Egg collection

Procedure by which eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries by using an ultrasound guided needle, or by using a laparoscope (an instrument used for looking into the abdomen) and a needle. Also known as egg retrieval.

Elective single embryo transfer (eSET)

Elective Single Embryo Transfer. The principal way in which multiple births after IVF can be reduced, by only transferring one embryo at a time to the woman’s womb.

Embryo grading systems

Systems used to rate embryos so that only the embryos with the highest chance of implantation are chosen for transfer or freezing.


A scientist who has been trained to create and handle human embryos outside a woman’s body: fertilising the eggs, culturing them in vitro, selecting the best embryos for transfer, and freezing additional ones.

Embryo morphology

The configuration of the embryo, used to judge the quality of the embryo (its potential to implant or survive freezing).

Embryo score

See embryo grading.


European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology. The main aim of the ESHRE is to promote interest in, and understanding of, reproductive biology and medicine. 
European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology website 

EU Tissues and Cells Directive

The EU Tissues and Cells Directive sets standards of quality and safety for the donation, procurement, testing, processing, preservation, storage and distribution of human tissue and cells intended for human application. It was adopted by the European Parliament on 7th April 2004.