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Technical terms

 
 

A

Acupuncture

Acupuncture plays a key part in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In the concepts of TCM, life's energy (Qi) flows along channels in the body called the meridians. Patients are treated by the insertion of small needles into specific points along these meridians
 

Androgen

Male hormone
 

Antagonist

See GnRH-Antagonist
 

Antibodies

Protein molecules produced by our immune system that recognise and neutralise foreign molecules
 

Array-CGH

A molecular cytogenetic test that scans the entire genome for abnormalities
 

Assisted Hatching

Helps the embryo hatch in the case of a thickened zona pellucida or after thawing; a laser is used to cut a small hole in the zona pellucida from where the embryo can hatch out and implant itself.
 
 

B

Basal Temperature

Body temperature after awakening but before physical activity
 

Biopsy

Removal of bodily tissue for examination (see TESE)
 
 

C

Cervix factor

The cervical glands produce mucus that helps sperm move and survive
 

Chlamydia

A type of bacteria that often infects the reproductive organs
 

Chromosome abnormality

Any change in the normal structure of chromosomes
 

Corpus luteum

A progesterone-secreting yellow tissue produced by the follicle remains after ovulation
 

Cryopreservation

The transfer of a maximum of two embryos is allowed per cycle. The remaining embryos can be frozen at the so-called blastocyst stage. Cryo-preservation and the associated possibility of a cryo-embryo transfer avoid repeated stimulation and oocyte pick-up. However, not all embryos survive the thawing process. The pregnancy rate is also lower by about 5% compared with fresh transfers.
 

Cyst

Closed sack that may be filled with fluid
 
 

D

Donor Sperm Treatment

This procedure is carried out when there is absolute sterility in the male partner. A sperm donor's frozen sample is used that has been tested for infectious diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C and TPHA.
 

Down Regulation

GnRH Agonists reduce the amount of FSH and LH secreted by the pituitary gland.
 
 

E

Ejaculation

Release of semen
 

Embryo

The fertilised oocyte up to the third month of pregnancy
 

Embryo transfer

Transfer of the fertilised oocyte into the uterus after IVF or ICSI
 

EmbryoGlue®

Increases the chances of embryo implantation; enriched with carbohydrates and amino acids, it helps the embryo during the time of transfer and implantation. It contains a relatively high concentration of recombinant hyaluron and albumin.
 

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is the presence of endometrial-like cells outside the uterine cavity (peritoneum, ovary, fallopian tube). Endometriosis may cause growths that lead to tube infertility but is also often observed in sterility patients with no fallopian tube occlusion.
 

Estrogen

Female sex hormone directing the formation of the endometrial lining and the liquefaction of the cervix mucus
 
 

F

Fetus

The unborn young from the 4th month of pregnancy
 

Follicle

Fluid-filled sack that contains the oocytel during maturation
 

Follicle Puncture

Extraction of mature oocyte cells from the ovaries
 

Follitropin

Bio-technically engineered FSH of high purity
 

FSH

Follicle-stimulating hormone that regulates maturation of oocytes
 
 

G

GnRH

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone; released by the hypothalamus to signal the secretion of FSH and LH
 

GnRH-Agonist

Medication that inhibits secretion of LH and FSH by the pituitary gland
 

GnRH-Antagonist

Medication that works directly on the pituitary gland to inhibit secretion of FSH and LH
 
 

H

Halo Test

Sperm test examining DNA fragmentation measured by the DFI (DNA Fragmentation Index): 0-15% equals normal, 15-30% reduced fertility and a value of 30%+ indicates that fertility is severely reduced
 

HCG

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin; maintains the corpus luteum; used in IVF to trigger ovulation
 

Heterologous IUI

Donor sperm is used for insemination that has been carefully examined
 

Homologous IUI

the partner's own sperm sample is used
 

Hypothalamus

Gland located at the base of the brain; controls the menstrual cycle
 
 

I

ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection)

Oocytes are transferred into small drops in a petri dish and placed under the microscope. The partners sperm is placed into another drop in the same dish. With the help of micromanipulators a single sperm is inserted directly into the oocyte. All other steps are identical to regular IVF.
 

ICSI - TESE

In cases when no sperm is found in the semen sample, sperm can be retrieved directly from the testis tissue. Testicular biopsy is an outpatient procedure performed under local anaesthesia. The tissue sample is processed in our laboratory and either used immediately for microinjection or frozen.
 

Immune System

Organs, cells and proteins that protect the body from harmful substances
 

Implantation

Attachment of the fertilized oocyte to the uterine wall
 

IMSI

Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection; sperm is selected with the help of a high magnification objective (600x) and real-time digital enhancement, which magnifies the sperm sample over 6000 times. The selected sperm is then injected into the oocyte in the same manner as in the ICSI process.
 

Infectious Blood Profile

Prior to IVF treatment, the couple's blood is tested for the following: Hepatitis B and C, HIV and TPHA. This is done to protect both partners and the baby, as well as other patients treated in our institute.
 

Insemination IUI

Specially prepared sperm are placed in a thin catheter and injected into the uterus. This procedure is performed on the day of ovulation.
 

IVF (In-vitro-Fertilisation = extracorporeal fertilisation)

In IVF, the woman's eggs are harvested and fertilised with her partner's sperm outside the body. The first divisions of oocytes occur within the next 24 hours. The embryos are usually transferred to the uterus two days after fertilisation.
 
 

L

Laparoscopy

Visualization of the abdomen
 

Luteinising Hormone (LH)

Hormone that triggers ovulation
 
 

M

Male Subfertility

The extent of male infertility can vary from minimal to severe.
 

Masturbation

Self-stimulation resulting in orgasm; in IVF, the male partner's sperm is collected this way.
 

