Santiago Brugo Olmedo M.D.
Medical Director
Seremas Medicine for men and women
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Glossary

Amenorrhea: It is the absence or abnormal cease of menstruation due to numerous facts including hormonal or physical failures, altered emotional status or nutrition disorders.

Anejaculation: Impossibility of ejaculation.

Anovulation: It is the absence of ovulation (releasing of an oocyte from the ovary).

A.R.: Assisted Reproduction (abbreviation by initials).

Aspiration: It is very gentle negative pressure applied on the ovarian follicle during the procedure of follicular aspiration in order to get the oocytes which will be used in IVF and ICSI techniques, depending on the case.

Assisted Hatching: It is a procedure of micromanipulation designed to improve implantation, where the embryologist opens the zona pellucida, which is the protecting coat of the embryo, by using an acid in order to make it easier for the embryo “to escape through it” from the zona pellucida at the moment of implantation.

Asthenozoospermia: Failure in the spermatozoa motility.

Azoospermia: It is the absence of spermatozoa in the ejaculate after evaluation of at least three samples.

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Biochemical Pregnancy: It is the pregnancy only confirmed by blood and urine tests, but which can not be evidenced with ultrasound.

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Cancellation: Sometimes, induction of ovulation cycles for Assisted Reproduction techniques, do not respond as expected and therefore it is cancelled. This might occur because of poor response (few follicles; low estradiol level) or excessive response (ovarian hyperstimulation, in other words too many follicles with an extremely high estradiol level).

Capacitation: It is the group of changes produced in the sperm structure as it goes through the female reproductive tract which allows them to get the “capacity” to penetrate and fertilize an oocyte. In Vitro, this is achieved by processing the sample of semen with special media culture and incubations.

Cervix: It is the uterus lowest section ending in the vagina which dilates when the woman is in labour in order to let the baby go through it.

Cleavage Embryo: A fertilized oocyte which has undergone cellular divisions.

Clinical Pregnancy:  Gestational sac confirmed by ultrasound, placed in the uterus.

Clomiphene Citrate: It is a medication used to produce ovulation, of indirect action, oral administration.

Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH): Through the use of certain medication, ovaries can be pharmacollogically stimulated, in order to stimulate the development of numerous follicles and therefore obtain several oocytes at the moment of the aspiration.

Corpus luteum: It is a specialized gland which is formed on the surface of the ovary in the place where ovulation occurred and it produces progesterone during the second half of menstrual cycle. Progesterone is the hormone which prepares the uterus endometrium for implantation.

Cryopreservation: Viability of cells is conserved through their storage at very low temperature and after having performed the proper procedure. In this way we can keep and preserve the gametes (spermatozoa, fertilized oocytes) or embryos.

Cryptozoospermia: Presence of very few spermatozoa after centrifugation of a semen sample with apparent absence of spermatozoa.

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Ectopic Pregnancy: It is that pregnancy which takes place outside the uterus, habitually in the Fallopian tubes.

Embryo Transfer: It is the transfer of obtained embryos to the uterine cavity after an Assisted Reproduction technique.

Endometriosis: It is a disease in which the normal endometrial tissue grows outside the uterine cavity.

Endometrium: It is the inner cover of the uterine walls which contains glands. The structure, thickness and stage of the endometrium suffer noticeable changes during the menstrual cycle.

Epididymis Punction: Punction of the epididymis with a very thin needle, destined to retrieve spermatozoa in a patient with azoospermia.

Estrogen: It is a female hormone produced mainly by the ovaries from puberty to menopause and it is responsible for the growth of the uterine wall inner cover during the first half of the mentrual cycle as response to the preparation of ovulation and potential pregnancy.

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Fertilization: It is the penetration of a spermatozoon into an oocyte with the formation of pronuclei which can be observed under the microscope and which will originate an embryo.

Follicle: It is the structure containing liquid and with origin in the ovary surface. It nourishes the oocyte which will grow inside it, the one it will release at the moment of ovulation.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): It is a hormone produced in the hypophysis and the one which stimulates the ovary so that this one reclutes follicles for its future ovulation.

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Gametes: Female (oocyte) and male (sperm) reproductive cells.

Gestational Sac: It is the structure surrounding the developing embryo which grows in the uterine cavity early at the beginning of the pregnancy.

GnRH Agonists: therapeutic group formed by different specifics (leuprolide acetate, for example, etc) which act on the hypophisis blocking temporarily the production of hormones which stimulate the ovaries and testis.

GnRH Analogues: They are synthetic hormones similar to those naturally produced in the hypothalamus.

