Fertility: Glossary

Ovulation induction
Medicine taken by a woman either orally (clomiphene citrate) or by injection (gonadotropins) to increase the number of mature eggs produced.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
A common female reproductive disorder characterized by irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth or acne, and the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries.
Abnormal growth of tissue that projects from a mucous membrane. Polyps are commonly found in the colon, stomach, nose, sinus(es), urinary bladder, and uterus. 
Premature ovarian failure
The development of ovarian failure with loss of eggs and estrogen production before the age of 40.
Pre-pregnancy evaluation
Evaluation of a couple’s history followed by testing performed before conception to optimize prospects for a healthy pregnancy. May include testing for infectious diseases as well as genetic testing for cystic fibrosis in patients of Northern European descent, Tay-Sachs disease in Ashkenazi Jews, and sickle cell disease in African-Americans.
Female hormone secreted by the corpus luteum after ovulation during the second half of the menstrual cycle. The hormone prepares the lining of the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg. It also helps sustain pregnancy. 
Recurrent pregnancy loss
History of three miscarriages, even in the presence of intervening successful pregnancies. Evaluation may be initiated after two miscarriages.
Semen analysis
Laboratory evaluation of semen (sperm and fluid) obtained by masturbation. The analysis includes volume, sperm number, sperm movement (motility), and sperm shape (morphology).
Use of high-frequency sound waves to generate an image of the uterus and fallopian tubes. May be performed with a probe in the vagina or (less commonly in nonpregnant patients) through the abdominal wall. Also called ultrasound.
The male sex cell (gamete) produced in the testes.
Two male organs located in the scrotum, which produce sperm and hormones, including androgens.
Tubal disease
Damage to the fallopian tubes caused by infection, endometriosis, or other processes. Depending on the degree of damage, tubal disease may prevent the sperm from reaching the egg or may prevent the embryo from moving through the tube into the uterus.
Tubal reanastomosis (tubal reversal)
Surgical reattachment of two ends of a fallopian tube after prior tubal sterilization, in an attempt to restore fertility.
See sonography
Female organ consisting of muscle (myometrium) and the lining (endometrium) in which a pregnancy grows.
Muscular tube in women leading from the external genitals to the cervix of the uterus.