Glossary S

Salpingectomy -- Surgical removal of the fallopian tubes.

Salpingitis -- An inflammation of one or both fallopian tubes.

Salpingitis Isthmica Nodosa -- An abnormal condition of the fallopian tube where it attaches to the uterus, characterized by nodules.

Salpingolysis -- Surgery performed to remove adhesions that restrict the movement and function of reproductive organs.

Salpingo-oophorectomy -- Surgical removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Salpingostomy -- A surgical incision made in a fallopian tube, as in to repair a tube or to remove an ectopic pregnancy.

SCORIF -- See Stimulated Cycle Oocyte Retrieval In (office) Fertilization.

Scrotum -- The bag of skin and thin muscle (sac) surrounding the man's testicles, epididymis, and vas deferens.

Secondary Infertility (SI) -- The inability of a couple to achieve a second pregnancy. This strict medical definition includes couples for whom the pregnancy did not go to term. The common vernacular, however, refers to a couple which has one biological child (or more) but is unable to conceive another.

Secondary Sex Characteristics -- The physical qualities that distinguish man and woman, such as beard, large breasts, and deep voice. Formed under the stimulation of the sex hormones (testosterone or estrogen), these characteristics also identify those people who have gone through puberty (sexual maturity).

Semen (Seminal Fluid) -- The ejaculate fluid containing sperm and secretion from the testicles, prostate, and seminal vesicles.

Semen Viscosity -- The liquid flow or consistency of the semen.

Semen Analysis (SA) -- A laboratory test used to assess semen quality: sperm quantity, concentration, morphology (form), and motility. In addition, it measures semen (fluid) volume and whether or not white blood cells are present, indicating an infection.

Semen -- The fluid portion of the ejaculate consisting of secretions from the seminal vesicles, prostate gland, and several other glands in the male reproductive tract. The semen provides nourishment and protection for the sperm and a medium in which the sperm can travel to the woman's vagina. Semen may also refer to the entire ejaculate, including the sperm.

Seminal Vesicles -- Pair of pouchlike glands at the base of the bladder that produce much of the semen volume, including fructose (sugar) for nourishing the sperm and a chemical that causes the semen to coagulate on entering the vagina.

Seminiferous Tubules -- The network of tubes in the testicles in which the sperm are formed, mature and move toward the epididymis.

Septate Uterus -- A uterus divided into right and left halves by a wall of tissue (septum). Women with a septate uterus have an increased chance of early pregnancy loss.

Septum -- A dividing wall within a body cavity, such as a wall dividing the uterus in half.

Sertoli (Nurse) Cells -- Testicular cells responsible for providing nurishment to the spermatids (immature sperm). Secretes inhibin, a feedback hormone, which regulates FSH production by the pituitary gland. When stimulated by FSH, the Sertoli cell initiates spermatogenesis.

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) -- An infectious disease transmitted during sex.

Sheehan's Syndrome -- A condition caused by profuse hemorrhage at the time of delivery. The severe blood loss shocks the pituitary gland, which dies and becomes nonfunctional.

Serophene -- Brand name for clomiphene citrate. (See Clomid.)

SHG -- See Sonohysterogram.

Short Luteal Phase -- See Luteal Phase Defect.

SI -- See Secondary Infertility.

SLE = See Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Slow Responder -- A woman who takes longer than average (10 days) to produce mature follicles on injectable fertility medications.

Sonogram (Ultrasound) -- Use of high-frequency sound waves for creating an image of internal body parts. Used to detect and count follicle growth (and disappearance) in many fertility treatments. Also used to detect and monitor pregnancy.

Sonohystogram -- An ultrasound/sonogram in which saline is injected into the uterus. It is used to check for abnormalities. It has some similarity to a hysterosalpingogram in purpose, but does not require iodine dye injection or radiation. See Sonohysterography: A safer alternative to hysterography

SPA -- See Sperm Penetration Assay.

Sperm -- The microscopic cell that carries the male's genetic information to the female's egg; the male reproductive cell; the male gamete.

Sperm Agglutination -- Sperm clumping caused by antibody reactionsor by infection.

Spermatic Cord -- The cord suspending the testes. It is composed of veins, arteries, lymphatics, nerves and the vas deferens.

Spermatogenesis -- Sperm production in the seminiferous tubules.

Sperm Bank -- A place where sperm are kept frozen in liquid nitrogen for later use in artificial insemination.

Sperm Count -- The number of sperm in ejaculate. Also called sperm concentration or sperm density and given as the number of sperm per milliliter.

Sperm Maturation -- A process during which the sperm grow and gain their ability to swim. Sperm take about ninety days to reach maturity.

