Fertility glossary: Some common terms and what they mean

1st March 2013 in Advice

This information was correct at the time of publishing. It may not reflect our current practices, prices or regulations.

If you need infertility treatment, or are researching infertility online, you will often come across many forums and sites which seem to be packed full of fertility jargon – Clomid, AMH levels, hCG…it can confusing if you don’t yet understand what these terms mean.

So here’s an easy-to-understand explanation of some common terms and what they mean:

Clomid:Clomid is a tablet we use to gently simulate your ovaries.  

Gonadotrophins:Gonadotrophins is medication used to stimulate egg growth during IUI or IVF.

FSH: FSH means Follicle Stimulating Hormone. FSH affects your ovaries to increase the number of follicles and stimulates their development.

LH: LH means Luteinising Hormone, it’s one of the necessary hormones needed to stimulate ovulation in your body.

Buserelin: Buserelin is medication (taken nasally or as an injection) used to boost egg production, but if taken for an extended period of time will switch off your egg growth.  We call this process down regulation.

Down regulation:When your natural ovarian function is ‘switched off’ during your treatment cycle through the use of drugs such as Buserelin.

hCG:Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin is an injectible hormone that helps your eggs to go through the final stage of maturation so they are ready for collection. We will know when your eggs are ready through regular scanning. You will receive an hCG injection before egg retrieval.

HyCoSy:Hysterosalpingo Contrast Sonography is a non-invasive ultrasound procedure which checks for abnormalities of your womb and fallopian tubes. It’s usually performed before day 12 of your cycle.  It takes approximately 10 minutes and involves passing a thin catheter through the cervix and into the womb. 

Azoospermia: This is when a man has no sperm present in their ejaculate. It is caused by a number of reasons:  a blockage in the tubes that transport the sperm, vasectomy, failed vasectomy reversal or as a consequence of low or no sperm production in the testicle.

Blastocyst:  A blastocyst is a stage of  embryo which has been allowed to develop for 5 days after fertilisation.

Fostimon:Fostimon is a brand name of a gonadotrophin which contains FSH.

Cyclogest:Cyclogest is a pessary we will give you, it contains progesterone, which is a natural hormone and is used to stabilise your own hormone levels. We will give you Cyclogest to use after your egg recovery, which you take up until you know the results of your treatment.

Evorel:Evorel are patches which contain Estradiol/Oestradiol – a naturally occurring form of oestrogen. These patches stimulate the growth of the endometrial lining and typically they are used in women who are using a donor egg, to prepare the womb for transfer.

AMH:Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is a substance made by the ovarian follicle which contains the egg. Your AMH level can help us identify the best course of treatment for you. It can tell us how well you will respond to ovarian stimulation and give us an indication of how many eggs you have in your ovaries – your ovarian reserve.

 At Manchester Fertility we will always explain to you very clearly what your treatment involves and what any tests results mean, in a way that you can easily understand.

Although we are fertility consultants and experts, we realise that what are common terms to us may be completely alien to you – and so we will always ensure that you’re completely comfortable and clear at all times, as any confusion only adds to the stress of your infertility journey.

Remember, we are here to make your time with us as stress-free as we can. If you have any questions, you can use our free, confidential Ask the Expert feature or contact us on 0161 300 2737.

Last updated: 20th January 2020