This process is rife with new words that can be pretty confusing, here are some common terms with easy to digest definitions to help you along the way. Our goal is to make you feel comfortable and confident throughout your journey to parenthood!
Glossary of common terms
- Age of Viability – 22-23 weeks of gestation.
- Blastocyst – the term used for a day 5 or 6 old embryo.
- Donor – someone who donates genetic material. Man or woman who gives their gametes (i.e. egg or sperm) to help another person create a child.
- Eggs – fresh vs frozen – also known as oocytes, carry the genetic code of the woman. They can be fresh, meaning they come straight from the body of the woman, or they can be frozen, where they were previously retrieved from the body of the woman and then frozen.
- Embryo – fresh vs frozen – What is created with the merger of sperm and egg. A 2-8th week after fertilization. They can be fresh, meaning they are transferred on day 5 and are never frozen, or they can be frozen, where they were frozen on day 5 (i.e in the blastocyst stage) to be transferred later.
- Embryo testing (PGT, PGD, PGS, PGA) – when one or two cells are peeled off of a developing embryo, usually on day 5, to do genetic testing for chromosomal or genetic abnormalities.
- Fertility – the natural ability to produce offspring.
- Fertilization – the fusion of the male and female gametes (i.e. egg or sperm). It is when the sperm is put with the egg.
- Fetus – what you call a developing human after the 11th week of growth. It goes from embryo to fetus.
- Follicle – the house of the egg. The pocket that grows in the ovary and houses the egg for retrieval.
- Gametes – eggs or sperm, they carry the DNA of the individual.
- Gestational Carrier – a woman who carries a pregnancy for another individual/couple where the embryo has no genetic relationship to her.
- Infertility – the inability to reproduce.
- Miscarriage – involuntary loss of a pregnancy anywhere from post-conception through the age of viability.
- Oocytes – the scientific word for eggs.
- Ovary – the organ the contains the follicles that a woman will have in her lifetime.
- Retrieval – the process of retrieving the eggs from the follicles.
- Semen Analysis – Analyzes the health and viability of a man’s sperm. Looks at how many sperm there are and how fast they move.
- Sperm – fresh vs frozen – carry the genetic code of the man. They can be fresh, meaning they come straight from the body of the man, or they can be frozen, where they were previously retrieved from the body of the man and then frozen.
- Surrogate – another term for a gestational carrier.
- Pregnancy Termination – it is the end to pregnancy via medical/surgical methods.
- Traditional Surrogacy – when the person that is supplying the egg is also carrying the pregnancy. It is not common in most states.
- Transfer – fresh vs frozen – when the physician places the blastocysts (i.e 5-6 days old embryo) into the uterus, via a small catheter/tube.
22-23 weeks of gestation.