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English Fact Sheets & Info Booklets

The ASRM Patient Fact Sheet  is a series produced under the direction of the ASRM Patient Education Committee and the Publications Committee.

These fact sheets may be printed and distributed to patients to enhance patient education as long as the text is not altered and proper credit must be attributed to ASRM.  Additional copies of booklets can be purchased in the ASRM Store

Some Patient Education Fact Sheets are available en Español and 中文版本. 

  

Assisted Hatching

While the embryo develops, it is surrounded by cells that make up a protective shell (zona pellucida). The embryo naturally breaks out of this shell as it grows. Occasionally, the doctor may ask the laboratory to make a small “crack” in the outer shell of the embryo right before it is placed into the woman’s body (assisted hatching).

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (booklet)

This booklet will help you understand in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other assisted reproductive technology (ART) that have become accepted medical treatments for infertility.

Conditions Treated with Adnexal Surgery

Surgery can be used to treat problems with your ovaries or fallopian tubes such as cysts, endometriosis or infections. Adnexal surgery involves any of the organs that are on the sides of (“next to”) the uterus (womb), such as the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Defining Infertility

Infertility is “the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse.”

Diagnostic Testing for Female Infertility

An evaluation of a woman for infertility is appropriate for women who have not become pregnant after having 12 months of regular, unprotected intercourse.

Dilation and Curettage (D&C)

“Dilation and curettage” (D&C) is a short surgical procedure that removes tissue from your uterus (womb). You may need this procedure if you have unexplained or abnormal bleeding, or if you have delivered a baby and placental tissue remains in your womb.

Does My Age Affect My Fertility?

A woman’s age is one of the most important factors affecting whether she is able to conceive and give birth to a healthy child. This is due to several changes that are a natural part of aging.

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is any pregnancy that grows outside of the uterus (womb). In a normal pregnancy, the egg meets the sperm (is fertilized) in the fallopian tube and the embryo (fertilized egg) travels through the tube to the uterus.

Ectopic Pregnancy (booklet)

The diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy is usually unexpected and is often emotionally traumatic. Many women may have only recently discovered they were pregnant when they receive the diagnosis.

Egg Donation

Egg donation is when a woman (donor) gives her eggs to another woman (recipient) to allow the recipient to have a baby. To donate eggs, the donor must be given medications that will cause her to develop multiple eggs over a single cycle.

Endometrial Ablation

Endometrial ablation is a medical procedure that removes the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium.

Evaluation of the Uterus

If you haven’t been able to get pregnant after trying for 6 months, some tests can be done to help find the reason. Your doctor may test your hormone levels, your partner’s sperm, and your reproductive organs (ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus [womb]).

Fertility Options After Vasectomy

Vasectomy is currently one of the most common methods of sterilization in the United States. After your vasectomy, if you change your mind about having children, there are two procedures that can help you have a child with your partner.

Genetic Screening for Birth Defects

Birth defects, which occur in nearly one in 20 pregnancies, range in severity from minor anatomic abnormalities to extensive genetic disorders or mental retardation. Some couples have a greater than average risk of having a child with a birth defect.

Hydrosalpinx

The fallopian tubes are attached to the uterus (womb) on the left and right sides. Normally, the fallopian tube picks up an egg as it is released (ovulated) from the ovary each month, and this is usually where sperm and egg meet.

Hyperprolactinemia (High Prolactin Levels)

Prolactin is a hormone produced by your pituitary gland which sits at the bottom of the brain. Prolactin causes breasts to grow and develop and causes milk to be made after a baby is born.

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

A hysterosalpingogram or HSG is an x-ray procedure used to see whether the fallopian tubes are patent (open) and if the inside of the uterus (uterine cavity) is normal. HSG is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than 5 minutes to perform.

Intrauterine Adhesions: What Are They?

