A Beginner’s Guide to Fertility Acronyms

I’m pretty sure the world of fertility rivals the US Military with the number of acronyms in use. Don’t believe me? Jump on a TTC (TTC = Trying to Conceive) message board and you suddenly feel waaaaay out of the loop.

IPs celebrating being PUPO after a visit to their RE for IVF or IUI and counting down the days until they can POAS and see a BFP.

(IPs = Intended Parents, PUPO = Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise, RE = Reproductive Endocrynologist, IVF = In-Vitro Fertilization, IUI = Intra-Uterine Insemination, POAS = Pee on a Stick, BFP = Big Fat Positive (on a pregnany test).

Fertility message boards and social media groups can be a huge help when you’re coping with infertility, helping you to feel understood and less lonely on this journey. But all these acronyms and lingo can make you feel like you need to invest in IVF Rosetta Stone just to make sense of it all. The good news is it’s not another language – just abbreviations to help from having to type out or say ridiculously long words and medical terminology – and you’ll be seamlessly weaving them into online and offline conversations before you know it (whether you like it or not).

As the old adage goes, knowledge is power. So, to help you from infertility #noob to #IVFWarrior status ASAP, here is a list* of the most commonly used acronyms in the world of fertility.

A Beginner’s Guide to Fertility Acronyms

ACOG: American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

ACA: Anti-Cardiolipin Antibodies.

AF: Aunt Flow or Flo, also known as your period. (Outside of infertility circles, AF stands for “as f#%k” … which really is just as appropriate from a trying to conceive context!)

AFNW: Aunt Flo Not Wanted.

AFSA: Aunt Flo Stay Away.

AH, or AZH: Assisted Hatching, an IVF technology.

AI: Artificial Insemination.

ANA: Antinuclear Antibodies.

AO: Anovulatory.

APA: Antiphospholipid Antibodies.

ART: Assisted reproductive technology such as IVF.

ASRM: American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

ATA: Antithyroid Antibodies.

AWOL: A Woman on Lupron, referring to the mood swings that sometimes accompany this fertility drug.

BA: Baby Aspirin.

BBT: Basal body temperature: temperature upon first waking, ovulation can be tracked using a special thermometer as temperature rises around the time of ovulation.

BCP: Birth Control Pills.

BD: Baby Dance, a reference to having sexual intercourse during on your most fertile days; OR, Baby Dust, a sort of good wishes or good luck phrase meant to hope you get pregnant.

Beta: A pregnancy test that measures the levels of hCG (pregnancy hormone) via blood work.

BFN: Big Fat Negative, refers to a negative pregnancy test.

BFP: Big Fat Positive, refers to a positive pregnancy test.

BMS: Baby Making Sex.

BOB: Baby on the Brain, or thinking about having a baby all the time.

BV: Baby Vibes, same thing as Baby Dust, something you “give” to someone in hopes they’ll get pregnant.

B/W or BW: Blood Work.

CAH: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia.

CB: Cycle Buddy, someone who either started the cycle with you, ovulated around the same time as you, or is planning to take a pregnancy test at about the same time as you.

CCCT, or CCT: Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test, a fertility test.

CD/CD1: Cycle day, which is the number of days into the cycle counting the first day of bleeding as CD1: Ovulation usually occurs around CD12-18

CL: Cover Line, refers to a line drawn on a body basal temperature chart. Temperatures “above the cover line” occur after ovulation.

CM, or CF: Cervical Mucus or Cervical Fluid, a topic you may have never imagined talking about, but in a fertility forum, may find yourself chatting about with unexpected enthusiasm. In detail, no less!

CMV: Cytomegalovirus.

CNM: Certified nurse midwife (a nurse — usually an R.N. — who has completed graduate-level programs in midwifery and is licensed by the state and usually has a collaborative relationship with a physician)

CP: Cervical Position, another topic you probably never imagined talking about with strangers.

CY#: Cycle Number, since TTC or since starting a treatment.

DE: Donor Eggs.

DES: Diethylstilbestrol.

DF: Dear fiancé.

DH: Dear husband.

DHEA: Dehydroepiandrosterone.

DI: Donor Insemination, as you would have with IUI along with a sperm donor.

DTD: Doing the Deed, or Doing the Dance, a reference to sex.

DP: Dear partner.

DPO: Days post-ovulation, e.g. 5DPO, usually used when someone is waiting to take a pregnancy test.

DPR: Days Past Retrieval, or the number of days since you’ve had the oocyte (egg) retrieval during IVF treatment.

