105 Fertility Acronyms To Be Familiar With on Your Journey

When medical professionals talk about fertility, it may seem like they are speaking a different language. The various treatments, phases, and concerns involved can be daunting and cause confusion.

Luckily we’re here to translate the gibberish for you – here are 105 important fertility acronyms (decoded)!

Fertility Acronyms and Their Meanings

1. 2WW: Two Week Wait

The luteal phase of pregnancy between ovulation and getting your period (or a positive pregnancy test).

2. AC: Agnus Castus aka Chasteberry

An herbal remedy believed to help with infertility.

3. ACA: Anti-cardiolipin Antibodies

Antibodies that prevent placental growth and implantation.

4. ACTH: Adrenal Carticotropic Hormone

Hormone released by the pituitary gland that regulates the body’s stress response.

5. AF: Aunt Flo

Slang term for your menstrual cycle.

6. AH: Assisted Hatching

Technique used with IVF that can increase your chances of conception.

7. AI: Artificial Insemination

The deliberate injection of sperm into a female cervix or uterine cavity.

8. AMH: Anti-Mullerian Hormone

Hormone produced by reproductive tissue in the ovaries and testicles.

9. ANA: Anti-nuclear Antibodies

Autoantibodies that bind to cells in the nucleus, a non-specific marker of autoimmune disease.

10. APA: Anti-phospholipid Antibodies

Antibodies associated with blood clots and infarction in the placenta.

11. APTT: Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time

Test measuring how long it takes for your blood to produce a clot.

12. ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology

Collective term for procedures that involve the surgical removal of eggs from a woman’s ovaries, lab work to combine eggs with sperm, donating eggs, etc.

13. ASA: Anti-sperm Antibody

Antibodies that mistakenly target and attack sperm as invaders.

14. ASRM: American Society of Reproductive Medicine

A non-profit dedicated to the scientific advancement of reproductive medicine.

15. BA: Baby Aspirin

A low-dose of aspirin, named due to the small amount (this is not safe for children, however).

16. BBT: Basal Body Temperature

The reading of your body temperature when you are fully at rest. Ovulation can cause a slight increase in your BBT.

17. BC: Birth Control

Oral contraceptive pill, implant, or shot to prevent pregnancy.

18. BD: Baby Dance

Couples’ slang for sex, i.e., doing the baby dance!

19. BD: Babydust

An expression of good luck (like fairy dust) in the hopes of conceiving e.g. “baby dust for you!”. Also a gender-swaying method.

20. Beta: Beta Blood Test

Another term for the blood test to monitor pregnancy.

21. BF: Breastfeeding

Shorthand for breastfeed, breastfed, or breastfeeding.

22. BFN: Big Fat Negative

Slang term expressing disappointment at getting a negative pregnancy result.

23. BFP: Big Fat Positive

Slang term expressing excitement at getting a positive pregnancy result.

24. BP: Blood Pressure

The force at which your heart pumps blood around the body, measured in 2 numbers relating millimeters of mercury, e.g., 120/80 mm.

25. BR: Bed Rest

Your doctor will recommend this when you need to limit activity to reduce stress and strain during pregnancy.

26. B/W or b/w: Blood Work

Collective term for blood testing to assess overall health.

27. CAH: Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

An inherited disorder of the adrenal glands in boys and girls that cause the glands to be larger than normal.

28. CASA: Computer-assisted Semen Analysis

Electronic imaging system that evaluates individual sperm.

29. CB: Cycle Buddy

Slang for friends and fellow people within the infertility community.

30. CBAVD: Congenital Bilateral Absence of Vas Deferens

Occurring in males when the tubes carrying sperm out of the testes have not developed properly – found in 1-2% of males with infertility.

31. CBD: Clearblue Digital

Clearblue Digital test (popular form of pregnancy test that reads “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant” with a weeks indicator).

32. CCT: Clomiphene Citrate Challenge Test

Infertility blood test to measure a woman’s ovary reserves.

33. CD: Cycle Day

The first day of your period.

34. CM: Cervical Mucus

Fluid released from your cervix that changes texture throughout your ovulation cycle.

35. COH: Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation

The administration of injectable or oral medication to induce ovulation.

