Common Terms

Infertility is “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.” 

Reproductive Endocrinologist is an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) who has completed additional training in the form of a 2- or 3-year fellowship in the treatment of infertility (reproductive endocrinology). Upon completion of training, a specialist seeks board certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties, which requires successful completion of oral and written exams. Only those physicians who complete the fellowship and pass the exams can become board-certified fertility specialists.

Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) includes all fertility treatments in which both eggs and sperm are handled. In general, ART procedures involve surgically removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries, combining them with sperm in the laboratory, and returning them to the woman’s body or donating them to another woman. They do NOT include treatments in which only sperm are handled (i.e., intrauterine—or artificial—insemination) or procedures in which a woman takes medicine only to stimulate egg production without the intention of having eggs retrieved.

In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is a reproductive technology in which an egg is removed from a woman, joined with a sperm cell from a man in a test tube (in vitro). The cells fuse to form single cell called a zygote, which then starts dividing, becoming an embryo.

Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman's uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening/Diagnosis: PGS or PGD refers to genetic testing of embryos prior to transfer and implantation of the embryo.  It's main objective is to prevent miscarriage due to genetic disorders.  This is essentially the same exact test that is performed during an amniocentesis. With PGD, a biopsy is taken from the embryo prior to freezing the embryo. With an amniocentesis, amniotic fluid is tested at approximately 15 weeks of pregnancy to determine the genetic health of the baby. PGD increases your chances of a successful IVF since you already know that the embryo being implanted is healthy.  This is also the reason that we only transferred one embryo into Stephanie's uterus.  PGD is also the way people can choose the gender of their children!  Of course for Jeffrey and I we chose this path only to ensure that we would have a healthy baby.



Surrogacy Terms

Intended Parents: Person or persons who become the legal parent of a child born through surrogacy.

Gestational Surrogate/Gestational Carrier: A gestational carrier is the term used for a woman who carries and delivers a baby and gives the baby to another couple or person.  A gestational carrier is not genetically related to the baby.  The term surrogate is better known, so people tend to just use the term "surrogate" whether they are a traditional surrogate or a gestational carrier.

Traditional Surrogate: A traditional surrogate is the term referring to a woman who carries and delivers a baby and gives the baby to another couple or person.  A traditional surrogate is genetically related to the baby.

Birth Plan: A document to be drafted by the mother (woman carrying the child) as well as her partner and if applicable, the intended parents.  The birth plan is a document that is given to the caregiver, midwife, nurses, etc. and outlines how the mother (partner and intended parents) hopes her birthing experience will be, how she wishes to be cared for and how the baby should be cared for. For example, many hospitals will suggest that the baby is bathed before leaving, but this might not be the wishes of the parents. 

Pre-Birth Order: A court issued order that is acquired before the birth of the child. Typically, it will place the names on the birth certificate and allow you access to the child while he/she is in the hospital.

Post-Birth Order: A court issued order that is acquired after the birth of the child. Typically, it will replace the surrogate with the intended parents on the newborn’s birth certificate.