Here's everything you need to know about IVF

Jul 20, 2018

Visiting a doctor for IVF can be an emotionally demanding experience. Sometimes, your doctor's language is more complicated than your condition and you may have wished that you had a translator to carry along for your doctor's visit. Medical explanations sound like gibberish and you may feel the pressure to pretend to understand what is being said to you. The amount of information to take in can be overwhelming, and can leave you confused. All you want is for your doctor to sort you out.

Dr. Rajalaxmi Walavalkar of Cocoon Fertility curates a list of commonly used terms in infertility treatments that will help you understand your situation better and you will be able to gain more from discussion with your doctor. Save this article and share it with anyone who may need it.

Adhesion: Scar tissue that abnormally attaches to internal organs to each other. This distorts the spatial relation of the organs, e.g. tubes with ovary. This may result in pain and be a cause for infertility.

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART): Fertility therapies are collectively called

ART. These include, IVF, ICSI, donor cycles, pre implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) etc.

Bio-Chemical Pregnancy: A positive pregnancy test, where pregnancy hormone remains too low for the pregnancy to be seen on an ultrasound and then declines to become negative.

Clinical Pregnancy: When a pregnancy is seen on the ultrasound and heart beat is detected.

Clomiphene Citrate / Letrozole: Oral tablets used to stimulate the ovaries and cause growth of follicles.

Corpus Luteum: The crater left behind on the ovary once a follicle ruptures and an egg has been released. This is identifiable on the ultrasound. It gives hormonal support to the early pregnancy till 8-9 weeks of gestation.

Cryopreservation / Freezing: Controlled freezing and storage of sperm, egg or embryos in liquid nitrogen at - 196 deg.C

Cyst: A fluid filled structure that can occur in any part of the body. In the ovary, it is usually unresolved follicles from a previous cycle.

Donor Egg / sperm Cycle: The use of donated eggs or sperm from an anonymous donor, in ART treatments.

Ectopic Pregnancy: A pregnancy that has implanted outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube.

Egg Retrieval: A procedure in IVF where eggs are collected from the ovary, under light anesthesia.

Embryo: The term used to describe the early stages of fetal growth from 2nd to 9th week of pregnancy.

Embryo Transfer: The procedure of transferring embryos back in to the cavity of the womb. Usually done on the third or fifth day after an egg retrieval.

Endometriosis: The presence of tissue that lines the cavity of the womb, at locations outside the cavity of the womb e.g. ovaries, fallopian tubes and abdominal cavity. This is a cause of infertility.

Endometrium: The inner lining of the uterus that responds to female hormones during the menstrual cycle and treatment cycles.

Fallopian Tube: An appendage of the uterus that allows for transport of the sperm towards the egg, fertilization occurs in this tube and the early conceptus travels back to the cavity of the womb through it.

Fertilization: Union of a sperm and an egg to create an embryo.

Fibroids: round smooth muscle masses caused due to overgrowth of the muscular tissue of the uterus.

Follicle: A fluid-filled balloon in the ovary that protects and nurtures a growing egg.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG): A hormone of early pregnancy that is monitored to determine the health of the pregnancy.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI): Injecting a single sperm into a single oocyte to help the fertilization process. This is used for couples with poor sperm and previous failed IVF cycles.

Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI): Process where around the time of ovulation, sperm is directly put inside the cavity of the womb. This is usually done for mild to moderate sperm defects.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Process of stimulating the ovaries for eggs, collecting the eggs and mixing with sperm in the lab and creating embryos to be implanted back in the cavity of the uterus. The name in vitro fertilization refers to the fact that the egg is fertilized by the sperm in the laboratory and not in the woman's reproductive tract.

Ovary: The female sex gland that produces hormones such as estrogen and releases eggs every month. The ovaries cease to function at menopause. Ovulation: The release of a mature egg from the ovary.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: A common condition that leads to dysfunctional ovulation, infertility, weight gain, pre-diabetes and an increase in the androgens (male hormone)

Single Embryo Transfer (SET) or Elective Single Embryos Transfer (eSET) - is the process of only transferring a single embryo in an IVF cycle.

Testicular/Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (TESA): The surgical removal of sperm directly from the testis or the epididymis using a needle for aspiration.

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