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  • Recombinant DNA

    DNA modified to contain genes from two different sources. The recombinant DNA technology is often used for the production of especially purified pharmaceutical preparations.

  • Androgen

    Hormone that stimulates the activity of secondary male genital organs and the development of male sex characteristics. It is also produced by women in small quantities.

  • Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

    The hormone produced in the first staged of pregnancy and contributed to the continuous production of progesterone from the corpus luteum. Moreover, it is used as an injection to trigger the ovulation process in women following certain fertility rehabilitation treatments, while it is also used in men to stimulate the production of testosterone.

  • Miscarriage

    Spontaneous death of viable embryo or foetus in the uterus.

  • Vasectomy

    Permanent occlusion, through surgery, of vas deferens. Surgical procedure used as contraception method.

  • Sperm Number

    The number of sperms in each ejaculation. It is also known as sperm concentration and is counted the number of sperms per millilitre.

  • LH Surge

    The secretion of luteinizing hormone (LH), which triggers the release of a mature egg from the ovarian follicle.

  • Gamete

    Reproductive cell. In men this cell is known as sperm while in women the respective cell is called an ovum.

  • Gonadotropins

    They are mainly 2 hormones that regulate the reproductive function: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH).

  • Fertilisation

    The fusion of gametes transferred by sperm and an ovum for the development of an embryo. Naturally this process occurs in the Fallopian tube (in vivo) but it can also occur in the laboratory (in vitro). (See also In Vitro Fertilisation).

  • Fertility Specialist

    Physician specialised in the application of Assisted Reproduction Techniques, e.g. the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists certifies a sub-specialty for Obstetricians – Gynaecologists who are further trained on issues of endocrinology of reproduction (study of hormones) and Subfertility.

  • Foetus

    A term used to describe the first stages of embryonic development, from conception until the eighth week of pregnancy.

  • Implantation (Foetus)

    The attachment of the embryo on a tissue so as to be able to be connected to the mother’s circulatory system so as to be able to grow. The implantation usually is effectuated in the interior of the uterine cavity. However, in case of ectopic pregnancy it may be attached at another part of the body.

  • Embryo Transfer

    The placement of the ovum after have been fertilised out of the woman’s body in the uterus or the Fallopian tube.

  • Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

    Microfertilisation procedure (effectuated under the microscope) during which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg so as the fertilisation to be possible in case of sperm with very low number of sperms or sperm of limited motility (e.g. for eggs that cannot be easily penetrated by sperm). Then the embryo is transferred in the uterus.

  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

    The placement of sperms in a woman’s vagina, near the cervix or directly in the uterus with the use of a special catheter and not during sexual intercourse. This technique is used to encounter problems of sexual performance, to avoid problems due to interaction between sperm and cervical mucus, to maximise the possibilities of weak sperm and finally to use a donor’s sperm.

  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT)

    After the eggs are removed (egg collection procedure), they are mixed with sperms and then they are placed in the woman’s Fallopian tubes with a microsurgery (laparoscopic surgery) for in vivo fertilisation.

  • In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF)

    The eggs produced with medicines for the stimulation of the ovulatory process are removed from the woman’s body and are fertilised by sperm in a laboratory. The eggs that result are then transferred in the uterus with the use of special catheter.

  • Infertility Treatment

    Any method or process used for the reinforcement/ rehabilitation of fertility or the increase of possibility of pregnancy, such as the treatment for the ovulation induction, the rehabilitation of varicocele (reduction of venous varices in the testicles), microsurgery for the rehabilitation of damaged Fallopian tubes etc. The objective of the Infertility treatment is to help couples have their child.

  • Myoma

    Benign (non-cancerous or threatening for life) tumour of fibrillar connective tissue in the wall of the uterus. It may cause no symptoms or it may cause an abnormal menstruation or infertility.

  • Sperm Motility

    The ability of sperm to move through water and reach the egg. Low sperm motility means that sperm has difficulty to move towards an ovum.

  • Cryopreservation

    The preservation of organs or tissues in very low temperatures. The embryos that are not used in an assisted reproductive technology (ART) cycle may be kept in cryopreservation for future use in the following treatment cycle.

  • Laparoscopy

    Examination of the pelvis with the use of small telescope called laparoscope.

