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Fertility Terms Commonly Used in Assisted Reproduction

Learning many new terms, words, and care options during fertility treatments can seem overwhelming. Understanding what different services mean can help you to feel more informed, comfortable, and in control of your treatment. Our Connecticut fertility center is focused on personalized one-on-one care, and our goal is to help you feel confident during the time that we partner with you to achieve your fertility goals. Read on to learn some common fertility terms and fertility treatment options:

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) – IVF is one of the most common and successful infertility treatments. Female patients typically take medications that help them ovulate multiple eggs. The eggs are retrieved, fertilized, and then transferred back into the patient’s uterus.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) – A treatment option that injects a sperm directly into an egg. This is used during IVF when there are not enough sperm to incubate with an egg during the fertilization process.

Oocyte Retrieval – A 15-20 minute procedure to retrieve the eggs necessary for IVF. Before oocyte retrieval, a hormone called hCG is administered to help the eggs mature enough for fertilization

Embryo Transfer – During IVF, fertilized eggs (embryos) are transferred back into the uterus using a soft catheter that is passed through the cervix and into the uterus.

Egg Donation The act of using donor eggs in place of a patient’s own eggs. Donor eggs offer very high pregnancy success rates for patients who are not able to use their own eggs.

Ovulation Induction – A technique that uses medication to encourage a single egg to ovulate. This is commonly used in women who do not ovulate regularly.

Superovulation – For women who ovulate regularly, superovulation is intended to cause multiple eggs to develop.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) A fertility treatment where sperm are injected high in the uterus, next to the ovulated egg. Female patients typically take medication to encourage mature eggs to ovulate simultaneously with the sperm injection.

Blastocyst – A further developed embryo with two unique cell types and a central fluid-filled cavity. Using blastocysts during IVF can reduce the number of embryos implanted as they have a higher chance of progression.

Assisted Zona Hatching – The zona pellucida is a protective layer around the embryo that the embryo must break through before implanting into the uterus. Assisted zona hatching thins or creates a small hole in the zona pellucida to help the embryo break through.

While there are many additional terms that patients may want to become familiar with, the above terms and services are some of the most common terms related to fertility treatments. Our staff will make every effort to inform and educate you as you seek treatment at our Connecticut fertility center. To learn more about our impressive IVF success rates, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Levi, contact our office at 855-901-BABY (2229).