Infertility Definition ~ As Written by Fertility Specialists
Fertility Specialists' Glossary Available
The RMACT (Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut) website has features that you may not be aware of, including a glossary of terms that can help you decipher what you may need to know about your fertility treatment or diagnosis.
Our glossary of terms has been written primarily by our fertility specialists (board certified reproductive endocrinologists), and occasionally by other members of our clinical team here at RMACT.
If there is a term that you are unfamiliar with in regards to your fertility or your infertility treatment cycles or protocol, I’m certain that you can find it here. If not, please do let me know and I will ask one of the RMACT physicians to write a definition for you. It's certainly a lot easier to go through fertility treatment when you understand the language.
Good reading ~ Lisa Rosenthal
Infertility Definition: Terms Made Simple
Corpus Luteum: A special gland that forms from the ovulated follicle in the ovary. It produces progesterone during the second half of the menstrual cycle which is necessary to prepare the uterine lining for implantation. It also supports early pregnancies by secreting the necessary hormones until the placenta becomes fully functional between 8-10 weeks of gestation.
Cyst: A fluid filled structure. Cysts may be found anywhere in the body, but in reproductive medicine we primarily refer to them in the ovaries. Ovarian cysts may be normal or abnormal depending on the circumstances. Often they are just follicles that have not been fully reabsorbed from previous menstrual or treatment cycles. They are very common in both natural and stimulated cycles.
Fibroids: Overgrowth of the muscular tissue of the uterus. Fibroids are typically knotty masses of benign muscle tissue that can distort the shape and function of the uterus. They are typically classified in to three categories: sub-mucosal, intramural and serosal. Sub-mucosal fibroids are found in the uterine cavity and impair implantation. They need to be removed in order to conceive. Intramural fibroids are problematic when they become severely enlarged or impinge on the uterine cavity. Sub-serosal fibroids generally are left alone during fertility treatments.
Follicle: A fluid-filled pocket in the ovary that houses the microscopic egg. Each ovary has many follicles within it. Follicles start out extremely small and then grow larger under the influence of hormones (and the medications that mimic these hormones). Follicles are lined with granulosa cells which produce estrogen and nourish the oocyte (egg). Each Follicle contains a single oocyte.
Polyp: An overgrowth of the glandular surface of the endometrium. Polyps are often removed by hysteroscopic surgery to remove any impediments to implantation.
See more infertility definitions in RMACT's glossary of terms.
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About Lisa Rosenthal
Lisa has over thirty years of experience in the fertility field. After her personal infertility journey, she felt dissatisfied with the lack of comprehensive services available to support her. She was determined to help others undergoing fertility treatment. Lisa has been with RMACT for eleven years and serves as Patient Advocate and the Strategic Content Lead.
Lisa is the teacher and founder of Fertile Yoga, a program designed to support men and women on their quest for their families through gentle movement and meditation.
Lisa’s true passion is supporting patients getting into treatment, being able to stay in treatment and staying whole and complete throughout the process. Lisa is also a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, which is helpful in her work with fertility patients.
Her experience also includes working with RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and The American Fertility Association (now Path2Parenthood), where she was Educational Coordinator, Conference Director and Assistant Executive Director.