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The International Glossary on Infertility and Fertility Care (2017)


STUDY QUESTION: Can a consensus and evidence-driven set of terms and definitions be generated to be used globally in order to ensure
consistency when reporting on infertility issues and fertility care interventions, as well as to harmonize communication among the medical and
scientific communities, policy-makers, and lay public including individuals and couples experiencing fertility problems?

SUMMARY ANSWER: A set of 283 consensus-based and evidence-driven terminologies used in infertility and fertility care has been generated through an inclusive consensus-based process with multiple stakeholders.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: In 2006 the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART)
published a first glossary of 53 terms and definitions. In 2009 ICMART together with WHO published a revised version expanded to 87
terms, which defined infertility as a disease of the reproductive system, and increased standardization of fertility treatment terminology. Since
2009, limitations were identified in several areas and enhancements were suggested for the glossary, especially concerning male factor, demography, epidemiology and public health issues.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: Twenty-five professionals, from all parts of the world and representing their expertise in a variety
of sub-specialties, were organized into five working groups: clinical definitions; outcome measurements; embryology laboratory; clinical and
laboratory andrology; and epidemiology and public health. Assessment for revisions, as well as expansion on topics not covered by the previous glossary, were undertaken. A larger group of independent experts and representatives from collaborating organizations further discussed and assisted in refining all terms and definitions.

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Members of the working groups and glossary co-ordinators interacted
through electronic mail and face-to-face in international/regional conferences. Two formal meetings were held in Geneva, Switzerland, with a
final consensus meeting including independent experts as well as observers and representatives of international/regional scientific and patient
organizations.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: A consensus-based and evidence-driven set of 283 terminologies used in infertility
and fertility care was generated to harmonize communication among health professionals and scientists as well as the lay public, patients and
policy makers. Definitions such as ‘fertility care’ and ‘fertility awareness’ together with terminologies used in embryology and andrology have
been introduced in the glossary for the first time. Furthermore, the definition of ‘infertility’ has been expanded in order to cover a wider spectrum of conditions affecting the capacity of individuals and couples to reproduce. The definition of infertility remains as a disease characterized by the failure to establish a clinical pregnancy; however, it also acknowledges that the failure to become pregnant does not always result from a disease, and therefore introduces the concept of an impairment of function which can lead to a disability. Additionally, subfertility is now redundant, being replaced by the term infertility so as to standardize the definition and avoid confusion.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: All stakeholders agreed to the vast majority of terminologies included in this glossary. In
cases where disagreements were not resolved, the final decision was reached after a vote, defined before the meeting as consensus if passed
with 75%. Over the following months, an external expert group, which included representatives from non-governmental organizations,
reviewed and provided final feedback on the glossary.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Some terminologies have different definitions, depending on the area of medicine, for
example demographic or clinical as well as geographic differences. These differences were taken into account and this glossary represents a
multinational effort to harmonize terminologies that should be used worldwide.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: None.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: N/A

INTRODUCTION

Terms and definitions currently used in fertility care, infertility and medically assisted reproduction (MAR) can have different meanings that are dependent upon the setting, their usage in research or clinical interventions, or among diverse populations. This can result in difficulties in standardizing and comparing fertility care interventions and their outcomes, especially on a global level. Furthermore, the way some terms are defined can have an impact on their acceptance and understanding, not only by patients and their health care providers, but also by the public and their policy makers, potentially affecting the manner in which reproductive medicine is practiced and accepted at country level. For example, in countries in which embryo cryopreservation is forbidden by regulation or legislation, the distinction between a zygote and an embryo can have enormous influence on clinical decision- making such as the number of oocytes
inseminated and/or the number of embryos transferred. Similarly, by defining infertility as a disease of the reproductive system (1, 2), which can lead to disability, equity of access to fertility treatments has been facilitated during debate and decision-making at regional and national levels. These definitions helped to structure the debate concerning key elements of sexual and reproductive rights within the decision by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that resulted in obliging Costa Rica to re-establish access to fertility care through ART and ensure universal availability (3). Therefore, an international consensus and evidence-driven set of terms and definitions do benefit communication of a common language among scientific and clinical reproductive medicine communities, but these also can have significant impact on the understanding of the field which drives debate concerning overall access to reproductive health care on a global level.

The first international standardized definitions for reporting ART procedures were published by the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) in 2006 as The ICMART Glossary on ART Terminology (4, 5). This document resulted from an ICMART initiative, presented and documented within the meeting report entitled Medical, Ethical and Social Aspects of Assisted Reproduction and published by the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2002 (6). In 2008, the WHO together with ICMART, the Low-Cost IVF Foundation and The International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) organized an international consensus consultation on ‘Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Common Terminology and Management in Low-Resource Settings’, again held at the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland. The WHO was responsible for steering and management of the consensus consultation, with expert technical lead provided from ICMART, which resulted in the first revision of the glossary. The main terminology objective during the 2008 large consensus consultation was to expand and improve on an internationally accepted set of definitions that would help standardize and harmonize international data collection in order to monitor the utilization, effectiveness, and safety of ART interventions. In 2009, after review and approval through WHO processes, the glossary was published in English simultaneously in the journals Human Reproduction and Fertility and Sterility, and was subsequently translated into Spanish and Portuguese (7), Dutch (8), Japanese (9) and Russian (10).


WORKING METHODOLOGY

In December 2014, theWHOheld an expert consultation to review progress on its process of developing guidelines for infertility diagnosis, management and treatment, assessing the available evidence through a detailed systematic review process. During this consultation ICMART, together with WHO and the other experts, agreed that the 2009 glossary be revised and expanded. This coincided with requests at country level to address topic areas poorly represented in the previous glossary, such as those associated with the male, and also to find clarity in terminologies used in infertility especially in the fields of epidemiology, social science and global public health. This International Glossary on Infertility and Fertility Care, 2017, is a consensus revision to harmonize clinical practice and research, and to inform patients and policy.

The revision process of the glossary since 2006 is described in Fig. 1. To generate a revision of the 2009 glossary, the process began with the selection and organization of 25 professionals, from different parts of the world and representing a myriad of organizations covering various sub-specialties, into five working groups according to their expertise in: clinical definitions; outcome measurements; embryology laboratory; clinical and laboratory andrology; and epidemiology and public health. This need for a revision was also in response to a requirement to better define terms associated with outcomes and components that impact fertility treatments which include maternal health risks as well as pregnancy and child outcomes. In 2014, the WHO had participated in the modification of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT), to ensure that the evidence reported from clinical trials, or retrospectively from analysis of clinic practice, would include maternal, neonate and child health outcomes (IMPRINT), (11, 12). Thus, this 2017 glossary covers a broad spectrum of terms currently being used in infertility and fertility care.

The responsibility of each working group was to review the existing 2009 definitions and to provide changes or to provide additional terms in order to create the most accurate, current, evidence-based and comprehensive glossary possible for this sector of reproductive health. The lead experts of the glossary revision and the respective lead experts from each of the glossary working groups interacted by electronic mail, at international and regional society meetings, and twice attended consultations held in Geneva, Switzerland.

A consensus expert consultation meeting was held in September 2015. In order to reach agreement, a representative of each of the working groups presented their set of draft terms and definitions to all participants, which included experts in diverse fields as well as representatives from patient groups. When disagreements were not resolved, the final decision was reached after a vote, defined before the meeting as consensus if passed with 75%. The vast majority of terminologies included in this 2017 glossary were agreed upon during the September, 2015 meeting. Adhering to internationally accepted processes, over the next 9months anexternal expert group, which included representatives from non-governmental organizations, reviewed and provided final feedback on the glossary.

In addition to the lead organization (ICMART), professionals representing collaborative organizations included The American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), ESHRE, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO), March of Dimes (MOD), the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS), Red Latinoamericana de Reproducción Asistida (REDLARA), African Fertility Society, (AFS), Groupe Interafricain d’Etude de Recherche et d’Application sur la Fertilité, (GIERAF), Asian Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE), and Middle East Fertility Society (MEFS). Also, organizations representing infertile persons participated during the consensus meeting, which included RESOLVE in the USA, TRASCENDER in Latin America, Joyce Fertility in Uganda, and Fertility Europe, plus other infertile persons' groups. In addition, representatives from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Population Council, International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER) also contributed to the consultation. The lead experts of the evidence-synthesis groups who were developing and presenting evidence for WHO guidelines also participated in the glossary debates. Therefore, 108 international professional experts, including clinicians, basic scientists, epidemiologists and social scientists, along with national and regional representatives of infertile persons, participated in the development of this evidence-base driven glossary.

When developing terms and definitions, special attention was given to possible impacts on ethics and human rights issues as well as recognizing and respecting cultural sensitivities, ethnic minorities and gender equality. Some of these considerations resulted in a consensus modification of the previous definition of ‘infertility’. The first modification included broadening the concept of infertility to be an ‘impairment of individuals’ in their capacity to reproduce, irrespective of whether they have a partner. The revised definition also reinforces the concept of infertility as a disease, which can generate an impairment of function.

As part of a health-related international consensus and evidence- driven process, certain terms and their definitions generated for the glossary needed to be consistent with those existing and currently used by the international fertility community and other international organizations. This was the case when deciding at which gestational age a miscarriage/abortion becomes a stillbirth, as it impacts individual case documentation as well as subsequent calculations of miscarriage and perinatal mortality rates, when reporting on outcomes of medically assisted reproduction (MAR) interventions and specifically of ART either for registries or research.