DPT: Days Past Transfer, or the number of days after embryo transfer in an IVF treatment or embryo donation cycle.

DW: Dear wife.

E2: Estradiol, a hormone sometimes measured during fertility testing and treatment.

EB, EMB: Endometrial Biopsy.

EDD: Estimated Due Date.

ET: Embryo Transfer, done during IVF.

ENDO: Endometriosis.

EWCM: Egg White Cervical Mucus, or the most fertile kind of cervical mucus.

FE: Frozen Embryo.

FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer, referring to an IVF cycle using previously frozen embryos that have been thawed and then transferred.

FHR: Fetal Heart Rate.

FF: Fertility Friend, referring to the charting website FertilityFriend.com.

FM: Fertility Monitor, used to detect ovulation at home.

FMU: First Morning Urine.

FSH: Follicle Stimulating Hormone.

FTTA: Fertile Thoughts to All.

FX: Fingers Crossed for a BFP or that the pregnancy “sticks”.

GIFT: Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer, a form of assisted reproductive treatment.

GS: Gestational Surrogate.

hCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin.

HPT: Home Pregnancy Test, like what you buy at the drug store.

hMG: Human Menopausal Gonadotropin.

HOM: High Order Multiples, a pregnancy with three or more babies.

HSG: Hysterosalpingogram.

ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection.

IF, or IFer: Infertility or a reference to someone with infertility.

IM: Intramuscular Injection.

IPS: Imaginary Pregnancy Symptoms, when you feel pregnant but you’re not.

IR: Insulin Resistance.

IUI: Intra-uterine insemination: placement of “washed” sperm directly into the uterus, rather than the vagina, through a small tube passed through the cervix

IVF: In-vitro fertilization: procedure where an egg is fertilized with sperm outside the womb, then implanted in a woman’s uterus

IVF-DE: IVF with Donor Eggs.

LAP: Laparoscopy.

LH: Luteinizing Hormone.

LMP: Last Menstrual Period.

LPD: Luteal Phase Defect.

LSC or LSP: Low Sperm Count.

M/C: Miscarriage.

MF: Male Factor Infertility.

MS: Morning Sickness.

O or OV: Ovulation.

OHSS: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome.

OPT or OPK: Ovulation predictor test or kit using urine or saliva to detect an upcoming ovulation 12 to 50 hours before it happens

P4; Prog: Progesterone: Hormone that supports the lining of the uterus to develop each month so that an embryo can implant and start a pregnancy. Also required for pregnancy to continue.

PAF; PANFERT: Pregnancy after infertility.

PCT: Post-coital test – infertility test that looks at how sperm and cervical mucus interact.

PCO, PCOS, or PCOD: Polycystic ovary syndrome: a condition where female sex hormones are out of balance, which can prevent regular ovulation, making it more difficult to get pregnant.

PG: Pregnant.

PGD: Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis.

PI: Primary Infertility, or infertility without any previously born children.

PID: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

PIO: Progesterone in Oil.

PNV: Prenatal Vitamin.

POC: Products of Conception.

POF, or POI: Premature Ovarian Failure, or Primary Ovarian Insufficiency.

POAS: Pee On A Stick, or take a pregnancy test at home.

PUPO: Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise.

RE: Reproductive Endocrinologist, a kind of fertility specialist.

RI: Reproductive Immunologist, another kind of fertility specialist.

RPL: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss.

SA: Semen Analysis.

SART: Society for Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

SB: Stillborn.

SHG: Sonohysterogram, a fertility test.

SI: Secondary Infertility.

SM: Surrogate Mother.

STIMS: Stimulating Hormones, usually referring to injectable fertility drugs like gonadotropins.

SP: Sperm Count.

SOD: Sex on Demand, or sex on schedule or during fertility treatment.

SubQ, or SC: Subcutaneous Injection.

TWW or 2WW: Two Week Wait.

TCOYF: Taking Charge of Your Fertility, a book by Toni Weschler on fertility awareness.

TESE: Testicular Sperm Extraction.

TI: Timed intercourse.

TL: Tubal Ligation.

TMI: Too Much Information, something fertility forum goers don’t seem to shy away from too often!

TTC: Trying to Conceive.

TS: Traditional Surrogate.

U/S: Ultrasound.

VR: Vasectomy Reversal.

ZIFT: Zygote Intrafallopian Transfer, a kind of assisted reproductive treatment.

*Compiled using information from VeryWellFamily.com, ARC Fertility, and What To Expect.

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