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Fertility Dictionary



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Conception Cap - a device which is filled with semen and then fitted against the cervix to place sperm in direct contact with the cervical opening in order to avoid a hostile vaginal environment in hopes of increasing the chance of conception

colposcopy - use of a scope to examine the cervix for abnormal cells

condom - a barrier method of contraception and protection from sexually transmitted diseases usually made of thin latex or polyurethane designed to cover the penis (male condom) or vulva (female condom) during sexual intercourse

congenital - a characteristic or defect present at birth; may be hereditary or acquired during gestation

corpus luteum - remnant of a follicle after ovulation; releases progesterone to preserve the uterine lining

cryopreservation - a procedure used to preserve and store embryos or sperm by deep freezing; embryos or sperm can be thawed at a later date and used in infertility treatments

cycle - the period of time, approximately one month, when an infertility treatment is initiated and continuing until the treatment is halted or completed

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dilation and curettage (D&C) - a surgical procedure in which the cervix is expanded (dilated) so that the cervical canal and uterine lining can be scraped with a spoon-shaped instrument called a curette

dysmenorrhea - painful menstruation

dyspareunia - painful sexual intercourse

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ectopic pregnancy - occurs when a fertilized egg doesn't travel into the uterus, but instead grows rapidly in the fallopian tube

egg donation - the process in which eggs, removed from the ovaries of one woman, are donated for use by another

egg donor - a woman who donates her eggs for use by another woman

egg retrieval - a surgical procedure, usually under sedation, to collect the eggs contained within the ovarian follicles

embryo - a developing baby in the early stages of fetal growth, from conception to the eighth week of pregnancy; in IVF treatments, a fertilized egg between one and five days old

embryo transfer - placing an embryo (fertilized egg) into the uterus for implantation

embryologist - a professional trained in advanced laboratory techniques who prepares and provides the necessary conditions for the fertilization of eggs, as well as facilitates the growth, development, maturation, and preservation of embryos

endometrial biopsy - the extraction of a tiny piece of tissue from the endometrium for examination under a microscope for abnormal cells

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Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen



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