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Infertility Terms P to Z

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): infection of the upper reproductive tract that can be caused by gonorrhea or chlamydia)—including the tubes (salpingitis), ovaries (oophoritis) and uterus (endometritis)—that ascends from the lower tract (vagina). If untreated, it may cause infertility.

Peritoneal cavity: the abdominal cavity.

Pituitary: the master gland situated at the base of the brain. It secretes FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and LH (luteinizing hormone), as well as prolactin and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone).

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): a hormonal imbalance resulting in lack of ovulation, irregular periods and infertility. It is characterized by the appearance of many small cysts in the ovary as seen on an ultrasouond. Often also associated with insulin resistance.

Post-coital test: cervical mucus is examined within 12 hours of intercourse in the middle of the menstrual cycle. Sperm number, movement and cervical mucus quality are graded.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD): a technique to determine whether an embryo has a chromosomally abnormal karyotype or if a specific disease is carried. One cell is removed from an embryo at the six to eight-cell stage and then analyzed. Non-affected embryos may then be replaced to prevent transmission of that specific condition.

Primary nfertility: infertility in those who have never conceived a child.

Progesterone: a steroid hormone secreted by the ovary after ovulation has occurred to prepare the uterine lining for implantation.

Prolactin: a pituitary hormone that stimulates breast milk production.

Recominant FSH: DNA technology, using a host cell to replicate the FSH molecule. Product brand names are Gonal F and Follistim. These medications are injected subcutaneously.

Salpingostomy: surgical attempt to create a new opening at the end of a blocked fallopian tube.

Secondary infertility: infertility in those who have previously been fertile.

Subcutaneous: the layer of adipose (fate) under the skin, used for injecting medication.

Uterine sounding: a process in which a specialized catheter is gently placed through the cervix and into the uterus to measure the uterus’ depth and position.

Zygote: a fertilized oocyte formed by the fusion of the egg with the sperm.