Many terminologies carry different meanings and thus are repeatedly misused in the literature or social media. Such is the case with the term ‘subfertility’. Consensus was reached that this term should be used interchangeably with ‘infertility’. It was agreed that ‘subfertility’ does not define a different or less severe fertility status than infertility, nor is subfertility a condition that exists before infertility is diagnosed. Furthermore, it is crucial to avoid the assumption that a diagnosis of infertility implies sterility, instead the term ‘sterility’ should be used to define a permanent state of infertility. Thus, a consensus was reached that subfertility is a redundant term, and that the term ‘infertility’ should be prioritized when providing an assessment or diagnosis of an individual or couple. In a different context, a consensus was also reached to remove from the glossary the term ‘conception’ and its derivatives such as conceiving or conceived, because these are terms that cannot be described biologically during the process of reproduction. Therefore, instead of using conception, there was consensus that efforts should be made to use scientifically recognized definitions such as fertilization, implantation, pregnancy and live birth. It was also recognized that pregnancies do not ‘spontaneously’ happen, but rather an act of unprotected sexual intercourse is required; thus, instead of the use of the term ‘spontaneous pregnancies’ there was consensus that efforts should be made to use the scientifically appropriate terms for pregnancies, either resulting from medical assistance or without assistance.

Consensus terminologies associated with male aspects of infertility were reached that include a clinical perspective as well as terminologies used in the andrology laboratory. Lastly, owing to the lack of standardization in the determination of the burden of infertility, and to better ensure comparability of prevalence data published globally, this revised glossary includes definitions for terms frequently used in epidemiology and public health such as ‘voluntary and involuntary childlessness’, ‘primary and secondary infertility’, ‘fertility care’, ‘fecundity’ and ‘fecundability’ among others.

This glossary revision provides the medical and scientific communities, the lay public and policy-makers, as well as individuals and couples experiencing fertility problems or infertility, with a consensus and evidence-driven set of terms and definitions that can be used globally to provide quality care and ensure consistency in registering specific fertility care interventions plus more accurate reporting of their outcomes on national, regional and international registries, and in social media or results from research.


RESULTS

Led by ICMART in partnership with ASRM, ESHRE, IFFS,MOD, AFS, GIERAF, ASPIRE, MEFS, REDLARA and FIGO, consensus agreement was reached by a global representation of multidisciplinary experts and patient representatives on 283 terms and definitions which are listed in alphabetical order.


AUTHORS' ROLES

Review process and methodology of the International Glossary on Infertility and Fertility Care, 2017. ICMART: International Committee
for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies; WHO: World Health Organization; IFFS: International Federation of Fertility Societies; ACOG:
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; ASRM: American Society for Reproductive Medicine; IFFS: International Federation of Fertility
Societies; AFS: African Fertility Society; GFMER: Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research; GIERAF: Groupe Inter-africain d’Etude de
Recherche et d’Application sur la Fertilité; ASPIRE: Asian Pacific Initiative on Reproduction; MEFS: Middle East Fertility Society; REDLARA: Red
Latinoamericana de Reproducción Asistida; FIGO: International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics; IPPF: International Planned Parenthood
Federation; UNFPA: United Nations Population Fund..


FUNDING

There was no funding agency for this work.


CONFLICT OF INTEREST

None declared.

