Getting Through the Two Week Wait: Advice from a Fertility Doula
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Getting Through the Two Week Wait: Advice from a Fertility Doula

Your Guide to Acronyms Used In Fertility Treatment
medication Pregnancy reproduction 101

Your Guide to Acronyms Used In Fertility Treatment

We know there are a lot of acronyms when it comes to reproductive health and pregnancy, so we’ve tried to summarize many of the below to help make things a little clearer. 

We know there are a lot of acronyms when it comes to reproductive health and pregnancy, so we’ve tried to summarize many of the below to help make things a little clearer. 






AH: Assisted Hatching

A procedure that helps the embryo “hatch” by making a small crack on the outer edge of the embryo to help with implantation


    AMH: Anti-Mullerian Hormone

    A hormone that indicates a patient’s ovarian reserve.


      APLA: Antiphospholipid Antibodies

      This condition can cause your immune system to create antibodies that attack tissues in your body, which could complicate a pregnancy.


        ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology

        A catchall term for the science that goes into fertility treatment.


          ASA: Antisperm Antibody

          In rare cases, women can make these antibodies if they have an allergic reaction to sperm, which impacts chances of conceiving


            BBT: Basal Body Temperature

            This is the body’s temperature at rest. Ovulation can usually cause an uptick in BBT.


              BC/BCP: Birth Control Pills

              Your doctor might prescribe birth control pills to time the start of your egg retrieval cycle


                BhCG: Beta hCG Test

                A pregnancy test that provides results based on a patient’s hCG levels.


                  B/W: Bloodwork

                  Your provider might use this shorthand to indicate follow up testing and procedures


                    CBAVD: Congenital Bilateral Absence of Vas Deferens

                    A condition where men are born without developed vas deferens (tubes that carry sperm out of the testes)


                      CCCT: Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test (or CCT: Clomid Challenge Test)

                      Another test that measures the ovarian reserve. The test is performed by measuring the patient’s initial FSH and estradiol levels on day 3 of their cycle. After taking Clomid on days 5-9, their FSH levels are measured again on day 10.


                        CNM: Certified Nurse Midwife

                        A trained medical professional who can support women during childbirth


                          COH: Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation

                          A procedure where a doctor uses medication to cause ovulation in multiple ovarian follicles


                            D&C: Dilation & Curettage

                            A procedure that removes tissue from the uterus


                              D&E: Dilation & Evacuation

                              A procedure that terminates a pregnancy, typically performed during the second trimester


                                DE: Donor Eggs

                                Eggs that are provided for the conception process by a third party who is not the intended parent


                                  DES: Diethylstilbestrol

                                  A synthetic form of estrogen that can be used in the early stages of pregnancy to prevent a miscarriage.


                                    DHEA: Dehydroepiandrosterone

                                    A hormone that the body uses to make androgens and estrogens. This hormone can indicate a patient’s ovarian reserve and may be prescribed as a supplement during fertility treatment.


                                      DI: Donor Insemination

                                      A procedure where a doctor uses a syringe to insert the sperm of a donor, someone who is not the intended parent, into a patient to result in pregnancy.


                                        DOR: Diminished Ovarian Reserve

                                        A condition where a patient has reduced ovarian function and may have difficulty conceiving as a result.


                                          Dx: Diagnosis

                                          Your doctor might use this shorthand in your medical notes.


                                            E2: Estradiol Level

                                            A hormone that indicates how well your ovaries, placenta, and adrenal glands are working.


                                              EDD: Estimated Due Date

                                              An estimate of when a pregnancy is expected to reach full term.


                                                EMB: Endometrial Biopsy

                                                A procedure that extracts some of the tissue growing outside of a patient’s uterus for additional investigation.


                                                  ENDO: Endometriosis

                                                  A condition where the tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside of the patient’s uterus, typically around the ovaries or the pelvic region.


                                                    ERA: Endometrial Receptivity Array

                                                    A diagnostic test that assesses whether the endometrial cavity is ready for an embryo to implant.


                                                      ETF: Embryo Toxicity Factor

                                                      An immune system response where a patient’s body rejects an embryo, potentially resulting in a miscarriage.


                                                        EWCM: Egg White Cervical Mucus

                                                        Fluid from a patient’s body that helps sperm travel from the vagina to the uterus to promote conception.


                                                          FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer

                                                          When a Reproductive Endocrinologist transfers a frozen embryo into a patient, instead of a fresh embryo (an embryo that has been created in the past week).


                                                            FSH: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone

                                                            A hormone that stimulates the development of follicles that produce eggs.


                                                              GC: Gestational Carrier

                                                              A person who is not the biological parent of the fetus but carries the fetus during pregnancy.


                                                                GDM: Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

                                                                A condition where the hormone that creates the placenta prevents the patient’s body from using insulin properly.


