Glossary of Terms


the required time frame where a man should refrain from ejaculation before having a semen analysis


the male equivalent of the female menopause - caused by a possible reduction of the production of the testosterone and other hormones in a man

Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH)

a hormone used to measure a woman’s ovarian reserve, which is both a useful guide to a woman’s spontaneous fertility potential and a predictor of ovarian response to stimulation with hormones during fertility treatment

Antral follicle count

a measurement of the number of follicles of less than 10mm in the early follicular phase.  Gives an indication of the number of follicles that may be recruited in any planned treatment cycle

Assisted hatching

mechanical, chemical or laser breaching of the shell (zona pellucida) around the embryo


the complete absence of sperm in male ejaculate


a series of tests for both women and men that are carried out before treatment takes place.  The results of the tests form the basis of a patients’ treatment protocol.


a day five or day six embryo that has developed to have a layer of outer cells that eventually become the placenta and a small number of inner cells that will form the fetus


small structures within the nucleus of every cell in the body which contain the genes

Clinical pregnancy

evidence of a heartbeat of a developing fetus, in the uterus

Clinical pregnancy rate

the proportion of on-going pregnancies for every 100 treatment cycles started


cytomegalovirus: a member of the herpes groups of viruses which can cause risks to unborn children of women who contract it for the first time during pregnancy

Conceptual twins/triplets

Conceptual twins or triplets are babies born following separate pregnancies from embryos that were ‘made’ at the same time as part of IVF treatment.  Conceptual twins/triplets are never identical as they come from separate embryos.  One or more of the babies will have been stored as an embryo in ‘deep freeze’ at the fertility clinic for months or even years after the IVF treatment and, following the birth of the first baby, the embryo will have been thawed and transferred back into the mother’s uterus to try for another baby


malformations or diseases which are present at birth and which are genetic in origin

Congenital abnormalities

disabilities or diseases which are either present at birth or show themselves soon after birth


permission: in fertility treatment, ‘informed consent’ is the written permission in full knowledge of the consequences of a procedure and must be given before a clinic can store gametes, create embryos or store embryos



all licensed clinics are required to offer patients counselling, to enable the patient to understand the implications of treatment, to give emotional support and to help the patient cope with the consequences of treatment


the freezing of sperm, eggs or embryos and the storage of them in liquid nitrogen


treatment cycle - usually from the start of taking fertility drugs and including the egg collection, embryo transfer for IVF or ICSI -  or IUI insemination procedure - and the outcome of any pregnancy test.  Women going through treatment at the same time sometimes refer to each other as ‘cycle buddies’

Cystic fibrosis

a disorder of the mucus-secreting glands of the lungs, the pancreas, the mouth and the gastro-intestinal tract and is the commonest serious genetic disease in Caucasian children

Cyst aspiration

a procedure that drains the fluid from an ovarian cyst before starting a fertility treatment cycle

‘Day 21′

the name of a treatment planning appointment booked on or around day 21 of a woman’s menstrual cycle


a woman who gives eggs , or a man who gives sperm, or a couple who give embryos to help a woman become pregnant

Donor Insemination

the placing of donor sperm into the cervix (ICI) or the uterus (IUI)

Down regulation (DR)

drugs that ’switch-off’ a woman’s hormones and put her into a temporary menopausal state before she takes follicle-stimulating drugs as part of IVF or ICSI treatment

Drug protocol

the type, quantity, method and length of time of taking the drugs required for any treatment cycle

Ectopic pregnancy

a pregnancy that develops outside of the uterus, usually in one of the Fallopian tubes, but possibly also in the cervix, ovaries or abdomen.  An ectopic pregnancy is not viable and should be treated as a medical emergency.

Egg collection (EC)

the procedure by which eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries by using an ultrasound guided needle. Also known as egg retrieval


the squirting out of semen from the penis during orgasm (sexual climax) either by masturbation or during sexual intercourse


a fertilised egg

Embryo freezing /storage

embryos not required for treatment in a cycle can be frozen and stored for future use. Freezing is also known as cryopreservation


an instrument for examining embryos at different stages of development using time lapse photography.  This is done without having to remove the embryos from incubation

Embryo transfer (ET)

the transfer of one or more embryos to the uterus via an ultrasound guided catheter


a scientist who cultures and studies embryos in a clinical or research laboratory


a female condition in which endometrial cells, which normally line the uterus, implant around the outside of the uterus and/or ovaries, causing internal bleeding, pain and reduced fertility


the lining of the uterus which supports a fetus if a pregnancy occurs or which is shed during a normal menstrual period

