Do You Know Your (Infertility) ABCs?
by Jennifer Bright Reich
Some signs that you’re a parent are unmistakable. You have wrinkles, spit-up, or mac ’n cheese sauce on your shirt. You talk to yourself. A lot. Little-kid songs pop into your head at the strangest times.
So it’s not surprising that when I was asked to put together a description of some common infertility terms, I thought of the “ABC Song.” And then, of course, I felt challenged to find interesting infertility terms from A to Z. So, I offer this list as a kind of a “cheat sheet” to bring with you to your next fertility appointment. And, if you should devise a song to help others remember, let us know!
Azoospermia: The absence of sperm in the ejaculate.
Blastocyst: An embryo that has developed for approximately five days after fertilization.
Chocolate cyst: An ovarian cyst that is filled with old blood.
Dyspareunia: Painful sex.
Epididymis: The elongated organ in the male that lies above and behind the testicles.
Follicle: A structure in the ovaries that holds a developing egg.
Gamete: A reproductive cell (either a sperm or an egg)
H is for HRC FERTILITY of PASADENA – where we hope that you will come if you are struggling with fertility or want to know options for building a family
In vitro fertilization (IVF): A procedure during which an egg is removed from a mature follicle and fertilized by a sperm, outside of the body.
J: Ok, I am stumped here. There are just no J fertility terms. But, you can get a “JUMP-START” on learning more about fertility by clicking on this informational link: Fertility Education
Karyotyping: A test performed to check chromosomes for genetic defects.
Laparoscopy: A surgical procedure in which a fiber optic instrument (a laparoscope) is inserted through a small incision in the abdomen to view the inside of the pelvis.
Micro Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (MESA): A surgical procedure to retrieve sperm from the duct that stores sperm as it matures.
Necrospermia: A condition in which sperm are produced but are found dead in the semen and are unable to fertilize eggs.
Oocyte: An egg; the female reproductive cell.
Prolactin : A hormone produced by the pituitary gland that can hinder normal ovulation when elevated. Also, P is for PASADENA where we are located. You can access more information about our center and Pasadena here .
Questions: The one thing to bring with you to every visit with your fertility specialist.
Resistant ovary: An ovary that cannot respond to the follicle-stimulating message sent by the follicle-stimulating hormone.
Sperm wash: A technique that separates sperm from seminal fluid.
Testicular Sperm Extraction (TSE): A surgical technique used to retrieve viable sperm from the testicles of men who cannot give a sperm sample by other methods.
Ultrasound: A technique using sound waves to visualize the uterus and ovaries, the growth of ovarian follicles during infertility treatment, or a fetus in the uterus.
Varicocele: Varicose veins in the scrotum
Womb: Another word for uterus. (I’m reaching here; I know!)
X chromosome: The congenital, developmental, or genetic information in the cell that transmits the information necessary to make a female.
Y chromosome: (Didn’t see that one coming, did ya?) The genetic material that transmits the information necessary to make a male.
Zygote: a fertilized egg
And in tribute to the infamous ABC song…
Now you know your ABCs, know that I’m thinking of you on your fertility journey.