Figure 1


The-International-Glossary-on-Infertiltiy-and-Fertility-Care-Figure 1.jpg

Table 1. The International Glossary on Infertility and Fertility Care, 2017


Term Consensus definition
Acrosome A membrane-bound structure covering the anterior of the sperm head that contains enzymes necessary to penetrate the zona pellucida of the oocyte.
Adenomyosis A form of endometriosis marked by the presence of endometrium-like epithelium and stroma outside the endometrium in the myometrium.
Adhesions Bands of fibrous scar tissue that may bind the abdominal and pelvic organs, including the intestines and peritoneum, to each other. They can be dense and thick or filmy and thin.
Age specific fertility rate (ASFR) The number of live births per woman in a particular age group in a specific calendar year expressed per 1000 women in that age group.
Agglutination Clumping of spermatozoa in the ejaculate.
Andrology The medical practice dealing with the health of the male reproductive system.
Aneuploidy An abnormal number of chromosomes in a cell. The majority of embryos with aneuploidies are not compatible with life.
Anti-sperm antibodies Antibodies that recognize and bind to antigens on the surface of the spermatozoon.
Aspermia Lack of external ejaculation.
Assisted hatching An ART procedure in which the zona pellucida of an embryo is either thinned or perforated by chemical, mechanical or laser methods.
Assisted reproductive technology (ART) All interventions that include the in vitro handling of both human oocytes and sperm or of embryos for the purpose of reproduction. This includes, but is not limited to, IVF and embryo transfer ET, intracytoplasmic sperm injection ICSI, embryo biopsy, preimplantation genetic testing PGT, assisted hatching, gamete intrafallopian transfer GIFT, zygote intrafallopian transfer, gamete and embryo cryopreservation, semen, oocyte and embryo donation, and gestational carrier cycles. Thus, ART does not, and ART-only registries do not, include assisted insemination using sperm from either a woman's partner or a sperm donor. (See broader term, medically assisted reproduction, MAR.)
Asthenoteratozoospermia Reduced percentages of motile and morphologically normal sperm in the ejaculate below the lower reference limit. When reporting results, the reference criteria should be specified.
Asthenozoospermia Reduced percentage of motile sperm in the ejaculate below the lower reference limit. When reporting results, the reference criteria should be specified.
Azoospermia The absence of spermatozoa in the ejaculate.
Binucleation The presence of two nuclei in a blastomere (cell).
Biochemical pregnancy A pregnancy diagnosed only by the detection of beta hCG in serum or urine.
Birth (single) The complete expulsion or extraction from a woman of a fetus after 22 completed weeks of gestational age, irrespective of whether it is a live birth or stillbirth, or, if gestational age is unknown, a birth weight more than 500 grams. A single birth refers to an individual newborn; and a delivery of multiple births, such as a twin delivery, would be registered as two births.
Blastocoele Fluid-filled central region of the blastocyst.
Blastocyst The stage of preimplantation embryo development that occurs around day 5–6 after insemination or ICSI. The blastocyst contains a fluid filled central cavity (blastocoele), an outer layer of cells (trophectoderm) and an inner group of cells (inner cell mass).
Blastomere A cell in a cleavage stage embryo.
Blastomere symmetry The extent to which all blastomeres are even in size and shape.
Bleeding after oocyte aspiration Significant bleeding, internal or external, after oocyte aspiration retrieval requiring hospitalization for blood transfusion, surgical intervention, clinical observation or other medical procedure.
Canceled ART cycle An ART cycle in which ovarian stimulation or monitoring has been initiated with the intention to treat, but which did not proceed to follicular aspiration or in the case of a thawed or warmed embryo did not proceed to embryo transfer.
Childlessness A condition in which a person, voluntarily or involuntarily, is not a legal or societally-recognized parent to a child, or has had all children die.
Chimerism Presence in a single individual of two or more cell lines, each derived from different individuals.
Cleavage stage embryos Embryos beginning with the 2-cell stage and up to, but not including, the morula stage.
Clinical fertility The capacity to establish a clinical pregnancy.
Clinical pregnancy A pregnancy diagnosed by ultrasonographic visualization of one or more gestational sacs or definitive clinical signs of pregnancy. In addition to intra-uterine pregnancy, it includes a clinically documented ectopic pregnancy.
Clinical pregnancy rate The number of clinical pregnancies expressed per 100 initiated cycles, aspiration cycles or embryo transfer cycles. When clinical pregnancy rates are recorded, the denominator (initiated, aspirated or embryo transfer cycles) must be specified.
Clinical pregnancy with fetal heart beat A pregnancy diagnosed by ultrasonographic or clinical documentation of at least one fetus with a discernible heartbeat.
Cohort total fertility rate (CTFR) The observed average number of live born children per woman applied to a birth cohort of women as they age through time. This is obtained from data on women after completing their reproductive years.
Compaction The process during which tight junctions form between juxtaposed blastomeres resulting in a solid mass of cells with indistinguishable cell membranes.
Complex aneuploidies Two or more aneuploidies involving different chromosomes in the embryo. When autosomes are involved, this condition is not compatible with human life.
Congenital anomalies Structural or functional disorders that occur during intra-uterine life and can be identified prenatally, at birth or later in life. Congenital anomalies can be caused by single gene defects, chromosomal disorders, multifactorial inheritance, environmental teratogens and micronutrient deficiencies. The time of identification should be reported.
Congenital anomaly birth rate The number of births exhibiting signs of congenital anomalies per 10,000 births. The time of identification should have been reported.
Congenital bilateral absence of the vasa deferentia (CBAVD) The absence, at birth, of both duct systems (vas deferentia) that connect the testes to the urethra and may be associated with cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CTFR) gene mutation. Although the testes usually develop and function normally, men present with azoospermia.
Conventional in vitro insemination The co-incubation of oocytes with sperm in vitro with the goal of resulting in extracorporeal fertilization.
Corona radiata cells The innermost cells of the cumulus oophorus.
Cross border reproductive care The provision of reproductive health services in a different jurisdiction or outside of a recognized national border within which the person or persons legally reside.
Cryopreservation The process of slow freezing or vitrification to preserve biological material (e.g. gametes, zygotes, cleavage-stage embryos, blastocysts or gonadal tissue) at extreme low temperature.
Cryptorchidism Testis not in scrotal position within the neonatal period and, up to but not limited to, 1 year post birth. If the testis has not descended into the scrotum, this condition can cause primary testicular failure and increased risk of testicular cancer development.
Cumulative delivery rate per aspiration/initiated cycle with at least one live birth The number of deliveries with at least one live birth resulting from one initiated or aspirated ART cycle, including all cycles in which fresh and/or frozen embryos are transferred, until one delivery with a live birth occurs or until all embryos are used, whichever occurs first. The delivery of a singleton, twin, or other multiples is registered as one delivery. In the absence of complete data, the cumulative delivery rate is often estimated.
Cumulus oophorus The multi-layered mass of granulosa cells surrounding the oocyte.
Cytoplasmic maturation The process during which the oocyte acquires the capacity to support nuclear maturation, fertilization, pronuclei formation, syngamy and subsequent early cleavage divisions until activation of the embryonic genome.
Cytoplasmic transfer A procedure that can be performed at different stages of an oocyte's development to add to or replace various amounts of cytoplasm from a donor egg.
Decreased spermatogenesis A histological finding in which spermatogenesis is present with few cells in the seminiferous tubules, resulting in a decreased number or absence of sperm in the ejaculate.
Delayed ejaculation A condition in which it takes a man an extended period of time to reach orgasm and ejaculation.
Delayed embryo transfer A procedure in which embryo transfer is not performed within the time frame of the oocyte aspiration cycle but at a later time.
Delivery The complete expulsion or extraction from a woman of one or more fetuses, after at least 22 completed weeks of gestational age, irrespective of whether they are live births or stillbirths. A delivery of either a single or multiple newborn is considered as one delivery. If more than one newborn is delivered, it is often recognized as a delivery with multiple births.
Delivery rate The number of deliveries expressed per 100 initiated cycles, aspiration cycles, or embryo transfer cycles. When delivery rates are recorded, the denominator (initiated, aspirated or embryo transfer cycles) must be specified. It includes deliveries that resulted in the birth of one or more live births and/or stillbirths. The delivery of a singleton, twin or other multiple pregnancy is registered as one delivery. If more than one newborn is delivered, it is often recognized as a delivery with multiple births.
Delivery rate after fertility treatment per patient The number of deliveries with at least one live birth or stillbirth, expressed per 100 patients, after a specified time and following all treatments.
Delivery with multiple births after fertility treatments A single delivery with more than one newborn, following all fertility treatments.
Delivery The complete expulsion or extraction from a woman of one or more fetuses, after at least 22 completed weeks of gestational age, irrespective of whether they are live births or stillbirths. A delivery of either a single or multiple newborn is considered as one delivery. If more than one newborn is delivered, it is often recognized as a delivery with multiple births.
Delivery rate The number of deliveries expressed per 100 initiated cycles, aspiration cycles, or embryo transfer cycles. When delivery rates are recorded, the denominator (initiated, aspirated or embryo transfer cycles) must be specified. It includes deliveries that resulted in the birth of one or more live births and/or stillbirths. The delivery of a singleton, twin or other multiple pregnancy is registered as one delivery. If more than one newborn is delivered, it is often recognized as a delivery with multiple births.
Delivery rate after fertility treatment per patient The number of deliveries with at least one live birth or stillbirth, expressed per 100 patients, after a specified time and following all treatments.
Delivery with multiple births after fertility treatments A single delivery with more than one newborn, following all fertility treatments
Diandric oocytes An oocyte with an extra set of haploid chromosomes of paternal origin.
Digynic oocytes An oocyte with an extra set of haploid chromosomes of maternal origin.
Diminished ovarian reserve A term generally used to indicate a reduced number and/or reduced quality of oocytes, such that the ability to reproduce is decreased. (See ovarian reserve.)
Diploidy/euploidy The condition in which a cell has two haploid sets of chromosomes. Each chromosome in one set is paired with its counterpart in the other set. A diploid embryo has 22 pairs of autosomes and two sex chromosomes, the normal condition.
Disomy The normal number of chromosomes characterized by 22 pairs of autosomal chromosomes and one pair of sex chromosomes (XX or XY). The chromosome number in human cells is normally 46.
Donor insemination The process of placing laboratory processed sperm or semen from a man into the reproductive tract of a woman who is not his intimate sexual partner, for the purpose of initiating a pregnancy.
Double embryo transfer (DET) The transfer of two embryos in an ART procedure. This may be elective (eDET) when more than two embryos of sufficient quality for transfer are available.
Early neonatal death/mortality Death of a newborn within 7 days of birth.
Ectopic pregnancy A pregnancy outside the uterine cavity, diagnosed by ultrasound, surgical visualization or
histopathology.
Ejaculation Co-ordinated contractions of the genitourinary tract leading to the ejection of spermatozoa and seminal fluid.
Ejaculation retardata A condition resulting in an inability to ejaculate during vaginal intercourse.
Ejaculatory duct The canal that passes through the prostate just lateral to the verumontanum where the vas deferens and the duct from the seminal vesicle coalesce.
Elective embryo transfer The transfer of one or more embryos, selected from a larger cohort of available embryos.
Elective single embryo transfer (eSET) The transfer of one (a single) embryo selected from a larger cohort of available embryos.
Embryo The biological organism resulting from the development of the zygote, until eight completed weeks
after fertilization, equivalent to 10 weeks of gestational age.
Embryo bank Repository of cryopreserved embryos stored for future use.
Embryo donation (for reproduction) An ART cycle, which consists of the transfer of an embryo to the uterus or Fallopian tube of a female recipient, resulting from gametes that did not originate from the female recipient or from her male partner, if present.
Embryo fragmentation The process during which one or more blastomeres shed membrane vesicles containing cytoplasm and occasionally whole chromosomes or chromatin.
Embryo recipient cycle An ART cycle in which a woman's uterus is prepared to receive one or more cleavage stage embryos/blastocysts, resulting from gametes that did not originate from her or from her male partner, if present.
Embryo transfer (ET) Placement into the uterus of an embryo at any embryonic stage from day 1 to day 7 after IVF or ICSI. Embryos from day 1 to day three can also be transferred into the Fallopian tube.
Embryo transfer cycle An ART cycle in which one or more fresh or frozen/thawed embryos at cleavage or blastocyst stage are transferred into the uterus or Fallopian tube.
Emission (semen) Co-ordinated contractions of the vas deferentia, seminal vesicles, and ejaculatory ducts leading to deposition of semen into the urethral meatus prior to ejaculation.
Endometriosis A disease characterized by the presence of endometrium-like epithelium and stroma outside the endometrium and myometrium. Intrapelvic endometriosis can be located superficially on the peritoneum (peritoneal endometriosis), can extend 5 mm or more beneath the peritoneum (deep endometriosis) or can be present as an ovarian endometriotic cyst (endometrioma).
Epididymis A convoluted, highly coiled duct that transports the spermatozoa from the testis via the efferent ducts to the vas deferens.
Erectile dysfunction Inability to have and/or sustain an erection sufficient for intercourse.
Euploidy The condition in which a cell has chromosomes in an exact multiple of the haploid number; in the human this multiple is normally two. Thus, a normal embryo that is euploid is also diploid.
Excessive ovarian response An exaggerated response to ovarian stimulation characterized by the presence of more follicles than intended. Generally, more than 20 follicles >12 mm in size and/or more than 20 oocytes collected following ovarian stimulation are considered excessive, but these numbers are adaptable according to ethnic and other variables.
Expectant fertility management Management of fertility problems including infertility without any specific active clinical or therapeutic interventions other than fertility information and advice, to improve natural fertility, based upon the probability of becoming pregnant.
Extremely low birth weight Birth weight less than 1000 g.
Extremely preterm birth A birth that takes place after 22 but before 28 completed weeks of gestational age.
Fecundability The probability of a pregnancy, during a single menstrual cycle in a woman with adequate exposure to sperm and no contraception, culminating in a live birth. In population-based studies, fecundability is frequently measured as the monthly probability.
Fecundity Clinically defined as the capacity to have a live birth.
Female infertility Infertility caused primarily by female factors encompassing: ovulatory disturbances; diminished ovarian reserve; anatomical, endocrine, genetic, functional or immunological abnormalities of the reproductive system; chronic illness; and sexual conditions incompatible with coitus.
Fertility The capacity to establish a clinical pregnancy.
