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Fallopian tube(s): The pair of tubes which lead from the ovaries to the uterus (womb). After release of the egg from one of the ovaries, the tube transports the egg to the uterus. The tubes are the site of fertilisation in natural conception.

Fertilisation: The penetration of an egg by a sperm and the formation of an embryo from this. Naturally fertilisation occurs in the woman's body (in vivo) but it can also occur in the laboratory (in vitro). 

Fibroid: A ball of fibrous muscular tissue which may grow in the muscular wall of the uterus. This can cause pain and excessive menstrual bleeding and result in impaired fertility.

Flow cytometry (sperm sorting): A method of sperm sorting that involves staining the X and Y chromosome-bearing sperm with different fluorescent dyes, and then sorting them according to the colour. Used for sex selection.

Fetus: The term used for an embryo after the eighth week of development until birth. 

Follicle(s): A small sac in the ovary in which the egg develops. 

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH): Hormone produced by the pituitary gland which stimulates the production of follicles by the ovary. Used in assisted conception to stimulate the production of more than one follicle (ovulation induction). 

Fresh and frozen cycles: In most cases, the eggs collected from a patient are mixed with her partners fresh sperm to produce embryos within a few days. These fresh embryos are then transferred back to the patient. Where the patient´s body is not ready to receive the embryos, or where an excess of embryos is available, these embryos may be cryogenically frozen for future use. Once thawed, these embryos are transferred to the patient as a frozen cycle.

Fundus: The upper part of the uterus.

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Page last updated: 18 July 2012