One thing about entering the world of infertility is the sheer amount of acronyms and words you need to understand. There is a shocking number of fertility terms and abbreviations that abound at both the doctors office and in online forums.
If you are just starting out in your fertility journey, it can be tricky to grasp all these terms so I’ve created a fertility glossary to help you!
I took a look around the web and most glossaries are medical orientated but they skip the fertility “slang” that is so common online.
In this fertility glossary, I will try and cover both the medical terms you need to know plus the most used acronyms in the TTC world.
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Fertility Terms and Abbreviations
AF Your period (Auntie Flow)
AI Artificial insemination
Anovulation Lack of ovulation when no egg is released each month
Antral Follicles The sacs that may become mature follicles with FSH stimulation
Assisted Hatching Process in IVF where a lasers or chemical agent is used to thin or make a small hole in the shell surrounding the embryo (the zona) to facilitate hatching.
Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Any fertility treatments such as IVF and IUI.
Azoospermia When the ejaculate does not contain any sperm.
BFP A Big Fat Positive, that is, a positive pregnancy test
BFN The opposite of a BFP – a negative pregnancy test
BBT Basal Body Temperature. This can be a useful tool in determining ovulation. It involves tracking your temperature every day during your cycle.
Baby Dust A term to mean fairy dust of baby vibes that you sprinkle on someone
BD Baby Dance- sex
Blue Dye Test Pregnancy tests that use blue dye instead of pink. Many people think these are not as accurate.
Blastocyst A 5 day old embryo that is ready for transfer during an IVF procedure
Blastocyst Transfer The transfer of the embryo back into the uterus
Blighted Ovum A fertilized egg that does not become a viable pregnancy
CD1 – The first day of your cycle, the day your period starts (cycle day 1)
CBD A Clear Blue Digital Pregnancy Test– the gold standard in pregnancy tests on most online forums
CBFM Clear Blue Fertility Monitor – a device that makes tracking your ovulation easy
CM/Cervical Mucus A fluid that helps the sperm survive and swim. Useful for tracking your fertile days.
Clomid A fertility drug in pill form used to stimulate ovulation. (Clomid is the brand name, the actual drug is known as Clomifene Citrate) This is often the first step in many fertility treatments.
Clomid Challenge Test An assessment that can determine the egg reserves in the ovaries.
Chemical pregnancy. A pregnancy that is confirmed by a pregnancy test, but that miscarries very early on, before the first ultrasound.
Cycle Monitoring Blood tests and ultrasounds at the fertility clinic to determine ovulation and follicle growth
DTIP “Drink til Its Pink” This is when you still drink alcohol during your two week wait until you receive a confirmed pregnancy test. The thought is that your baby doesn’t not share your blood stream until later on in pregnancy.
DPO Days post Ovulation. Often used in talking about when you can take a pregnancy test
DPT Days post transfer. The number of days since an IVF transfer, often used when deciding when a pregnancy test might be accurate.
DH Dear Husband (other variations include DW – dear wife) etc
DTD Do the deed, have sex
D & C Dilation and curettage. Sometimes used in abortion and miscarriage procedures.
Donor Sperm Using the sperm of a donor for insemination or IVF.
Donor Eggs Using donor eggs during an IVF procedure. This is a solution to low ovarian reserve.
EPO Evening Primrose Oil, a supplement that some people think can help fertility
EWCM Egg white cervical mucus, an indicator of ovulation
Evap Line The line that appears if you leave a pregnancy test for too long that can result in a false positive
Ectopic Pregnancy A pregnancy that develops outside the uterus, for example in one of the fallopian tubes. This is not a viable pregnancy.
Egg Retrieval or Egg Collection The procedure collect the eggs produced from an IVF/ICSI cycle. This takes place at the fertility clinic.
Embryo transfer A procedure following IVF/ICSI in which the embryos are replaced back into the uterus.
Endometriosis A painful condition in which the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity. This can cause fertility issues.
Endometrium The lining of the uterus that grows throughout the menstrual cycle and results in the your monthly period if an embryo does not implant.
FMU First Morning Urine. This is when the concentration of hormones is strongest so the best time to take a pregnancy or ovulation test
FRER First Response Early Result brand of pregnancy test
FET – Frozen Embryo Transfer
FSH Follicle Stimulating Hormone A hormone that stimulates the follicles in the ovaries. Testing your Day 3 FSH levels is a good way to see your chances of getting pregnant.
Follistim A fertility medicine that is used in IUI and IVF treatments. It is an injectable.