Fertility awareness The understanding of reproduction, fecundity, fecundability, and related individual risk factors (e.g. advanced age, sexual health factors such as sexually transmitted infections, and life style factors such as smoking, obesity) and non-individual risk factors (e.g. environmental and work place factors); including the awareness of societal and cultural factors affecting options to meet reproductive family planning, as well as family building needs.
Fertility care Interventions that include fertility awareness, support and fertility management with an intention to assist individuals and couples to realize their desires associated with reproduction and/or to build a family.
Fertility preservation Various interventions, procedures and technologies, including cryopreservation of gametes, embryos or ovarian and testicular tissue to preserve reproductive capacity.
Fertilization A sequence of biological processes initiated by entry of a spermatozoon into a mature oocyte followed by formation of the pronuclei.
Fetal loss Death of a fetus. It is referred to as early fetal loss when death takes place between 10 and 22 weeks of gestational age; late fetal loss, when death takes place between 22 and 28 weeks of gestational age; and stillbirth when death takes place after 28 weeks gestational age.
Fetus The stages of development of an organism from eight completed weeks of fertilization (equivalent to 10 weeks of gestational age) until the end of pregnancy
Freeze-all cycle An ART cycle in which, after oocyte aspiration, all oocytes and/or embryos are cryopreserved and no oocytes and/or embryos are transferred to a woman in that cycle.
Frozen-thawed embryo transfer (FET) cycle An ART procedure in which cycle monitoring is carried out with the intention of transferring to a woman, frozen/thawed or vitrified/warmed embryo(s)/blastocyst(s). Note: A FET cycle is initiated when specific medication is provided or cycle monitoring is started in the female recipient with the intention to transfer an embryo.
Frozen-thawed oocyte cycle An ART procedure in which cycle monitoring is carried out with the intention of fertilizing thawed/warmed oocytes and performing an embryo transfer.
Full-term birth A birth that takes place between 37 and 42 completed weeks of gestational age.
Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT) An ART procedure in which both gametes (oocytes and spermatozoa) are transferred into a Fallopian tube(s).
Germinal vesicle (GV) The nucleus in an oocyte at prophase I.
Gestational age The age of an embryo or fetus calculated by the best obstetric estimate determined by assessments which may include early ultrasound and the date of the last menstrual period and/or perinatal details. In the case of ART, it is calculated by adding two weeks (14 days) to the number of completed weeks since fertilization. Note: For frozen-thawed embryo transfer (FET) cycles, an estimated date of fertilization is computed by subtracting the combined number of days an embryo was in culture pre-cryopreservation and post-thaw/-warm, from the transfer date of the FET cycle.
Gestational carrier A woman who carries a pregnancy with an agreement that she will give the offspring to the intended parent(s). Gametes can originate from the intended parent(s) and/or a third party (or parties). This replaces the term ‘surrogate.’
Gestational sac A fluid-filled structure associated with early pregnancy, which may be located inside or, in the case of an ectopic pregnancy, outside the uterus.
Globozoospermia Describes spermatozoa with a reduced or absent acrosome.
Haploidy The condition in which a cell has one set of each of the 23 single chromosomes. Mature human gametes are haploid, each having 23 single chromosomes.
Hatching The process by which an embryo at the blastocyst stage extrudes out of, and ultimately separates from, the zona pellucida.
Heterotopic pregnancy Concurrent pregnancy involving at least one embryo implanted in the uterine cavity and at least one implanted outside of the uterine cavity.
High-order multiple births The complete expulsion or extraction from their mother of three or more fetuses, after 22 completed weeks of gestational age, irrespective of whether they are live births or stillbirths.
High-order multiple gestation A pregnancy with three or more embryos or fetuses.
Hydrosalpinx A distally occluded, dilated, fluid-filled Fallopian tube.
Hypergonadotropic hypogonadism Gonadal failure associated with reduced gametogenesis, reduced gonadal steroid production and elevated gonadotropin production.
Hyperspermia High volume of ejaculate above the upper reference limit. When reporting results, the reference criteria should be specified.
Hypogonadotropic hypogonadism Gonadal failure associated with reduced gametogenesis and reduced gonadal steroid production due to reduced gonadotropin production or action.
Hypospermatogenesis Histopathologic description of reduced production of spermatozoa in the testes.
Hypospermia Low volume of ejaculate below the lower reference limit. When reporting results, the reference criteria should be specified.
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.)
Implantation 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.
Infertility 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.
Initiated medically assisted reproduction cycle (iMAR) A cycle in which the woman receives specific medication for ovarian stimulation or in which cycle monitoring is carried out with the intention to treat, irrespective of whether or not insemination is performed, follicular aspiration is attempted in an ovarian stimulation cycle or whether egg(s) or embryo(s) are thawed or transferred in a frozen embryo transfer (FET) cycle.
Inner cell mass A group of cells attached to the polar trophectoderm consisting of embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to develop into cells and tissues in the human body, except the placenta or amniotic membranes.
Intended parent(s) A couple or person who seek(s) to reproduce with the assistance of a gestational carrier or traditional gestational carrier.
Intra-cervical insemination A procedure in which laboratory processed sperm are placed in the cervix to attempt a pregnancy.
Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) A procedure in which a single spermatozoon is injected into the oocyte cytoplasm.
Intra-uterine insemination A procedure in which laboratory processed sperm are placed in the uterus to attempt a pregnancy.
Intra-uterine pregnancy A state of reproduction in which an embryo has implanted in the uterus.
Laparoscopic ovarian drilling A surgical method for inducing ovulation in females with anovulatory or oligo-ovulatory polycystic ovarian syndrome, utilizing either laser or electrosurgery.
Large for gestational age A birth weight greater than the 90th centile of the sex-specific birth weight for a given gestational age reference. When reporting outcomes, the reference criteria should be specified. If gestational age is unknown, then the birth weight should be registered.
Leukospermia A high number of white blood cells in semen above the upper reference limit. When reporting results, the reference criteria should be specified.
Leydig cell Type of testicular cell located in the interstitial space between the seminiferous tubules, that secretes testosterone.
Live birth The complete expulsion or extraction from a woman of a product of fertilization, after 22 completed weeks of gestational age; which, after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as heart beat, umbilical cord pulsation or definite movement of voluntary muscles, irrespective of whether the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached. A birth weight
of 500 grams or more can be used if gestational age is unknown. Live births refer to the individual newborn; for example, a twin delivery represents two live births.
Live birth delivery rate The number of deliveries that resulted in at least one live birth, expressed per 100 cycle attempts. In the case of ART/MAR interventions, they can be initiated cycles, insemination, aspiration cycles or embryo transfer cycles. When delivery rates are given, the denominator (initiated, inseminated, aspirated or embryo transfer cycles) must be specified.
Low birth weight Birth weight less than 2500 g.
Luteal phase defect A poorly defined abnormality of the endometrium presumably due to abnormally low progesterone secretion or action on the endometrium.
Luteal phase support Hormonal supplementation in the luteal phase, usually progesterone.
Major congenital anomaly A congenital anomaly that requires surgical repair of a defect, is a visually evident or life-threatening structural or functional defect, or causes death.
Male infertility Infertility caused primarily by male factors encompassing: abnormal semen parameters or function; anatomical, endocrine, genetic, functional or immunological abnormalities of the reproductive system; chronic illness; and sexual conditions incompatible with the ability to deposit semen in the
vagina.
Maternal spindle transfer Transfer of the maternal spindle (including maternal chromosomes) from a patient's oocyte into a donated oocyte in which the maternal spindle with chromosomes has been removed.
Mature oocyte An oocyte at metaphase of meiosis II, exhibiting the first polar body and with the ability to become fertilized.
Maturing oocyte An oocyte that has progressed from prophase I but has not completed telophase I, thus does not exhibit the first polar body.
Medically assisted reproduction (MAR) Reproduction brought about through various interventions, procedures, surgeries and technologies to treat different forms of fertility impairment and infertility. These include ovulation induction, ovarian stimulation, ovulation triggering, all ART procedures, uterine transplantation and intrauterine, intracervical and intravaginal insemination with semen of husband/partner or donor.
Microdissection testicular sperm extraction (MicroTESE) A surgical procedure using an operating microscope to identify seminiferous tubules that may contain
sperm to be extracted for IVF and/or ICSI.
Micromanipulation in ART A micro-operative ART procedure performed on sperm, egg or embryo; the most common ART micromanipulation procedures are ICSI, assisted hatching and gamete or embryo biopsy for PGT.
Microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration/extraction (MESA/MESE) A surgical procedure performed with the assistance of an operating microscope to retrieve sperm from the epididymis of men with obstructive azoospermia. In the absence of optical magnification, any surgical procedure to retrieve sperm from the epididymis should also be registered as MESE.
Mild ovarian stimulation for IVF A protocol in which the ovaries are stimulated with gonadotropins, and/or other pharmacological compounds, with the intention of limiting the number of oocytes following stimulation for IVF.
Missed spontaneous abortion/missed miscarriage Spontaneous loss of a clinical pregnancy before 22 completed weeks of gestational age, in which the embryo(s) or fetus(es) is/are nonviable and is/are not spontaneously absorbed or expelled from the uterus.
Modified natural cycle An ART procedure in which one or more oocytes are collected from the ovaries during a spontaneous menstrual cycle. Pharmacological compounds are administered with the sole purpose of blocking the spontaneous LH surge and/or inducing final oocyte maturation.
Monosomy The absence of one of the two homologous chromosomes in embryos. Autosomal monosomies in embryos are not compatible with life. Embryos with sex chromosome monosomies are rarely compatible with life.
Morula An embryo formed after completion of compaction, typically 4 days after insemination or ICSI.
Mosaicism A state in which there is more than one karyotypically distinct cell population arising from a single embryo.
Multinucleation The presence of more than one nucleus in a cell.
Multiple birth The complete expulsion or extraction from a woman of more than one fetus, after 22 completed weeks of gestational age, irrespective of whether it is a live birth or stillbirth. Births refer to the individual newborn; for example, a twin delivery represents two births.
Multiple gestation A pregnancy with more than one embryo or fetus.
Natural cycle ART An ART procedure in which one or more oocytes are collected from the ovaries during a menstrual cycle without the use of any pharmacological compound.
Necrozoospermia The description of an ejaculate in which no live spermatozoa can be found.
Neonatal death/mortality Death of a live born baby within 28 days of birth. This can be sub-divided into a) early, if death occurs in the first 7 days after birth; and b) late, if death occurs between 8 and 28 days after birth.
Neonatal mortality rate Number of neonatal deaths (up to 28 days) per 1000 live births.
Neonatal period The period which commences at birth and ends at 28 completed days after birth.
Non-obstructive azoospermia Absence of spermatozoa in the ejaculate due to lack of production of mature spermatozoa.
Nuclear maturation The process during which the oocyte resumes meiosis and progresses from prophase I to metaphase II.
Obstructive azoospermia Absence of spermatozoa in the ejaculate due to occlusion of the ductal system.
Oligospermia A term for low semen volume now replaced by hypospermia to avoid confusion with oligozoospermia.
Oligozoospermia Low concentration of spermatozoa in the ejaculate below the lower reference limit. When reporting results, the reference criteria should be specified.
Oocyte The female gamete (egg).
Oocyte aspiration Ovarian follicular aspiration performed with the aim of retrieving oocytes.
Oocyte bank Repository of cryopreserved oocytes stored for future use.
Oocyte donation The use of oocytes from an egg donor for reproductive purposes or research.
Oocyte donation cycle An ART cycle in which oocytes are collected from an egg donor for reproductive purposes or research.
Oocyte cryopreservation The freezing or vitrification of oocytes for future use.
Oocyte maturation triggering An intervention intended to induce an oocyte in vitro or in vivo to resume meiosis to reach maturity (i.e. to reach metaphase II).
Oocyte recipient cycle An ART cycle in which a woman receives oocytes from a donor, or her partner if in a same sex relationship, to be used for reproductive purposes.
Oolemma The cytoplasmic membrane enclosing the oocyte.
Ooplasm The cytoplasm of the oocyte
Ovarian hyperstimulation
syndrome (OHSS)
An exaggerated systemic response to ovarian stimulation characterized by a wide spectrum of clinical and laboratory manifestations. It may be classified as mild, moderate or severe according to the degree of abdominal distention, ovarian enlargement and respiratory, hemodynamic and metabolic complications.
Ovarian reserve A term generally used to indicate the number and/or quality of oocytes, reflecting the ability to reproduce. Ovarian reserve can be assessed by any of several means. They include: female age; number of antral follicles on ultrasound; anti-Mullerian hormone levels; follicle stimulating hormone and estradiol levels; clomiphene citrate challenge test; response to gonadotropin stimulation, and oocyte and/or embryo assessment during an ART procedure, based on number, morphology or genetic assessment of the oocytes and/or embryos.
Ovarian stimulation (OS) Pharmacological treatment with the intention of inducing the development of ovarian follicles. It can be used for two purposes: 1) for timed intercourse or insemination; 2) in ART, to obtain multiple oocytes at follicular aspiration.
Ovarian tissue cryopreservation The process of slow-freezing or vitrification of tissue surgically excised from the ovary with the intention of preserving reproductive capacity.
Ovarian torsion Partial or complete rotation of the ovarian vascular pedicle that causes obstruction to ovarian blood flow, potentially leading to necrosis of ovarian tissue.
Ovulation The natural process of expulsion of a mature egg from its ovarian follicle.
Ovulation induction (OI) Pharmacological treatment of women with anovulation or oligo-ovulation with the intention of inducing normal ovulatory cycles.
Parthenogenetic activation The process by which an oocyte is activated to undergo development in the absence of fertilization.
Parthenote The product of an oocyte that has undergone activation in the absence of the paternal genome, with (induced) or without (spontaneous) a purposeful intervention.
Percutaneous epididymal sperm aspiration (PESA) A surgical procedure in which a needle is introduced percutaneously into the epididymis with the intention of obtaining sperm.
Perinatal death/mortality Fetal or neonatal death occurring during late pregnancy (at 22 completed weeks of gestational age and later), during childbirth, or up to seven completed days after birth.
Perinatal mortality rate The number of perinatal deaths per 1000 total births (stillbirths plus live births).
Period total fertility rate (PTFR) The estimated average number of live born children per woman that would be born to a cohort of women throughout their reproductive years, if the fertility rates by age in a given period remained constant at the current age-specific fertility rate.
