Glossary of Terms

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Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection is a technique whereby a single sperm is injected into the cytoplasm of an egg by the embryologist in the laboratory. This technique, also called "Sperm Injection," is performed when a man has a very low sperm count or when his sperm show very poor motility. It is also recommended for individuals who have experienced poor fertilization of eggs in a previous IVF cycle. The procedure involves grasping a single sperm with a very fine needlepoint pipette and then gently inserting it inside the egg and releasing the sperm.


The process by which an embryo burrows within the endometrial lining of the uterus.

In Vitro Fertilization

See IVF.

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection



Intrauterine Insemination: The process of placing washed sperm into the uterine cavity. Using a thin plastic catheter, concentrated sperm is gently placed high in the cavity, moving the sperm sample past the potential barrier of the cervical mucus and getting a higher concentration of motile sperm much closer to the egg(s).


Literally "fertilization in glass," IVF comprises several basic steps: the woman is given fertility drugs that stimulate her ovaries to produce a number of mature eggs; at the proper time, the eggs are retrieved by suction through a needle that has been inserted into her ovaries; the eggs are fertilized in a glass Petri dish, or in a test tube, in the laboratory with her partner's or donor sperm; and subsequently the embryos are transferred back into the body.

IVF with a Gestational Carrier (or "Surrogate")

The prospective parents' eggs and sperm are used to create embryos, which are then transferred into the uterus of another woman—known as the carrier (or surrogate)—via in vitro fertilization. It is the job of the gestational carrier to "carry" the pregnancy to term.