                                                                  GIFT: Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer

                                                                  A procedure where the woman’s eggs are placed inside her fallopian tools with sperm to cause pregnancy.


                                                                    GnRH: Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone

                                                                    A hormone that causes the brain to create luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone, which are necessary for the menstrual cycle.


                                                                      hCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

                                                                      A hormone that the body creates during early pregnancy and ultimately becomes a part of the placenta.


                                                                        HSC: Hysteroscopy

                                                                        An examination of the uterine cavity that helps the doctor assess potential issues that may prevent pregnancy.


                                                                          HSG: Hysterosalpingogram

                                                                          An X ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes that is typically used to see whether there is any blockage in the fallopian tubes.


                                                                            ICI: Intracervical Insemination

                                                                            A procedure where sperm is inserted into the cervix to promote conception.


                                                                              ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

                                                                              A procedure during IVF where a live sperm cell is injected into an egg cell.


                                                                                IM: Intramuscular Injections

                                                                                An injection where the needle is inserted into the muscle.


                                                                                  IOR: Immature Oocyte Retrieval

                                                                                  When immature eggs are retrieved during an unstimulated IVF cycle (an IVF cycle that does not use ovary-stimulating medications).


                                                                                    ITI: Intratubal Insemination

                                                                                    A procedure where sperm is inserted into a patient’s fallopian tubes to encourage conception.


                                                                                      IUI: Intrauterine Insemination

                                                                                      A procedure where sperm is inserted into a patient’s uterus to cause pregnancy.


                                                                                        IVF: In Vitro Fertilization

                                                                                        A fertility treatment where sperm fertilizes an egg in a lab.


                                                                                          LAD: Leukocyte Antibody Detection Assay

                                                                                          A test that measures the amount of blocking antibodies in a female patient’s blood to the white cells from her prospective partner or sperm donor. A low number of blocking antibodies could indicate potential issues with implantation and miscarriage.


                                                                                            LAP: Laparoscopy

                                                                                            A surgical procedure that uses a thin tube with a camera (laparoscope) to investigate a patient’s abdominal organs that might indicate some potential fertility issues. 


                                                                                              LH: Luteinizing Hormone

                                                                                              A hormone that causes ovulation and supports pregnancy.


                                                                                                LIT: Leukocyte Immunization Therapy

                                                                                                A treatment to help with recurrent miscarriages caused by an immunological reaction.


                                                                                                  LP: Luteal-Phase

                                                                                                  The period in a woman’s menstrual cycle after ovulation where the uterus starts to thicken its lining in anticipation of pregnancy.


                                                                                                    LPD: Luteal-Phase Defect

                                                                                                    A condition that prevents the uterus from thickening enough to sustain a pregnancy.


                                                                                                      LSP: Low Sperm Count

                                                                                                      A factor that could impact a man’s fertility.


                                                                                                        LUF: Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome

                                                                                                        A condition where the follicle does not release a mature egg when the patient is supposed to be ovulating.


                                                                                                          MESA: Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration

                                                                                                          A procedure that extracts sperm from the patient’s epididymis.


                                                                                                            NP: Nurse Practitioner

                                                                                                            A registered nurse with specialized training.


                                                                                                              NSA: Non-Surgical Sperm Aspiration

                                                                                                              A procedure that extracts sperm from a male patient.


                                                                                                                OB/GYN: Obstetrician/Gynecologist

                                                                                                                A doctor who specializes in reproductive health and pregnancy.


                                                                                                                  OHSS: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

                                                                                                                  A rare condition where the ovaries are overstimulated in response to hormonal treatment.


                                                                                                                    OI: Ovulation Induction

                                                                                                                    A fertility treatment that uses medication to induce regular ovulation.


                                                                                                                      OTC: Over the Counter

                                                                                                                      These are medications that do not require a prescription to obtain.


                                                                                                                        P4/Prog: Progesterone

                                                                                                                        A hormone that supports pregnancy.


                                                                                                                          PA: Physician’s Assistant

                                                                                                                          A medical professional who is trained to provide direct patient care.


                                                                                                                            PCOS: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

                                                                                                                            A hormonal condition where the ovaries produce an excess amount of androgens (male sex hormones).


                                                                                                                              PGD: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

                                                                                                                              A test that diagnoses chromosomal abnormalities in an embryo prior to implantation


                                                                                                                                PGS: Preimplantation Genetic Screening

                                                                                                                                A test that flags chromosomal abnormalities in an embryo prior to implantation


                                                                                                                                  PGT: Preimplantation Genetic Testing

                                                                                                                                  A test that flags chromosomal abnormalities in an embryo prior to implantation


                                                                                                                                    PID: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

                                                                                                                                    An infection of the upper reproductive organs, that could include the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries.


                                                                                                                                      PIO: Progesterone in Oil

                                                                                                                                      A medication used in IVF that can help support pregnancy.


