IVF Glossary

ectopic pregnancy

a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus.

egg (oocyte)

the female sex cell (ovum) produced in the ovary that creates an embryo when fertilized by a male's sperm.

egg retrieval

a surgical procedure in which eggs are removed from the body with a thin needle.


a fertilized egg that has begun cell division.

embryo culture

the process of growing embryos within a laboratory.

embryo transfer

placement of an embryo into the uterus (in some ART processes, into the fallopian tube).


a disease in which the tissue of the uterine lining grows outside the uterus.


a form of estrogen (the most biologically active) produced by the follicular cells of the ovary.


a hormone that, in women, causes the uterine lining to thicken during the first half of the menstrual cycle in preparation for possible pregnancy.

euploid embryo

an embryo with the normal number of 46 chromosomes.

Adapted from Assisted Reproductive Technology: A Guide for Patients. American Society for Reproductive Medicine, 2011.