Glossary

EGG FREEZING GLOSSARY

AMH

Anti­Mullerian Hormone, also referred to as MIS (Mullerian Inhibiting Substance), is produced by the ovarian follicles. AMH levels correlate with the number of antral follicles in the ovaries and gives an estimate of remaining egg supply. Women with lower AMH have lower antral follicular counts and produce a lower number of eggs compared with women with higher levels.

Antral follicle count (AFC)

The number of follicles detected by the ultrasound at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, which indicates the size of your ovarian reserve.

ASRM

American Society of Reproductive Medicine

ART

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (i.e.: IVF, egg vitrification)

CDC

Center for Disease Contro

Chromosomal abnormalities

An atypical number of chromosomes. When numerical abnormalities occur in germ cells (i.e. sperm and egg cells) or during the very early stages of fetal development they may result in a miscarriage or in a developmental abnormality such as Down’s syndrome.

Egg donation

The process by which a woman donates several (usually 10­15) eggs for purposes of ART.

Egg freezing

See oocyte cryopreservation

Egg vitrification

Instead of slowly being cooled, eggs are quickly vitrified by replacing their water content with a cryoprotectant solution. When ready to be used, vitrified eggs are thawed instead of warmed resulting in decreased rates of ice crystal development that often occurs in the slow cooling method.

Embryo

A fertilized egg that has begun cell division.

Estradiol

The primary female sex hormone. It is formed from developing ovarian follicles and is responsible for female characteristics and sexual functioning. Estradiol levels are also measured in the FSH Day 3 blood exam to check ovarian reserves.

Fallopian tubes

Two tubes that transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus (womb).

"Fast” egg freezing

see egg vitrification

Fertilization

The union of mature male and female gametes (reproductive cells) to form a zygote (or fertilized egg).

FET

Frozen embryo transfer

FSH

Follicle stimulating hormone; causes follicles to grow

FSH Day 3 Test

Follicle stimulating hormone test is a routine blood test administered on Day 3 of menstruation to measure ovarian reserves. High levels of FSH may indicate poor ovarian reserves while low levels of FSH indicate strong ovarian reserves.

HCG

Human chorionic gonadotropin

Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy assesses the health of the womb. The patient is put under mild sedation while a doctor uses a telescope to check the uterine cavity for fibroids, polyps, scar tissue or other issues.

LH

Luteinizing hormone; causes eggs to mature

ICSI

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is used to fertilize frozen eggs. The technique involves directly injecting a single sperm into a single egg with a needle instead of allowing sperm to penetrate the egg naturally in a Petri dish.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

The process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. If successful, the fertilized egg or embryo will be transferred to the uterus.

Menopause

The cessation of ovulation and menstrual cycles.

Oocyte

An immature, or unfertilized, female egg cell.

Oocyte cryopreservation

Commonly referred to as egg freezing, oocyte cryopreservation is a procedure that extracts, freezes and stores unfertilized eggs for future use.

Ovarian Follicles

A cellular structure found in the ovary where immature eggs mature, leading to ovulation and either pregnancy or menstruation.

OHSS

Ovarian hyperstimulation occurs when ovaries are overstimulated causing them to become extremely swollen and painful and in rare cases requires aspiration of accumulated fluid in the abdomen cavity.

Ovarian reserves

Indicates a woman’s fertility potential and is commonly used as a barometer for the likelihood of fertility success.

Ovary

One of a pair of reproductive glands located on each side of the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs and female hormones. During a healthy menstrual cycle, one egg is released from one ovary.

Ovulation

Time at which a mature egg is released from the ovary, passed through the fallopian tube and ready for fertilization.

Ovum

see oocyte

PCOS

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome occurs when estrogen and progesterone hormones are out of balance leading to ovarian cysts, menstrual irregularities and infertility issues.

SART

Society for Reproductive Technology

“Slow” egg freezing

Process by which female eggs are slowly dehydrated by replacing their water content with small amounts of cryoprotectant, or freezing agent. When the eggs reach minus 32 Celsius they are placed in liquid nitrogen and transformed into a solid.

Ultrasound

A medical imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves. Ultrasounds are used in egg freezing for visualizing the follicles in the ovaries.

Vitrify

To change or make into glass or a glassy substance. (see egg vitrification)

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