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Partial Zona Dissection (PZD): In conjunction with IVF, a small hole is made in the gelatinous coating of the egg using a small glass needle to assist sperm in reaching the outer egg membrane.  A clinic may also use donor sperm or eggs.

 Percutaneous Epididymal Sperm Aspiration (PESA): A sperm recovery technique whereby a fine needle is passed through the skin of the scrotum and into the epididymal region of the testes and sperm are withdrawn using gentle suction. Or, retrieving sperm directly from the coiled tubing outside the testicles that store sperm (epididymis) using a needle. 

Peritoneal cavity: The cavity of the abdomen where the fallopian tubes and the uterus are situated. 

Perinatal Mortality Rate:  Perinatal mortality is the total number of foetal deaths and neonatal deaths. 

Pituitary: Gland in the brain which produces many hormones including Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH).

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Condition where many small cysts form on the ovary and hormonal imbalances result which can cause infertility. Treatment is in the form of drugs or surgery. 

Polymerase Chain Reaction: A process used in DNA analysis.

Pregnancy rate: The number of pregnancies achieved from every 100 treatment cycles commenced. 

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD): In conjunction with IVF, where a recognised practitioner removes one or two cells from an embryo, for those cells to be tested for specific genetic disorders/characteristics before embryo transfer takes place.

Preimplantation Genetic Screening for Aneuploidy (PGS): In conjunction with IVF, where a recognised practitioner removes one or two cells from an embryo, for those cells to be tested to ensure they contain the correct number of chromosomes (known as euploidy) and not more or less than usual (known as aneuploidy).  Normal embryos (euploidy) will be selected before embryo transfer takes place. 

Primitive streak: Thickening in surface of embryos which results in the first clearly recognisable stage in embryonic development.

Profasi: Drug used in assisted conception to mature follicles and cause ovulation to occur. It consists of purified Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin.

Progesterone: Hormone produced by the ovary and by the corpus luteum after ovulation which encourages the growth of the lining of the womb.

Pro-nucleus: A small round structure(s) seen within the egg after fertilisation which contain the haploid sets of chromosomes (genetic material of each gamete) surrounded by a membrane.  A normal fertilised egg should contain two pro-nuclei, one from the egg and one from the sperm. 

Prostate Gland: A gland which secretes an alkali solution upon ejaculation which makes up a major part of the ejaculate. 

Puregon: A commonly used fertility drug which consists of highly purified FSH and is used to stimulate the production of more than one follicle.

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Page last updated: 18 July 2012