Glossary of Fertility Treatments and Procedures

This is a glossary of terms to assist you in understanding your fertility options.


Advanced embryo five or more days following fertilization in vitro.


Freezing and storage of embryos (fertilized eggs), sperm, or eggs for future use. In in-vitro fertilization (IVF), excess embryos can be cryopreserved for future use,  thereby allowing several attempts at conceiving without additional surgeries or ovulation drugs. Sperm can be stored for artificial insemination by husband or donor or before undergoing surgery or chemotherapy for cancer. Eggs can be cryopreserved for future conceptions or for egg donation.

Embryo Donation:

A couple who has cryopreserved embryos (fertilized eggs) from a previous in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle may choose to donate these embryos to another couple if they no longer wish to conceive.

Embryo Transfer:

The placement of embryos (fertilized eggs) into the uterus (womb) in in-vitro fertilization(IVF). The procedure involves inserting
a small catheter into the uterus, often under ultrasound guidance, and gently expelling its cont ents into the uterine cavity. This process does not require anesthesia.

lntracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI):

A micromanipulation procedure in which individual sperm are injected into the eggs in the laboratory. This procedure is per formed in cases of severe male factor infertility or if failure of fertilization occur red in a previous in-vitro fertilization (IVF) attempt.

Insemination Donor:

The use of sperm from another individual (donor) to allow another individual to conceive. The sperm is usually placed into the uterus (intrauterine insemination, IUI) with a small catheter.  The procedure does not
require anesthesia and usually is not uncomfortable.


The placement of husband's sperm into the wife's uterus (inrauterine insemination by husband, IUIH). This is performed primarily in cases of male factor and cervical fact or infertility.

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF):

Fertilization in the laboratory (in vitro). Placing sperm and eggs together in the laboratory to achieve fertilization. The process of IVF consists of:

  • Ovarian stimulation (stimulating the formation of several eggs by fertility medications);
  • Egg retrieval (the surgical removal of eggs from the ovaries);
  • Fertilization of the eggs in the laboratory; and embryo transfer (the placement of fertilized eggs (embryos) in the uterus).

The first delivery of a child from IVF occurred in 1978 in England . The first IVF birth at Bennett Fertility occurred in 1986. IVF is indicated for patient s with damaged fallopian tubes, male factor infertility, unexplained infertility, endometriosis, and several other infertility causes.


A number of procedures performed under the micro scope in order to improve fertilization of oocytes or the hatching of embryos. These procedures are performed in conjunction with IVF. They include:

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), where individual sperm are injected into oocytes; Assisted hatching (AH), where the covering or shell of the embryo is cut to improve its hatching and implantation potential.

Oocyte Donation:

For patients whose ovaries are not functioning properly or at all, oocytes (eggs) from another individual (the donor) can b e used. These oocyte are inseminated with the patient's husband's sperm and then implanted into the her uterus. The oocyte donor goes through the same steps as in routine IVF (medications by injection, surgical removal of oocytes).

Oklahoma has a law that allows oocyte donation and clearly outlines the rights and responsibilities of each party involved.

Oocyte Retrieval:

Surgically removing oocytes (eggs) from the ovaries. This is usually done under intravenous sedation by a needle placed into the ovary through the vagina under ultrasound guidance.

Ovarian Stimulation:

Also known as ovulation induction, entails using injectable fertility drugs such as Follistim, Gonal-F, Menopur, Repronex in order to stimulate the ovary to produce several oocytes. A natural, unstimulated cycle usually results in on e mature oocyte and is unlikely to result in a pregnancy in IVF. A larger number of oocytes improves the odds of pregnancy, although it also increases the likelihood of multiple births.

Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT):

Testing embryos for genetic abnormalities by performing embryo biopsy (removal of several cells), then analyzing them at a specialty genetics lab.