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Definitions of Preconception and Fertility Terms and Methods

Predicting Fertility Keywords and Definitions
Your Guide to Fertility and Infertility Terms

There are a number of ways to predict ovulation – and many women use different methods in concert to increase predictive accuracy. Below you will find a list of popular methods to predict ovulation, as well as a library of keywords and terms to help you learn the complicated ropes of fertility issues and trying-to-conceive. BBT Charting. Basal Thermometer
Charting your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). BBT charting measures the rise in body temperature just following ovulation. By charting BBT, you can begin to understand your cycle and predict your most fertile times. Basal thermometers.

OPK s or Ovulation Tests
Ovulation predictor kits can anticipate ovulation, predicting your most fertile times. OPKs are a reliable and increasingly inexpensive way to predict ovulation accurately. Better yet, ovulation tests also provide a day or more latitude to plan for intercourse. These tests come in two formats: OPK strips and midstream.

Cervical Mucus / Cervical Mucous
Examining changes in your cervical mucus can tell you a great deal about where you are in your cycle. Directly prior to ovulation, changes in the consistency and color of your cervical mucus can alert you to impending ovulation. At ovulation, the quantity of mucus will increase greatly and the appearance will resemble “egg whites”, often semitransparent. The texture will become increasingly slippery and ‘stretchable’. This is your most fertile time.

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Conception
The successful union of a sperm and an ovum.

Corpus luteum
A structure that develops in the ovary and secretes progesterone, which is vital to maintain a uterine environment capable of supporting pregnancy. When the corpus luteum stops functioning, and if a fertilized ovum does not embed in the uterine lining and the placenta begins producing hormones of its own, hormone levels quickly decrease and menstruation begins.

Chemical Pregnancy
A spontaneous miscarriage just following implantation of the egg. You may test positive for pregnancy, as hCG levels do increase for a short while; hence the term chemical pregnancy.

Menstrual Cycle
One complete menstrual cycle. Most women menstruate on a 21 to 35 day cycle. During a 28-day cycle, ovulation will typically occur on day 14 and in a 35-day cycle, ovulation may occur on day 21.

Fertilization
The penetration of the egg by the sperm and the resulting fusion of genetic material that develops into an embryo.

Follicle
It is a fluid-filled sac in the ovary that sustains the developing egg, and from which the egg is released during ovulation. The follicle is stimulated to release the ovum by a hormone called FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone), which is made by the pituitary gland.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland. It is necessary to achieve pregnancy because it stimulates the maturation of a follicle (within the ovary), allowing for the process of ovulation.

hCG
Human chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG) is the hormone that prolongs the lifespan of the corpus luteum as well as stimulates production of progesterone, another hormone essential to maintain the pregnancy. Our early detection pregnancy tests detect the hCG hormone.

Implantation
When the fertilized egg settles into the uterine lining or endometrium.

Implantation Bleeding
A slight spotting can sometimes, but not always, result from implantation of the egg.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)
A female hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, necessary to regulate ovarian function. Ovulation tests detect LH, thus indicating peak fertility.

LH Surge
The increase in luteinizing hormone in your urine. You are most likely to become pregnant if you have intercourse within 24-48 hours after you detect your LH surge, with 36 hours marking your peak fertility time. Ovulation tests detect your lh surge, allowing you to predict fertility, the time you will most likely become pregnant.

Mittelschmerz
“Middle pain” – an ache or twinge in the lower abdomen – caused by ovulation.

Ovary
One of the two female reproductive organs in which eggs are formed.

Ovulation
The release of the egg (ovum) from the ovary. Ovulation usually occurs approximately 14 days before the next menstrual period is due. Women with irregular cycles can benefit from using a saliva ovulation microscope like Fertile Focus.

Ovulation Test, OPK, Ovulation Predictor Tests
A home ovulation test detects a woman’s LH-Surge – or the time a woman ovulates, allowing a determination of when conception is most likely to take place (period of peak fertility).

Pregnancy Test, HPT, hCG Home Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests detect in urine the hormone your body makes during pregnancy: hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). The amount of pregnancy hormone increases as pregnancy progresses.

Progesterone
One of the female sex hormones, which is produced by the ovary and placenta. Progesterone prepares the lining of the uterus, for implantation of a fertilized egg, and helps maintain the pregnancy.

Sperm
The male reproductive cell. Healthy male sperm can survive approximately 72 hours in a woman’s body.

Pregancy Tests and Pregnacy Tests
The two most common typos or mispelling of the word pregnancy test.

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