.

A clear or milky discharge from the breasts associated with elevated prolactin.

A reproductive cell, which is sperm in males, the eggs in females.

A technique that may be used in lieu of in vitro fertilization for women with patent clear and open tubes. After egg retrieval the eggs are mixed with the husbands sperm and then injected through the fimbria into the woman’s fallopian tubes for in vitro fertilization.

Hormones that, control reproductive function Follicle Stimulating Hormone and Lutenizing Hormone.

The hormone that controls the production and release of gonadotropins. Secreted by the hypothalamus every ninety minutes or so, this hormone enables the pituitary to secrete LH and FSH, which stimulate the gonads.

The gland that makes reproductive cells and sex hormones the testicles, which make sperm and testosterone, and the ovaries, which make eggs ova and estrogen.

An inherited condition in which the testicles have no germ cells. Since men with this condition have normal Leydig cells, they will develop secondary sex characteristics. May also be caused by large and or prolonged exposure to toxins or radiation.

A procedure in which the doctor checks for uterine abnormalities by inserting a fibreoptic device. Minor surgical repairs can be executed during the procedure.

An x-ray of the pelvic organs in which a radioopaque dye is injected through the cervix into the uterus and fallopian tubes. This test checks for malformations of the uterus and blockage of the fallopian tubes.

A part of the brain, the hormonal regulation center, located adjacent to and above the pituitary gland. In both the man and the woman this tissue secretes GnRH every ninety minutes or so. The pulsatile GnRH enables the pituitary gland to secrete LH and FSH, which stimulate the gonads.

A spectrum of diseases resulting in low pituitary gland output of LH and FSH. Men with this disorder have low sperm counts and may lose their virility women do not ovulate and may lose their secondary sex characteristics.

Having lower than normal levels of estrogen.

Over production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. The resulting increased metabolism burns up estrogen too rapidly and interferes with ovulation.

A potentially life threatening side effect of Menogon, Humegon or Puregon ovulation induction. A woman’s ovaries become enlarged and produce an over abundance of eggs. Blood hormone levels rise, fluid may collect in the lungs or abdominal cavity, and ovarian cyst may rupture, causing internal bleeding. Blood clots sometimes develop. Symptoms include sudden weight gain and abdominal pain. Cycles stimulated with these drugs must be carefully monitored with ultrasound scans. Withholding the hCG injection when ultrasound monitoring indicates that too many follicles have matured may prevent OHSS.

A condition in which the pituitary gland secretes too much prolactin. Prolactin can suppress LH and FSH production, reduce male sex drive, and directly suppress ovarian function.

The hormone produced in early pregnancy, which keeps the corpus luteum producing progesterone. Also used via injection Profasi to trigger ovulation after some fertility treatments, and used in men to stimulate testosterone production.

Cervical mucus that impedes the natural progress of sperm through the cervical canal.

The overabundance of body hair, such as a mustache or pubic hair growing upward toward the navel, found in women with excess androgens.

A sperm that has not matured and gained the ability to swim. In the presence of illness or infection such sperm may appear in the semen in large numbers.

The embedding of the embryo into tissue so it can establish contact with the mothers blood supply for nourishment. Implantation usually occurs in the lining of the uterus however, in an ectopic pregnancy it may occur elsewhere in the body.

The inability of the man to have an erection and to ejaculate.

Literally means in glass. Fertilization takes place outside the body in a small glass dish.

The inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.

A male feedback hormone made in the testicles to regulate FSH production by the pituitary gland.

A female feedback hormone made in the ovary to regulate FSH production by the pituitary gland.

A micromanipulation procedure where a single sperm is injected into the egg to enable fertilization with very low sperm counts or with nonmotile sperm.

A relatively low technology assisted reproduction technique, which deposits washed sperm directly into the uterus, bypassing cervical mucus and depositing the sperm more closely to the fallopian tubes, where fertilization occurs. Used to bypass hostile cervical mucus and to overcome sperm count and motility problems.

A congenital hypothalamus dysfunction, which has multiple symptoms including the failure to complete puberty.

A test performed to analyze chromosomes for the presence of genetic defects.

A genetic abnormality characterized by having one Y male and two X female chromosomes. May cause a fertility problem.

A small telescope that can be inserted into a hole in the abdominal wall for viewing the internal organs the instrument used to perform a laparoscopy. Used to diagnose and treat a number of fertility problems including endometriosis, abdominal adhesions, and polycystic ovaries. Also used in egg retrieval for in vitro fertilization. Examination of the pelvic region by using a laparoscope is called a laparoscopy.