Femara A medication in tablet form that is sometimes used instead of Clomid to stimulate ovulation
Follicles A fluid filled sac in the ovary in which an egg grows and develops.
Gonal F – A type of injectable fertility medication used for both IUI and IVF procedures
HcG Human Chorionic Gonadotropin A hormone that is produced by the body in the early stages of pregnancy. This is what pregnancy tests detect.
HPT Home pregnancy test
HSG Hysteo-Salpingpgram. This procedure uses X-rays to check the the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Implantation The embryo needs to implant in the womb in order for pregnancy to happen
Internet Cheapies – Cheap pregnancy tests or ovulation tests you can buy online
IVF In Vitro Fertilization. This removes retrieving the eggs from the ovaries, fertilizing them in the laboratory then transferring the embryos back into the womb.
IUI Intrauterine Insemination. The sperm is washed and prepped then put into the uterus with a catheter. Often the step before IVF with a 5-20% success result depending on whether follicular stimulants are also used.
Infertility The inability to conceive after a year of unprotected intercourse (six months if the woman is over age 35) or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.
ICSI Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection A single sperm is injected into a mature egg. This is an option for couples with low sperm counts or mobility issues.
IVF Success Rate– A measure of the success of the IVF procedure. This information is available to the public in many countries. It can be used as a factor in choosing a fertility clinic.
LP Luteal Phase – AKA the Two Week Wait, the time between ovulation and first day of your period
LMP Last Menstrual Period date
Laparoscopy A surgical intervention to check the health of the pelvic area
LH Luteinizing Hormone This hormone is essential for final egg production
Menstrual Cycle Normally a 28 day cycle in which ovulation occurs around day 14.
MMC Missed Miscarriage
Miscarriage Pregnancy loss
Multiple Birth – Twins, triplets or more
OPK Ovulation test, ovulation predictor kit
Oligozoospermia Low numbers of sperm in the ejaculate.
Ovarian Cysts Sacs filled with fluid or semisolid material that develops on or within the ovary during the time of ovulation. Most cysts are benign and disappear spontaneously without treatment.
OHSS Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. This happens when the ovaries respond too well to stimulation drugs and can cause nausea, abdominal swelling and shortness of breath.
Ovulation The release of the egg (ovum) from the ovarian follicle.
POAS Pee on a stick, take a pregnancy test
PESA Percutaneous Epidymal Sperm Aspiration. A procedure involving sperm being retrieved directly from the epididymis using a needle.
PGD Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis.
PID Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.
PIO Progesterone in Oil. An injectable that is often used in IVF cycles.
PCOS Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome This can affect hormonal balance, menstruation/ovulation and fertility.
Premature Ovarian Failure When the ovaries stop producing eggs at a much younger age than normal.
Progesterone This hormone is important for the lining of the uterus and implantation
Rainbow Baby, Rainbow Pregnancy A pregnancy that occurs after a loss
RE Reproductive Endocrinologist, Fertility Doctor
RI Reproductive Immunologist. Doctor who specializes in immune disorders than can cause infertility
SA Sperm Analysis to see the health of sperm
Symptoms Early pregnancy symptoms before a test confirms pregnancy
Sperm Count One of the parameter’s that is checked in a semen sample i.e. the number of sperm present in a given volume of semen.
Sperm Motility Another parameter that it checked in the semen sample. It is the ability of the sperm to swim in a straight line. This is important in getting to the egg to enable fertilisation to occur.
Secondary Infertility Fertility issues in a couple who were already able to conceive with no issues
Surrogacy A woman who is not the biological (genetic) mother carries a pregnancy on behalf of another woman/couple.
Swim-Up Test – A Test to see the most mobile sperm
TTC Trying To Conceive, trying to get pregnant
TCOYF Taking Charge of Your Fertility. The most popular resource on natural methods of tracking ovulation and getting pregnant.
TWW The Two Week Wait between ovulation and the first time you can take a pregnancy test
Trigger or Trigger shot A injectable shot that results in ovulation. Used to determine ovulation during fertility treatments
Teratazoospermia Abnormal sperm in the ejaculate.
TeSE Testicular Sperm Extraction. Sometimes used during IVF if the man has had a vasectomy.
Wondfo – A brand of cheap pregnancy tests that you can buy online
Vaginal Ultrasound Internal ultrasound scan used during the cycle to see the progress of follicle growth.
Fertility Terms and Abbreviations – Final Thoughts
Fertility terminology and acronyms can be very confusing so it can help to have an easy guide to follow when you start out.
This fertility glossary will help you become familiar with the common fertility words and slang so you can focus on getting pregnant!
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