Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), Healthcare & Health-Related Terms

ART: acronym for Assisted Reproductive Technology, including treatments or procedures such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF), gamete and embryo donation, and gestational surrogacy. (see also and

amniocentesis: a medical procedure performed in the second trimester of pregnancy that can detect many fetal abnormalities. It is performed by inserting a fine hollow needle into the uterus through the abdomento collect a small quantity of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus with a needle under ultrasound guidance. (see also

basal body temperature (BBT): There is a slight increase in your basal body temperature during ovulation. To increase the liklihood of conception, some people  record their temperature shortly after waking to predict when ovulation will occur. 

D&C: acronym for dilation and curettage, a medical procedure that involves dilating the cervix and removing tissue from the uterus, also known as ERPC [Evacuation of the Retained Products of Conception]. It is commonly performed to induce first-trimester (12 weeks or earlier) miscarriage if no movement or heartbeat can be detected or following a miscarriage if the placenta has not emerged. This procedure is also used in first-trimester abortions. (see also

donor (of eggs, sperm, or embryo): a person who donates eggs, sperm, or embryo for ART procedures. These individuals are sometimes “known donors,” but can also be anonymous.  In some countries, such as the US, they are compensated, whereas in others compensation for gametes or embryos is illegal. (see also

ectopic pregnancy: a pregnancy that implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. (see also and

gastric bypass surgery: one of the most common types of bariatric (weight-loss) surgeries. (see also

Grave’s Disease: a condition where the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone, which can lead to complications in pregnancy. (see also

hCG: acronym for human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone found in the blood or urine following implantation. hCG tests are often used to monitor health during early pregnancy and following pregnancy losses. (see also fertilitysmarts.comand

ICSI: acronym for intracytoplasmic sperm injection, an ART procedure in which a single sperm is injected into an egg. (see also and

IUI: acronym for intrauterine insemination, a procedure usually performed in a medical facility in which a fine catheter (tube) is inserted through the cervix into the uterus to deposit sperm directly into the uterus. IUI is considered a relatively simple medical procedure and typically costs between $500 and $2,000 (in 2019). (see also and

IVF: acronym for in-vitro fertilization, a procedure in which eggs are removed from the ovary then fertilized with sperm in a laboratory procedure. The fertilized egg (embryo) is then inserted into the uterus. One cycle of IVF typically costs between $10,000 and $15,000 (in 2019). (see also and

miscarriage: the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy; I use this terminology as participants applied it, regardless of gestational age. (see also

NICU: acronym for neonatal intensive care unit for premature or dangerously ill infants.

neonatal period: from birth to one month. (see also

pregnancy loss: miscarriage and stillbirth, sometimes used to include abortion.

reproductive loss: experiences of pregnancy loss, adoption loss, infertility, and sterility; see discussion in “Terminology: Politics & Practice.”

reproductive endocrinologist: An obstetrician-gynecologist who specializes in reproductive medicine and technology, such as ART; also often referred to as a fertility specialist.

“silent miscarriage” (also called “missed miscarriage”): medical terminology for a miscarriage where the baby has died or not developed in utero, but has not been physically miscarried. This is often discovered during a routine ultrasound. See discussion and critique of these terms in “Terminology: Politics & Practice.” (see also

sonogram: technically, this refers to the picture produced by an ultrasound exam, but the terms are often used interchangeably. (see also

spontaneous abortion: medical terminology for miscarriage, avoided by most participants. (see also

stillbirth: fetal death; I use this terminology as participants applied it, regardless of gestational age. (see also

surrogate/gestational surrogate: a person who carries a pregnancy with an agreement that they will give the offspring to the intended parent(s). Gametes (egg and sperm) can originate from the intended parent(s) and/or a third party (or parties). (see also

TTC (ttc): acronym for trying to conceive; commonly used on blogs and online platforms. (see also

ultrasound: a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to scan and create an image of part of the inside of the body. In pregnancy, this is typically used to assess the development of the fetus; see also sonogram. (see also and

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