  • Blastocyst Transfer

    Είναι μία πρόσφατη εξέλιξη στη θεραπεία της υπογονιμότητας, με βάση την οποία τα έμβρυα αναπτύσσονται στο εργαστήριο για 5- 6 ημέρες (μέχρι να φτάσουν στο στάδιο ανάπτυξης βλαστοκύστης), αντί για 2 ή 3 ημέρες, όπως συνήθως γίνεται στην κλασική Εξωσωματική Γονιμοποίηση.

  • Oestrogen

    Hormone that stimulates the development of female secondary sex characteristics and regulates the menstrual cycle. It is also produced in men in small quantities.

  • Gonadotropin- Releasing Hhormone (GnRH)

    Substance released about every ninety minutes from a part of the brain called hypothalamus. This hormone causes the secretion of LH and FSH from the pituitary. These hormones stimulate the gonads, i.e. the testicles and the ovaries.

  • Progesterone

    The hormone produced by the corpus luteum during the second stage of the menstrual cycle. It prepares the uterus to accept the implantation of the fertilised egg and support the beginning of the pregnancy.

  • Ovulation Induction

    Therapeutic approach, with the use of medication, aiming to the stimulation of ovaries and the achievement of ovulation.

  • Fallopian Tubes

    Tubes through which the eggs pass to the uterus, when released from the ovarian follicle. The sperm naturally meets the egg in the Fallopian tube, where fertilisation is effectuated naturally.

  • Sperm

    The male reproductive cell transferring the male genetic information to the female egg. That is to say, it is the male gamete.

  • Sterility

    Irreversible condition not allowing conception.

  • Testosterone

    The male hormone that is responsible for the secondary sex characteristics and the preservation of sexual desire. Testosterone is also necessary for spermatogenesis (production of sperm).

  • Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART)

    A number of techniques used to achieve pregnancy without sexual intercourse, including In Vitro Fertilisation, Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT) etc.

  • Hypogonadism

    Diminished activity of the testes or ovaries that may occur with the production of small quantity of sperm or lack of production of follicles, as well as with low or non-existent levels of FSH and LH.

  • Infertility

    The inability to conceive after one year of unprotected sexual intercourse (or six months for women over 35 years old) or the inability to continue the pregnancy until labour.

  • Ultrasound Test

    Examination used, instead of X-ray, for the imaging of the reproductive organs and in particular, in this case, for the monitoring of development of ovarian follicles.

  • Ovarian Insufficiency

    The inability of ovaries to correspond to the stimulation caused by FSH that is produced by pituitary, due to damage or dysplasia of the ovaries or chronic disease, as certain autoimmune diseases. Its diagnosis results on the basis of increased FSH levels in the blood.

  • Ovarian Follicles

    Follicles in the ovary full of fluid, which contain the eggs that are released during ovulation (rupture process of ovarian follicle). Normally every month a mature ovum, that has grown in its respective ovarian follicle, is released from the ovary.

  • Ovulation

    The release of the ovum from the ovarian follicle.

  • Follicle- Stimulating Hormone (FSH)

    Hormone produced in the pituitary causing development of ovarian follicles and spermatogenesis (sperm production). In women, FSH causes the growth of ovarian follicles. In men, FSH stimulates the Sertoli cells (in testes) and helps the sperm production. High FSH levels are related to abnormal operation of gonads both in men and women.

  • Egg Collection

    Operation applied for the removal of eggs from ovarian follicles in order to be afterwards used for in vitro fertilisation. The operation may be effectuated with laparoscopy or most commonly, through the vagina, with the use of special needle and under ultrasound guidance for the location of the ovarian follicles in the ovaries.

  • Lutrophin Hormone (LH)

    Hormone produced in the pituitary stimulating the gonads. In men, LH is necessary for spermatogenesis and testosterone production. In women, LH is necessary for oestrogen production.

  • Corpus Luteum

    Tissue formed in the place of the ovarian follicle after the release of the ovum. The corpus luteum secretes oestrogens and progesterone, two hormones that are essential for maintaining pregnancy. If pregnancy is achieved, the operation of corpus luteum continues for five or six months. If pregnancy is not achieved, its operation degenerates and menstruation follows.