Perivitelline space The space between the cytoplasmic membrane enclosing the oocyte and the innermost layer of the zona pellucida. (This space may contain the first and second polar bodies and extracellular fragments.)
Pituitary down-regulation A medical or pharmacological method to prevent the release of gonadotropins (FSH, LH) from the pituitary gland.
Polar bodies The small bodies containing chromosomes segregated from the oocyte by asymmetric division during telophase. The first polar body is extruded at telophase I and normally contains only chromosomes with duplicated chromatids (2c); the second polar body is extruded in response to fertilization or in response to parthenogenetic activation and normally contains chromosomes comprising single chromatids (1c).
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) A heterogeneous condition, which requires the presence of two of the following three criteria: (1) Oligo-ovulation or anovulation; (2) Hyperandrogenism (clinical evidence of hirsutism, acne, alopecia and/or biochemical hyperandrogenemia); (3) Polycystic ovaries, as assessed by ultrasound scan with more than 24 total antral follicles (2–9 mm in size) in both ovaries.
Polycystic ovary (PCO) An ovary with at least 12 follicles measuring 2–9 mm in diameter in at least one ovary (Rotterdam criteria). PCO may be present in women with PCOS, but also in women with normal ovulatory function and normal fertility.
Polyploidy The condition in which a cell has more than two haploid sets of chromosomes: e.g. a triploid embryo has three sets of chromosomes and a tetraploid embryo has four sets. Polyploidy in a human embryo is not compatible with life.
Polyspermy The process by which an oocyte is penetrated by more than one spermatozoon.
Poor ovarian responder (POR) in assisted reproductive technology A woman treated with ovarian stimulation for ART, in which at least two of the following features are present: (1) Advanced maternal age (≥40 years); (2) A previous poor ovarian response (≤3 oocytes with a conventional stimulation protocol aimed at obtaining more than three oocytes); and, (3) An abnormal ovarian reserve test (i.e. antral follicle count 5–7 follicles or anti-Mullerian hormone 0.5–1.1 ng/ml (Bologna criteria); or other reference values obtained from a standardized reference population.)
Poor ovarian response (POR) to ovarian stimulation A condition in which fewer than four follicles and/or oocytes are developed/obtained following ovarian stimulation with the intention of obtaining more follicles and oocytes.
Post-implantation embryo An embryo at a stage of development beyond attachment to the endometrium to eight completed weeks after fertilization, which is equivalent to 10 weeks of gestational age.
Post-term birth A live birth or stillbirth that takes place after 42 completed weeks of gestational age.
Posthumous reproduction A process utilizing gametes and/or embryos from a deceased person or persons with the intention of producing offspring.
Pregnancy A state of reproduction beginning with implantation of an embryo in a woman and ending with the complete expulsion and/or extraction of all products of implantation.
Pregnancy loss The outcome of any pregnancy that does not result in at least one live birth. When reporting pregnancy loss, the estimated gestational age at the end of pregnancy should be recorded.
Pregnancy of unknown location (PUL) A pregnancy documented by a positive human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) test without
visualization of pregnancy by ultrasound. This condition exists only after circulating hCG
concentration is compatible with ultrasound visualization of a gestational sac.
Pre-implantation embryo An embryo at a stage of development beginning with division of the zygote into two cells and ending just prior to implantation into a uterus.
Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) A test performed to analyze the DNA from oocytes (polar bodies) or embryos (cleavage stage or blastocyst) for HLA-typing or for determining genetic abnormalities. These include: PGT for aneuploidies (PGT-A); PGT for monogenic/single gene defects (PGT-M); and PGT for chromosomal structural rearrangements (PGT-SR).
Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) and screening (PGS) These terms have now been replaced by preimplantation genetic testing PGT. (See term PGT and its definitions.)
Premature ejaculation A condition in which semen is released sooner than desired.
Premature ovarian insufficiency A condition characterized by hypergonadotropic hypogonadism in women younger than age 40 years (also known as premature or primary ovarian failure). It includes women with premature menopause.
Preterm birth A birth that takes place after 22 weeks and before 37 completed weeks of gestational age.
Primary childlessness A condition in which a person has never delivered a live child, or has never been a legal or societally recognized parent to a child.
Primary female infertility A woman who has never been diagnosed with a clinical pregnancy and meets the criteria of being classified as having infertility.
Primary involuntary childlessness A condition in a person with a child wish, who has never delivered a live child, or has never been a legal or societally-recognized parent to a child. A major cause of primary involuntary childlessness is infertility.
Primary male infertility A man who has never initiated a clinical pregnancy and meets the criteria of being classified as infertile.
Pronuclei transfer Transfer of the pronuclei from a patient's zygote to an enucleated donated zygote.
Pronucleus A round structure in the oocyte surrounded by a membrane containing chromatin. Normally, two pronuclei are seen after fertilization, each containing a haploid set of chromosomes, one set from the oocyte and one from the sperm, before zygote formation.
Recipient (ART) A person or couple who receives donated eggs, sperm or embryos for the purposes of initiating a pregnancy with the intention of becoming a legally recognized parent.
Recipient ART cycle An ART cycle in which a woman receives zygote(s) or embryo(s) from donor(s) or a partner.
Recurrent spontaneous abortion/miscarriage The spontaneous loss of two or more clinical pregnancies prior to 22 completed weeks of gestational age.
Reproductive surgery Surgical procedures performed to diagnose, conserve, correct and/or improve reproductive function in either men or women. Surgery for contraceptive purposes, such as tubal ligation and vasectomy, are also included within this term.
Retrograde ejaculation A condition that causes the semen to be forced backward from the ejaculatory ducts into the bladder during ejaculation.
Salpingectomy The surgical removal of an entire Fallopian tube.
Salpingitis isthmica nodosa (SIN) A nodular thickening of the proximal Fallopian tube (where the tubes join the uterus), which can distort or occlude the tubes and increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
Salpingostomy A surgical procedure in which an opening is made in the Fallopian tube either to remove an ectopic pregnancy or open a blocked fluid-filled tube (hydrosalpinx).
Secondary female infertility A woman unable to establish a clinical pregnancy but who has previously been diagnosed with a clinical pregnancy.
Secondary involuntary childlessness A condition in a person with a child wish, who has previously delivered a live child, or is or has been a legal or societally-recognized parent to a child. A major cause of secondary involuntary childlessness is infertility.
Secondary male infertility A man who is unable to initiate a clinical pregnancy, but who had previously initiated a clinical pregnancy.
Semen analysis A description of the ejaculate to assess function of the male reproductive tract. Characteristic parameters include volume, pH, concentration, motility, vitality, morphology of spermatozoa and presence of other cells.
Semen liquefaction The process whereby proteolytic enzymes degrade proteins causing seminal plasma to liquefy.
Semen viscosity The description of the relative fluidity of seminal plasma.
Semen volume The amount of fluid in an ejaculate.
Semen/Ejaculate The fluid at ejaculation that contains the cells and secretions originating from the testes and sex accessory glands.
Seminal plasma The fluids of the ejaculate.
Sertoli cell The non-germinal cell type in the seminiferous tubule that mediates the actions of testosterone and FSH in the testis, provides nutrients and proteins to the developing spermatogenic cells, creates the blood-testis barrier, and secretes Mullerian-inhibiting hormone.
Sertoli cell-only syndrome A condition in which only Sertoli cells line the seminiferous tubules with usually a complete absence of germ cells; also referred to as germ cell aplasia. Spermatogenesis in isolated foci can be observed in rare cases.
Severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) A systemic response as a result of ovarian stimulation interventions that is characterized by severe abdominal discomfort and/or other symptoms of ascites, hemoconcentration (Hct > 45) and/or other serious biochemical abnormalities requiring hospitalization for observation and/or for medical intervention (paracentesis, other).
Single embryo transfer (SET) The transfer of one embryo in an ART procedure. Defined as elective (eSET) when more than one embryo of sufficient quality for transfer is available.
Slow-freezing A cryopreservation procedure in which the temperature of the cell(s) is lowered in a step-wise fashion, typically using a computer controlled rate, from physiological (or room) temperature to extreme low temperature.
Small for gestational age A birth weight less than the 10th centile for gestational age. When reporting results the reference criteria should be specified. If gestational age is unknown, the birth weight should be registered.
Sperm bank Repository of cryopreserved sperm stored for future use.
Sperm concentration The (measure of the) number of spermatozoa in millions per 1 ml of semen.
Sperm density A measure of the mass/volume ratio (specific gravity) for spermatozoa.
Sperm isolation A procedure that involves the separation of sperm through centrifugation and resuspension in culture media. It can be used to remove seminal plasma and infectious agents before IUI and ART procedures. This procedure has been shown to be effective in the removal of HIV. It may also be effective in removing other infectious particles but clinical safety and efficacy have to be established for each particular infection. This term is sometimes referred to as ‘sperm washing’.
Sperm motility The percentage of moving spermatozoa relative to the total number of spermatozoa.
Sperm recipient cycle A MAR cycle in which a woman receives spermatozoa from a person who is not her sexually intimate partner. In the case of ART registry data, a sperm recipient cycle would only include data from cycles using ART procedures.
Sperm vitality The percentage of live spermatozoa relative to the total number of spermatozoa.
Spermatogenic arrest Failure of germ cells to progress through specific stages of spermatogenesis at onset or during meiosis.
Spermatozoon The mature male reproductive cell produced in the testis that has the capacity to fertilize an oocyte. A head carries genetic material, a midpiece produces energy for movement, and a long, thin tail propels the sperm.
Spontaneous abortion/miscarriage The spontaneous loss of an intra-uterine pregnancy prior to 22 completed weeks of gestational age.
Spontaneous reduction/vanishing sac(s) The spontaneous disappearance of one or more gestational sacs with or without an embryo or fetus in a multiple pregnancy documented by ultrasound.
Sterility A permanent state of infertility.
Stillbirth The death of a fetus prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother after 28 completed weeks of gestational age. The death is determined by the fact that, after such separation, the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life, such as heartbeat, umbilical cord pulsation, or definite movement of voluntary muscles. Note: It includes deaths occurring during labor.
Stillbirth rate The number of stillbirths per 1000 total births (stillbirths plus live births).
Subfertility A term that should be used interchangeably with infertility.
Syngamy The process during which the female and male pronuclei fuse.
Teratozoospermia A reduced percentage of morphologically normal sperm in the ejaculate below the lower reference limits. When reporting results, the reference criteria should be specified.
Testicular sperm aspiration/extraction (TESA/TESE) A surgical procedure involving one or more testicular biopsies or needle aspirations to obtain sperm for use in IVF and/or ICSI.
Thawing The process of raising the temperature of slow-frozen cell(s) from the storage temperature to room/physiological temperature.
Time to pregnancy (TTP) The time taken to establish a pregnancy, measured in months or in numbers of menstrual cycles.
Time-lapse imaging The photographic recording of microscope image sequences at regular intervals in ART, referring to gametes, zygotes, cleavage-stage embryos or blastocysts.
Total delivery rate with at least one live birth The total number of deliveries with at least one live birth resulting from one initiated or aspirated ART cycle, including all cycles in which fresh and/or frozen embryos are transferred, including more than one delivery from one initiated or aspirated cycle if that occurs, until all embryos are used. Notes: The delivery of a singleton, twin or other multiple pregnancy is registered as one delivery. In the absence of complete data, the total delivery rate is often estimated.
Total fertility rate (TFR) The average number of live births per woman. It may be determined in retrospect, observed data (Cohort Total Fertility Rate, CTFR) or as an estimated average number (Period Total Fertility Rate, PTFR).
Total sperm count The calculated total number of sperm in the ejaculate (semen volume multiplied by the sperm concentration determined from an aliquot of semen).
Traditional gestational carrier A woman who donates her oocytes and is the gestational carrier for a pregnancy resulting from fertilization of her oocytes either through an ART procedure or insemination. This replaces the term ‘traditional surrogate.’
Trisomy An abnormal number of chromosome copies in a cell characterized by the presence of three homologous chromosomes rather than the normal two. The majority of human embryos with trisomies are incompatible with life.
Trophectoderm Cells forming the outer layer of a blastocyst that have the potential to develop into the placenta and amniotic membranes.
Tubal pathology Tubal abnormality resulting in dysfunction of the Fallopian tube, including partial or total obstruction of one or both tubes (proximally, distally or combined), hydrosalpinx and/or peri-tubal and/or periovarian adhesions affecting the normal ovum pick-up function. It usually occurs after pelvic inflammatory disease or pelvic surgery.
Unexplained infertility Infertility in couples with apparently normal ovarian function, Fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix and pelvis and with adequate coital frequency; and apparently normal testicular function, genito-urinary anatomy and a normal ejaculate. The potential for this diagnosis is dependent upon the methodologies used and/or those methodologies available.
Unisomy The condition in a cell resulting from loss of a single chromosome yielding a single copy of that particular chromosome rather than the normal two. The majority of unisomies in human embryos are incompatible with life.
Vaginal insemination A procedure whereby semen, collected from a non-lubricated condom or similar method, is deposited into the vaginal cavity of a female. An intervention that can be self-administered by a woman attempting pregnancy.
Varicocele A venous enlargement in the testicular pampiniform plexus.
Varicocelectomy Procedure to occlude or remove part of the internal spermatic vein in situations in which it has expanded into a varicocele.
Vasectomy Procedure to occlude the vas deferens. It is usually carried out bilaterally in order to secure sterilization.
Very low birth weight Birth weight less than 1500 g.
Viscosity The description of the relative fluidity of the semen.
Vitrification An ultra-rapid cryopreservation procedure that prevents ice formation within a cell whose aqueous phase is converted to a glass-like solid.
Voluntary childlessness A condition describing a person who does not have or has not had a child wish and does not have any biologically, legally or societally-recognized children.
Warming (cells) The process of raising the temperature of a vitrified cell or cells from the storage temperature to room/ physiological temperature.
Y-chromosome microdeletions Missing segments of the genetic material on the Y-chromosome that are associated with abnormal spermatogenesis.
Zona pellucida The glycoprotein coat surrounding the oocyte.
Zygote A single cell resulting from fertilization of a mature oocyte by a spermatozoon and before completion of the first mitotic division.
Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT) An ART procedure in which one or more zygotes is transferred into the Fallopian tube.

