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glossary
ART (assisted reproductive technology)

Fertility procedures and treatments involving the handling of human eggs and sperm for the purpose of helping women become pregnant.
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Artificial Insemination

A procedure that places sperm in a woman's reproductive tract without intercourse.
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Blastocyst Transfer

A procedure still in the testing stage, where blastocysts (early stage embryos) are left longer in a culture to grow; therefore, allowing for only the best ones to be selected based on their growth and development in the lab. By implanting only two or three of the best blastocyts, this procedure minimizes multiple birth rates.
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Clone

An individual grown from a single somatic cell of its parent and genetically identical to it.
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Cloning

Procedure based on nuclear transfer, which involves the use of two cells. The recipient cell is normally an unfertilized egg. The donor cell is the one to be copied. The recipient cell's DNA is removed, then the donor cell, complete with its nucleus, is fused with the recipient egg. Some fused cells start to develop like a normal embryo and produce offspring if implanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother.
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Cryopreservation

A technique for freezing tissues or cells to preserve for use at a later date.
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Donor egg, embryo or sperm

Provided for ART procedures or artificial insemination; donors usually receive a fee and relinquish rights to any resulting children.
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Embryo

A fertilized egg that has undergone one or more divisions.
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Gamete

A reproductive cell, either a sperm or egg.
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Gestational carrier

Woman who carries an embryo that was formed from the egg of another woman; the gestational carrier is expected to return the infant to its genetic parents. Also known as surrogate mother.
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GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer)

Procedure that involves removing eggs from the ovary, combing them with sperm and using a laparoscope to assist in placing the unfertilized eggs and sperm in the woman's fallopian tube through a small incision in the abdomen.
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ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection)

Procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg; mainly used for male infertility problems.
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IVF (in vitro fertilization)

Procedure that involves removing eggs from the ovaries and fertilizing them outside of the woman's body. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the woman's uterus through the cervix.
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Multifetal pregnancy reduction

Procedure used to decrease the number of fetuses a woman carries and improve the survival chances of the remaining fetuses. Some pregnancy reductions occur naturally.
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PDI (preimplantation genetic testing)

Procedure that allows the embryo to be tested for chromosomal abnormalities. A single cell is removed from a developing embryo and tested. Any abnormal embryos can be removed and only healthly ones selected and implanted in the woman's uterus.
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ZIFT (zygote intrafallopian transfer)

Procedure in which eggs are collected from the ovaries and fertilized outside of the body. A laparoscope is used to assist in placing the fertilized egg (zygote) into the woman's fallopian tube through small incision in the abdomen.


Sources: 1996 ART National Report prepared by the Center for Disease Control, Merriam Webster's Medical Dictionary, and Beyond Second Opinions, by Judith Steinberg Turiel

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