adhesion - scar tissue

adrenal glands - Glands above each kidney that secrete hormones which help the body to withstand stress and regulate metabolism. Altered function in these glands can disrupt menstruation.

amenorrhea - absence of menses

androgens - male hormones produced by the testes that stimulate male sexual characteristics

andrology - a branch of medicine concerned with diseases specific to men, particularly infertility and sexual dysfunction

antisperm antibodies - antibodies produced by either the female or the male against sperm

artificial insemination - placing husband or donor sperm into the vagina with a catheter or cervical cup

assisted reproductive technology
- various methods of assisting reproduction that are accomplished with laboratory assistance

azoospermia - a medical condition in which semen contains no sperm

basal body temperature - the body's morning temperature charted over a period of a month

benign tumor - a noncancerous growth

bilateral tubal ligation - a surgical sterilization procedure in which both fallopian tubes are clamped, clipped, or cut to prevent pregnancy

cervical mucus - a thin, stringy substance produced by cervical glands and stimulated by the female hormone estrogen

chromosomal abnormalities - an abnormality in the cell nucleus that carries the genes

coitus - sexual intercourse

cryopreservation - a method of preserving extra embryos produced during an in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer or gamete intrafallopian transfer

cryopreserved - frozen in liquid nitrogen

cysts - an abnormal membranous sac containing a gaseous, liquid, or semisolid substance

clomiphene citrate - a medication that stimulates ovulation

congenital abnormalities - abnormalities that are passed on to the next generation through genes

donor sperm - sperm that is donated by a man for artificial insemination

endocrine - related to the endocrine glands or the hormones secreted by them

endometrial biopsy - a small sample of the uterine lining collected for microscopic analysis

endometriosis - a painful condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus

embryos - a fertilized egg that has begun cell division

fallopian tubes - a pair of tubes attached to the uterus, one on each side, where sperm and egg meet in normal conception

fertilization - the fusion of sperm and egg

galactorrhea - a condition in which breast milk is produced without childbirth

gestation - pregnancy, from conception to birth

hirsutism - an imbalance between male and female hormones that causes excessive facial and body hair growth

hormone - a substance produced by one tissue and conveyed by the bloodstream to another for metabolism and growth

hormone replacement therapy - medication to replace estrogen and progesterone hormones

hyperandrogenism - an excessive production of male hormones

hysteroscopy - a diagnostic procedure in which a lighted telescope (hysteroscope) is inserted through the cervix into the uterus enabling the physician to view the inside of the uterus

hysterosalpingogram - a special X-ray procedure that uses a radio-opaque agent to determine if the fallopian tubes are open

immunobead test - a test that can detect three different kinds of antisperm antibodies in a variety of biological samples, including blood, cervical mucus, and on the sperm cells

- inability to conceive a child after one year of sexual intercourse without contraception

in vitro fertilization (IVF)
- a method of assisting reproduction that involves surgically removing an egg from the woman's ovary and combining it with sperm in a laboratory dish. If the egg is fertilized, the resulting embryo is transferred to the woman's uterus.

karyotype - a test to analyze chromosome structure

laparoscopy - insertion of a small telescope through a tiny incision in the navel to look for abnormalities in the female pelvic organs

laparoscopic surgery - pelvic surgery that uses the laparoscope to view the internal organs

menopause - the point when menstruation stops permanently, signifying the end of a woman's reproductive age

menotropins - a class of drugs that produce ovulation and superovulation

miscarriage - an inability to carry the pregnancy to term

myomectomy - operative removal of a myoma, a benign neoplasm of uterine muscular tissue

oocyte - an egg

ovulation - the release of a mature egg from its follicle in the ovary

ovulation induction - to cause the ovaries to produce eggs

ovum - a healthy egg

pelvic inflammatory disease - a disease caused by a bacteria that attacks the uterus, fallopian tubes, or the ovaries. If left untreated, it can cause scar tissue that leads to infertility.

pituitary gland - a small gland in the brain, located just beneath the hypothalamus, that secretes follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone, which stimulate egg maturation and hormone production by the ovary

polycystic ovaries - enlarged ovaries resulting from many small cysts on the ovarian follicles

progesterone - an ovarian hormone that thickens the uterine lining

prolactin - a protein hormone secreted by the pituitary gland into the bloodstream. It is involved in regulating menses and producing breast milk.

reproductive endocrinologist - a specialist in male and female reproductive hormones and infertility

retrograde ejaculation - sperm released into urine

semen - the sperm and glandular fluid that comes from the urethra when a man ejaculates

sterilization - a surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy

superovulation - multiple eggs, stimulated by medication

uterine lining (endometrium) - the lining of the uterus

uterine fibroids - benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus

uterine polyps - growths protruding from the mucous lining of the uterus

uterus (the womb) - the organ in which the fertilized egg develops

vagina - the passage leading from the vulva to the uterus