Endometrial ’scratching’

a technique where a fine plastic catheter is used to gently disrupt the endometrium with the aim of assisting the embryo to implant in a fertility treatment cycle


coiled tubing outside the testicles which store sperm

Fallopian tube(s)

the tubes between the ovaries and the uterus. After release of the egg from one of the ovaries, the tube transports the egg to the uterus

Female factor

any reason why a woman is infertile, such as ovulation failure or damage to the Fallopian tubes


the term used for an embryo after the eighth week of development until birth


the entry of a sperm into an egg to create an embryo

Fertility drugs

which may be used in IVF treatment, include the following:

•  buserelin

used in down regulation, buserelin suppresses the activity of the pituitary gland which normally stimulates the ovaries to produce eggs. The ovaries can then be stimulated with gonadotrophins to produce many follicles

•  FSH

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (may be called Metrodin or Puregon or GonalF) can be given also to stimulate follicles

•  hCG

Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin is given by injection about 34-36 hours before egg collection. It helps to ripen the eggs within the follicles

•  hMG

Human Menopausal Gonadotrophin (may be called Merional or Menopur) stimulates the development of follicles within the ovaries


a small sac in the ovary in which the egg develops

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET)

after egg collection and fertilisation, good quality surplus embryos can be frozen in liquid nitrogen at -196°C and stored for future use. Once thawed, most embryos can be replaced in the womb in a natural cycle, although patients may sometimes require hormones to improve the womb lining


the male sperm or the female egg

Genetic abnormalities

physical or mental differences caused by absent, extra or rearranged chromosomes

Genetic counselling

a process by which information is imparted to those affected by. or at risk of a genetic disorder. It includes information on the nature of the disorder, the size and extent of genetic risks, the options, including genetic testing, that may help clarify the risks, and the available preventative, supportive and therapeutic measures

Genetic testing

testing to detect the presence or absence of, or change in, a particular gene or chromosome


drugs used to stimulate the ovaries similar in composition to natural follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinising hormone (LH) produced in the pituitary gland


infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A,B or C) which causes acute or chronic inflammation of the liver


hormones are natural chemical substances produced by the body some of which control the development and release of the egg from the ovary during each menstrual cycle. Natural and synthetic preparations of those hormones are used to increase the number of eggs produced in a cycle


Hormone Replacement Therapy: oestrogen and progesterone drugs taken by a women to mimic a natural menstrual cycle


where an embryo becomes embedded in the uterine lining

Implantation failure

the failure of an embryo to implant successfully or normally into the endometrium after transfer in a fertility treatment cycle


a sealed unit which replicates human body temperature and CO2 levels for the storage and of sperm, eggs and embryos at key stages of fertility treatment

Infection screening

blood tests to check for transmissible diseases (including HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C)

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

eggs and sperm are collected and put together to achieve fertilisation outside the body. Resulting embryos can be transferred into the woman’s womb and a pregnancy may occur

Inhibin B

a hormone measured to assess a woman’s ovarian reserve

Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

a micromanipulation technique. A variation of IVF treatment where a single sperm is injected into the inner cellular structure of the egg. This technique is used for couples in which the male partner has severe sperm dysfunction

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

placing of sperm into the uterus of a woman


a sterile fat emulsion containing chicken egg yolk administered intravenously.  This has been shown to suppress a woman’s’ natural killer cell activity and thus help prevent early miscarriage


the delivery of one or more babies. Twins, triplets or more are considered to be a single livebirth event

Livebirth rate (LBR)

the number of live births achieved from every 100 treatment cycles started

Long protocol

a form of fertility treatment that involves a down regulation phase

Luteal Phase

part of a woman’s menstrual cycle.  The end of the follicular phase is marked by ovulation, when the pituitary gland produces luteinising hormone (LH) which triggers ovulation. The egg is released into the Fallopian tube where it is ready to be fertilised by sperm.  As ovulation marks the end of the follicular phase, it also marks the start of the luteal phase when the corpus luteum (the now empty dominant follicle that released the egg) releases the hormone progesterone, which prepares the uterus for possible fertilisation of the egg and implantation of an embryo.


the ‘map’ of the whole chromosomes within a cell, including their number, shape and size

Male factor

a term which covers any reason why a man’s sperm may be less effective or incapable of fertilisation, including the absence of viable sperm and a failed reversal of a vasectomy


the ceasing of the menstrual cycle and the end of reproductive life

Menstrual cycle

a cycle of approximately one month in the female during which the egg is released from an ovary, the uterus is prepared to receive the fertilised egg and blood and tissue are lost via the vagina if a pregnancy does not occur


this term covers any technique used in IVF to bypass the zona pellucida (protein shell) which surrounds the egg, as this frequently prevents sperm which has poor motility or morphology from penetrating and fertilising the egg. ICSI is the most commonly used method of micromanipulation


spontaneous complete loss of a pregnancy before 24 weeks

Multiple birth

the birth of more than one baby from a pregnancy (these are counted as single live births irrespective of the number of babies born).

