Infertility Terms Explained by Fertility Experts
Infertility has terms that are easy to understand and some which are more difficult. If you are feeling a bit lost when it comes to acronyms or technical terms, we’re here to help you out.
Start with Reproductive Medicine Associate’s of Connecticut’s (RMACT) glossary of terms. The definitions are all written by fertility specialists who know what they’re talking about and can translate the medical lingo into plain English. Having a medical degree is not necessary to understand what is happening in a fertility treatment cycle, but understanding what’s going on– that is necessary. Give yourself a break though. Most of us don’t know this stuff until we have to and that’s ok. Because you don’t have to know what these terms mean– you just need to where to look to find out what they mean. ~ Lisa Rosenthal
Infertility Terms Explained
Cervical Mucus: Normal secretions of the cervix which change in volume and consistency throughout the menstrual cycle. Its quality is a reflection of hormonal stimulation.
Cleavage: Division of one cell into 2, 2 into 4, 4 into 8, etc. This is measured in the embryology laboratory during IVF cycles.
Ectopic Pregnancy: A pregnancy implanted outside the uterus; most often in the fallopian tube. This is also termed a tubal pregnancy. This can usually be diagnosed in its early stages by following the pregnancy hormone, beta HCG, very closely during the early part of pregnancy. Left undiagnosed and untreated, an ectopic pregnancy can have serious medical consequences.
Endometrial Cavity: The space in side the uterus that is created by the inner lining of the uterus that responds to female hormones during the menstrual and treatment cycles. This lining, when properly prepared, forms the area of attachment and implantation of the embryo. Commonly referred to as the womb.
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH): Hormone produced by the hypothalamus in the brain that stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete gonadotropins.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): An x-ray procedure to examine whether the fallopian tubes are patent (open) or not. This test helps determine if the tubes are blocking sperm from reaching the ovulated eggs through the fallopian tubes. Special x-ray dye is gently injected through the uterus and then x-ray pictures are taken to see where the dye travels.
Have more questions? Ask us. That’s why we’re here.
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.