Major abdominal surgery where reproductive organ abnormalities can be corrected and fertility restored, such as tubal repairs and the removal of adhesions.

The testicular cell that produces the male hormone testosterone. LH stimulates the Leydig cell from the pituitary gland.

Postovulatory phase of a woman’s cycle. The corpus luteum produces progesterone, which cause the uterine lining to thicken to support the implantation and growth of the embryo.

A condition that occurs when the uterine lining does not develop adequately because of inadequate progesterone stimulation or because of the inability of the uterine lining to respond to progesterone stimulation. LPD may prevent embryonic implantation or cause an early abortion.

A condition in which the follicle develops and changes into the corpus luteum without releasing the egg.

A pituitary hormone that stimulates the gonads. In the man LH is necessary for spermatogenesis Sertoli cell function and for the production of testosterone Leydig cell function. In the woman LH is necessary for the production of estrogen. When oestrogen reaches a critical peak, the pituitary releases a surge of LH the LH spike, which releases the egg from the follicle.

The release of luteinizing hormone LH that causes release of a mature egg from the follicle. Ovulation test kits detect the sudden increase of LH, signaling that ovulation is about to occur usually within 24 to 36 hours.

Deficiency of manganese increases the risk of over production of certain hormone of the prostaglandins family, leading to over active uterus, thus decreasing the chance of fertility.

A testicular condition in which at one stage of sperm production all sperm development halts throughout all testicular tubules. May result in oligospermia or azoospermia.

The cell division, peculiar to reproductive cells, which allows genetic material to divide in half. Each new cell will contain 23 chromosomes. The spermatids immature sperm and ova eggs each contain 23 chromosomes, so when they combine fertilize, the baby will have a normal complement of 46 chromosomes.

Heavy or prolonged menstrual flow.

Spontaneous loss of an embryo or fetus from the womb.

The division of a cell into two identical cells in which all 46 human chromosomes are duplicated the first division of the germ cell.

The discomfort felt on one side of the lower abdomen at the time of ovulation.

An infection that may cause the formation of sperm antibodies and an inflammation of the uterine lining, either of which may interfere with implantation of the embryo.

Infrequent menstrual periods.

Having too few sperm.

A fluid filled sac inside the ovary. An ovarian cyst may be found in conjunction with ovulation disorders, tumors of the ovary, and endometriosis.

The failure of the ovary to respond to FSH stimulation from the pituitary because of damage to or malformation of the ovary. Diagnosed by elevated FSH in the blood.

The release of the egg ovum from the ovarian follicle.

Medical treatment performed to initiate ovulation.

The failure to ovulate

The reproductive cell from the ovary the female gamete the sex cell that contains the woman’s genetic information.

Complete pituitary gland failure.

The condition of being open, as with tubes that form part of the reproductive organs.

An infection of the pelvic organs that causes severe illness, high fever, and extreme pain. PID may lead to tubal blockage and pelvic adhesions.

The master gland the gland that is stimulated by the hypothalamus and controls all hormonal functions. Located at the base of the brain just below the hypothalamus, this gland controls many major hormonal factories throughout the body including the gonads, the adrenal glands, and the thyroid gland.

The embryonic tissue that invades the uterine wall and provides a mechanism for exchanging the baby’s waste products for the mother’s nutrients and oxygen. The baby is connected to the placenta by the umbilical cord.

A condition found in women who don’t ovulate, characterized by excessive production of androgens male sex hormones and the presence of cysts in the ovaries. Though PCOS can be without symptoms, some include excessive weight gain, acne and excessive hair growth.

A microscopic examination of the cervical mucus best performed twelve or more hours after intercourse to determine compatibility between the woman’s mucus and the mans semen, this test is used to detect how the sperm and mucus interact and if any problems are occurring. The presence of sperm antibodies and the quality of the cervical mucus are also tested.

The ducts that store and deliver the sperm to the opening of the penis also includes the glands that produce seminal fluids.

A condition where the ovary runs out of follicles before the normal age associated with menopause.

The male hormonal system responsible for stimulating sperm production and the development of male secondary sex characteristics.

The hormone produced by the corpus luteum during the second half of a woman’s cycle. It thickens the lining of the uterus to prepare it to accept implantation of a fertilized egg.