REFERENCES

  1. Zegers-Hochschild F, Adamson GD, de Mouzon J, Ishihara O, Mansour R, Nygren K, et al, on behalf of ICMART and WHO. The International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology (ICMART) and the World Health Organization (WHO) revised glossary on ART terminology, 2009. Hum Reprod 2009;24:2683–7.
  2. Zegers-Hochschild F, Adamson GD, de Mouzon J, Ishihara O, Mansour R, Nygren K, et al, for ICMART and WHO. International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technology (ICMART) and the World Health Organization (WHO) revised glossary of ART terminology, 2009. Fertil Steril 2009;92:1520–4.
  3. Inter-American Court of Human Rights case of Artavia Murillo et al. (‘in vitro fertilization’) v. Costa Rica judgment of November 28, 2012. Available at: http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/casos/articulos/seriec_257_esp.pdf.
  4. Zegers-Hochschild F, Nygren KG, Adamson GD, de Mouzon J, Lancaster P, Mansour R, et al. The International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART) glossary on ART terminology. Fertil Steril 2006;86:16–9.
  5. Zegers-Hochschild F, Nygren KG, Adamson GD, de Mouzon J, Lancaster P, Mansour R, et al, on behalf of the International Committee Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART). The ICMART glossary on ART terminology. Hum Reprod 2006;21:1968–70.
  6. Vayena E, Rowe PJ, Griffin PD, editors. Current Practices and Controversies in Assisted Reproduction. Report of a WHO Meeting. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2002:355–62.
  7. Red Latinoamericana de Reproducción Asistida. Glosario de Terminología en Tecnicas de Reproducción Asistida (TRA). Versión revisada y preparada por el International Committee for Monitoring Assistede Reproductive Technology (ICMART) y la Organización Mundial de la salud (OMS). JBRA Assist Reprod 2010;14:14–23.
  8. De Neubourg D, van Duijnhoven NT, Nelen WL, D’Hooghe TM. Dutch translation of the ICMART-WHO Revised Glossary on ART Terminology. Gynecol Obstet Invest 2012;74:233–48.
  9. Ishihara O ICMART and ICMART/WHO Glossary. Guidebook for Reproductive Medicine. Japan Society for Reproductive Medicine in 2010. ISBN-10: 4307301056, and ISBN-13: 978–4307301053.
  10. Korsak V. Ufrfsnptrfoo9k JLNART j CPI smpcar: tfrnjopc CRT, 2009. Urpbmfn9 rfVrpeulxjj 2011;17:7–13.
  11. Harbin Consensus Conference Workshop Group. Improving the Reporting of Clinical Trials of Infertility Treatments (IMPRINT): modifying the CONSORT statement. Fertil Steril 2014;102:952–9.
  12. Harbin Consensus Conference Workshop Group. Improving the Reporting of Clinical Trials of Infertility Treatments (IMPRINT): modifying the CONSORT statement. Hum Reprod 2014;29:2075–82.

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What's New from the Fertility and Sterility Family of Journals

Here’s a peek at this month’s issues from our family of journals! As an ASRM Member, you can access all of our journals. Not yet a member? Click here(no link) to learn more. Find More
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ASRM applauds introduction of Access to Family Building Act of 2024

ASRM is thrilled by the introduction of the Access to Family Building Act 

View the Press Release
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Resource Roundup: Thyroid Health

January is Thyroid Health Awareness Month! View the resource roundup!
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Definition of infertility: a committee opinion (2023)

‘‘Infertility’’ is a disease, condition, or status characterized by several factors. View the Committee Opinion
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ASRM Today: ASRM Advocacy Training Initiative with Becca O'Connor

In this episode, ASRM Today talks with Becca O'Connor, of the ASRM Center for Policy and Leadership, about their first-of-its-kind advocacy training initiative. Listen to the Episode
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ASRM Today: The Business of Infertility Treatment with Hary Hokianto

In this episode from ASRM 2023 in New Orleans, I'm talking with Hary Hokianto about the business of infertility treatment. Listen to the Episode
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Diagnostic evaluation of sexual dysfunction in the male partner in the setting of infertility: a committee opinion (2023)

It is the responsibility of the clinician to assess for erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, or diminished libido in men presenting for infertility. View the Committee Opinion
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Doctors Group Launches Ad Campaign for Ohio Issue 1

ASRM announced the launch of an ad campaign throughout Ohio urging voters to select “Yes on Issue 1” when they head to the polls on November 7.

