One in six couples experiences infertility. Infertility is defined as the inability to become or stay pregnant for more than one year of trying or six months if the person is over the age of 35.
If you are just starting out on your fertility journey, you may have noticed a lot of acronyms and certain terms and lingo. Let’s breakdown the most commonly used terms and phrases.
TTC – trying to conceive
You will see this one a lot.
BD – baby dance
This is an euphemism for sex.
DTD – do the deed. See BD.
MF – male factor infertility
Infertility affects men and women equally, about 35% of infertility affects men and 35% women.
SI – secondary infertility
This refers to those that already were pregnant and gave birth and are having fertility challenges with a subsequent pregnancy or TTC.
MC – miscarriage
Loss of a pregnancy.
RPL – recurrent pregnancy loss
More than one miscarriage.
LH – luteinizing hormone
Is released by the anterior pituitary, the rise in estrogen triggers ovulation by releasing a final surge of LH and FSH. The high levels of LH prevent growth of the non-dominant follicles and causes the egg to be released.
FSH – follicle stimulating hormone
FSH is released by the anterior pituitary gland and stimulates the growth of follicles in the ovaries. Each follicle contains an egg.
MTHFR – methylenetetrahydrafolate reductase
MTHFR is an enzyme responsible for folic acid metabolism in the body. Homocysteine, an amino acid, gets converted to methionine with the help of folic acid. When the body cannot utilize folic acid properly, homocysteine accumulates in the cells and can cause recurrent miscarriages, congenital malformations and implantation issues.
Charting and Cycle Monitoring
BW – blood work.
If you’re with a fertility clinic, you can expect to have a lot of blood work done. At times it may feel like an assembly line but know that testing blood is the most accurate way to track and monitor your cycle and hormone levels.
EW or EWCM – egg white cervical mucus
If your tracking and monitoring your cervical mucus, you already know this one. This is your body’s way of saying its fertile and EWCM appears a few days before you ovulate. Best time for BD, DTD or DI (more on those below).
O – Ovulation
Read more about the phases of the menstruation cycle in another blog post.
CM – cervical mucus.
Your cervical mucus changes throughout your cycle. Tracking this is just as important as BBT as your cervical mucus gives you a clue as to when you are ovulation, when you are most fertile and when your period is around the corner.
BBT – Basal body temperature
If you are tracking your temperature you will want to use a basal body temperature thermometer. This is the most accurate rate to get your temperature and is best to do as soon as you wake up, before you even go to the bathroom. Best to have it by your bed and either your fertility tracking app or charts nearby.
OPK – ovulation prediction kit
These work by measuring the presence of LH in your urine.
DPO – days past ovulation
FMU – first morning urine
Your first trip to the bathroom upon waking, is the best time to perform a HPT.
CD – cycle day/date
You will see this on fertility monitoring charts.
CD3 – 3 days after your period
CDX – X= days. Once you or your clinic have monitored a few cycles, you will see patterns and be more familiar on what day you ovulate.
AF – aunt flo
TWW – Two week wait
If you’re with a fertility clinic, you already know that you are living your life in two-week windows? Why, because of trying, waiting, hoping and loss.
HPT – home pregnancy test
Tests your urine for presence of hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). This hormone is made right after a fertilized egg attaches the wall of the uterus.
POAS – peeing on a stick
Peeing on stick for HPT or OPK.
BFN – big fat negative
HPT showed negative or not pregnant
BFP – big fat positive
HPT showed your pregnant. Your fertility clinic will follow-up with a BD to confirm 100%.
Beta – beta pregnancy test
A BD to check for hCG in your blood.
ART – Assisted reproduction technology
IUI – Intrauterine Insemination
For insemination, a catheter is threaded through the cervix and the sperm sample is shot into the uterus close to the fallopian tubes.
DI – donor insemination
Donor sperm is inserted into the cervix and sent into the uterus.
IVF – In Vitro Fertilization
A speculum opens the vaginal passage, a catheter is threaded through the cervix and embryos are pushed into the uterus. Eggs would have been retrieved previously and sperm would have been collected (or donated) and implanted to form embryos.
ICSI – Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection
This is used to circumvent problems with sperm. Sometimes the sperm cannot break through the exterior of the egg therefore scientists have invented a procedure that pierces the wall of the egg and injects the sperm directly.
PGD – Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Takes place after fertilization has occurred. Cells are removed from the embryo and tested for a wide range of genetic disorders. Only the embryos not carrying the genetic markers for an illness will be transferred back into the uterus.
IVM – In Vitro Maturation
Similar to IVF and it specifically benefits those with PCOS. Immature eggs are removed from unstimulated ovaries and are then matured and fertilized outside of the body in a laboratory.
Keep this list handy or bookmark this page, it may come in good use to review these terms in the future. Want more? Join us every Sunday at Padma Yogi in South Etobicoke for Yoga for Fertility Classes.