Acronyms & Definitions

This page lists definitions for acronyms. Italicized terms are also defined.

Assisted Hatching (AH)

A small incision is made in the shell surrounding the embryo just prior to transferring the embryo into the uterus.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)

A technology , technique, or therapy that provides assistance to a couple trying to achieving pregnancy, such as Superovulation, Intrauterine Insemination, or In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).

Blastocyst Culture

Extended or prolonged growth of embryos in the laboratory to select the best for transfer.


A technique for freezing extra embryos to preserve them for use at a later date. Cryopreserved embryos are referred to as frozen embryos.

Egg Retrieval

Egg Retrieval (also called Oocyte Retrieval) is a procedure for collecting the eggs contained in the ovarian follicles. This is done with a needle through the vagina while you are under anesthesia.

Embryo Transfer (ET)

The placement of embryos into a woman’s uterus through the cervix several days after in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

A procedure in which a single sperm cell is injected directly into an egg for fertilization.

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

The special preparation of sperm to be introduced into the uterus (womb).

Ovarian Monitoring

The use of ultrasound—and/or blood or urine tests—to monitor ovarian follicle development and hormone production.

Superovulation Therapy or Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation

The use of injectable drugs to stimulate the ovaries to recruit and develop numerous follicles/eggs.