Glossary F

Fallopian Tubes -- Ducts through which eggs travel to the uterus once released from the follicle. Sperm normally meet the egg in the fallopian tube, the site at which fertilization usually occurs. The fallopian tube is divided anatomically into a few regions: closest to the uterus and within the uterine wall is the "interstitium" (where interstitial pregnancies develop), next is the "isthmus" (immediately outside the uterine wall) then the "ampulla" (midsection of the tube) and then the "infundibular or fimbrial portion" (adjacent to the ovary at the end of the tube).

Falloscopy -- Falloposcopy is the visual examination of the inside of the fallopian tube. A tiny flexible catheter is inserted through the cervical canal and uterine cavity into the fallopian tube. A small flexible fiber optic endoscope is threaded through the catheter into the fallopian tube. A camera at the end of the falloscope transfers images of the inside of the tube to a monitor so the surgeon can thoroughly visualize and examine the inside of the tube. If problems are found, surgical repairs can be made at the same time. See Falloscopy FAQ.

FASIAR -- See Follicle Aspiration, Sperm Injection and Assisted Rupture.

Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) -- Blood glucose levels taken after not eating or drinking anything other than water overnight. A normal level is under 110, over 110 shows impaired glucose tolerance or insulin resistance, and over 126 is diabetic. Its ratio in comparison to fasting insulin can also indicate insulin resistance.

Fasting Blood Insulin -- Insulin levels taken after not eating or drinking anything other than water overnight. Insulin is a hormone released to break down sugar. Its ratio in comparison to fasting blood glucose can indicate insulin resistance.

Fecundability -- The ability to become pregnant.

Female Kallman's Syndrome -- A condition characterized by infantile sexual development and an inability to smell. Since the pituitary cannot produce LH and FSH, the woman must take hormone supplements to achieve puberty, to maintain secondary sex characteristics, and to achieve fertility.

Ferning -- A pattern characteristic of dried cervical mucus viewed on a slide. When the fern leaf pattern appears, the mucus has been thinned and prepared by estrogen for the passage of sperm. If it does not fern, the mucus will be hostile to the passage of the sperm.

Fertility Microscope -- A small microscope women can purchase to view saliva or cervical mucus as a low-tech way of predicting ovulation.

Fertile Mucus -- Mucus that allows sperm to thrive and makes its way into the cervical canal into the uterus and tubes. It resembles raw egg whites and is both stretchy and watery. Non-fertile mucus blocks sperm from entering the cervix.

Fertility Treatment -- Any method or procedure used to enhance fertility or increase the likelihood of pregnancy, such as ovulation induction treatment, varicocoele repair, and microsurgery to repair damaged fallopian tubes. The goal of fertility treatment is to help couples have a child.

Fertility Specialist -- A physician specializing in the practice of fertility. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology certifies a subspecialty for OB-GYNs who receive extra training in endocrinology (the study of hormones) and infertility. Those who acquire certification are Reproductive Endocrinologists (REs).

Fertilization -- The combining of the genetic material carried by sperm and egg to create an embryo. Normally occurs inside the fallopian tube (in vivo) but may also occur in a petri dish (in vitro). See also In Vitro Fertilization.

Fertinex -- FSH injectable fertility medication.

FET -- See Frozen Embryo Transfer.

Fetus -- A term used to refer to a baby during the period of gestation between eight weeks and term.

Fibroid (Myoma or Leiomyoma) -- A benign tumor of the uterine muscle and connective tissue.

Fimbria -- Finger-like projections at the end of the fallopian tube nearest the ovary. When stimulated by the follicular fluid released during ovulation, the fingerlike ends grasp the ovary and coax the egg into the tube.

Fimbrioplasty -- Plastic or reconstructive surgery to repair the fimbria that may be damaged or causing a blockage within the fallopian tubes.

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) -- A pituitary hormone that stimulates spermatogenesis and follicular development. In the man FSH stimulates the Sertoli cells in the testicles and supports sperm production. In the woman FSH stimulates the growth of the ovarian follicle. Elevated FSH levels are indicative of gonadal failure in both men and woman.

Follicle -- A Fluid-filled sac in the ovary which contains an egg that is released at ovulation. Each month an egg develops inside the ovary in a fluid filled pocket called a follicle. This follicle grows to about one inch in size when it is ready to ovulate.

Follicle Aspiration, Sperm Injection and Assisted Rupture (FASIAR) -- A procedure involving the use of ultrasound for guidance to remove eggs from their follicles. Sperm and eggs are mixed inside the syringe and then injected back into the patient. If the woman develops too many eggs, the physician can remove some and reduce the risk of multiple pregnancy.

Follicular Fluid -- The fluid inside the follicle that cushions and nourishes the ovum. When released during ovulation, the fluid stimulates the fimbria to grasp the ovary and coax the egg into the fallopian tube.

Follicular Phase -- The pre-ovulatory portion of a woman's cycle during which a follicle grows and high levels of estrogen cause the lining of the uterus to proliferate. Normally takes between 12 and 14 days.

Follistim -- Recombinant FSH injectable fertility medication used for superovulation.

Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) -- A procedure where frozen embryos are thawed and then placed into the uterus.