Reproductive Medicine Terms and Acronyms

Our glossary of reproductive medicine terms and acronyms can give you more information and help you understand different parts of your fertility journey. If you have any questions, please contact your physician. We are here to support you every step of the way.

Reproductive Medicine Glossary

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Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH): A hormone produced by the cells in ovarian follicles. It’s the best way to predict ovarian reserve, or the reproductive potential of the number of eggs in both ovaries. It decreases with age and is undetectable at menopause. 


Beta test: A blood test that detects levels of the pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). When a pregnancy is successful, hCG will rise. Beta tests are ordered during IVF cycles. 


Cryopreservation: The frozen preservation of eggs, sperm, or fertilized embryos.


Endometriosis: A condition that causes endometrial tissue, which lines the uterus, to grow outside the uterus. This can impact fertility if the tissue grows on other reproductive organs like the ovaries or fallopian tubes. It can also be extremely painful.

Estradiol (E2): The main form of estrogen in your body during your reproductive years. 


Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH): A hormone released by the brain to make ovarian follicles grow, develop, and produce a mature egg.


Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG): A hormone produced during pregnancy.

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): This is a diagnostic test that uses dye and an X-ray to determine if the uterus is a normal shape and the fallopian tubes are open. 


Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): A procedure where a single healthy sperm is injected into an egg. This is most often used for poor sperm quality.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): A treatment that places sperm into the uterus to help with fertilization.

In vitro fertilization (IVF): A type of assisted reproduction that combines egg and sperm in a lab. If the egg fertilizes, the embryo is transferred into the uterus.


Luteinizing hormone (LH): A hormone produced by the pituitary gland. Increasing levels of LH trigger ovulation (when the ovaries release a mature egg).


Preconception genetic screening (PGS or PGT-A): A procedure often used during IVF treatment to choose embryos that do not have chromosomal abnormalities.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD or PGT-M): Genetic screening that tests for different diseases and syndromes that children can inherit.

Progesterone: A hormone that can determine if ovulation happened.

Prolactin: A hormone that regulates breast milk production. If it is too high, it can impact fertility.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): A condition where the ovaries produce a hormonal imbalance that can prevent ovulation.  


Semen analysis (SA): A lab test that examines a semen sample under a microscope to check volume, count, activity (motility), and shape (morphology).

Sonohysterogram (SIS): A diagnostic ultrasound-based test that looks at the uterus to detect irregularities. The test is usually performed near the beginning of the menstrual cycle before the uterine lining thickens. This test can also see if the fallopian tubes appear to be open.


Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH): A hormone that regulates metabolism. If it is too high or too low, it can impact fertility. Medication can bring TSH levels into a normal range.

How to make an appointment

In most cases, you need to make an appointment with your primary care physician or OB-GYN to discuss your health concerns and their impact on your fertility. They will help you determine if and when to seek fertility treatment at the AHN Center for Reproductive Medicine. When it is time for that next step, call (412) 847-1166 to schedule a new patient visit.

Current patients who need to cancel or reschedule an upcoming appointment, please call at least 24 hours before you are scheduled.

Connect with MyChart

The AHN Center for Reproductive Medicine uses the AHN MyChart patient portal to send important information related to your care. You can also use MyChart to ask nonurgent questions, request prescription refills, or pay a medical bill for any of your AHN health care providers. You can sign up for a free MyChart account with an access code from your provider or without one. Once you’ve created an account, download the MyChart app for on-the-go convenience.

Refer your patient to AHN

Everything you need in one place to refer your patient to AHN for fertility services.