Center for Male Reproductive Medicine & Microsurgery

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Glossary

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Abortion

The premature termination of a pregnancy; may be induced or spontaneous (miscarriage)

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

A fatal disease caused by a virus that destroys the immune system's ability to fight off infection

Acrosome

The packet of enzymes in a sperm's head that allows the sperm to dissolve a hole in the coating around the egg, which allows the sperm to penetrate and fertilize the egg

Acrosome Reaction

A chemical change that enables a sperm to penetrate an egg

Adhesion

A union of adjacent organs by scar tissue

Adrenal Glands

The endocrine gland on top of each kidney

Aerobic Bacteria

The bacterial organisms that require relatively high concentrations of oxygen to survive and reproduce

Agglutination

Occurs when sperm clump or stick together. This may occur when either man or woman develops immunity to the sperm.

Amenorrhea

The absence of abnormal cessation of menstruation due to a number of factors including dietary, emotional, hormonal, and exercise

Amniocentesis

The aspiration of amniotic fluid from the uterus, usually performed at three to three and one-half months of pregnancy, to test the fetus for genetic abnormalities

Anaerobic Bacteria

Bacterial organisms that survive in relatively low oxygen concentrations

Androgens

Male sex hormones

Andrologist

A specialist who treats male fertility and sperm problems

Anovulation

The absence of ovulation

Antibody

A protective agent produced by the body's immune system in response to a foreign substance

Antigen

Any substance that induces the formation of an antibody

Antisperm Antibodies

Antibodies that can attach to sperm and inhibit movement of sperm or fertilization

Artificial Insemination (AI)

The process in which sperm is placed into the female reproductive tract for the purpose of producing a pregnancy

ASA

American Society of Andrology 

Aspiration

The application of light suction to the ovarian follicle during the egg retrieval procedure to remove the eggs for use in in vitro fertilization (IVF). In the male, techniques are used to suck sperm out of the testis or out of a blocked epididymis. 

Center for Male Reproductive Medicine & Microsurgery Weill Cornell Medicine
525 E 68th Street
New York, NY 10065