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    LGBTQ+ friendly fertility clinic.


    Monday to Friday
    8am – 4:30pm
    3661 Valley Centre Dr
    Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92130


    Understanding the terminology

    A B C D E F G H I K L M O P S T U V Z


    Anonymous Donor is an egg donor the recipient does not know. The donor’s identity remains unknown.

    Assisted Activation of Eggs after ICSI is a laboratory procedure in which eggs that have been injected with a sperm (undergone ICSI) are treated with a chemical agent that induces egg activation and triggers the fertilization process. This procedure is limited to those few couples that have low ICSI fertilization rates.

    Assisted Hatching is a laboratory micromanipulation procedure in which an acidic solution is used to thin and/or create a small hole in the outer shell of the embryo to facilitate hatching of the embryo. This may facilitate implantation of the embryo into the uterine wall.


    Blastocyst is the stage of embryo development in which differentiation of cells has occurred.


    Cervical Mucus is the mucus produced by the cervix and it indicates changes in hormonal levels.


    Donor Eggs (Oocytes) are eggs retrieved from a young, fertile woman. Donor eggs are used to generate embryos an individual or couple in need of healthier and younger eggs.

    Donor Embryos are cryopreserved embryos that have been donated by a patient/couple to a known recipient(s) or donated to RSMC for use by an anonymous recipient(s) to establish a pregnancy.


    Egg (Oocyte) Cryopreservation is the freezing and storage of oocytes (unfertilized eggs) for possible future use in an IVF/ICSI cycle.

    Egg (Oocyte) Retrieval is the procedure for recovering eggs from the ovaries. Eggs are collected from ovarian follicles using transvaginal ultrasound-guided needle aspiration.

    Embryo Biopsy is the removal of a sample of cells from an embryo to evaluate the genetic material of the embryo (see PGS/PGD).

    Embryo Cryopreservation is the freezing and storage of fertilized eggs and embryos in liquid nitrogen for possible future pregnancy attempts.

    Endometrial Biopsy is a gentle scratching of the uterine lining with a plastic catheter. The local endometrial injury prior to an embryo transfer cycle is thought to enhance embryo implantation.

    Embryo Transfer is the transfer of one or more embryos into the uterus through the cervix.

    Ectopic Pregnancy occurs when an embryo implants outside the uterus, the normal site for implantation. The majority
    Egg (Oocyte) is the female reproductive cell.

    Endometriosis is a disorder characterized by the growth of uterine lining outside of the uterus.


    Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) involves thawing previously cryopreserved (frozen) embryos, then transferring them into the uterus through the cervix.

    Fallopian Tubes, also known as uterine tubes, are the tubes that transport the egg from the ovary to the uterus.

    Fertilization is the process in which an egg and sperm form a zygote. A fertilized egg is defined to be an embryo.


    Gestational Surrogacy involves the transfer of embryos into another woman’s (surrogate’s) uterus for the purpose of carrying a pregnancy.


    Hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows the physician to look inside a woman’s uterus to diagnose and treat uterine abnormalities (abnormal bleeding, polyps, fibroids, adhesions). A thin, flexible lighted telescope (hysteroscope) is inserted into the vagina to examine the cervix and uterine cavity.


    Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a laboratory micromanipulation procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into the cytoplasm of an egg in order to achieve fertilization. This procedure is generally reserved for male factor patients.

    Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) involves the injection of motile sperm, which have been processed in the laboratory, into a woman’s uterus through the cervix at the time of ovulation. This procedure is often used for insemination with donor sperm and is reserved for women with at least one open Fallopian tube.

    In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) involves extracting a woman’s eggs, combining them with a man’s sperm to achieve fertilization, and then transferring the resulting embryos into a woman’s uterus through the cervix. Usually, one to four embryos are transferred with each cycle.

    Infertility is characterized as the inability to get pregnant after a year of trying for women 35 or younger and after six months for women older than 35.


    Known Donor is an egg donor the recipient knows. The known donor may be a close relative or friend who is willing to donate her eggs.


    Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that involves insertion of a laparoscope (a thin, telescope-like instrument) through a small incision in the abdomen.

    Laparoscopy helps doctors diagnose conditions such as endometriosis, blocked fallopians tubes, fibroids, etc.


    Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Extraction (MESA) is a procedure used in conjunction with ICSI in which sperm are obtained from the epididymis of men with obstructive azoospermia (a blockage in the sperm delivery system).

    Mock Transfer is the placement of a transfer catheter into the uterine cavity prior to the actual embryo transfer. This procedure allows the physician to measure the cavity length and cervical/uterine position.

    Male Factor Infertility is the presence of semen related issues, preventing conception after one year of trying to conceive.

    Morphology refers to the size and shape of sperm.

    Motility is the ability of the sperm to move by themselves.

    Multiple Embryo Transfer (MET) is a procedure in which two or more embryos are placed in the uterus or fallopian tube.


    Of ectopic pregnancies implant in the fallopian tube, but they can also occur in the cervix, ovary, or even within the abdomen.

    Ovarian Follicles are fluid-filled sac that carry immature oocytes (eggs). At the time of ovulation, mature eggs from released from the follicles.

    Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) is a condition in which the ovaries are excessively overstimulated. The ovaries can become very large and, because of an unknown substance released by the ovaries, fluid can leak from blood vessels into the abdominal cavity.

    Ovulation is the event in which the ovaries release a mature egg.


    Preimplantation Genetic Screening/Diagnosis (PGS/PGD) involves testing one or more cells removed from the preimplantation embryo for genetic abnormalities and/or gender selection. PGS screens for numerical chromosomal abnormalities (i.e., aneuploidy) and PGD checks for a specific abnormal gene that can cause an inherited disorder.

    Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is the inflammation of the female reproductive organs including the uterus, fallopians tubes, and ovaries. This occurs due to an infection and may cause infertility.

    Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition characterized by the growth of cysts on the ovaries, which may cause an imbalance of hormones.

    Premature Delivery refers to the delivery of a baby three or more weeks before the baby’s estimated due date.

    Premature Ovarian Failure is a condition in which a woman enters menopause before age 40.


    Sperm Cryopreservation is the freezing and storage of sperm (ejaculated, epididymal or testicular) for possible future use in an IVF or ICSI cycle.

    Semen Analysis is a standard test that analyzes a man’s sperm. It often involves checking the sperm count, morphology and motility.

    Single Embryo Transfer (SET) is the procedure in which only one embryo is placed into the uterus or fallopian tube.

    Sperm (Semen) is the sex cell produced by males.

    Sperm Vitality is a type of diagnostic testing for male factor infertility that involves staining to determine the percentage of live sperm (for semen specimens with less than 40% of sperm demonstrating motility.)


    Testicular Sperm Extraction (TESE) is a procedure used in conjunction with ICSI in which sperm are aspirated or retrieved directly from the testes of men with azoospermia (absence of sperm in the semen).

    Tubal Ligation refers to the surgical procedure in which the fallopian tubes are cut, tied or blocked to prevent pregnancy.


    Uterine Perfusion involves the injection of a growth factor into the uterine cavity for the purpose of increasing the endometrial lining thickness and/or aiding implantation.

    Uterus is the main female reproductive organ commonly referred to as the womb. It is the organ that holds and nourishes the developing embryo and fetus during pregnancy.


    Vitrification is a fast-freezing technique used in the IVF laboratory to cryopreserve eggs and embryos.

    Vasectomy is a form of sterilization in which each vas deferens are surgically cut and sealed.


    Zygote is the early stage in the development of a fertilized egg.