View the Press Release
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New Research Reveals Importance Of Anti-Mullerian Hormone

Research presented at ASRM pointed out the important role that anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) plays not just in fertility but in other areas of health as well.

View the Press Release
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ASRM Publishes a New, More Inclusive, Definition Of “Infertility”

Built upon the clinical reality of the disease of infertility, this definition reflects the fact that challenges in reproduction can have a myriad of causes.

View the Press Release
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Fertility and Sterility On Air - TOC: October 2023

Topics this month include whether sperm quality affects reproductive outcomes, CRISPR for human embryonic editing, and more. Listen to the Episode
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Journal Club Global - Actualización en la suplementación con progesterona en fase lútea para transferencias de embriones congelados

Efectividad del rescate de progesterona en mujeres que presentan niveles bajos de progesterona circulante alrededor del día de la transferencia de embriones View the Video
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Endometriosis and infertility: a committee opinion (2012)

Women with endometriosis typically present with pelvic pain, infertility, or an adnexal mass, and may require surgery. View the Committee Opinion
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Post Vasectomy Infertility

If a husband has had a vasectomy, does the sterilization code apply to the wife's visits? View the Answer
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Pregnancy Of Uncertain Viability Ultrasound

My staff is telling me that I am getting reimbursed for the first sonogram and OB visit (using ICD 10 code for pregnancy of uncertain viability – O36.80X0. View the Answer
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Pregnancy Ultrasound

Our practice does routine ultrasounds (sac check- 76817) at the end of an IVF cycle and bill with a diagnosis code O09.081, pregnancy resulting from ART.  View the Answer
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Self-referred New Patient

A patient self-refers to our physician for an initial new patient consultation instead of referred by another physician, how do we code for the consult? View the Answer
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Telephone Consult

Does a physician need to speak directly to a patient to code for a telephone consult (99371-99373) or can a staff member relay physician notes to patients? View the Answer
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Testing With No History of Infertility

What diagnosis codes should  providers submit to insurance carriers while trying to evaluate fertility issues? View the Answer
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Psychological Evaluation

Many REs require patients (and their spouses/partners) who are considering using donor gametes to see an infertility counselor first. View the Answer
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Surgery Coding

I took the ASRM coding course, and in that course, coding for bilateral neosalpingostomies was coded using only a dx of N70.11 (hydrosalpinx). View the Answer
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IUI or IVF

Should other ovarian dysfunction (diagnosis code E28.8) or unspecified ovarian dysfunction (diagnosis code E28.9) can be used for an IUI or an IVF cycle View the Answer
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Infertility Consult

Does ASRM have any examples of evaluation and management documentation for patients being seen for an initial infertility evaluation? View the Answer
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Infertility Consult by Nurse

What code is used for a nurse practitioner seeing a fertility patient for the first time? View the Answer
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Initial Visit for Infertility With No Mandated Coverage

What code would be appropriate for an initial visit for infertility?  View the Answer
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Monitoring E&M

Our group would like to know if others are billing an evaluation and management code for ultrasound and blood draw visits? View the Answer
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New vs Established Patient

How soon can you bill as a new infertility patient? View the Answer
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General E&M Consult

Recently we have received a “re-code” on a new patient (we billed a 99203 and the insurance re-coded it to a 99213).  View the Answer
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Hysteroscopy Recurrent Implantation Failure

What is the appropriate ICD-10 code for recurrent implantation failure?  View the Answer
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Diagnosis of Infertility for IVF Procedure

How important is it to have accurate documentation of the type of infertility diagnosis for IVF procedures?  View the Answer
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Diagnostic Testing of an Infertile Couple

The Z31.41 is or is not the correct code to use for diagnostic testing of an infertile couple? And If so can if be used as the primary and only code? View the Answer
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D&C Under Ultrasound Guidance

What are the CPT codes and ICD-10 codes for coding a surgical case for a patient with history of Stage B adenocarcinoma of the cervix ... View the Answer
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Blood Draws

If a patient comes in only for a blood draw (venipuncture) and is seen only by the lab technician (not an MD, PA, or NP), may we bill for a (minimal) office visit? View the Answer
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Blood Tests

Patients are requesting to have lab work drawn from the female patient moved to the males account due to the female fertility coverage being maxed out.  View the Answer
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Male Infertility

A summary of common codes for Male Infertility compiled by the ASRM Coding Committee View the Coding Summary
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ASRM müllerian anomalies classification 2021

The Task Force set goals for a new classification and chose to base it on the iconic AFS classification from 1988 because of its simplicity and recognizability. View the Committee Opinion
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Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) for non–male factor indications: a committee opinion (2020)

Intracytoplasmic sperm injection is frequently used in combination with assisted reproductive technologies. View the Committee Document
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Moving innovation to practice: an Ethics Committee opinion (2021)

The introduction of new strategies, tests, and procedures into clinical practice raises challenging ethical issues. View the Committee Opinion
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Fertility evaluation of infertile women: a committee opinion (2021)

Diagnostic evaluation for infertility in women should be conducted in a systematic, expeditious, and cost-effective manner. View the Committee Opinion
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Fertility treatment when the prognosis is very poor or futile: an Ethics Committee opinion (2019)

The Ethics Committee recommends that in vitro fertilization (IVF) centers develop patient-centered policies regarding requests for futile treatment.  View the Committee Opinion
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Use of exogenous gonadotropins for ovulation induction in anovulatory women: a committee opinion (2020)

Pretreatment evaluation, indications, treatment regimens, and complications of gonadotropin treatment. View the Committee Opinion
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Reproductive and hormonal considerations in women at increased risk for hereditary gynecologic cancers: Society of Gynecologic Oncology and American Society for Reproductive Medicine Evidence-Based Review (2019)

Providers who care for women at risk for hereditary gynecologic cancers must consider the impact of these conditions. View the Joint Statement
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Smoking and infertility: a committee opinion (2018)

Approximately 21% of women of reproductive age and 22% of men of reproductive age in the United States smoke cigarettes. View Committee Opinion
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Current recommendations for vaccines for female infertility patients: a committee opinion (2018)

Encounters for infertility care are opportunities to assess and update immunization status. View the Committee Opinion
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American Society for Reproductive Medicine position statement on uterus transplantation: a committee opinion (2018)

Following the birth of the first child from a transplanted uterus in Gothenburg, Sweden, in 2014, other centers worldwide have produced scientific reports. View the Committee Opinion
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Ethical obligations in fertility treatment when intimate partners withhold information from each other: an Ethics Committee opinion (2018)

Clinicians should encourage disclosure between intimate partners. View the Committee Opinion
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Child-rearing ability and the provision of fertility services: an Ethics Committee opinion (2017)

Fertility programs may withhold services from prospective patients on the basis of well-grounded reasons that those patients will be unable to provide minimally adequate or safe care for offspring. View the Committee Opinion
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Removal of myomas in asymptomatic patients to improve fertility and/or reduce miscarriage rate: a guideline (2017)

This review evaluates if uterine myomas impact likelihood of pregnancy and pregnancy loss, and if myomectomy influences pregnancy outcomes. View the Guideline
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Guidance for Providers Caring for Women and Men Of Reproductive Age with Possible Zika Virus Exposure (Updated 2019)

This updated ASRM guidance specifically addresses Zika virus infection issues and concerns of individuals and couples undergoing assisted reproductive technologies (ART), including those with frozen gametes and embryos. View the Guideline
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Subclinical hypothyroidism in the infertile female population: a guideline (2015)

There is controversy regarding whether to treat subtle abnormalities of thyroid dysfunction in the infertile female patient. View the Committee Guideline
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Improving the Reporting of Clinical Trials of Infertility Treatments (IMPRINT): modifying the CONSORT statement (2014)

Clinical trials testing infertility treatments often do not report on the major outcomes of interest to patients and clinicians and the public (such as live birth) nor on the harms, including maternal risks during pregnancy and fetal anomalies. This is complicated by the multiple participants in infertility trials which may include a woman (mother), a man (father), and a third individual if successful, their offspring (child), who is also the desired outcome of treatment. View the Guideline

Topic Resources

View more on the topic of assisted reproductive technologies
Announcement Icon

ASRM Responds to Proposed Alabama Legislation

We are proud of our Alabama members and their patients, who have been such incredible advocates working to motivate their legislators to protect IVF.

View the Press Release
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Senate Budget Hearing is Well Timed Following Alabama IVF Ruling

ASRM statement regarding the Senate Budget Committee’s hearing entitled: No Rights to Speak of: The Economic Harms of Restricting Reproductive Freedom.

View the Press Release
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ASRM Responds to Senate’s Failure to Pass Access to Family Building Act

We are disappointed by the Senate’s failure to meet the moment and pass federal legislation protecting access to in vitro fertilization (IVF).

View the Press Release
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ASRM Condemns Profoundly Misguided and Dangerous Court Decision in Alabama

In LePage v Mobile Infirmary Clinic, the Alabama Supreme Court made a decision that flies in the face of medical reality and the needs of the citizens.

