The first stage of development of embryo, a fertilised egg. a cell with full set of chromosomes.
Period absence or interruption.
Ovulation absence, the woman may menstruate without ovulation.
Intervention in the embryonic sheet, facilitates implantation, i.e. nesting of the embryo inside the uterus.
Live sperm cells absence in ejaculate.
Tissue sampling used for cytological or histological examination to confirm or negate a suspicion of tumour.
5–6 days old embryo.
Cell produced by division of the fertilised egg. Blastomeres are characterised by intensive mitotic dividing activity (known as cleavage of the zygote) and produce a multicellular (consisting of approximately 16 cells) cluster called morula.
Set of all chromosomes in the core of the cell. The cell cores of of a certain organism and species have a constant number, size and shape of chromosomes and therefore they are used as species characteristics. Caryotype is one of the basic objects of cytogenetics.
The neck of the uterus, known as the uterine cervix. The lower narrow part of the uterus. The uterine cervix has a cylindrical or conical shape and approximately half of it is easily accessible during standard gynaecological examination.
Examination of the surface of uterine cervix using special microscope – colposcope, which allows for detecting early changes on teh cervix. From the patient’s perspective colposcopy does not differ much from a common gynaecological examination.
Freezing of embryos (cryopreservation) is a method used to preserve embryos.
After retrieval embryos are placed in special containers stored in liquid nitrogen at low temperature (- 196 degrees Celsius). They are kept in groups of two to four pieces, in a special liquid, which protects them from damage during freezing.
After thawing it is possible tu use approximately 60-80 % of the originally frozen embryos.
Cultivation is a technique involving storage of the embryos in laboratory for up to six days.
Cytological examination. The cells are taken from the surface of the uterine cervix (compare with histology). Cytological examination cannot determine the relation of the tumour to the surrounding tissue (in case of carcinoma it is not possible to find out where exactly it is located and other examinations are required).
Extrauterine pregnancy. Abnormal pregnancy when the fertilised egg nests outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or inside the abdominal cavity.
Initial phase of foetal growth from conception until the eighth week of pregnancy.
Endometriosis is a condition where parts of the endometrium occur outside the uterine cavity. Endometriosis may also be a cause of female infertility.
Endometrium or uterine mucusis the inner membrane lining the uterus. During the cycle the endometrium grows into a rough tissue layer rich in blood vessels – getting ready to provide optimum environment for nesting of the blastocyst (embryo).
Primarilly they are female sex hormones, but in a small amount they also appeare in men bodies . Estrogens (or oestrogens) are also parts of some contraceptive pills and mecicaments for women after menopause.
Narrow and flexible tube starting in the corner of the uterus, with funnel-shaped ending in the abdominal cavity near the ovary. There are two fallopian tubes, each connecting one ovary. The role of the fallopian tubes is to transport the egg after ovulation into the uterus. Fertilization of the egg also takes place in the fallopian tube.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization is cytogenetic method, which allows mainly for staining of chromosomes or some of their parts. Special dyes are used in this method (fluorochromes), which bind to specific DNA sequence. The specimens are then studied under fluorescence microscope.
Ovarial follicle. It usually consists of one oocyte (the future egg) and layers of supportive follicular cells.
Hormon stimulating follicles. One of human sex hormones occuring in both sexes. In women it supports the growth of follicles (ovarian sacks) in the ovaries and stimulates production of estrogen. In men it induces production of sex cells (spermatogenesis).
Sex cells (sperm cells, eggs).
Choriogonadotropin. Human chorionic gonadotropin. After fertilisation it is produced by the developing embryo. This hormone can be detected from blood after 7 – 9 days following conception, 1 – 2 days later it also appears in urine.
X-ray examination detecting passability of the fallopian tubes. It usually takes place on outpatient basis and does not require general anaesthesia. The findings are relatively accurate. The advantage of this method is its simplicity and low risk rate. The examination can also asses the uterine cavity. The disadvantage of HSG is the fact that it cannot determine the accurate extent of tissue and cannot prove endometriosis.
The pituitary gland (glandula pituitaria). Central endocrinous gland, superior to all other endocrinous glands in the body. It produces FSH, LH and other hormones participating in growth and development.
The principle of this method is direct injection of a single sperm into the cytoplasm of ripe oocyte. First the selected sperm cell is immobilised and using a micromanipulating device it is injected into the oocyte.
Unexplained sterility. In 10-15 % of examined couples it is not possible to find any obvious cause of infertility: the semen quality is within the limits and the woman does not have any defects in her reproductive system. Such a situation is usually titled as idiopatic sterility.
Expert term used in medicine, biology and other related disciplines working with organisms and their parts under artificial conditions in a laboratory. The Latin term literally means „in glass“.
Process in which the egg is fertilized by the sperm outside the body: in vitro. It is one of methods of assisted reproduction , which is used in treatment of infertility. The process involves hormonal stimulation of the ovaries to stimulate development and ripening of more eggs, retrieval of eggs from the ovaries, and fertilization of the eggs by sperm cells. The fertilized egg (zygote) is then transferred into the uterus.
