The Fertility Lingo

Often times I go into my Gynaecologist’s office with pen and paper to write down a lot of ‘big grammar’ …lol. These words can be confusing and thus I come home and Google them to know what they mean I decided to Google for some more Fertility Terminology and here is what I came up with. I hope they are as useful to you as they were for me.

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Blastocyst

This is a fertilized egg awaiting implantation.

Conception
This is the successful union of a sperm and an ovum(egg).

Corpus luteum
Thus is a structure that develops in the ovary and secretes progesterone, which is vital to maintain a uterine environment capable of supporting pregnancy. When the corpus luteum stops functioning, and if a fertilized ovum does not embed in the uterine lining and the placenta begins producing hormones of its own, hormone levels quickly decrease and menstruation begins.

Cycle 
A cycle is one complete menstrual cycle. Most women menstruate on a 21 to 35 day cycle. During a 28-day cycle, ovulation will typically occur on day 14 and in a 35-day cycle, ovulation may occur on day 21.

Fertilization 
This takes place when the egg is being penetrated by the sperm and the resulting fusion of genetic material that develops into an embryo.

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Follicle
It is a fluid-filled sac in the ovary that sustains the developing egg, and from which the egg is released during ovulation. The follicle is stimulated to release the ovum by a hormone called FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), which is made by the pituitary gland.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
You can determine this via a blood test and it is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It is necessary to achieve pregnancy because it stimulates the maturation of a follicle (within the ovary), allowing for the process of ovulation.

hCG
Human chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG) is the hormone that prolongs the lifespan of the corpus luteum as well as stimulates production of progesterone, another hormone essential to maintain the pregnancy. This is also the hormone pregnancy tests (blood and urine) detect.

Implantation
When the fertilized egg (blastocyst) settles into the thick uterine lining (endometrium). This occurs approximately 6-10 days after conception.

LH Surge
The increase in luteinizing hormone in your urine. You are most likely to become pregnant if you have intercourse within 24-48 hours after you detect your LH surge, with 36 hours marking your peak fertility time.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)
A female hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, necessary to regulate ovarian function.

Menstruation/Menstrual Cycle

The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uterus (endometrium), starting with the preparation of an egg for fertilization. When the follicle of the prepared egg in the ovary breaks, it is released for fertilization and ovulation occurs. Unless pregnancy occurs, the cycle ends with the shedding of part of the endometrium, which is menstruation.

Mittelschmerz 

This means a dull abdominal pain occurring at the time of ovulation, attributed to the presence of free blood in the peritoneal cavity from the ruptured ovarian follicle.

Ovary
One of the two female reproductive organs in which eggs are formed.

Ovulation
The release of the egg (ovum) from the ovary. Ovulation usually occurs approximately 14 days before the next menstrual period is due.

Ovulation Test, OPK, Ovulation Predictor Tests
A home ovulation test detects a woman’s LH-Surge – or the time a woman ovulates, allowing a determination of when conception is most likely to take place (period of peak fertility).

Pregnancy Test, HPT, hCG Home Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests detect in urine the hormone your body makes during pregnancy: hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). The amount of pregnancy hormone increases as pregnancy progresses. The FIRST RESPONSE® Test is so sensitive that most women have enough hCG to be detected as early as three days before their expected period, which is four days before any other at-home test.

Progesterone
One of the female sex hormones, which is produced by the ovary and placenta. Progesterone prepares the lining of the uterus, for implantation of a fertilized egg, and helps maintain the pregnancy.

Sperm
The male reproductive cell. Healthy male sperm can survive approximately 72 hours in a woman’s body.

Uterus
A hollow, pear-shaped muscular organ where implantation takes place and the foetus develops.

Vagina
The passage leading from the uterus to the outside of the female body.

Zygote
The single cell formed by when a sperm fertilizes an egg.

Now in case I have missed anything out you consider to be basic words, please feel free to send in your comments so I can find out. I also have a list of acronyms I will share in my next post. Feel free to share…enjoy!

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