Understanding Infertility – What is IVF, Donor Eggs, GnRH?
When we enter the realm of infertility and then step further into fertility treatment, it’s a brand new world. With a brand new language.
Beyond the acronyms such as IUI (intra-uterine insemination) or IVF (in vitro fertilization), there are other mysterious terms that are used, at least occasionally. Here is a sampling, A- G. Maybe you will find it interesting to explore new terms. Maybe not. Maybe it will just be helpful to know these terms if they come up in conversations about your fertility care.
Fertility Specialists Help You Understand Infertility Words
These fertility terms come straight from Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut’s website. They are a small sampling of the infertility glossary that is live and accessible on our website to help you with understanding infertility. Our specially trained staff researched and wrote the definitions for each term. ~ Lisa Rosenthal
Infertility Glossary – What is IVF, Donor Eggs, GnRH?
Adhesion: Scar tissue that abnormally attaches to internal organs, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder, uterus or other internal organs. Adhesions can wrap up or distort these organs, limiting their movement, function and cause infertility and pain.
Basal Body Temperature (BBT): The body temperature at rest taken in the morning before arising from bed. Successive BBT’s can be measured orally each morning and recorded on a calendar chart. These charts can be studied to help identify the time of ovulation, or even if a patient is ovulating at all. Menstrual calendar information is also an important part of a BBT chart. An ovulation predictor kit (OPK) can be used instead of daily temperature readings. (PLEASE NOTE– most Reproductive Endocrinologists do not advise taking the BBT except under very specific conditions. This is a test that is not routinely used or advised to use as there are other more sensitive and efficient tests now available.)
Capacitation: The process that sperm must undergo in order to fertilize an oocyte (egg).
Donor Egg Cycle: The use of donated eggs from an anonymous or known donor. These eggs are harvested via an IVF cycle performed on the donor. The resultant eggs are inseminated with sperm and then form embryos which are transferred into the womb of the intended parent.
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.
Fallopian Tube: The anatomic and physiologic connection between the uterus and the ovary which serves to transport the oocyte (egg) and sperm. It is also the site of fertilization and supports and transports the conceptus in route to the uterus.
Gonadotropin Releasing Hormone (GnRH): Hormone produced by the hypothalamus in the brain that stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete gonadotropins.
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.