Menotropin

Purified preparation of FSH and LH extracted from the urine of postmenopausal women
 

Menstruation

Discharge of the menses
 

MESA

Sperm is extracted directly from the epididymis in a microscopically controlled operation performed under general anaesthesia. The samples obtained are tested for motile sperm while in the operating theatre. Motile sperm can then be used directly for microinjection or frozen for later use.
 

Microinjection

See Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)
 

Miscarriage

About 10 - 20% of all pregnancies end within the first three months. The reasons are many. Often, this is due to a natural selection process involving a genetic fault in the fetus.
 

Multiple Pregnancies

Multiple pregnancies are recorded in 10-20% of all IVF or ICSI pregnancies. Twin pregnancies can cause troubles for mother and child, but carrying triplets means a high-risk pregnancy at risk of giving birth to severely premature infants (before the 30th week of pregnancy). We at Sterignost are supporters of the SET ( single embryo transfer) if the risk of achieving a multiple pregnancy is too high. See : SET.
 
 

O

Oocyte Pick Up

The ultrasound probe is fitted with a guidance device and a thin needle is inserted transvaginally into the follicles of the ovary to carefully remove the fluid inside which carries the oocyte. The whole procedure is monitored on the ultrasound screen. The follicular fluid is immediately examined under a microscope for the presence of oocytes. Patients recieve local anaesthesia.
 

Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome

Stimulation therapy may result in enlarged ovaries, as well as fluid build-up within the abdomen, bloating, nausea and shortness of breath; may require hospitalisation.
 

Ovary

One of a pair of female reproductive glands producing oocytes
 

Ovulation

The first day of menstruation signals the start of oocyte maturation in the follicles of the ovary. In mid-cycle, the follicles break open and the cilia cells of the fimbria capture the oocyte and draw it into the fallopian tube. In a normal cycle usually only one follicle matures, in stimulated cycles there can be several.
 
 

P

PGD

Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis: Examination of an IVF-generated embryo to determine certain genetic diseases and chromosome abnormalities prior to implantation.
 

PGS

Pre-implantation genetic screening: genetic examination of embryo on grounds of advanced maternal age and the therefore higher risk for chromosomal abnormalities in the offspring.
 

Physiological ICSI

We again look for sperm in a medium fortified with hyaluronan by applying criteria of maturity, motility and morphology at a magnification of 400 times (ICSI) or 6000 times (IMSI), but we immobilise selected sperm inside the medium and do not use PVP (polyvinyl pyrrolidone).
 

Pituitary Gland

An endocrine gland secreting FSH and LH
 

Placenta

Placenta provides oxygen and nutrients for the foetus and produces hormones to maintain the pregnancy.
 

Postcoital Test

A test of survival rates and motility of sperm in the cervical mucus 7-10 hours after intercourse
 

Progesterone

Luteal hormone; prepares the uterus for embryo implantation and maintains the pregnancy
 

Prolactin

Hormone secreted by the pituitary gland directing milk production after birth; high levels of prolactin may be a cause of infertility.
 
 

S

Seminal Plasma

Part of ejaculate that does not contain sperm and comprises secretions of the accessory sex glands. Sperm is separated by centrifugation from the plasma in the laboratory.
 

Seminal Plasma Wash

If implantation repeatedly fails (despite good embryos and endometrium), then introduction of the male partner's seminal plasma into the cervix shortly after follicle pick up may increase the female partner's chances of pregnancy.
 

SET: Single Embryo Transfer

Transfer of a single embryo into the uterine cavity to avoid the risk of a multiple pregnancy
 

Social Freezing

Young women who have not yet found a partner for life or who have decided to give birth later in life, are able to freeze their oocytes to increase their chances of having an own child at a later date.
 

Sperm

Male reproductive cell
 

Spermiogram

A semen sample is tested for quantity, motility, morphology and survival rate of sperm cells. Frequently, microbiological tests, biochemical parameters of seminal fluid and biological properties of sperm are examined to determine the causes of male infertility.
 

Spontaneous Cycle

Oocytes are aspired from the ovaries at the measured time of ovulation during a normal cycle without or with relatively little hormonal stimulation
 

Sterilisation

Occlusion of the fallopian tubes in women or the seminal ducts in men to prevent pregnancy
 

Stimulation Therapy

Stimulation therapy promotes the growth of several follicles required for IVF or ICSI. Hormones are taken both orally and injected with a small needle.
 
 

T

TESA

Testicular Sperm Aspiration: A thin needle is used to aspire seminal fluid directly from the testis.
 

TESE

Testicular Sperm Extraction; Removal of testis tissue for sperm retrieval.
 

Testosterone

Male sex hormone promoting production and maturation of sperm
 

TSH

Thyroid hormone
 

TUNEL-Test (terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated UDP nick-end labelling)

Sperm analysis test indicating DNA fragmentation; high levels of fragmentation cause infertility
 
 

U

Uterus

Womb
 
 

V

Varicocele

Enlargement of veins within the scrotum
 
 

p

pICSI

During a normal ICSI procedure sperm is selected under the microscope according to certain morphological criteria. Morphology alone is not equivalent to functionality or maturity, therefore "immature" sperm may also be selected even if the morphological parameters are good. By using hyaluronan and a special petri dish, a mature motile sperm is aspired in a non-invasive procedure, tested morphologically and then injected directly into the oocyte.
 
 

Dreams which have come true

Happy parents give encouragement

Finally our baby!

Since our biggest wish - the one of finally becoming parents - didn't realize, we decided to undergo IVF treatment.
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Our baby!

Experience says it is a huge burden,
love says it is the greatest happiness,
we say that it is our baby!
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Should no one ever call me mommy?

I've tried to get pregnant for 6 years but it never happened.
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