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Fertility Dictionary

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sperm morphology - a semen analysis factor that indicates the number or percentage of sperm in the sample that appear to have been formed normally

sperm motility - the ability of sperm to swim; poor motility means the sperm have a difficult time swimming toward the egg

sperm penetration - the ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg so it can deposit the genetic material during fertilization

sperm wash - a technique for separating sperm from seminal fluid

split ejaculate - a method of collecting a semen specimen so that the first portion of the ejaculate is caught in one container and the rest in a second container

spontaneous abortion - a miscarriage or the unintended termination of a pregnancy before the twentieth week

sterility - the total inability to reproduce; not to be confused with infertility

stimulation - administration of hormones that induce development of multiple ovarian follicles

surrogate - a woman who becomes pregnant through insemination with the sperm of the husband of an infertile woman, and then following delivery, turns the child over for adoption by the couple

swim-up test - a technique that separates motile sperm from non-motile sperm and cellular debris in a semen sample; the most motile sperm will "swim up" and are more easily separated for insemination

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testicle - one of two male sexual glands contained in the scrotum which produce the male hormone (testosterone) and reproductive cells (sperm)

testicular biopsy - a small excision of testicular tissue to determine the ability of the cells to produce normal sperm

testicular sperm aspiration (TESA) - a procedure in which sperm are obtained directly from the testicles by either aspiration or surgical incision of the testicular tissue

testosterone - the most potent male sex hormone; produced in the testes

therapeutic insemination (TI) - a procedure in which a sperm from a male partner or from a donor is placed into a woman's vagina or cervix; also called artificial insemination, but distinct from intrauterine insemination

tubal embryo transfer (TET) - a surgical procedure in which an egg which has been fertilized and has divided outside the woman's body is transferred to the fallopian tubes

tubal ligation - female sterilization as a result of tying the fallopian tubes

tubal reversal - special surgery to reverse sterilization caused by tubal ligation

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ultrasound - a technique used to view the follicles in the ovaries or the fetus in the uterus; three types: 1) baseline ultrasound shows the ovaries in their normal state, 2) follicular ultrasound shows egg follicle maturation, 3) pregnancy ultrasound shows if a pregnancy is in the uterus or in a fallopian tube

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