A diagnostic procedure used to analyze menstrual irregularity and amenorrhea uterine bleeding that occurs within two weeks after taking progesterone a procedure used to demonstrate the presence or absence of estrogen and to demonstrate the ability of the uterus and reproductive tract to bleed. Prior to ovulation induction therapy, progesterone withdrawal may be used to induce a menstrual period.

The hormone that stimulates the production of milk in breast-feeding women. Excessive prolactin levels when not breast-feeding may result in infertility.

Hormone like substances found in men and women. It is hypothesised that prostaglandins secreted by active, young endometrial implants may interfere with the reproductive organs by causing muscular contractions or spasms. Also, prostaglandins not washed from sperm can cause severe cramping during IUI procedures.

A gland in the male reproductive system that produces a portion of the semen, including a chemical that liquefies the coagulated semen twenty minutes to one hour after entering the vagina.

An ovary that cannot respond to the follicle-stimulating message sent by FSH. Primitive germ cells will be present in the ovary however, they will not respond to FSH stimulation.

A male fertility problem that allows the sperm to travel into the bladder instead of out the opening of the penis due to a failure in the sphincter muscle at the base of the bladder.

An ovary that cannot respond to the follicle-stimulating message sent by FSH. Primitive germ cells will be present in the ovary however, they will not respond to FSH stimulation.

The physical qualities that distinguish man and woman, such as beard, large breasts, and deep voice. Formed under the stimulation of the sex hormones testosterone or oestrogen, these characteristics also identify those people who have gone through puberty sexual maturity.

The inability of a couple to achieve a second pregnancy. This strict medical definition includes couples for whom the pregnancy did not go to term. The common vernacular, however, refers to a couple which has one biological child but is unable to conceive another.

The bag of skin and thin muscle surrounding the mans testicles.

Surgical repair made to the fallopian tubes, a procedure used to open the fimbria.

Surgery performed to remove adhesions that restrict the movement and function of reproductive organs.

Surgical repair made to the fallopian tubes, a procedure used to open the fimbria.

The bag of skin and thin muscle surrounding the mans testicles.

The inability of a couple to achieve a second pregnancy. This strict medical definition includes couples for whom the pregnancy did not go to term. The common vernacular, however, refers to a couple which has one biological child but is unable to conceive another.

The physical qualities that distinguish man and woman, such as beard, large breasts, and deep voice. Formed under the stimulation of the sex hormones testosterone or oestrogen, these characteristics also identify those people who have gone through puberty sexual maturity.

The fluid portion of the ejaculate consisting of secretions from the seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and several other glands in the male reproductive tract. The semen provides nourishment and protection for the sperm and a medium in which the sperm can travel to the woman’s vagina. Semen may also refer to the entire ejaculate, including the sperm.

A laboratory test used to assess semen quality sperm quantity, concentration, morphology form, and motility. In addition, it measures semen fluid volume and whether or not white blood cells are present, indicating an infection.

The liquid flow or consistency of the semen.

Glands in the male reproductive system, which produce much of the semen volume, including fructose sugar for nourishing the sperm and a chemical that causes the semen to coagulate on entering the vagina.

The testicular tubules in which the sperm mature and move toward the epididymis.

A uterus divided into right and left halves by a wall of tissue septum. Women with a septate uterus have an increased chance of early pregnancy loss.

A testicular cell responsible for nurturing the spermatids immature sperm. Secretes inhibin, a feedback hormone, which regulates FSH production by the pituitary gland. When stimulated by FSH, the Sertoli cell initiates spermatogenesis.

A condition caused by profuse hemorrhage at the time of delivery. The severe blood loss shocks the pituitary gland, which dies and becomes nonfunctional.

Use of high frequency sound waves for creating an image of internal body parts. Used to detect and count follicle growth and disappearance in many fertility treatments. Also used to detect and monitor pregnancy.

The microscopic cell that carries the male’s genetic information to the females egg the male reproductive cell the male gamete.

Sperm clumping caused by antibody reactions or by infection.

The number of sperm in ejaculate. Also called sperm concentration and given as the number of sperm per millilitre.

A process during which the sperm grow and gain their ability to swim. Sperm take about ninety days to reach maturity.

A semen analysis factor that indicates the number or percentage of sperm in the sample that appears to have been formed normally. Abnormal morphology includes sperm with kinked, doubled, or coiled tails. The higher the percentage of misshapen sperm, the less likely fertilization can take place.

The ability of sperm to swim. Poor motility means the sperm have a difficult time swimming toward their goal the egg.

The ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg so it can deposit the genetic material during fertilization.

Sperm production in the testicles.

