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Fertility jargon buster

Don't suffer in silence, clinical terminology can be complex, especially when you are just setting out on your journey to parenthood.  Our patient coordinators and clinical team are always happy to explain any complex treatments or jargon.  Here's a starter guide to help you feel empowered - our fertility dictionary. 

Aneuploid embryo

An embryo that has an incorrect number of chromosomes and will therefore not result in a healthy pregnancy.


One of the numbered (non-sex) chromosomes – humans have 22 pairs.


A term used when there are no sperm in the ejaculate, either because there's a blockage preventing sperm from entering the ejaculate, or because there's low sperm production by the testis.


Removal of a small sample of cells or tissue. For example, an embryo biopsy is performed for pre-implanting genetic testing (PGT) and an endometrial biopsy is performed for ERA/EMMA/ALICE.


A stage of embryo development that good quality embryos with a good "implantation potential" should reach after 5 or 6 days of development. We freeze, and biopsy, embryos at this stage.

CMV (cytomegalovirus) status

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that your body retains for life. Although most people don't know they have CMV because it rarely causes problems in healthy people, it's important we check the CMV status of both an egg or sperm donor, and the recipient. This is so we match people correctly, as acquiring CMV in pregnancy can lead to complications.


After an egg is fertilised by a sperm and starts to develop, it is called an embryo.


A safe substance (media) that we place an embryo immediately prior to embryo transfer to increase the chances that an embryo will attach to the wall of the uterus and lead to a successful pregancy.


An incubator with a built-in camera that allows our embryologists to closely monitor embryo development and see pictures of the embryos at timed intervals.


The layer of tissue that lines the uterus or womb. We may suggest a procedure to examine your endometrium to check for any issues that might be preventing you from conceiving.

Euploid embryo

An embryo that has the correct number of chromosomes and is considered normal.


Small, fluid-filled sacs in the ovaries where eggs initially develop before being released.


A procedure that uses a thin telescope to examine the uterine cavity and identify any issues that might be preventing you from conceiving.


Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) is a technique we use for fertilising eggs, in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg using a microscopic needle.


Once we've tranferred an embryo to your uterus during IVF, the hope is that it will attach itself to the uterine wall for further growth and development. This is called implantation.


Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a type of fertility treatment in which a sperm sample that has been processed in the lab is placed directly into the womb to try to achieve a pregnancy.


In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is one of the main techniques we use to help people with fertility problems have a baby. It involves collecting eggs from the woman and fertilising them with a sperm to create embryos in our laboratory. Only good quality embryos are then frozen before being transferred back into the uterus.

Luteal phase

The second part of your menstrual cycle beginning around day 15 of a 28-day cycle when your uterus prepares for pregnancy by thickening your uterine lining.


When checking the "patency" of your fallopian tubes, we're checking to see whether they are open and unobstructed.


A test that checks embryos for any chromosomal abnormalities before being transferred to the uterus during IVF, i.e. a test to check whether an embryo has the right number of chromosomes (23 pairs).

Saline hysterogram

A simple procedure that uses ultrasound and sterile saline (salt water) so we can examine the uterus and the shape of the uterine cavity to check for any issues that might be preventing you from conceiving.

Sperm motility

The ability of sperm to move efficiently and reach and fertilise the egg.


An ultrasound scan is a simple procedure that shows us an image of the inside of the body. We can use it to look inside your uterus, diagnose a condition, and monitor your pregnancy.


A new flash-freezing method that instantly freezes your eggs. Research shows that 90–95% of eggs frozen using this method survive the freezing and thawing process.

Still have more questions?

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