Towards less confusing terminology in reproductive medicine - Clarifying medical ambiguities to the benefit of all Davies, Michael J; De Lacey, Sheryl Lynne; Norman, Robert J

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Davies, Michael J ; De Lacey, Sheryl Lynne ; Norman, Robert J
Terminology; fecundability; fertility
© The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved It has been argued that terminology in reproductive medicine related to reproductive success is ambiguous, confusing and misleading. A proposed solution is the conditional use of the term ‘fertility’ which is qualified according to statements concerning description, diagnosis and prognosis, and for which a grading system is proposed. We argue that there already exists (from 1989) a well-articulated conceptualization of fertility that does not appear to have been well disseminated within reproductive medicine. Within this conceptualization there is an important place for separate terms that clearly distinguish aetiology from outcome. We therefore see a central role for maintaining and articulating the terms fecundity and fertility. It is also suggested that one source of confusion within reproductive medicine stems from the conflation of interests for clinicians and patients when discussing infertility as both a cause and an outcome. Unpacking the meaning of the term ‘infertility’ reveals a complex of interdependent concepts that are both social and biological in origin. Michael J. Davies, Sheryl L. deLacey and Robert J. Norman
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