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The International Glossary on Infertility and Fertility Care

The following glossary was developed in 2017 by a global panel of more than 100 multidisciplinary experts, professional organisations, and patient representatives to provide consensus agreement on 283 items and definitions. Published in Fertility and Sterility (FNS) and Human Reproduction (HR).
A printable version of the 2017 Glossary and more information on the methodology, and a list of previous compiled glossaries can be found here.

Iatrogenic testicular failure

Damage to testicular function after radiation, chemotherapy or hormone treatment; or devascularization as a consequence of hernia surgery.

Immature oocyte

An oocyte at prophase of meiosis I, (i.e. an oocyte at the germinal vesicle (GV)-stage.)


The attachment and subsequent penetration by a zona-free blastocyst into the endometrium, but when it relates to an ectopic pregnancy, into tissue outside the uterine cavity. This process starts 5 to 7 days after fertilization of the oocyte usually resulting in the formation of a gestation sac.

Implantation rate

The number of gestational sacs observed divided by the number of embryos transferred (usually expressed as a percentage, %).

In vitro fertilization (IVF)

A sequence of procedures that involves extracorporeal fertilization of gametes. It includes conventional in vitro insemination and ICSI.

In vitro maturation (IVM)

A sequence of laboratory procedures that enable extracorporeal maturation of immature oocytes into fully mature oocytes that are capable of being fertilized with potential to develop into embryos.

Induced abortion

Intentional loss of an intrauterine pregnancy, through intervention by medical, surgical or unspecified means. (See induced embryo/fetal reduction.)

Induced embryo/fetal reduction

An intervention intended to reduce the number of gestational sacs or embryos/fetuses in a multiple gestation.


A disease characterized by the failure to establish a clinical pregnancy after 12 months of regular, unprotected sexual intercourse or due to an impairment of a person’s capacity to reproduce either as an individual or with his/her partner. Fertility interventions may be initiated in less than 1 year based on medical, sexual and reproductive history, age, physical findings and diagnostic testing. Infertility is a disease, which generates disability as an impairment of function.

Infertility counseling

A professional intervention with the intention to mitigate the physical, emotional and psychosocial consequences of infertility.
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