36. CP: Chemical Pregnancy

A very early form of miscarriage that happens within 5 weeks when an embryo embeds in the uterine lining and stops developing.

37. CPFM: ClearPlan Fertility Monitor

Popular home urine testing system as an aid for conception.

38. D&C: Dilation & Curettage

A minor surgical procedure to remove tissue from the uterus. Also to dilate/investigate the uterus.

39. D&E: Dilation and Evacuation

Method of tissue removal from the uterus performed between weeks 15 and 24.

40. DE: Donor Eggs

Referring to the eggs retrieved from an egg donor.

41. DHEAS: Dehydroepiandrosterone

Hormone produced by the adrenal glands to make estrogen and androgens.

42. DOR: Diminished Ovarian Reserve

Condition resulting from injury, disease, or normal aging in which the ovaries lose their reproductive potential.

43. DPO: Days Post/Past Ovulation

The number of days after your ovulation date.

44. DPR: Days Post Retrieval

Number of days following an egg retrieval procedure.

45. DPT: Days Post Transfer

The days following an egg/embryo transfer.

46. DTD: Do the Deed

Slang for having sex (“doing the deed”).

47. DX: Diagnosis

Shorthand for medical diagnosis.

48. E2: Estradiol

An estrogen steroid hormone. An E2 test measures the level of estradiol in a woman’s blood.

49. EB: Endometrial Biopsy

Measure in which a small piece of tissue is removed from the uterus lining for examination.

50. EDD: Estimated Due Date

When fertilization is successful and a positive pregnancy result is recorded, you can then estimate when your due date will be.

51. ENDO: Endometriosis

Shorthand for endometriosis – a disorder that causes the tissue that normally lines the uterus to grow outside the uterus.

52. ER/ET: Egg Retrieval/Embryo Transfer

Referring to the surgical procedures of retrieving eggs for freezing or fertilizing and the procedure of implanting or transferring the newly formed embryo into the uterus.

53. ETA: Embryo Toxicity Assay

A test that measures circulating substances that could potentially kill pre-implantation embryos.

54. ETF: Embryo Toxicity Factor

This refers to the body’s immune system response to an embryo.

55. FET: Fresh/Frozen Embryo Transfer

Steps within IVF in which an unfrozen or frozen embryo is transferred into a uterus (frozen embryos are adorably dubbed “Frosties” on fertility forums!).

56. FSH: Follicle Stimulating Hormone

The female hormone responsible for controlling the menstrual cycle and stimulating the growth of eggs.

57. FTTA: Fertile Thoughts To All

Friendly slang term that members of the fertility community often sign off with.

58. FT: Full Term

Referring to a full-term pregnancy (around 39 weeks).

59. GIFT: Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer

A 3-step procedure involving the removal of eggs, combining them with sperm, and the immediate placement of the eggs in the fallopian tubes for fertilization.

60. GnRH: Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone

Hormone released from the hypothalamus in the brain that controls the production of the follicle and luteinizing hormones.

61. HCG/hCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

Hormone produced in early pregnancy. This can be detected in the blood and urine, and the presence of hCG produces a positive pregnancy test.

62. HPT: Home Pregnancy Test

An over-the-counter non-professional pregnancy test that you can use at home.

63. HSG: Hysterosalpingogram

An X-ray of the womb and the fallopian tubes.

64. IB: Implantation Bleeding

Spotting or slight bleeding that can occur roughly 10 to 15 days following an embryo implantation.

65. ICI: Intracervical Injection/Intracervical Insemination

Procedure in which sperm is deliberately inserted or injected into the cervix.

66. ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

An IVF method used in cases of severe male infertility that introduces an individual sperm cell to an egg cell.

67. IM: Intramuscular Injection(s)

An injection delivered deep into muscle tissue (typically used in IVF and administered in the buttocks or thighs).

68. ITI: Intra-tubal Insemination

A procedure involving the insertion of pre-washed sperm directly into the fallopian tube.

69. IVF: In Vitro Fertilization

Process in which an egg is fertilized by sperm inside a test tube or by other means outside the body.

70. IVIg: Intravenous Immunoglobulin

A form of therapy that uses a mix of antibodies to treat certain conditions or disorders.