                                                                                                                                        PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome

                                                                                                                                        Symptoms patients may experience before menstruation, including mood swings, irritability, and fatigue.


                                                                                                                                          PNV: Prenatal Vitamins

                                                                                                                                          A dietary supplement patients might take when trying to conceive.


                                                                                                                                            POC: Products of Conception

                                                                                                                                            Tissue from an embryo that isn’t viable.


                                                                                                                                              POI: Premature Ovarian Insufficiency

                                                                                                                                              A loss of typical ovarian function before the age of 40.


                                                                                                                                                RE: Reproductive Endocrinologist

                                                                                                                                                A doctor who specializes in fertility treatment.


                                                                                                                                                  RI: Reproductive Immunologist

                                                                                                                                                  A doctor who specializes in how a patient’s body reacts immunologically to a pregnancy.


                                                                                                                                                    RPL: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

                                                                                                                                                    A condition where a patient has two or more consecutive miscarriages.


                                                                                                                                                      SA: Semen Analysis

                                                                                                                                                      A test that analyzes the quality of a patient’s sperm.


                                                                                                                                                        SART: Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

                                                                                                                                                        A professional organization focusing on fertility treatment and its technological development that publishes data on fertility clinics’ success rates.


                                                                                                                                                          SHG, SIS: Sonohysterogram or saline infusion sonogram

                                                                                                                                                          A test that inserts liquid through a thin tube into a patient’s uterus in order to use sound waves to produce images of the uterus for further investigation.


                                                                                                                                                            S/S: Signs/Symptoms

                                                                                                                                                            You might find this shorthand in a summary of your medication condition.


                                                                                                                                                              STI: Sexually Transmitted Infection

                                                                                                                                                              Patients might be tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections prior to starting fertility treatment.


                                                                                                                                                                SQ, SubQ: Subcutaneous Injection

                                                                                                                                                                An injection where the needle is inserted underneath the skin, which is less deep than an intramuscular injection.


                                                                                                                                                                  T4: Thyroxine

                                                                                                                                                                  A hormone created by the thyroid gland that supports metabolism, as well as heart, brain, bone and muscle health.


                                                                                                                                                                    TeBG: Testosterone-Estradiol Binding Globulin

                                                                                                                                                                    A protein produced by the liver that binds to 3 sex hormones and carries them throughout the blood.


                                                                                                                                                                      TDI: Therapeutic Donor Insemination

                                                                                                                                                                      A procedure that inserts sperm from a donor (not the intended parent) into a patient’s cervix during ovulation to result in pregnancy.


                                                                                                                                                                        TESA: Testicular Sperm Aspiration

                                                                                                                                                                        A procedure used for patients with sperm blockage that extracts sperm from a patient’s testes using a needle to accumulate enough sperm for an IVF cycle.


                                                                                                                                                                          TESE Testicular Sperm Extraction

                                                                                                                                                                          A surgical procedure that is a biopsy of the testes in order to extract sufficient sperm volume for an IVF cycle.


                                                                                                                                                                            TI: Timed Intercourse

                                                                                                                                                                            A fertility treatment method where patients monitor their ovulation cycle and have sexual intercourse during the time their provider predicts they are likely ovulating.


                                                                                                                                                                              TORCH: Toxoplasmosis, Other, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus and Herpes Test

                                                                                                                                                                              A test administered during pregnancy that tests for any viruses or infections that might be harmful to the fetus.


                                                                                                                                                                                TR: Tubal Reversal

                                                                                                                                                                                A surgery that reconnects a patient’s fallopian tubes after a tubal ligation in order to enable pregnancy to occur.


                                                                                                                                                                                  TRH: Thyroid Releasing Hormone

                                                                                                                                                                                  A low level of this hormone may impair a patient’s ability to ovulate.


                                                                                                                                                                                    TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

                                                                                                                                                                                    A metabolic hormone that affects ovulation.


                                                                                                                                                                                      TTC: Trying To Conceive

                                                                                                                                                                                      A shorthand reference to the period of time when a person is trying to get pregnant


                                                                                                                                                                                        TWW: Two Week Wait

                                                                                                                                                                                        The approximate period of time it takes after an embryo transfer to confirm if a patient is pregnancy


                                                                                                                                                                                          TZD: Thiazolidinediones

                                                                                                                                                                                          An insulin sensitizer that can be used to help induce ovulation in patients with PCOS.


                                                                                                                                                                                            UTI: Urinary Tract Infection

                                                                                                                                                                                            An infection in the urinary symptom that is more common in female patients.


                                                                                                                                                                                              VR: Vasectomy Reversal

                                                                                                                                                                                              A surgical procedure after a vasectomy that reconnects the vas deferens tubes in order to enable pregnancy.


                                                                                                                                                                                                WNL: Within Normal Limits

                                                                                                                                                                                                A shorthand used in doctors’ notes to indicate a patient's results are typical and not of concern.

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