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Glossary

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A

AMH: Anti-Müllerian hormone

Indicates the activity of the ovaries and provides information about the ovarian capacity.

Ampoule

Fimbria funnel. The opening of the fallopian tube that receives the egg. Fertilisation takes place there.

engl. „assisted hatching“

Opening of the oocyte membrane before transfer to facilitate hatching, which is necessary later.

B

Blastocyst

Embryo 5 days after fertilisation.

C

CatSper test : 

Early detection of male infertility by analysing the CatSper channel. If there is a defect, the sperm are not activated and cannot penetrate the egg membrane to be fertilised.

Colour Doppler

Ultrasound method for measuring blood flow according to the physical Doppler principle. Allows statements to be made about expected egg quality and endometrial quality. Poor blood flow to the endometrium can be improved by treatment with sildenafil (Viagra).

Corpus luteum

Corpus luteum. Forms the sex hormones, especially progesterone for maintenance.

Cryopreservation

Deep-freeze preservation of sperm cells, testicular tissue, oocytes, pronuclear stages, embryos.

D

DIR

German IVF Register. All stimulation cycles for IVF are recorded prospectively from day 7 of stimulation. Cases that are not entered by the 7th stimulation day do not count in the evaluation. Subsequent entries or changes are not possible, or are logged in a traceable manner, so that data manipulation is virtually impossible in the DIR.

E

Early abortion

Early miscarriage. Chromosomal defects of the embryo lead to failure to develop, failure to implant or miscarriage before the 12th week of pregnancy. Approximately 25% – 30% or more (depending on the woman’s age) of the earliest and early pregnancies are lost through miscarriage.

Eight-cell

Embryo 3 days after fertilisation.

Embryo transfer

Reset fertilised eggs, 2-5 days after retrieval.

Endocrine sterility

Infertility due to hormone disorders.

Endometriosis

Tissue similar to the lining of the uterus outside the uterus, leads to pain, adhesions, sterility, etc. due to damage to the fallopian tubes.

F

Fertilisation

Insemination.

Follicle

Ovary in which the microscopically small egg cell is located and matures under the influence of hormones. The envelope cells of the follicle produce the sex hormone oestradiol.

Follicular puncture

Aspiration of the follicular fluid with oocyte under ultrasound vision.

Four cell

Embryo 2 days after fertilisation.

FSH
Follicle-stimulating hormone, causes follicle growth, oestrogen formation and oocyte maturation in the ovary. Increase in women may indicate menopausal situation. Elevation in the male indicates spermatogenesis disorder.

G

Globozoospermia

The sperm lacks an acrosome. Such sperm cannot be absorbed into eggs. This disorder can be overcome by ICSI.

GnRH

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone. Causes the release and formation of the hormones of the pituitary gland = hypophysis.

GnRH analogues

Drug that causes the release of existing hormones in the pituitary gland, but subsequently prevents their regeneration (e.g. Profact, Decapeptyl, Synarella, Suprecur, Enantone).

GnRH antagonist

Drug that prevents the GnRH effect in the pituitary gland (e.g. Cetrotide).

Gonadotropins

Hormones of the pituitary gland to control ovarian function: FSH and LH.

Gonadotropin preparations

Gonadotropins derived from human urine or produced by genetic engineering. Medication to stimulate the maturation of several eggs in the ovaries (usually only one egg matures in the natural cycle). Corresponding effect as FSH (and LH).

Gravidity

Pregnancy. The blastocyst hatches and nests in the uterus.

H

engl. „hatching“

Hatching of the blastocyst from the outer egg membrane, necessary for implantation in the endometrium.

HCG

Human chorionic gonadotropin = pregnancy hormone. Has the same effect as LH and is therefore used as a drug to induce ovulation. It is also used as a medicine in the luteal phase = 2nd half of the cycle to support the function of the corpus luteum. Can cause hyperstimulation syndrome under certain conditions.

Heterolog

Behandlung mit Spendersamen.

Hormones

Intrinsic or genetically engineered active substances. They usually travel from the site of formation to the site of action via the bloodstream and induce certain biochemical reaction processes there.

Hypothalamus

Region in the diencephalon that produces GnRH.

I

ICSI

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection, injection of a sperm cell into an egg cell.

ICSI study

Multicentre prospective voluntary reporting of all ICSI pregnancies to an ICSI study central registry. Approximately 60 IVF centres participated over two years with relevant numbers. Recruitment had been completed since August 2000. Results had been available since November 2001. The ICSI study showed a slightly increased risk of malformation as a result of the procedure, but this seems to be less method-related than pair-related.

Idiopathic sterility

Infertility without demonstrable cause in the standard examinations. Functional disorders of sperm cells and/or oocytes are possible, as are genetic defects. Next to male infertility, the most common form of fertility disorder today.

Immunological sterility

Infertility caused by the body’s own defence substances against the embryo.

Implantation

Implantation of the embryo.

Insemination

1. injection of sperm into the uterus. 2. introduction of sperm cells to the oocytes in culture medium for IVF. 3. microinjection of a sperm cell into an egg cell (see below ICSI).