Luteinizing hormone or Lutropin supports the production of sex hormones. In women it triggers production of estrogens and progesterone in ovaries (therefore also the production of corpus luteum). In men it triggers production of testosterone in testicles.
Meiotic division, reductional division – is a cell division during which cells with reduced number of chromosomes are produced, which is the basic process allowing for sex reproduction. These cells (gametes) may either merge with other suitable gamete after some time and produce a new individual consisting again of double set of chromosomes (e.g. sperm and egg).
Loss of menstruation after passage. It is a natural phenomenon in the life of a woman, when the function of ovaries is inhibited, which leads to decreased production of estrogene and progesterone hormones. Menstrual cycle ceases and loss of fertility follows – the woman is not capable of achieving pregnancy (naturally; there are known cases of artificial fertilisation). Menopause comes approximately between 45th and 55th year of the woman´s age, but there may be variations (even extreme) in both directions.
In case that transport of sperm between the epididymis and urinary duct is occluded, sperm cells can be retrieved using the MESA technique (micro epididymal sperm aspiration) by surgical aspiration of the sperm from the epididymis.
Mitotic division is a type of cell division that aims to provide equal transfer of non-reduced genetic information to daughter cells. A complicated process precedes the division of the cell core during mitosis, and number of chromosomes remains the same in the daughter cell cores.
Disruption in the rhythm of menstrual bleeding, during which bleeding comes in intervals longer than 31 days. It is usually caused by hormonal disbalance and treatment may sort it out.
Reduced number of sperm cells in the ejaculate, reduced production of sperm.
Eggs or oocytes are female reproductive cells. Their development starts in prenatal phase. The production of ripe eggs is limited to the fertile period of a woman, which lasts from puberty to menopause.
Program of oocyte donation helps women, whose ovaries cannot produce quality eggs capable of fertilisation. This relates to women with premature menopause or with both ovaries removed, or patients with chromosomal aberration, which systematically transmits to offspring. Donors of oocytes are young healthy women who altruistically donate their eggs to those who need them.
Rare syndrome, which may occur when ovulation is induced or during methods of assisted reproduction.
The moment when ripe egg is released from the ovary. The released egg begins is slow descent through the fallopian tube towards the uterus, by means of moving cilia inside the lining of the fallopian tube. If it meets a sperm on this way, the cells merge and the egg is fertilised. After ovulation the egg quickly perishes and can be fertilised only within a period of less than 24 hours.
PICSI is a modification of micromanipulation ICSI fertilisation, during which only mature sperm cells are used that were tested for lower occurrence of chromosomal anomalies.
In some very specific cases there is a high risk of genetic transmission of some diseases onto the offspring (haemophilia, muscular dystrophy, etc.). In these cases isolated cells of the embryo, known as blastomers, are examined. Genetic examination of these cells may negate infection and only healthy embryos are transferred into the uterus.
A condition in which a couple cannot achieve pregnancy after one or two years of unprotected sexual intercourse. Infertility is a condition when the woman may become pregnant (through intercourse or assisted reproduction), but she is unable to carry the child through to delivery – it refers to repeated miscarriages.
Storage of embryos in laboratory; embryotransfer is performed on the 5th day of cultivation – this increases the chance to achieve gravidity. This treatment is used in patients with a history of several unsuccessful transfers.
Female sex hormone secreted by the corpus luteum on the ovary following ovulation. In this way the uterus gets ready for pregnancy. During pregnancy progesterone is also produced by the placenta. The body produces it also in a small amount by the adrenal glands or in testicles. Production of progesterone declines during climacteric.
Luteotropic hormone, which is produced by hypophysis. High level of this hormone leads to hyperprolactinaemia, which disrupts ovulation and may cause sterility or reduced fertility. Excessive production of prolactin may be caused by some drugs. The hormone stimulates the growth of the mammary glands and production of milk.
Method of retrieving oocytes from ovarian follicles. It is performed under short anaesthesia under ultrasound control through the vagina. The retrieved follicles are placed in a vessel with cultivating media and are identified under a microscope.
Condition when sperm cells are ejected back into the urinary glands during ejaculation instead of being squirted through the penis. Sperm cells are normal, may be retrieved from urine and used in assisted reproduction techniques.
Condition when a couple with one or more children cannot achieve another pregnancy after two years of unprotected intercourse.
Spermiogram or sperm count is a basic laboratory examination of the ejaculate, which refers to the man’s fertility. There are also other special methods of examining the quality of ejaculate, used to accurately determine fertility disorders.
Inability to achieve pregnancy.
Testicular extraction of spermatic tissue. Operation technique, during which a part of the testicular tissue is retrieved and is studied under microscope to extract sperm cells. It can be used if the ejaculate contains a low number of sperm cells or no sperm at all.
Defect caused by expansion of blood vessels, which lead blood away from the testicles. It affects 10 to 22 % of adult men and may be one of the causes of sterility. It can be removed by operation.
Method of freezing eggs, which is based on their immersion directly in liquid nitrogen at the temperature of -196 C. The main advantage of this method is that there are no ice crystals that could damage the egg and its cell structures.