Multiple birth rate

the percentage of all births in which more than one baby was born

Multiple pregnancy

a pregnancy in which two or more fetal hearts are present

Natural cycle

fertility treatment synchronised with a woman’s natural ovulation, which requires fewer fertility drugs

Neonatal death

the death of a baby within 27 complete days of delivery


another name for an egg

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS)

a rare but serious consequence of over-response to the drugs used to stimulate the ovaries

Ovarian cysts

each month a small perfectly normal cyst, or sac, starts to grow in one ovary and will contain the egg. It continues to grow for the first 2 weeks of the period and when it is about 2cm, bursts and releases the egg. This sac /follicle makes the hormone oestrogen. The follicle becomes more solid in the second half of the period and is then called a corpus luteum, which makes the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. If the corpus luteum does not go away it may become an abnormal cyst which should be checked by a GP to ensure it will not reduce a woman’s fertility

Ovarian reserve

the ability of the woman to recruit a good number of ovarian follicles in response to the stimulating drugs used in fertility treatment


one of a pair of female reproductive organs which produce eggs and hormones


the release of an egg from the ovary into the Fallopian tube


polycystic ovarian syndrome: a condition where many small cysts form on the ovary causing an hormonal imbalance which may lead to the need for fertility treatment to conceive

Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA)

retrieving sperm directly from the coiled tubing outside the testicles that store sperm (epididymis) using a very fine needle

Perinatal death

The death of a baby either in the uterus after 24 weeks pregnancy (stillbirth) or within 28 days after the birth

Pregnancy scan

the first scan, usually about, two weeks after a positive pregnancy test to confirm a clinical pregnancy

Routine infection screening

blood tests to check for transmissible diseases  HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C

Recurrent miscarriage

numerous pregnancy losses before 12 weeks gestation


the fluid which contains the sperm


a semen analysis appointment when a semen sample is analysed by the laboratory

Short protocol

a form of fertility treatment that does not involve a down regulation phase

Slow-freeze method

a method of freezing eggs where eggs go through a series of solutions to remove and replace their water content with a cryoprotectant to help preserve the delicate cell structures and avoid crystallisation during the freezing and thawing processes, then loaded into glass straws and stored in liquid nitrogen (see also ‘vitrification’)


the male gamete; the cell which carries the male genes

Stimulation drugs

Drugs used to stimulate a woman’s ovaries to produce more eggs than usual in a monthly cycle; also known as superovulatory drugs


the stimulation of a woman’s ovaries with drugs to produce more eggs than usual in a monthly cycle


a method of reproduction where a woman agrees to become pregnant and deliver a child fro another woman

Testicular Sperm Aspiration (TESA)

retrieving sperm directly from the testis with a very fine needle


the principal male sex hormone which is present in both men and women.  On average, an adult human male produces about forty to sixty times more testosterone than an adult  female


testicle or male gonad

Tubal patency test

a test that involves injecting a solution through the fallopian tubes to check for any anomalies or blockages


investigation using sound waves to make a picture of the uterus and ovaries appear on a monitor screen. Ultrasound is used to monitor egg development, in egg collection and for embryo transfer


the womb; the main female sex organ where an embryo implants and grows into a baby

Vas deferens

a pair of tubes which connect the epididymis to the urethra and transport sperm during ejaculation and which are absent in men with cystic fibrosis

Vasectomy/vasectomy reversal

the male sterilisation procedure where the vas deferens are cut and tied / the surgical procedure to re-join the vas deferens


a flash-freezing process for preserving eggs and embryos with cryopreservation

X-Linked Disorders

disorders due to a mutation on the X chromosome. X-linked disorders usually only affect males, but the disorders can be transmitted through healthy female carriers

Zona pellucida

the transparent membrane or ’shell’ surrounding the egg

Services & Facilities

services-facilities-sankalpSankalp Hospital are committed to provide the best services in Infertility Treatment, IUI, IVF, ICSI and Eye Care through continual improvements of our systems, processes, technology and through team of dedicated & competent professionals with progressive mind set. We specialize in each and every aspect of infertility and provide comprehensive services in IUI, IVF, ICSI, Egg donation, Embryo adoption, Endometriosis treatment, PCOS, Laparoscopic Surgery, Hysteroscopy Surgery and try to give moral and emotional support to our infertile couples. Sankalp Hospital is a leader in oocyte preservation, fertility preservation, and treatment of uterine fibroids and endometriosis. A compassionate team of experts can assess your conditions and your partner's and help you decide on a treatment plan that best fits your needs and preferences. They are unique and state of the art facilities spread across the Sankalp hospital with Centre of Excellence approach. Read More