Medical history: history of the patient's previous illnesses and operations.
Anti-spermatozoa antibodies: the body's defence substances which are capable, under pathological conditions, of impairing the function of spermatozoa.
Azoospermia: total absence of spermatozoa in semen.
Astenozoospermia: alteration of male semen resulting in reduced sperm motility.
Beta HCG: a pregnancy test that is carried out via a blood examination. It serves to verify the implantation of the embryo.
Blastomeres: cells of the embryo formed by repeated mitotic divisions of the zygote.
Blastocyst: stage of the embryo that is obtained around day 5-6 of development.
Cervical canal: proximal part of the uterus that connects it with the vagina.
Peritoneal cavity: space inside the abdomen in which various organs (uterus, tubes, ovaries, bladder, intestines) are located and covered by a membrane called the peritoneum.
Sex cells/germ cells: cells with a reproductive function (oocytes and spermatozoon).
Cytoplasm: constituent part of the cell surrounded by plasma membrane and containing the nucleus.
Cryopreservation: maintenance of cell viability over time by conservation at a low temperature.
Chromosomes: components of the cell nucleus consisting mainly of DNA molecules; they contain genetic information.
GCT: Genetic Compatibility Testing.
Hormone dosage: test to determine the amount of hormones in the blood.
Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD): diagnosis of genetic diseases in the embryo before implantation in the uterus.
Ejaculate: all of the seminal fluid, sperm and cells within the seminal fluid.
Retrograde ejaculation: ejaculation that, due to anatomical or surgical causes or disease (e.g. diabetes) occurs in the bladder instead of outside.
Embryo donation: heterologous fertilisation treatment in which the embryo is generated through the use of oocytes or sperm from a donor outside the couple.
Embryo: fertilised oocyte that has undergone its first cell division.
Endometrium: mucous membrane covering the uterine cavity.
Endometriome: screening test that provides information on the intrauterine microbial environment.
Endometriosis: a disease frequently associated with infertility that consists of the abnormal implantation of the mucous membrane lining the uterine cavity (endometrium).
Epidididymis:organ in which sperm are temporarily collected after being produced in the testicle.
ERA Test: Endometrial receptivity test.
Oestradiol: hormone synthesised and secreted by the ovarian follicle.
Assisted Fertilisation: set of methods that assist the fertilisation process and the initial stages of embryo development.
Heterologous fertilisation: involves the use of sperm or oocytes from a donor outside the couple.
Homologous fertilisation: both gametes, sperm and oocytes, come from the couple.
IVF: In Vitro Fertilisation and Embryo Transfer, i.e. fertilisation in the laboratory, with subsequent transfer of the embryos into the uterus.
Follicle: fluid formation of the ovary that contains the egg cell. The follicle, in the pre-ovulatory phase, reaches a diameter of 18-24 millimetres.
Folliculogenesis: process leading to the cyclical maturation of oocytes (the female germ cells).
FSH: Follicle Stimulating Hormone, follicular growth hormone. It is a gonadotropin produced by the pituitary gland, which stimulates follicle growth and maturation. Medications containing this hormone are used for follicular growth stimulation.
Gametes: sex cells: oocytes in women, sperm in men.
Geri: state-of-the-art incubator with integrated time-lapse function.
GIFT: transfer of gametes (sex cells) into the tubes.
Gonadotropins: hormones secreted by the pituitary gland under hypothalamic control. They are the FSH and the LH.
Ectopic pregnancy: implantation of the embryo outside the uterus.
Heterotopic pregnancy: implantation of two or more embryos simultaneously in the uterus and somewhere else.
ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection, microinjection of one of the sperm into the oocyte.
Infertility or sterility: inability to achieve conception after two years of unprotected sexual intercourse with the aim of conceiving.
Pelvic infections: infections of varying severity that may occur in the uterus, tubes, ovaries or lower abdomen.
Tubal insufflation: diagnostic examination to detect possible pathologies of the cervical canal and uterine cavity.
Hyperstimulation: excessive stimulation of the ovarian function.
Hysterosalpingography: X-ray examination of the uterus and salpinges carried out with a contrast medium.
Hysteroscopy: surgical procedure in which a fine endoscope (hysteroscope) is used to visualise the uterine cavity or to perform an operation.
Laparoscopy: surgical procedure in which a thin, fibre-optic instrument (laparoscope) is used to visualise the pelvic organs or to perform surgery.
LH: Luteinising Hormone, gonadotropin produced by the pituitary gland that peaks mid-cycle and causes ovulation.
Seminal fluid: fluid composed of seminal plasma (produced by the prostate) and sperm.
Ultrasound and hormonal monitoring: monitoring of follicular growth by ultrasound and oestradiol plasma dosage.
Cervical mucous: a secretion produced by the cervix which allows sperm to pass into the uterus; this mucous becomes more pronounced and fluid just before ovulation.
NIPT: Non-Invasive Prenatal Test
Oligozoospermia: a reduced number of sperm in the ejaculate.
Egg donation: heterologous fertilisation treatment in which oocytes from a donor outside the couple are used and inseminated with the male partner's sperm.
Oocyte: egg cell.
Two-pronuclei oocyte: egg cell in which the 23 chromosomes of the sperm and the 23 chromosomes of the egg are present in two separate nuclei (male and female pronucleus).
Hormones: substances produced by the body through which different organs communicate with each other.
Ovulation: release of an oocyte from one of the ovaries.
PESA: Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration.
Oocyte pick-up or collection: puncture and aspiration of follicles through the vagina under ultrasound monitoring.
PGD: Preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
PGS: Preimplantation genetic screening.
PGT-A: Preimplantation genetic testing of chromosome aneuploidies (new name for PGS).
PGT-M: Preimplantation genetic test for monogenic abnormalities (new name for PGD).
PGT-SR: Preimplantation genetic test for structural chromosome abnormalities.
Pre-embryo: developmental stage between conception and day 14.
Progesterone: hormone secreted by the corpus luteum to prepare the endometrium for implantation of an embryo.
Spermatogonium: progenitor cell of the spermatozoon.
Spermatozoa: male sex cell present in the seminal fluid.
Spermicides: products capable of destroying spermatozoa, mainly used for contraceptive purposes.
Spermioculture: laboratory examination of seminal fluid to detect microbiotic infections.
Spermiogram: evaluation of certain morpho-functional parameters of the spermatozoa contained in the seminal fluid, such as total number, concentration, motility and morphology.
Stenosis: narrowing of the orifice of certain organs.
Teratozoospermia: presence of morphologically abnormal spermatozoa in a higher percentage than normal.
Growth medium: a chemical compound consisting of water, salts, proteins and amino acids, capable of allowing gametes and embryos to survive well in vitro.
TESA: Percutaneous Testicular Sperm Aspiration.
Eeva test: Embryo Early Viability Assessment.
Immunological tests: tests to detect the presence of specific antibodies.
Testicle: male gonad responsible for the production of spermatozoa and the secretion of testosterone.
Tube: female genital organ responsible for the uptake of oocytes, the transportation of sperm, fertilisation and the transportation of the embryo to the uterus.
Uterus: hollow muscular female genital organ which contains, protects and feeds the embryo and foetus.
Zygote: egg cell fertilised after amphimixis (reconstitution of a single gene pool of 46 chromosomes - 23 paternal and 23 maternal).