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Anglais médical - Tout savoir sur l’infertilité

Publié le 08/09/2022


Ce cours d’anglais, élaboré par Virginia Allum, auteur et consultante EMP (English for Medical Purposes) traite de l'infertilité. N'hésitez pas à vous servir du dictionnaire en ligne Wordreference. Vous trouverez à la fin de cet article les corrections des exercices qui vous sont proposés téléchargeables au format pdf.

Part 1: Vocabulary

Review the terms in the vocabulary list. The stressed syllables are in bold.

advanced maternal age (AMA)
assisted reproductive technology (ART)
chlamydia trachomatis test
(to) conceive
diminished ovarian reserve (DOR)
endocrine disruptor   
in vitro fertilisation (IVF)
ovulation induction
post coital testing
unexplained infertility (UEI)

Part 2: Complete the definitions using terms from the vocabulary list.

  1. ________________________: infertility test that examines the interaction between sperm and mucus of the cervix
  2. ________________________: fertility treatments and procedures
  3. ________________________: examination of urine or secretions from the vagina or penis to identify the bacteria that causes a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to infertility
  4. _______________________: use of a medication that stimulates release of an egg from an ovary
  5. _______________________:  condition characterised by a reduced number and quality of eggs than is expected for a woman’s age
  6. _____________________: situation when fertility testing is unable to find a cause to explain a person’s infertility
  7. _____________________:  also called hormonally active agents; chemicals, e.g. those found in plastic bottles, cosmetics and pesticides, which interfere with the body’s hormones.
  8. _____________________: inability to fall pregnant despite having regular, unprotected intercourse
  9. ______________________: also called geriatric pregnancy; describes a woman over 35 who is pregnant
  10. _____________________: process of fertilisation where an egg is combined with sperm outside a human body
  11. ___________________: become pregnant
  12. ___________________: permanent absence of menstruation (periods)

Part 3: Complete the text using the words below.

  • endocrine disruptors
  • cervical mucus
  • testosterone
  • ovulation
  • advanced maternal age
  • sperm
  • chlamydia
  • menstruate
  • menopause
  • conceive

Infertility can affect both women and men and has a range of possible causes. One of the common causes of female infertility is the lack of regular (1) _________ (release of an egg from the ovary). This can be the result of a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), during which women (2) ____________ irregularly and also have increased male hormone levels. Some women have an early (3) _____________ after which they are no longer able to (4) ____________.

Physical barriers to an egg implanting in the uterus also play a part in preventing conception. Problems with (5) __________________( gel-like fluid) may make it more difficult for sperm to swim through the cervix and ultimately fertilise an egg. Blockages in the fallopian tubes (tubes from the uterus to the ovaries) or fibroids (abnormal growths in the uterus) may also prevent a fertilised egg from attaching itself to the wall of the uterus.

Men who have poor quality (6) ______________________(male reproductive cells) or insufficient amounts may be unable to fertilise a woman’s eggs. Men who have a condition called hypogonadism produce low levels of the male hormone called (7) ___________ which is key for the development of male sex characteristics and sperm production.

Apart from physical causes, there are also several risk factors which can affect infertility. These include smoking, alcohol consumption and environmental factors such as exposure to (8) ________________, e.g. certain pesticides. Sexually transmitted diseases, e.g. (9) ________________ can reduce fertility levels. Finally, (10) ____________________ plays a part, as fertility declines with age.


Part 4: Reading

Infertility in France

Infertility is a significant health problem in France for around 3.3 million couples and is becoming more concerning as numbers continue to rise each year. According to INSERM (Institut national de la santé), the reasons for infertility include exposure to pollutants, the effect of endocrine disruptors, advanced maternal age, smoking and obesity. In addition, unexplained infertility, in which no cause is identified, affects around 15 percent of cases.

An Advanced Science article published on 18 April, 2022 described a study by researchers from INSERM, CNRS and Université Clermont Auvergne which identified a receptor found on male germ cells that produce gametes. The study investigated the receptor’s role in male chemotherapy-related infertility. It is hoped that this understanding of the mechanism of germ cell chemosensitivity may help to limit the consequences of anticancer treatments for men.

The fact that chemotherapy has a harmful effect on both male and female infertility has been known for several years. However, improvements in chemotherapy treatments have led to an increase in survival rates with a consequent increase in the numbers of people with chemotherapy-related infertility.

  1. The extent of the problem of infertility in France is significant because it …
    A  affects a large number of women
    B  continues to increase annually
    C  reduces a person’s sense of well-being
  2. According to INSERM, the causes of infertility…
    A  are well-known
    B  are not known in all cases
    C  are all easily avoided
  3. A study by a group of researchers …
    A  proved male infertility was linked to make germ cells
    B  suggested cancer drugs should not be used in men
    C  investigated the role of cancer drugs on male fertility
  4. Infertility is rising in people who have been treated for cancer because…
    A  they are living longer with better chemotherapy
    B  anticancer drugs are stronger and have a greater effect on fertility rates
    C  there is a trend to want to start a family after cancer treatment

Part 5: Research

Access Rapport sur les causes d’infertilité at :

Using Axe1 : Eduquer et informer, information collective on page 9 produce a similar table in English.

Number Objective Measures
1 Inform about…  
2 Educate adolescents about…  
3 Educate young adults about…  
4 Educate the general public about...  


9 lifestyle factors that affect fertility
Phytoestrogens and men

Téléchargez les corrections au format PDF

Virginia ALLUM Author and Consultant in English for Medical Purposes

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