Fertility Lingua Franca

If you are trying to conceive (TTC) or dealing with infertility, you have likely perused online forums, blogs, and scholarly articles trying to fill the gap in information from your healthcare providers. The fertility community has developed its own lingua franca (link language) to communicate with others going through the same travail. It is not uncommon to come across a post on social media with so many acronyms that it feels like reading a hieroglyphic text. If you are new to TTC, you may find these posts daunting, so we have created a simple guide to commonly used Acronyms to guide you in your foray into online fertility communities.

AF = Aunt Flo — Menstruation

AFC = Antral follicle count,

AH = Assistant Hatching

AMH =Anti-Mullerian Hormone; a hormone level used to predict your ovarian reserve.

AI = Artificial Insemination

ART = Assisted Reproductive Technology

Amenorrhea = The medical term for a missed menstrual cycle for more than three months in a row.

BC / BCP = Birth Control (Pills)

BBT = Basal Body Temperature – A basal thermometer chart is a way to track temperature increases after the release of an egg, allowing you to know when you’ll be the most fertile.

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BD = Big Deed/Baby Dance — AKA sex

Beta = Not really an acronym, but this is the hCG blood test taken after a fertility treatment to determine whether or not a woman is pregnant.

BFN = Big Fat Negative – A negative result on a pregnancy test

BFP = Big Fat Positive – A positive result on a pregnancy test

BPM = Beats Per Minute; referring to an embryo’s heart rate.

B/W = Bloodwork

CD = Cycle Day – The specific day of your period, with CD1 being the first day of your period.

CF = Cervical Fluid or CM for Cervical Mucus – Women can check their discharge to indicate ovulation periods. For example, when discharge changes from sticky and thick too thin and wet, that’s typically a sign you are ovulating.

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DE = Donor Eggs/Embryos – Donor eggs are taken from a fertile woman and transplanted into an infertile woman during an ART procedure.

D&C = Medical procedure performed after a miscarriage to remove tissue from the uterus.

DEIVF = Donor Egg IVF

DH = Dear Husband

DOR =Diminished Ovarian Reserve

DPO = Days Post Ovulation

DPT = Days Post-Transfer; e.g., 6dp5dt would mean 6 days post-day-5 embryo transfer.

DW = Dear Wife

E2 = Estradiol (or Estrogen); a hormone measured during fertility testing and treatment

Endo = Endometriosis, a disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus

EDD = Estimated Due Date

EPT = Early Pregnancy Test

ER = Egg Retrieval

ET = Embryo Transfer

FET = Frozen Embryo Transfer

FMU = First Morning Urine – Your first-morning urine is known to have the highest amounts of HCG (a hormone that is created during a woman’s pregnancy) and allows for pregnancy tests to detect pregnancy sooner and more accurately versus after your first-morning pee.

FP = Follicular Phase, from CD1 until you ovulate (occurs before the Luteal Phase)

Frostie = Pet name for a frozen embryo

FSH = Follicle-Stimulating Hormone, the hormone responsible for the growth of ovarian follicles.

GP = General Practitioner

HCG = Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Hormone, also known as the “pregnancy hormone”

HPT = Home Pregnancy Test

HSG = Hysterosalpingography, an X-ray to see whether the fallopian tubes are open

ICI = Intracervical Insemination – Similar to intrauterine insemination(IUI), it involves placing sperm directly into the woman’s reproductive tract to improve the chances of pregnancy.

IF = Infertility

IUI = Intrauterine Insemination – This is when sperm are placed directly into a woman’s uterus right around the time she is ovulating in the hopes of boosting her odds of conceiving.

IVF = In Vitro Fertilization – This procedure involves removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them outside her body in a laboratory setting. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the woman’s uterus through the cervix.

LH = Luteinising Hormone – OPKs measure spikes in your LH to predict when ovulation will occur

LMP = Last Menstrual Period

LP = Luteal phase; the time between ovulation and menstruation (also called The Two Week Wait)

LSP = Low Sperm Count

MC = Miscarriage

MF(I) = Male Factor (Infertility)

NTNP = Not Trying Not Preventing – This term is for couples who are not using a form of birth control to prevent pregnancy from happening.

OV = Ovulation

OB = Obstetrician

OB/GYN = Obstetrician/Gynecologist

OPK = Ovulation Predictor Kit

PCOS = Polycystic Ovary Syndrome – A hormonal imbalance causing symptoms like overproduction of androgens (male hormones), irregular menstrual cycles, and/or an ultrasound demonstrating polycystic-appearing ovaries. This makes it more difficult to get pregnant.

PG = Pregnant!

P4 = Progesterone; the hormone that helps prepare the uterus for pregnancy

PNV = Prenatal Vitamins

POAS = Pee on a stick (take an at-home pregnancy test)

PUPO = Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise (After a fertility treatment like a Frozen Embryo Transfer, a woman is considered PUPO)

RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist

SA = Sperm/Semen Analysis

SD = Sperm Donor

SHGSaline Sonohysterogram;  a diagnostic ultrasound used to detect any abnormal structures on the inside of your uterus (uterine cavity).

T3 = thyroid hormone, triiodothyronine

T4 = thyroid hormones, thyroxine

TSH = Thyroid-Stimulating Hormones

TTC = Trying To Conceive

TTCAL = Trying To Conceive After Loss

TWW/2WW = Two Week Wait – This is the two-week waiting period after taking a pregnancy test.

U/S = Ultrasound

WFP = Wait for period

WIC = Where in cycle

WTO = Waiting To Ovulate

I had my wtf appt with my RE today for an US on CD10 and i am nowhere near ovulation. CBAD OPK is showing nothing. My T3/T4/THS were all fine. Did baseline tests including HSG, SHG, semen analysis. AFC and AMH high-ish.

Did you understand any of that? The above quote, which is a compilation of comments on a post on the r/infertility forum on Reddit, can be translated literally as “I had my wtf appointment* with my Reproductive Endocrinologist today for an Ultrasound Cycle Day 10 and I am nowhere near ovulation. Clearblue® Advanced Digital Ovulation Predictor Kit is showing nothing. My triiodothyronine/thyroxine/Thyroid-Stimulating Hormones were all fine. Did baseline tests including Hysterosalpingography, Saline Sonohysterogram, semen analysis. Antral follicle count and Anti-Mullerian Hormone high-ish.”

*wtf appointment is a term coined by the fertility community to refer to the doctor’s appointment following a failed IVF. Apply called wtf because the patient does not see the usefulness of this encounter.

It is clear why the acronym of some of these medical terms is preferred since some of these terms are a mouthful (try saying Saline Sonohysterogram three times). However, I suspect this lingua franca was developed as a way for women going through this challenging journey to connect and sometimes make light of a difficult process (Big Deed/Baby Dance for sex, it’s hard not to have a chuckle.)

Fabienne Valmond

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