GnRH Antagonists: Therapeutic group mainly composed of two specifics Cetrorelix and Ganirelix which act avoiding the LH hormone luteinizing action on the oocytes.

Gonadotropins: Generic name for a group of substances used to induce ovulation.

Gonadotropins Releasing Hormone (GnRH): Hormone secreted by the hypothalamus which makes the hypophysis release its own hormones FSH and LH in the blood system.

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HMG: Human Menopausic Gonadotropin, obtained from the urine, it has follicle stimulating and luteinizing action.

Hydrocele: Accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the scrotal sac.

Hyperinsulinemia: Metabolic state where insulin has more action and can be related to failures of ovulation.

Hyperprolactinemia: Increase in prolactin which can cause adverse effects on ovulation.

Hypospermia: small volume of ejaculate.

Hysterosalpingography:  It is an X-ray with a special colouring applied to the uterus in order to “see” the structure inside the uterus and to check if there is any blockage of the Fallopian tubes.

Hysteroscopy: It is the instrumental visual inspection of the cervical canal and the uterine cavity through the use of a hysteroscope.

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ICSI: (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) – It is a technique which involves micromanipulation of gametes in order to introduce one sperm into a carefully chosen oocyte using very delicate glass pipettes.

Implantation: It is the process through which the embryo hatches in the uterus endometrium.

Infertility: It is the impossibility for a couple to achieve pregnancy after one year of sexual intercourse with no protection, or the impossibility for the woman to keep pregnancy until the moment of birth (miscarriage). Primary infertility is the one that indicates that a couple has never conceived whereas secondary infertility refers to the couple that has already achieved pregnancy, whether it has achieved full-term, or not.

Intrauterine Insemination: It is the placement of processed spermatozoa without semen, in the woman’s cervix in order to achieve pregnancy.

IVF (In Vitro Fertilization): It is a method of Assisted Reproduction which involves a procedure to obtain oocytes in combination with the preparation of a spermatozoa sample, to put them all in the same place (Petri Dish) in order to achieve fertilization and later the formation of embryos which will be transferred to the uterus.

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Luteinizing Hormone (LH): It is the hormone that naturally starts ovulation and stimulates the corpus luteum so that this one secretes progesterone. It is synthesized and released in the hypophysis and in men it stimulates the production of testosterone.

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Metformin: It is one of the drugs used to treat hyperinsulinemia. It is also used for diabetes, in another context.

Miscarriage: spontaneous interruption of pregnancy.

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Oligozoospermia: It is an abnormally small number of spermatozoa in the man’s ejaculate.

Oocyte donation: It is a methodology of Assisted Reproduction where donated oocytes are used.

Ovulation: It is the release of a mature oocyte from the follicle. It happens approximately on the day 14 in women who cycle every 28 days.

Ovum or oocyte: Female gamete.

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Polyspermic Fertilization: It is the fertilization of an oocyte but by more than one sperm.

Polycystic Ovary: Clinical situation which can be characterized, among other things, by ovaries with multiple small follicles, placed peripherally.

Post Coital Test (PI):  It is the evaluation of the woman’s cervical mucus after having had sexual intercourse in her fertile period of the cycle in order to determine the quantity and motility of spermatozoa in it.

Prolactin: Hormone secreted by the hypophysis which takes part in the process of lactation in ovulation cycle.

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Recombinant FSH: Pure Follicle Stimulating Hormone obtained through genetic recombination. Pure follicle stimulating action.

Retro Ejaculation: Dysfunction of the internal sphincter of the bladder which permits the entrance of semen into it at the moment of the orgasm.

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Semen:  It is the group of spermatozoa and seminal secretion in the man’s ejaculation.

Spermatic Morphology: It is the shape of spermatic cells.

Spermatic Motility: Count of motile spermatozoa (any type – fast, intermediate, slow, in situ).

Sperm: It is the male gamete.

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Teratozoospermia: It is the failure in the spermatozoa morphology.

Testicular Biopsy: Surgical procedure, minimally invasive, performed in order to retrieve spermatozoa, in a patient with azoospermia.

Testosterone: It is the typical sexual male hormone and it is produced mainly in the testis.

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Ultrasound: Technique applied to medical imaging, the most common ecography, which allows us to see among other things, without using invasive methods, size, shape and consistency of the uterus, ovaries and perform an exhaustive control during pregnancy.

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Vagina: It is a tubular passage in the woman which connects female sexual organs with the cervix and uterus.

Varicocele: Presence of dilated spermatic veins with reflux, which usually causes abnormalities in the testicular function.

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Zona pellucida: It is the external barrier of the oocyte which the sperm must go through in order to make natural fertilization happen. Later, this coat protects the embryo at early stages of development.

 

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