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Fertility Dictionary

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infertility - the inability of a couple to achieve a pregnancy after one year of regular unprotected sexual relations, or the inability of a woman to carry a pregnancy to live birth

intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) - a laboratory procedure in which a single sperm is directly inserted into an individual egg

intrauterine insemination (IUI) - the introduction of specially prepared sperm directly into the uterus through the cervix

in vitro fertilization (IVF) - an infertility treatment procedure in which one or more eggs, each removed from a ripe follicle, is fertilized by sperm outside the human body before being placed in a woman's uterus to implant and result in pregnancy

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laparoscopy - a surgical procedure in which a telescope-like device is inserted through a small incision near the navel to view the pelvic cavity, the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus

LH surge - a spontaneous release of large amounts of luteinizing hormone during a woman's menstrual cycle that stimulates the ovarian follicle to release its egg, resulting in ovulation

luteal phase - the days of a menstrual cycle following ovulation and ending with menses; usually lasts between 12 and 14 days

luteinizing hormone (LH) - a hormone that causes the ovary to release a mature egg (ovulation); stimulates testosterone production in males

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male factor infertility - the condition when a couple's infertility is attributed to the man

menstruation - a recurring cycle (beginning at menarche and ending at menopause) in which the endometrial lining of the uterus prepares for pregnancy. If pregnancy does not occur, the tissue and blood is shed

metrorrhagia - menstrual spotting during the middle of the cycle

microinsemination - a laboratory technique in which sperm are injected next to the egg cell surface to increase the likelihood of fertilization

micromanipulation - a procedure used to treat male factor infertility in which a single sperm is injected under the outer layer of the egg to induce fertilization

microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration (MESA) - a procedure in which sperm are obtained from the epididymis by aspiration or surgical incision

miscarriage - also called a spontaneous abortion, a pregnancy that ends before the fetus can survive outside the uterus; may occur because the fetus is not developing properly or because the placenta is not attached properly

mittelschmerz - discomfort felt on one side of the lower abdomen at the time of ovulation

multiple birth - the birth of two or more offspring produced in the same gestational period

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Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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