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GLOSSARY OF TERMS
  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
    ART is the technology used to achieve pregnancy in procedures such as fertility medication, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilisation and surrogacy. It is reproductive technology used primarily for infertility treatments.

    Endometrium
    The lining of the womb – progesterone makes it thicken during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle so it can help a fertilised egg develop.

    Follicular phase
    The Follicular phase is part of the menstrual cycle. It starts on the first day of your menstrual period and ends when you ovulate. During this stage the follicles (pods containing the eggs) ripen, and one of the eggs matures.

    Hormone
    A natural chemical, normally produced by the body, to help regulate or change one of the body’s systems.

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  • IVF
    In vitro fertilisation.

    Implantation
    When a fertilised egg is placed into the uterus (womb).

    Luteal phase
    The Luteal phase is part of the menstrual cycle. In this phase, the follicle that released the egg produces hormones that thicken and ripen the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) to prepare for pregnancy.

    Menstrual cycle
    The cycle of ovulation (the luteal and follicular stages) of a woman’s reproductive system that can allow her to become pregnant.

    Ovulation
    This is the process of the menstrual cycle which results in the release of a mature egg from the ovary. The difference between an IVF cycle and a regular menstrual cycle is that ovulation is artificially induced to mature the eggs and to time their harvesting to enable their fertilisation in the IVF lab.

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  • Progesterone
    Progesterone is a hormone which in a regular menstrual cycle is produced by the ovaries. Progesterone prepares the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to allow a fertilised egg (embryo) to stick or implant. In assisted fertility treatment progesterone may not be released by the ovaries and so it is taken as a medication during this procedure.

    Shedding
    When the walls of the womb break down and are released out of the vagina – what’s commonly known as ‘having your period’.

    Uterus
    The womb.

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