Sperm Morphology -- A semen analysis factor that indicates the number or percentage of sperm in the sample that appear to have been formed normally. Abnormal morphology includes sperm with kinked, doubled, or coiled tails. The higher the percentage of misshapen sperm, the less likely fertilization can take place.

Sperm Motility -- The ability of sperm to swim. Poor motility means the sperm have a difficult time swimming toward their goal -- the egg.

Sperm Penetration -- The ability of the sperm to penetrate the egg so it can deposit the genetic material during fertilization.

Sperm Penetration Assay (SPA) -- A test of the ability of sperm to penetrate a hamster egg that has been stripped of the Zona Pellucida (outer membrane). Also called a Hamster Test.

Sperm Washing -- A laboratory technique for separating sperm from semen, and separating motile sperm from non-motile sperm, for use in assisted reproduction. The washing technique for near normal specimens is mixing the ejaculate after liquefaction with the appropriate washing medium followed by centrifugation. The supernatant is discarded and the sediment (sperm rich fraction) is re-suspended in more washing medium. This process is repeated 2-3 times maximum. In the final wash, the sediment is re-suspended in 0.5 cc of medium, loaded into a syringe and deposited in the uterus. "Sperm Rise" or "Swim-up" technique: Two to five cc of medium are carefully layered on top of 0.2-0.5 cc of semen. Motile sperm cells "swim-up" into the culture medium. After some time (30-90 minutes) the medium (containing motile sperm cells) is carefully harvested and centrifuged. If necessary, fresh medium is layered on top of the seminal fluid again to harvest more sperm cells. Discontinuous gradient centrifugation: This technique utilizes a dense liquid phase to separate sperm cells from seminal fluid and debris. Different compounds commercially available can be utilized. Semen is deposited on top of this fluid and subjected to centrifugation. Motile sperm cells migrate to the bottom of the tube, which are used for IUI after further washing.

Spinnbarkeit -- The stretchability of cervical mucus; the stringy quality that occurs at midcycle under the influence of estrogen. See also Postcoital Test.

Split Ejaculate -- A method used to concentrate the sperm for insemination; separating the semen into two portions: the first portion of the ejaculate, which is rich in sperm, and the second portion, which contains mostly seminal fluid.

Spontaneous Miscarriage/Spontaneous Abortion -- An unplanned end to a pregnancy during the first 20 weeks. See Abortion.

STD -- See Sexually Transmitted Disease.

Stein-Leventhal Disease: -- Another name for Polycystic Ovaries.

Stem Cells --- Cells from which other types of cells can develop. The ultimate stem cell might be a fertilized egg capable of producing the entire organism. Stem cells are the subject of cancer and other research such as transplants etc.

Sterility -- An irreversible condition that prevents conception.

Sterilization -- A surgical procedure designed to cause infertility, such as a tubal ligation or vasectomy.

Stillbirth -- The death of a fetus between the twentieth week of gestation and birth.

Stimulated Cycle Oocyte Retrieval In (office) Fertilization (SCORIF) -- The woman's ovaries are stimulated with medications such as hMG or pure FSH. The eggs are removed by ultrasound aspiration from the ovaries. This procedure is done in the doctor's office. The eggs are mixed with sperm and placed in a small plastic dish and left in the incubator for 2 days. The fertilized eggs are then transferred to the uterus through a small plastic catheter.

Superovulation -- Using fertility medications to stimulate the growth of multiple follicles for ovulation.  Also known as Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation (COH).

Subzonal Insertion (SUZI) -- A predecessor to ICSI where the zona pellucida is punctured and sperm inserted into the area between the zona and the egg. Having more than one sperm enter the egg is a potential problem with this procedure.

Surrogate Mother -- A woman who is artificially inseminated or undergoes an IVF procedure and carries to term a baby that will be adopted and raised by its genetic father and his partner. The term is usually used for a woman who is the biological mother of the baby she is carrying, while a gestational host carries a fetus that is not genetically hers.

SUZI -- See Sub-zonal Insertion.

Synarel -- A synthetic hormone used to treat endometriosis or for regulation before or during a controlled ovarian hyperstimulation cylce.

Synthetic --- made through artificial means

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) -- An inflammatory connective tissue disease of unknown cause that occurs chiefly in women, is characterized by fever, skin rash, and arthritis, often by acute anemia, by small hemorrhages in the skin and mucous membrane, by inflammation of the pericardium, and in serious cases by involvement of the kidneys and central nervous system. If needed for arthritic symptoms or by women with the lupus anticoagulant, daily doses of aspirin and the steroid prednisone seem to reduce overall risk of pregnancy complications. Pregnancy complications in women with lupus can include blood clotting problems and a high risk of preterm delivery.

 

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