Terms glossary

Artificial Insemination

Artificial Insemination simply imitates the natural reproduction process, inside the uterus, making it easier for the sperm to reach the right place at the time when the ovulation takes place. Artificial Insemination is used when sperm have problems reaching the uterus, either because there is a blockage or because of low sperm count or quality.


This is the absence of sperm in the ejaculation which has a negative repercussion on the ability to conceive a child. This organic disorder is one of the most common causes of male infertility, and can be of two types: Obstructive (when an obstruction stops the sperm from joining the rest of the ejaculatory fluids) or Non-obstructive (when the testicles do not produce a normal quantity of sperm).

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When, for any of several reasons, the sperm cannot penetrate the egg naturally, In vitro fertilization using an intracytoplasmic sperm micro-injection (ICSI) injects a sperm into the interior of each oocyte. ICSI is a complement to conventional in vitro fertilization. The steps prior to and after the fertilization are exactly the same (ovarian stimulation, follicular punction and embryo transfer), and the only variation is in the technique used to fertilize the gametes.
With this technique, only one spermatozoid is required for each oocyte, whereas in conventional IVF, around 50,000 to 100,000 spermatozoids are required. This is very important in cases where there is a low concentration of spermatozoids in the semen (severe oligozoospermia) or they have a very low mobility (severe astenozoospermia).


These are the initials associated with in vitro fertilization using an intracytoplasmic morphologically-selected sperm micro-injection. That is to say, a technique which complements ICSI and involves carrying out, in real time, prior selection of the sperm to be injected using microscope which magnifies 6000 times.
This magnification, 30 times greater than usual, allows us to see the internal morphology of the spermatozoids and, therefore, select those that do not present any anomalies that could put the success of the treatment at risk.
This is carried out when the male is affected by severe spermatic anomalies and after repeated failures of the IVF treatment.

in vitro

When the sperm cannot fertilize the egg naturally we can resort to this technique which involves placing the oocytes from the woman into contact with the sperm selected from her partner’s semen. It is referred to as in vitro because the fertilization takes place outside of the woman’s body. The fertilized oocytes will become the pre-embryos that will be transferred to the uterus where they will continue their development.
Usually, in a normal cycle, only one egg develops each month. In order for in vitro fertilization to take place it is important to obtain several oocytes so first we stimulate the ovaries with a drug which will cause several oocytes to mature at the same time. This helps to optimize the process and means there is more chance of obtaining apt embryos.

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