Fertility & Cryopreservation Glossary
ART: Assisted reproductive technologies. All treatments that include laboratory handling of eggs, sperm and/or embryos.
Azoospermia: the absence of sperm in a semen sample.
Chemotherapy agents that may impact fertility:
- Carmustine (BCNU)
- Lomustine (CCNU)
- Nitrogen Mustard
Cryopreservation: rapid freezing in liquid or vapor nitrogen at -196C to preserve (sperm) for future use.
Epididymis: tiny tube where sperm collect after leaving the testis.
Follicles: Follicles: fluid filled sacs in the ovary which contain the eggs released at ovulation. Each month an egg develops within a follicle in the ovary.
FSH: follicle-stimulating hormone. Released from the pituitary gland, FSH is necessary to make sperm.
Gamete: sperm or eggs.
Hypothalamus: Control center of the brain that regulates the amount of hormones produced by the pituitary gland.
ICSI: Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection; A technique for fertilizing an egg with one single sperm in the ART laboratory.
Infertility: the inability to conceive a child.
IUI: Intrauterine Insemination. An assisted reproductive technique where a doctor inserts washed sperm inside the female's uterus.
IVF: In vitro fertilization. A process in which an egg and sperm are combined in a laboratory dish to facilitate fertilization.
ICSI: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection. A technique whereby a single sperm can be injected directly into an egg in an attempt to achieve fertilization.
Leydig cells: located in the testicle, responsible for producing testosterone.
LH: Luteinizing hormone. LH is necessary for the leydig cells in the testicle to produce testosterone.
Oocyte: the technical term for egg.
Ovaries: the two female sex glands that produce eggs.
Pituitary gland: Small gland in the brain, located beneath the hypothalamus that secretes FSH and LH.
Secondary Sexual Characteristics: In males, this includes facial, axillary and pubic hair, deep voice and adult size genitalia.
Semen: white, protein-rich fluid ejaculated by males at the time of orgasm. Usually contains sperm.
Semen Analysis: a laboratory analysis of sperm number, motility and health.
Seminiferous tubules: Tiny tubes in the testes where sperm cells are produced, grow and mature.
Sperm Bank: A facility that collects, freezes and stores sperm.
Spermatogonia: cells located within the seminiferous tubules that produce sperm.
Testosterone: primary male hormone. Causes the reproductive organs to grow and develop; responsible for secondary sexual characteristics, and promotes erections and sexual behavior
Testicles: The two male sex glands that produce sperm.