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Glossary of Terms

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Your Health Care Team
Lab Test & Procedures Part 1
Lab Test & Procedures Part 2
Other Terms Part 1
Other Terms Part 2


Your Health Care Team

Reproductive Endocrinologist: A Doctor with a specialty in in Gynecology and Obstetrics who is additionally trained through fellowship in women's infertility medicine and reproductive microsurgery.

Ph.D. High Complexity Laboratory Director:

Physician Assistant: A health care professional licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Common services provided by a PA include taking medical
histories and performing physical examinations; ordering and interpreting lab tests; diagnosing and treating illnesses; assisting in procedures or surgeries; prescribing and/or dispensing medication; and counseling patients.

Fertility Nurse Manager:

Medical Assistant: Assists the provider in giving care to patients. Will draw blood for lab tests. Also, coordinate care and serve as primary contact.

Psychologist: A therapist qualified to help individuals or couples discuss, understand and manage the stresses of infertility and its treatment. Educationally prepared to the level of Doctorate in Psychology.

Urologist: A physician specializing in male urinary tract problems who is particularly knowledgeable about penile and testicular function.

Receptionist: The first person the patient comes in contact with over the phone or at the office. Handles administrative duties. Also, able to assist patients with scheduling procedures and insurance benefits.

Sonographer: A technician qualified to perform ultrasounds to determine the size, shape, and dimensions of pelvic organs and ovarian follicles.

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Lab Tests & Procedures

Gamete Intra-fallopian Transfer (GIFT): Gamete intra-fallopian transfer involves combining sperm and eggs outside the body and immediately placing them into the fallopian tubes.

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): An x-ray study in which dye is injected into the uterus to show the body of the uterus and whether the fallopian tubes are open. Does not require anesthesia, although pain medication will be administered before the exam.

Hysteroscopy: An examination of the inside of the uterus through a fiberoptic telescope inserted through the vagina and cervical canal. Requires anesthesia.

Intra-Uterine Insemination (IUI): IUI is the insertion of sperm, which have been carefully washed and prepared, directly into the uterus.

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF): Performed in the laboratory, in vitro (in glass) fertilization involves the removal of eggs from ripe follicles and their fertilization by sperm cells outside the human body.

Laparascopy: Use of a surgical instrument inserted through small incision below the navel to allow direct visualization of the ovaries and the exterior of the fallopian tubes and uterus.

Ovulation Induction: Use of hormone therapy to stimulate oocyte (egg) development and release.

Post-Coital Test (PCT): Test in which cervical secretions are obtained following intercourse and analyzed under a microscope to discern problems with the interaction of sperm and cervical mucus.

Ultrasound: Also called sonogram. A technique using sound waves to visualize the uterus and ovaries, a fetus in the uterus, or the growth of ovarian follicles during infertility treatment.

Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer (ZIFT): Zygote intra-fallopian transfer involves in vitro fertilization with a transfer of the zygote into the fallopian tube. The zygote is an egg that has fertilized, but not yet divided.

Other Terms
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Embryo: a fertilized egg from conception to the eighth embryonic week.

Estradiol: A form of estrogen. This hormone is produced by developing follicles in the ovary. Measuring levels helps determine progressive growth of the follicles during ovulation induction.

FSH: Follicle Stimulating Hormone stimulates the ovary to ripen a follicle for ovulation.

Fibroid: A benign (not malignant) tumor of the uterine muscle and connective tissue.

Follicle: The structure in the ovary that nurtures a ripening egg and releases it.

Infertility: The inability of a couple to conceive a pregnancy after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse.

LH: Luteinizing Hormone increases in the middle of the cycle to trigger ovulation - the release of an egg.

Ovarian Cyst: Fluid filled sacs in the ovary.
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Release of an egg from its follicle in the ovary.

Progesterone: A female hormone secreted after ovulation has occurred. It prepares the lining of the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg.

Prolactin: Female hormone responsible for milk production in nursing mothers. Can be elevated for other reasons such as an underactive thyroid. Elevated prolactin can affect ovulation.

Sperm Morphology: Size and shape of individual sperm. Normal sperm have an enzyme-coated head, middle piece, and whip-like tail.

Sperm Motility: The ability of sperm to swim and move progressively. Motility is one of the most important determining factors in the sperm's ability to fertilize an egg.

STD: Sexually Transmitted Diseases include Chlamydia, Herpes, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and other conditions.

Testosterone: Male sex hormone produced in the testicles.

TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone is released by the pituitary gland to increase thyroid hormone production. TSH results can reveal whether thyroid function is normal, which is necessary for normal ovulation.

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