71. LH: Luteinizing Hormone

The hormone triggering ovulation (a surge in LH levels is observed just before ovulation).

72. LMP: Last Menstrual Period

The first day of your last period.

73. LSP: Low Sperm Count

This condition is also known as oligospermia – having fewer than 15 million sperm per milliliter of semen classes as low sperm count.

74. MAI: Miscarriage After Infertility

When a miscarriage happens after going through infertility treatments.

75. MESA: Microsurgical Epididymal Sperm Aspiration

The retrieval and examination of sperm-containing fluid from optimal areas of the epididymis (the narrow coiled tube attached to each of the testicles).

76. NK: Natural Killer Cells

Cells that kill virally infected cells and ones that can detect and control early signs of cancer.

77. NSA: Non-Surgical Sperm Aspiration

Pain-free medical procedure to obtain sperm for use in IVF procedures.

78. OD: Ovum Donor

Another term for an egg donor.

79. OHSS: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

When the ovaries have an extreme response to the excess hormones found in the injectable medications used in fertility treatments.

80. PAF: Pregnant After Infertility

Becoming pregnant after struggling with infertility.

81. PGD: Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis

Genetic analysis of a live embryo done in order to detect any abnormality/disease in the chromosomes so that only the healthiest embryos are chosen for implantation.

82. PID: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

A bacterial infection of the female reproductive organs.

83. PIO: Progesterone in Oil

An injectable self-administered form of progesterone.

84. POAS: Pee On a Stick

Slang for urinating on a home pregnancy test.

85. POF: Premature Ovarian Failure

Also known as primary ovarian insufficiency. When a woman’s ovaries stop working normally before the age of 40.

86. PROM: Premature Rupture of Membranes

The early breaking open of membranes (the amniotic sac) before labor begins.

87. PUPO: Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise

A term used by women and couples to instill a positive mindset in the period following an embryo transfer.

88. RB: Rainbow Baby

Term for a healthy baby born after losing a child or losing a previous pregnancy.

89. RE: Reproductive Endocrinologist

A doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.

90. RI: Reproductive Immunologist

A specialist who studies how the immune system and the reproductive system interact.

91. RPL: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

Defined as someone who has experienced two or more miscarriages.

92. SA: Semen Analysis

Also known as a spermiogram – used to measure the quality and quantity of a man’s semen and spermatozoa.

93. S/B or s/b

Stillbirth. The loss of a baby before or during delivery.

94. SHG: Sonohysterogram

A procedure that evaluates uterus health and the shape of the uterine cavity.

95. SI: Secondary Infertility

Refers to the inability to conceive or achieve a full-term pregnancy after giving birth previously.

96. SD: Sperm Donor

The male donor providing the sperm to fertilize an egg.

97. TDI: Therapeutic Donor Insemination

A form of artificial insemination for single women or couples using donor sperm from an anonymous or known donor source in the case of severe male infertility.

98. TET: Tubal Embryo Transfer

Treatment in which embryos are transferred back into the fallopian tubes two days after fertilization.

99. TR: Tubal Reversal

Surgical procedure that reconnects a woman’s fallopian tubes after having the tubes tied (tubal ligation).

100. TTC: Trying to Conceive

Slang term used in the infertility community for couples at the start of their journey.

101. UR: Urologist

Doctor specializing in conditions of the urinary tract and reproductive system.

102. US: Ultrasound

Noninvasive procedure performed throughout stages of the pregnancy that uses high-frequency sound waves to check the baby’s heartbeat and later reveal images of the baby.

103. VR: Vasectomy Reversal

An operation that reconnects the tubes that carry a man’s sperm that were previously sealed or cut during a vasectomy.

104. WBC: White Blood Count

A term you’ll hear if white blood cells are found in a man’s semen during a semen analysis.

105. ZIFT: Zygote Intra-Fallopian Transfer

Procedure in which stimulated eggs are collected using IVF techniques before being mixed with sperm in the lab and transferred to the fallopian tubes via laparoscopic surgery.


We hope this has busted some of the confusing medical jargon you’ve been coming across lately.

If there are any terms out there that are still unfamiliar to you, don’t hesitate to ask fellow cycle buddies and those on fertility support groups/forums (you should be able to decode a lot more posts now!).