Monday, June 21, 2010

Infertility 101....

I wanted to define some common "lingo" from the infertility world. I know you may not care about what any of these words mean, but chances are I am not the only person you know experiencing infertility. I wanted to do this so that when you are having conversations with people who are going down this path you will have an idea of what in the world they are talking about when they say words you can't even spell! It will make your conversation so much easier, and trust me they will feel comforted in knowing that you understand (even just a little bit). So, here we go:

**Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs): A collection of medical procedures used to assist reproduction, such as IUI or IVF.

**Clomid: A common brand name for "clomiphene citrate", an oral medication prescribed to induce ovulation.

Ectopic Pregnancy: A pregnancy in which the baby implants somewhere other than the mother's uterus, often in a fallopian tube. The mother's life is usually at risk as the pregnancy progresses.

**Endometriosis: A disease characterized by the growth of endometrium (tissue lining the uterus) outside of the uterus, causing lesions which may respond to the hormones of a woman's menstrual cycle by causing bleeding, inflammation, pain, adhesions, scar tissue, and infertility.

**Follicle: A "cyst" containing a maturing egg. When the follicle ruptures to release an egg from the ovary, the process is called ovulation.

**human chorionic gonadotropic (hCG): The "pregnancy hormone" detectable via urine or blood testing. This # rises rapidly during pregnancy. HCG is sometimes administered by injection to trigger ovulation in ARTS procedures.

**hysterosalpingogram (HSG): A procedure where x-ray observation of a woman's uterus and fallopian tubes is conducted by injecting dye through the cervix, allowing medical staff to evaluate uterine shape and openness of tubes.

**Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): A medical process for placing washed sperm into a woman's uterus near the time of ovulation.

In vitro fertilization (IVF): Eggs and sperm are collected from each partner and placed together to incubate outside the woman's body. If eggs are fertilized, developing embryos are then transferred into the mother's uterus and/or frozen for future pregnancy attempts.

**laparoscopy: "Band-Aid surgery" where a narrow telescope is inserted through small incisions in a woman's abdomen for the purpose of examining the exterior of her reproductive organs. Endometriosis can be diagnosed. This procedure is minor, but can still be rather painful and require several days of recover.

Selective reduction: the intentional abortion of one or more babies in a multiple pregnancy.

**Sperm washing: the separation of sperm from seminal fluids.

This is definitely not a complete list of all the terms. I just picked out a few that I thought were most common. I also included ** by the ones that I have a first-hand experience with. Please let me know if you have any questions about any of this or if there is something that I failed to cover! OK....go back to enjoying your summer break (if you're lucky enough to have one)...class dismissed. And I leave you with this.....Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friend's counsel that comes from the heart. --Proverbs 27: 9

1 comment:

  1. I love the verse at the end of this post. It is so true!