For those new to the world of pregnancy planning, fertility concerns and infertility struggles, the world of fertility talk can be confusing as you may be unfamiliar with a lot of the “lingo” and the abundance of acronyms casually used in conversation. To help you get the most out of the conversations you’re having with others in the fertility community, here’s a guide to help teach you the most commonly used infertility acronyms and terms so that you can break down those seemingly foreign language barriers, connect the dots and understand the references.
AMH: Anti-Müllerian Hormone – This hormone is released in the egg sacs to aid the development of the egg follicles. The level of the hormone in the body is an indicator of a woman’s ovarian reserve’s health.
BBT: Basal Body Temperature – Small changes in body temperature associated with ovulation typically occur after ovulation, however, many women and doctors choose to monitor a woman’s basal body temperature when she is trying to conceive.
BW: Bloodwork – A vital component of your infertility testing and fertility work.
CF: Cystic Fibrosis – Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in the gene for the CF transmembrane conductance regulator protein or CFTR.
COH: Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation – Controlled ovarian hyperstimulation is a technique used in assisted reproduction involving the use of fertility medications to induce ovulation.
DE: Donor Egg – This refers to donor egg treatment, which is needed by women who are unable to use their own eggs for conception, but can still carry a child in their uterus.
E2: Estradiol – This refers to the hormone or to your level of estrogen.
ENDO: Endometriosis – This is a common gynecological disorder that affects numerous women throughout their reproductive years.
FHR: Fetal Heart Rate – A normal fetal heart rate (FHR) usually ranges from 120 to 160 beats per minute (bpm) in the in-utero period.
FSH: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone – FSH is a hormone released by part of the brain called the pituitary gland. In women, the release of FSH causes the regulation of menstruation and the release of eggs from the ovaries during ovulation each month. In men, FSH regulates sperm production.
GD: Gestational Diabetes – Gestational diabetes is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Like Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes causes blood sugar levels to become too high.
hCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin – Known as the pregnancy hormone, the manifestation of hCG in your body typically means a beautiful new baby is on the way.
HSG: Hysterosalpingogram – A Hysterosalpingography, also known as uterosalpingography, is a technique of X-ray examination used to observe a woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes using a special X-ray technique.
ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection – This is a commonly used method of artificial insemination that is used when a man has poor sperm quality.
IUI: Intrauterine Insemination – This treatment is a type of artificial insemination and works by placing sperm, which is washed and concentrated in order to increase effectiveness, directly into the uterus right before ovulation.
IVF: In Vitro Fertilization – IVF is a method of assisted reproduction that involves fertilization outside of the human body by combining an egg with sperm in a laboratory dish
LH: Luteinizing Hormone – This hormone is produced by the gonadotropin cells in the pituitary gland. In women, the rise of LH is what triggers ovulation.
LP: Luteal Phase – The luteal phase is one stage of the menstrual cycle that occurs after ovulation (when the ovaries release an egg) and before a woman’s period starts.
LPD: Luteal Phase Defect – A luteal phase defect refers to any disruption in the luteal phase of a woman’s menstrual cycle leading to difficulty getting pregnant or recurrent miscarriages.
MF: Male Factor – Referring to male factor-caused infertility. Nearly 40 percent of infertility is related to male factor.
OHSS: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome – Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome is an adverse reaction to the introduction of high levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG).
P4: Progesterone – This refers to the hormone.
PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – Polycystic Ovary Syndrome is a hormonal endocrine disorder affecting women in which estrogen and progesterone levels are not in balance.
PID: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – PID is a complication of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
PGS: Preconception Genetic Screening – This genetic screening can test prospective parents for over 100 different diseases and syndromes.
PGD: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis – This is a procedure used in conjunction with IVF to select embryos free of chromosomal abnormalities and specific genetic disorders.
POF: Premature Ovarian Failure – POF is a malfunction in the woman’s ovaries, which are responsible for egg housing and release.
RPL: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss – Recurrent pregnancy loss is defined as having two or more pregnancy losses in the first four to six weeks of gestation.
SA: Semen Analysis – In this test, the sperm is checked for quantity, for motility (activity level), for appearance and for shape.
SHG: Sonohysterogram – The sonohysterogram test provides an accurate image of the inside of the uterine cavity. It helps show if there are any issues preventing fertility.
SI: Secondary Infertility – Secondary infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant following the birth of one or more biological children who were born without the aid of fertility treatment or medications.
TSH: Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone – TSH is a pituitary hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland to produce other hormones. A thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) blood test is used to check for thyroid gland problems.
TTC: Trying to Conceive – People generally consider “trying to conceive” as the time period in which they have intentionally been trying to have a baby, but physicians consider it to be the entire time during which a couple is having regular, unprotected intercourse.
2WW: Two Week Wait – The two-week wait refers to the grueling period of time a couple has to wait between ovulation and a pregnancy test to see if conception has occurred.
US: Ultrasounds – These are useful, not only during ovarian reserve testing but also to detect abnormalities of the ovaries, uterus and other structures in the pelvis.
Common Forum Acronyms:
AF: Aunt Flo or After Flo – Referring to a woman’s menstrual cycle.
BD: Baby Dance – Referring to intercourse.
BFN: Big Fat Negative – Referring to a negative result on a pregnancy test.
BFP: Big Fat Positive – Referring to a positive result on a pregnancy test.
CB: Cycle Buddy
CD: Cycle Day
CM: Cervical Mucus
CP: Cervical Position
DPO: Days Past Ovulation
DPR: Days Post-Retrieval
DPT: Days Post-Transfer
EDD: Estimated Due Date
EPT: Early Pregnancy Test
ER: Egg Retrieval
ET: Egg Transfer
FF: Fertility Friend
Frostie: Frozen Embryo
HCP: Health Care Practitioner
HPT: Home Pregnancy Test
LSP: Low Sperm Count
MAI: Miscarriage After Infertility
O, OV: Ovulation
OC: Oral Contraceptives
OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kit
OPT: Ovulation Predictor Test
OTC: Over the Counter
PCP: Primary Care Physician
PI: Primary Infertility
PMS: Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
POAS: Pee On A Stick
TTCAR: Trying to Conceive After Reversal
VR: Vasectomy Reversal
WBC: White Blood Count
WHR: Waist to Hip Ratio
WNL: Within Normal Limits