IVF

In vitro fertilisation = fertilisation “in a glass” = outside the body.

J

K

L

LH

Luteinising = yellow body-inducing hormone, causes ovulation, formation of the corpus luteum and thus progesterone formation in the ovary.

M

Male sterility

Infertility due to the absence of sperm cells (due to sperm duct obstruction or lack of sperm cell formation) or due to too few or too few mobile or functionally restricted sperm cells.

MESA

Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration, extraction of sperm cells from the epididymis = epididymis. Today, TESE is usually preferred because it is associated with better fertilisation rates.

Morula

Embryo 4 days after fertilisation.

N

O

OAT syndrome

Oligo (few) – Astheno (poorly mobile) – Terato (malformed) – Zoospermia (sperm cells in the ejaculate).

Oestradiol

Controls the formation of GnRH and gonadotropins, leads to various changes in the female sexual organs, including growth of the endometrium.

Ovary

Ovary. Site of egg maturation and the formation of the female sex hormones oestradiol and progesterone.

Ovulation

Ovulation. Bursting of the mature follicle due to the influence of the gonadotropin LH or similar hormone action (cf. ß-HCG below) and release of the egg. The sheath cells become the corpus luteum.

Ovum

Egg cell. Consists of outer shell = zona pellucida and ovum and 1st polar body.

P

PCO syndrome

Polycystic ovary syndrome = small cystic change in the ovaries, increase in masculinising sex hormones = androgens, tendency to acne, male type of hair, possibly overweight, less frequent periods. Infertility treatment often involves a risk of multiple births and overstimulation (see below).

PICSI

The selection of mature sperm for performing ICSI through the PICSI® dish for qualitative sperm assessment significantly reduces the abortion rate. The test is performed again shortly before the intracytoplasmic sperm injection as part of IVF treatment in each IVF cycle.

Pituitary

Pituitary gland. Produces hormones which in turn control the function of other hormone-producing organs, e.g. gonadotropins for ovarian control o. e.g. hormone for controlling thyroid function.

Pre-treatment

GnRH analogue (see above) stops the body’s own gonadotropin action.

Pregnancy rate

The pregnancy rate/embryo transfer gives little indication of the quality of outcome from the activities of an IVF working group. The quality of outcome is reflected exclusively by the birth rate / treatment cycle started according to DIR. Ask for it, let us show you the official DIR evaluations!

Preimplantation diagnostics

Genetic examination of the embryo by removing one or, more rarely, two cells (blastomeres) and subsequent analysis for chromosomal changes or genetic alterations.

Progesterone

Luteal hormone, prepares the lining of the uterus for implantation of the embryo and supports early pregnancy.

pronuclear stage

Oocyte approx. 16-20 hours after fertilisation (penetration/insertion of sperm). Ideally, every third pronuclear stage reaches the blastocyst stage.

Q

R

Risks

Multiple pregnancy. Hyperstimulation syndrome (ÜSS).

S

Sperm

Sperm cell, consists of head with acrosome, midpiece and tail. The acrosome is important for the uptake into the egg cell. The head contains the chromosomes = the genetic material. In the middle piece is a structure (centrosome) that is responsible for the fertilised egg’s ability to divide. If a certain number of sperm lack this cell organelle in the middle section, which cannot be detected by light microscopy in a conventional spermiogram, the man in question is absolutely and untreatably infertile. The tail causes the movement.

Sperm-AK

Antibodies = defence substances against sperm cells in man or woman.

Spermiogram

Sperm cell examination.

engl. „spinhead“

“sperm” consisting only of tail and middle piece. Men who predominantly form spinheads are absolutely and untreatably infertile.

Sterility

Infertility.

Stimulation

Treatment with gonadotropins. The aim is to mature several eggs that are equally capable of development.

T

TESE

Testicular sperm extraction, extraction of sperm from testicular tissue.

Testis

Testicles. Site of spermatogenesis and the formation of the male sex hormone.

Testosterone

Male sex hormone.

Trophoblast

Ovary, forms pregnancy hormone. In this way, the embryo supports its own further development.

Tubal pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy. Implantation of the embryo in the fallopian tube. In rare cases, if overlooked, can lead to life-threatening complications (burst fallopian tube, risk of bleeding). In IVF, in rare cases there is a combination of pregnancy in the uterus and pregnancy in the fallopian tube!

Tubal sterility

Infertility due to tubal occlusion or tubal dysfunction due to inflammation or endometriosis.

Tube (tubae uterinae)

Fallopian tube. The fertilised egg divides during the 4-5 days of its migration through one of the two fallopian tubes into the uterus until it becomes a blastocyst.

U

uFSH/ rFSH

From human urine or genetically engineered gonadotropin (e.g. Fostimon, Bravelle / Gonal F, Puregon).

uHMG

Menopausal gonadotropin derived from human urine, contains FSH and LH (e.g. Menogon HP).

ÜSS

Cyst formation in both ovaries triggered by HCG after stimulation and formation of significantly more than 10 follicles and possibly massive accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity and between the lungs and pleura. In addition, vomiting may occur. Risk of thrombosis due to fluid loss.

V

W

X

Y

Z