View the Press Release
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ASRM applauds introduction of Access to Family Building Act of 2024

ASRM is thrilled by the introduction of the Access to Family Building Act 

View the Press Release
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Guidance for coding limited or follow-up ultrasounds used during an IVF Cycle

I am a coder for a Reproductive Endocrinologist's office and am looking for some guidelines on limited or follow-up ultrasounds used during an IVF Cycle.  View the Answer
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Measurements to report with ultrasound codes

Are there clear guidelines as to what measurements are required in order to bill for each type of ultrasound? VIew the Answer
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Billing for cryopreservation procedures on different days

I understand that if cryopreservation of oocytes is performed on two separate dates of service, each date of service was billable. View the Answer
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Billing IVF lab work

We typically bill our IVF Lab work under the rendering provider who performs the VOR. Who should be the supervising provider for embryology billing? View the Answer
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Estradiol Free versus Total

Should patients with fertility issues be billing Estradiol Free (82681) instead of Estradiol Total (82670)? View the Answer
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IVF coverage denied for Z31.83 diagnosis code

My wife and I have been seeking IVF treatment and coverage was added for infertility treatment (up to $25,000) but our insurer keeps denying it. View the Answer
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Cycle coordination fees and 99499, S4042

I reviewed cycle coordination fees, but see that there is no specific code for cycle management.  View the Answer
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Supervising provider for embryology billing

We typically bill our IVF Lab work under the rendering provider who performs the VOR. Who should be the supervising provider for embryology billing? View the Answer
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Journal Club Global - Revisiting the STAR trial: The Fellows debate PGT-A

We are excited to host a debate covering the pros and cons of PGT-A and how new technologies should be validated before clinical implementation. View the Video
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Informed consent in assisted reproduction: an Ethics Committee opinion (2023)

Informed consent is a process in which the patient is supported in developing an understanding of medical options. View the Ethics Committee Opinion
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Unlisted Fertility Treatment CPT Code

Can you please refer me to an unlisted management CPT code for fertility treatment? View the Answer
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Z Codes Vs. Procedure Codes For Fertility Preservation Counseling

I am trying to understand better when to use the procreative management code vs the fertility preservation counseling and procedure codes. View the Answer
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Pregnancy Of Unknown Location

What is the most appropriate ICD-10 code for pregnancy of unknown location (not an ectopic pregnancy)?  View the Answer
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Pregnancy Ultrasound

Our practice does routine ultrasounds (sac check- 76817) at the end of an IVF cycle and bill with a diagnosis code O09.081, pregnancy resulting from ART.  View the Answer
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IUI Same Gender

When managing an IUI or IVF cycle for a female same sex couple or a patient that has no exposure to sperm, what ICD 10 diagnosis should be used? View the Answer
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IVF Case Rates

What ICD-10 codes apply to case rates? View the Answer
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Limited Monitoring Ultrasound

What is the appropriate code to use for a limited follow-up follicular transvaginal ultrasound? View the Answer
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Limited Transvaginal Ultrasound

One of our clients received information that a repeat limited transvaginal ultrasound should be billed with a limited pelvic ultrasound code (76857). View the Answer
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Monitoring E&M

Our group would like to know if others are billing an evaluation and management code for ultrasound and blood draw visits? View the Answer
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Monitoring FET

What is the correct diagnosis code to use on the follicle ultrasound (76857) for a patient who is undergoing frozen embryo transfer (FET)? View the Answer
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Monitoring Ovulation Induction By Nurses

We are considering the use of CPT code 99211 for encounters during cycle management as part of ovulation induction.  View the Answer
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Non-REI Board Certified MD Performing REI Procedures

My boss has a few follow up questions about a non-REI board certified MD performing REI procedures.  View the Answer
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In Vitro Maturation

Have CPT codes been established for maturation in vitro? View the Answer
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Embryo Storage Fees For Multiple Cycles

We bill embryo storage 89342 for a year's storage.  View the Answer
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Endometrial Receptivity Analysis

Our physicians are going to start doing an Endometrial Receptivity Analysis. Do you know the appropriate CPT code that should be used?

View the Answer
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Flat Fee For Outside Monitoring

Can our office charge outside monitoring patients a flat fee to be seen?  View the Answer
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Diagnosis Code For Same-Sex Egg Donation

We have a same-sex male couple with insurance coverage for IVF.  View the Answer
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Donor Embryos

Could you give guidance for the correct ICD-10 code(s) to use when a patient is doing an Anonymous Donor Embryo Transfer cycle? View the Answer
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Billing at an Outside Clinic for Lab Services

One of my physicians uses an outside facility to perform the retrievals and transfers.  View the Answer
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Board Certified Vs. Non-Board Certified Billing

Is coding/billing any different when a non-board certified or non-REI provider submits for REI procedure?  View the Answer
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Coding For Placement Of A Cervical Stitch

Physicians at our practice are placing a stitch and dilating the cervix after egg retrievals for those patients that have cervical stenosis.  View the Answer
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Assisted Hatching Billed With Embryo Biopsy

Do you know if both assisted hatching (89253) and embryo biopsy for PGS/PGD/CCS (89290/89291) can be billed during the same cycle?  View the Answer
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Mental-health Services During Assisted Reproduction

A summary of codes for Mental-health Services During Assisted Reproduction compiled by the ASRM Coding Committee View the Coding Summary
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Laboratory Procedures during ART Cycles

A listing of codes, compiled for a fresh ART cycle, transfer, biopsy, cryopreservation of embryos and oocytes, storage, and thawing. View the Coding Summary
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Journal Club Global: Evidence for Immunologic Therapies in Women Undergoing ART

Reproductive immunology is perhaps one of the most controversial and promising fields within ART. View the Video
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Comprehensive guidance for human embryology, andrology, and endocrinology laboratories: management and operations: a committee opinion (2022)

ASRM has published guidance and minimum standards for embryology and andrology laboratories. View the Committee Opinion
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Journal Club Global - Best Practices of High Performing ART Clinics

This Fertility and Sterility Journal Club Global discusses February’s seminal article, “Common practices among consistently high-performing in vitro fertilization programs in the United States: a 10 year update.” View the Video
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Journal Club Global - Fertilization rate as a novel indicator in ART results

This Journal Club Global discusses a provocative article recently published in Fertility and Sterility, discussing the results of a multicenter retrospective cohort study with the objective to appraise the fertilization rate as a predictive factor for cumulative live birth rate (CLBR). View the Video
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Journal Club Global - Are We Approaching Automation in ART?

Some ART diagnostic devices are already available and offer objective tools of evaluation. View the Video
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Guidance on the limits to the number of embryos to transfer: a committee opinion (2021)

ASRM's guidelines for the limits on the number of embryos to be transferred during IVF cycles have been further refined ... View the Committee Opinion
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Role of tubal surgery in the era of assisted reproductive technology: a committee opinion (2021)

This document reviews surgical options for reparative tubal surgery and the factors that must be considered when deciding between surgical repair and IVF.
View the Committee Opinion
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Minimum standards for practices offering assisted reproductive technologies: a committee opinion (2021)

A framework for assisted reproductive technology (ART) programs that meet or exceed the requirements suggested by the Centers for Disease Control View the Committee Opinion
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Journal Club Global - Recurrent Implantation Failures in ART: Myth or Reality?

Classically, implantation failures in ART were believed to result from alterations in embryo or endometrium quality.
View the Video
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The role of immunotherapy in in vitro fertilization: a guideline (2018)

Adjuvant immunotherapy treatments in in vitro fertilization (IVF) aim to improve the outcome of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in both the general ART population as well as subgroups such as patients with recurrent miscarriage or implantation failure. View the Committee Opinion
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Using family members as gamete donors or gestational carriers (2017)

The use of adult intrafamilial gamete donors and gestational surrogates is generally ethically acceptable when all participants are fully informed. View the Committee Document
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Prevention and treatment of moderate and severe ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome: a guideline (2016)

Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS) is an uncommon but serious complication associated with assisted reproductive technology. View the guideline
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Financial ‘‘risk-sharing’’ or refund programs in assisted reproduction: an Ethics Committee opinion (2016)

Financial ‘‘risk-sharing’’ fee structures in assisted reproduction programs charge patients a higher initial fee but provide reduced fees for subsequent cycles and often a partial or complete refund if treatment fails. View the Committee Document
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Correct coding for laboratory procedures during assisted reproductive technology cycles

This document provides updated coding information for services related to assisted reproductive technology procedures. View the Coding Committee Document
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Recommended practices for the management of embryology, andrology, and endocrinology laboratories: a committee opinion (2014)

A general overview for good management practices within the endocrinology, andrology, and embryology laboratories in the United States. View the Recommendation
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Best practices of ASRM and ESHRE: a journey through reproductive medicine (2012)

ASRM and ESHRE are the two largest societies in the world whose members comprise the major experts and professionals working in reproductive medicine. View the Committee Joint Guideline

Practice Documents

ASRM Practice Documents have been developed to assist physicians with clinical decisions regarding the care of their patients.
Practice

Definition of infertility: a committee opinion (2023)

‘‘Infertility’’ is a disease, condition, or status characterized by several factors.
Practice

Clinical management of mosaic results from preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy of blastocysts: a committee opinion (2023)

This document incorporates studies about mosaic embryo transfer and provides evidence-based considerations for embryos with mosaic results on PGT-A.
Practice

Diagnostic evaluation of sexual dysfunction in the male partner in the setting of infertility: a committee opinion (2023)

It is the responsibility of the clinician to assess for erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction, or diminished libido in men presenting for infertility.

More Resources

MAC 2021 teaser
ASRM Academy on the Go

ASRM MAC Tool 2021

The ASRM Müllerian Anomaly Classification 2021 (MAC2021) includes cervical and vaginal anomalies and standardize terminology within an interactive tool format.

View the MAC Tool
EMR Phrases teaser
Practice Guidance

EMR Shared Phrases/Template Library

This resource includes phrases shared by ASRM physician members to provide a template for individuals to create their own EMR phrases.

View the library
Practice Committee Documents teaser

ASRM Practice Documents

These guidelines have been developed by the ASRM Practice Committee to assist physicians with clinical decisions regarding the care of their patients.

View ASRM Practice Documents
Ethics Committee teaser

ASRM Ethics Opinions

Ethics Committee Reports are drafted by the members of the ASRM Ethics Committee on the tough ethical dilemmas of reproductive medicine.

View ASRM Ethics Opinions
Coding Corner general teaser
Practice Guidance

Coding Corner Q & A

The Coding Corner Q & A is a list of previously submitted and answered questions from ASRM members about coding. Answers are available to ASRM Members only.

View the Q & A
Covid-19 teaser
Practice Guidance

COVID-19 Resources

A compendium of ASRM resources concerning the Novel Corona virus (SARS-COV-2) and COVID-19.

View the resources
Couple looking at laptop for online patient education materials

Patient Resources

ReproductiveFacts.org provides a wide range of information related to reproductive health and infertility through patient education fact sheets, infographics, videos, and other resources.

View Website