Key Terms: Oncofertility

Cryopreservation- preserving the viability of tissue and organs by freezing and later thawing for use.

Embryo- a fertilized egg. The fertilized egg is referred to as an "embryo" through its eighth week of development, after which it is called a "fetus."

Gamete- a reproductive cell. The male gamete is a sperm and the female gamete is an ovum, or egg.

In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)- the process of fertilizing an egg with sperm in a laboratory and, after a short maturation period, placing the embryo into a woman's uterus to be carried to term. For a more in depth look at IVF, please see the sidebar in the article The Promise of Oncofertility.

Oocyte- the cell from which an egg develops.

Ovarian follicle- an immature egg, or ovum, and the support cells necessary to mature it for ovulation.

Ovary- the female human reproductive gland in which the hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced and immature eggs are stored and developed to maturity.

Ovum- the female reproductive cell that, after fertilization by sperm (the male reproductive cell), has the potential to develop into another human being. An ovum is also referred to as an “egg,” and the plural form is “ova.”