Injury to and/or infection of the endometrium may damage the lining and cause formation of adhesions (scar tissue) between the inner walls of the uterus where the walls abnormally adhere or stick to each other. Asherman syndrome is a term used to describe adhesions inside the uterus. 

Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)

When a woman conceives naturally, sperm travel from the vagina
through the cervix (narrow, lower part of the womb), into the uterus
(womb), and up into one of the fallopian tubes. If sperm arrive in a tube
soon after the release of the egg from the ovary (ovulation); the sperm
and egg can meet and unite (fertilization) in the tube.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): What Are the Risks?

IVF is a method of assisted reproduction in which a man’s sperm and a woman’s eggs are combined outside of the body in a laboratory dish. One or more fertilized eggs (embryos) may be transferred into the woman’s uterus, where they may implant in the uterine lining and develop.

Laparoscopy and Hysteroscopy (booklet)

An examination of a woman’s internal pelvic structure can provide important information regarding infertility and common gynecologic disorders. Problems that cannot be discovered by an external physical examination may be discovered by laparoscopy and hysteroscopy, two procedures that provide a direct look at the pelvic organs.

Managing Pelvic Pain

Many women have pain in their pelvis (lower part of the belly) from time to time, usually during their period. However, if you have daily pelvic pain, it could be a sign of a bigger problem with your bladder, bowels, reproductive organs, or pelvic muscles.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Surgery is termed “minimally invasive” if it uses small or no incisions (cuts). Surgeons see your body’s organs with the help of small telescopes and cameras. Surgical repairs are made with very small instruments. Most problems can be treated at the time of diagnosis as one procedure.

Nonhormonal Contraception

Despite a large number of contraceptive options available to couples, it is still thought that 50% of pregnancies in the United States are unintended. Therefore, it is important to choose a contraceptive that can be used consistently and correctly.

Ovarian Drilling for Infertility

Often, women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) do not have regular menstrual periods. This usually means that a woman doesn’t ovulate (release an egg) every month and may have trouble getting pregnant.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormone disorder that affects 5%-10% of women. Like all syndromes, PCOS is a collection of problems that are found together. Not all women with PCOS have all the same symptoms.

Preimplantation Genetic Testing

Your embryos can be tested for abnormal chromosomes before they are transferred to the uterus. This is called preimplantation genetic testing, or PGT.

Robotic Surgery

Robotic surgery is a form of laparoscopy. Laparoscopy is minimally invasive surgery, usually performed in an outpatient setting.

Saline Infusion Sonohysterogram (SHG)

What is saline infusion sonohysterogram (SHG)?
Saline infusion sonohysterography (SIS or SHG) is a procedure to evaluate the uterus and the shape of the uterine cavity.

Sperm Morphology (Shape): Does It Affect Fertility?

The most common test of a man’s fertility is a semen analysis. This measures many features of the sperm and semen (the fluid in which the sperm are contained). The most important of these are the number of sperm (sperm count), motility of the sperm (percentage of moving sperm), morphology of the sperm (percentage of normally shaped sperm), and the volume of fluid.

Treatment of Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids usually do not require treatment because most patients with fibroids do not have symptoms. Women with fibroids should have regular checkups to determine if the fibroids are changing in size, to track worsening symptoms, and if planning to get pregnant.

Varicocele

A varicocele is a variation of normal anatomy in which veins in the scrotum (the sac that holds the testicles) become enlarged and sometimes even visible. Varicocele usually is first found at puberty and is much more common on the left side than on the right side. Sometimes it occurs on both sides.

What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)?

Before a man’s sperm can fertilize a woman’s egg, the head of the sperm must attach to the outside of the egg.  Once attached, the sperm pushes through the outer layer to the inside of the egg (cytoplasm), where fertilization takes place.

What is In Vitro Maturation (IVM)?

In vitro maturation (IVM) is when a woman’s eggs are collected and matured outside the body. This is done as part of an in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedure.

ReproductiveFacts.org
is a patient education website of ASRM.
 

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