The stretch ability of cervical mucus the stringy quality that occurs at midcycle under the influence of oestrogen. See also Postcoital Test.

A method used to concentrate the sperm for insemination separating the semen into two portions the first portion of the ejaculate, which is rich in sperm, and the second portion, which contains mostly seminal fluid.

An irreversible condition that prevents conception.

Another name for Polycystic Ovaries.

The death of a fetus between 20 weeks of gestation and birth at 40 weeks.

Stimulation of multiple ovulation with fertility drugs also known as controlled ovarian hyper stimulation.

A minor surgical procedure used to take a small sample of testicular tissue for microscopic examination a test used to diagnose male fertility problems when no other means is available this is because the biopsy procedure itself may cause testicular damage.

A congenital enzyme defect that prevents the testes from responding to hormonal stimulation. Will result in oligospermia or azoospermia.

A congenital, developmental, or genetic error resulting in a testicular malformation that prevents sperm production. Secondary Acquired testicular damage, for example, from drugs, prolonged exposure to toxic substances, or a varicocele.

An enzymatic defect that prevents a man from responding to the male hormone testosterone. The man will look like a woman, but karyotyping will reveal a normal XY male chromosome pattern, and testosterone levels will be in the normal male range.

A semen analysis result showing depressed sperm production, poor sperm motility, and poor sperm morphology. The pattern is consistent with secondary testicular failure or illness.

The male hormone responsible for the formation of secondary sex characteristics and for supporting the sex drive. Testosterone is also necessary for spermatogenesis.

The endocrine gland in the front of the neck that produces thyroid hormones to regulate the body’s metabolism.

The twisting of the testis inside the scrotum. Besides causing extreme pain and swelling, the rotation twists off the blood supply and causes severe damage to the testicle. Torsion of the ovary may also occur in a woman suffering from hyper stimulation, a complication of ovulation induction treatment.

Surgery performed to remove a blocked portion of the fallopian tube and to reconnect the tube to the uterus. Tubouterine implantation may also be performed to remove fallopian tube blockage near the uterus and replant the tube in the uterus.

Surgery performed to remove a diseased portion of the fallopian tube and reconnect the two ends sterilization reversal.

The most common genetic defect contributing to female fertility problems. The ovaries fail to form and appear as slender threads of atrophic ovarian tissue, referred to as streak ovaries. Karyotyping will reveal that this woman has only one female X chromosome instead of two.

Two arteries and one vein encased in a gelatinous tube leading from the baby to the placenta. Used to exchange nutrients and oxygen from the mother for waste products from the baby.

An infection that may cause the formation of sperm antibodies and an inflammation of the uterine lining, either of which may interfere with implantation of the embryo.

An abnormality in which the uterus is one sided and smaller than usual.

The tube that allows urine to pass between the bladder and the outside of the body. In the man this tube also carries semen from the area of the prostate to the outside.

A physician specializing in the genitourinary tract.

The hollow, muscular organ that houses and nourishes the fetus during pregnancy.

Yeast, bacterial vaginosis, or trichomonas infections of the vagina. Frequent vaginitis may indicate the presence of pelvic adhesions and tubal blockage from other infections, such as chlamydia. Vaginitis may interfere with sperm penetration of the cervical mucus, and the symptoms may even interfere with the ability and desire to have intercourse.

A dilation of the veins that carry blood out of the scrotum. The resulting swollen vessels surrounding the testicles create a pool of stagnant blood, which elevates the scrotal temperature. A major cause of male infertility.

One of the tubes through which the sperm move from the testicles epididymis toward the seminal vesicles and prostate gland. These tubes are severed during a vasectomy performed for birth control.

The accidental or elective surgical separation of the vasa deferential a procedure used for birth control.

Any infection that can be sexually transmitted, such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea, ureaplasma, and syphilis. Many of these diseases will interfere with fertility and some will cause severe illness. See also PID.

The congenital, developmental, or genetic information in the cell that transmits the information necessary to make a female. All eggs contain one X chromosome, and half of all sperm carry an X chromosome. When two X chromosomes combine, the baby will be a girl.

The genetic material that transmits the information necessary to make a male. The Y chromosome can be found in one half of the mans sperm cells. When an X and a Y chromosome combine, the baby will be a boy.

A fertilized egg that has not yet divided.

An ART in which eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries, fertilized with the mans sperm in a lab dish, and the resulting Zygotes are transferred into the woman’s fallopian tubes during a minor surgical procedure.