Skip to main content

Technical terms

Important terms briefly explained

Do you have any more questions?

We have compiled the most important questions and answers on the subject of fertility treatments for you here.

Abortion Miscarriage; most often in the first third of pregnancy

Adhesions Adhesions in the abdominal cavity, which can form after inflammation or surgery

amenorrhoea at least 6 months without menstruation although there is no pregnancy

Anamnesis Medical history of a patient

Androgenic male hormones (e.g. testosterone), are also produced in the adrenal gland and ovary in women

Anovulation Non-ovulation

Assisted hatching Incision of the zona pellucida surrounding the embryo to assist hatching

Asthenozoospermia Restricted sperm cell motility

Azoospermia No sperm cells in the seminal fluid

Blastomere single cell of a multicell embryo

Blastocyst Developmental stage of an embryo at the time of implantation in the endometrium

Cervix Cervix

Chlamydia pathogens that can cause inflammation of the fallopian tubes

Clomiphene synthetic hormone in tablet form for stimulation of the ovaries

Corpus luteum Corpus luteum; emerges from the follicle after ovulation and produces progesterone

dysmenorrhea painful menstrual bleeding; also occurs in endometriosis

Embryo Name of the early foetus until the end of the first trimester of pregnancy.

Embryo transfer Transfer of IVF/ICSI extracorporeally created embryos into the uterus

Endometriosis Proliferation of scattered uterine mucosa cells in the abdominal cavity; often leads to period pains and infertility

Endometrium endometrium uterine lining

Extrauterine pregnancy ectopic pregnancy

fetus also fetus, child in the womb after the 3rd month of pregnancy

follicle maturing follicle in the ovary

Folliculometry Determination of follicle size and number by ultrasound

FSH follicle stimulating hormone; pituitary gland hormone that stimulates the ovaries to mature ovarian follicles and produce estrogen

Gametes Germ cells, i.e. sperm cells and oocytes

GnRH gonadotropin-releasing hormone; hormone from the hypothalamus, stimulates the pituitary gland to secrete the hormones FSH and LH

GnRH analogs Drugs that suppress the function of the ovaries and thus allow the control of hormonal ovarian stimulation

Gonadotropins LH and FSH, pituitary gland hormones that stimulate the ovaries

Gravidity Pregnancy

hCG human chorionic gonadotropin; the pregnancy hormone can be detected in the blood after implantation of the embryo.

Heterologous insemination Insertion of donor sperm into the uterus in cases of male infertility

hMG human menopausal gonadotropin; mixture of the hormones LH and FSH, which is obtained from the urine of menopausal women and is very frequently used as a stimulation preparation.

Testicular biopsy Tissue removal from the testicles.

Pituitary gland; secretes the gonadotropin hormones LH and FSH, among others, which stimulate the ovaries

Hypothalamus Part of the midbrain that controls the pituitary gland via certain hormones.

ICSI Intracytoplasmic sperm injection; in vitro fertilisation method in which a single sperm cell is injected into an egg.

Implantation Implantation of an embryo in the endometrium

Infertility Infertility

Insemination Insertion of sperm cells into the uterus by means of a catheter

IVF in vitro fertilisation; artificial insemination procedure in which eggs extracted from the woman's ovaries are brought together with sperm cells from the partner, incubated and, if fertilisation is successful, inserted into the uterus.

Waiting period Period of sexual abstinence

Climacteric Menopause

Cryopreservation Deep freezing and storage of biological material, e.g. of fertilised eggs or sperm cells.

Laparoscopy Laparoscopy; procedure to assess the patency of the fallopian tubes and for sterility operations.

LH Luteinising hormone of the pituitary gland, which is massively released in the middle of the cycle and triggers ovulation

LH-Peak Massive, ice-triggering LH release in the middle of the cycle

Masturbation Causing an orgasm. During fertility treatment, the man thus obtains the sperm.

Menopause Last menstrual period before the climacteric (menopause).

Menstruation Menstrual period; serves to repel the lining of the uterus.

MESA Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration; collection of sperm cells from the epididymis.

Micro-injection See ICSI

Mucus Mucus of the cervix

Nidation Implantation of the embryo into the lining of the uterus.

Normozoospermia Normal semen findings

Estrogens Female sex hormones that are produced in the ovary. Control the build-up of the lining of the uterus.

Oligomenorrhoea rare menstrual bleeding with intervals of at least 35 days

Oligozoospermia Limited number of sperm cells in the ejaculate (less than 20 million per ml)

Oocyte Egg cell

Ovary Ovary

Ovarian insufficiency restricted ovarian function

Ovulation Ovulation; transfer of the egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube.

Placenta placenta; takes over the nutrient supply of the foetus during pregnancy and produces hormones that serve to maintain the pregnancy.

Progesterone Corpus luteum hormone; prepares the lining of the uterus for the implantation of an embryo and maintains the pregnancy

Pronucleus stage Pronuclear stage of the egg cell; can be observed about one day after fertilisation.

Retrograde ejaculation Ejaculation into the bladder

Sonography Ultrasound examination

Spermatogenesis Also spermatogenesis; formation of sperm cells in the testicles.

Semen Male sperm cell

Spermiogram Determination of the number, motility and shape of the sperm cells.

Sterilization Interruption of the woman's fallopian tubes or the man's spermatic ducts for the purpose of contraception.

Sterility Infertility

Subfertility Limited fertility

TESE Testicular sperm extraction; method for obtaining sperm cells from testicular tissue

Testes testicle

Testosterone Male sex hormone; promotes the formation and maturation of sperm

Teratozoospermia abnormally high proportion of malformed sperm cells in the ejaculate.

Tube Fallopian tube

Tubar pregnancy Ectopic pregnancy; implantation of an embryo in the fallopian tube

Hyperstimulation Overreaction of the ovaries caused by hormonal stimulation

Uterus Uterus

Vagina Vagina of a woman

Pronuclear stage see Pronuclear stage

zygote fertilized egg

cycle cycle of egg maturation in women