Staring down the long road of infertility is massively intimidating for many reasons. First of all, there’s the whole you-have-no-control-over-your-life-and-everything-you-thought-you’d-have-and-would-come-easily-is-nowhere-to-be-found thing. Second of all, there’s basic TTC (Trying to Conceive) vocabulary, which is basically a bunch of random acronyms someone created to make things even more confusing.

In many ways, infertility is its own language, and becoming fluent can take a while. As an IVF veteran, I am still in the dark when it comes to some fertility-related phrases and medical terms. Aside from an intense amount of biological and physiological information that is assumed knowledge by your OBGYN and your RE, there are SO. MANY. ACRONYMS. And unless you’re a compulsive oversharer on Instagram or TikTok, chances are you don’t know your POAS from your DPO. 

woman holding object that reads

And that? That’s a problem when trying to decipher the Infertility Code (a much more complicated puzzle to solve than the Da Vinci Code). Understanding the different tests, medications, diagnoses, and procedures is essential to understanding your body as well as your medical options so that you can be your own best advocate on your family-building journey. 

So study up, young grasshopper. Below is a beginner's guide to infertility acronyms. If you are noticing a glaring omission, please add your suggestions in the comments below!

Fertility Acronyms

AF = Aunt Flow (your period)

AH = Assisted Hatching

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

AI = Artificial Insemination

ART = Assisted Reproductive Technology (like IUI or IVF)

BBT = Basal Body Temperature

BC / BCP = Birth Control (Pills); this one might seem random, but many women are prescribed birth control pills as a precursor to IVF.

BD = Baby Dance; a polite way of saying “having 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; getting a negative pregnancy test…

BFP = Big Fat Positive! The holy grail to which all TTC couples aspire…

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

B/W = Bloodwork

CD = Cycle Day; this refers to the specific day of your cycle, with CD1 being the first day of your period. 

CM = Cervical Mucus (Ew….)

Cyst = Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form on the ovaries.

D&C =  Dilation & Curettage; doctors perform this procedure after a miscarriage to remove tissue from the uterus.

DE = Donor Eggs

DEIVF = Donor Egg IVF 

DH = Dear Husband

DOR = Diminished Ovarian Reserve

DPO = Days Post-Ovulation

DPT = Days Post-Transfer; for example, 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

Endometriosis / Endo = A disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus

EPT: Early Pregnancy Test 

ER = Egg Retrieval

ET: Embryo Transfer

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FET = Frozen Embryo Transfer

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

Fibroid = A noncancerous growth in the uterus that can develop during childbearing years

Frostie = Nickname 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

HSC = Hysteroscopy; a procedure that allows your doctor to look inside your uterus

HSG = Hysterosalpingogram; an X-ray test to outline the internal shape of the uterus and show whether the fallopian tubes are blocked

ICSI = Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection; a procedure during IVF in which eggs are directly injected with an individual sperm to increase the chances of fertilization

IF = Infertility, straight up

IUI = Intrauterine Insemination

IVF = In Vitro Fertilization

LAP = Laparoscopy; a surgery using a thin tube put through an incision in the belly to look at the female pelvic organs and find problems such as cysts, adhesions, or fibroids.

LH = Luteinizing 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)

OB/GYN = Obstetrician / Gynecologist (Doctors who specialize in lady parts and pregnancy)

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OHSS = Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

OI = Ovulation Induction

OPK = Ovulation Predictor Kit

PCOS = Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

PG = Pregnant!

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

PGT = Pre-implantation genetic testing

PGS = Pre-implantation genetic screening

PGD = Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis

PIO = Progesterone in Oil

PNV = Prenatal Vitamins

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

POF = Premature ovarian failure 

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

RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist; a doctor who specializes in infertility

RPL = Recurrent pregnancy loss 

Resolve = National Nonprofit Organization that supports those experiencing infertility

SA = Semen Analysis

SD = Sperm Donor

SI = Secondary Infertility; the inability to become pregnant, or to carry a pregnancy to term, following the birth of one or more biological children

TSH = Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone

TTC = Trying to Conceive

TWW = Two Week Wait (The seemingly endless two weeks between when you ovulate and your missed period)

U/S = Ultrasound

WFP = Wait for period

WIC = Where in cycle

Phew! Are you dizzy yet? Again, please add any terms or acronyms we left out in the comments section below. And here's to hoping you get your BFP soon!

Kristyn Hodgdon is the Co-Founder and Chief Community Officer at Rescripted.