Trying to Conceive Terms and Acronyms

Starting the "trying to conceive" journey is a lot like traveling in a foreign land -- complete with a new language! Were you wondering if the author was really writing in English the last article you read? To help with translation, we've put together an annotated acronym list.

2WW - CB | CD - EC | ED - Fo | FR - IC | IS - Mi | MS - Pr | PV - TR | TS - US

2ww -- Two Week Wait or the Luteal Phase The time between ovulation and (hopefully) a positive pregnancy test is about 2 weeks.

AF – Aunt Flo/period/Menses/Menstruation/Menstrual Cycle Menstruation, your period.

BBT -- Basal Body Temperature Recording and charting your temperature and other signs such as cervical fluid and cervical position. Data can be recorded on graph paper, online, or both. Try our BBT Charting Tool. BBT won't help you pinpoint when to have sex this month, but will be useful to learn your cycle and fertility signs. You will be able to confirm ovulation. Read more.

BCP, BCPS – Birth Control Pill/s Unexpectedly pregnant? Will it be harmful to the baby if you have continued taking birth control pill? Don't be too concerned. This is a common occurrence. Many studies have indicated that the hormones in birth control pills are not harmful to your baby. Stop once you know you're pregnant and if you're worried, discuss concerns with your provider.

BD – Baby Dance A term for sex. The best time for most women is 10-14 days before her next period is due (if you cycles are unusual, a couple days before to a day after ovulation).

BFN – Big Fat Negative A "not pregnant" on a digital test or no double line on a regular test.

BFP - Big Fat Positive! Congratulations! Have a happy and healthy nine months!

BT – Blood Test A pregnancy blood test is a test that measures the exact amount of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), in the bloodstream of a woman to detect pregnancy. It's more accurate than a urine test.

CBEFM -- Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor CBEFM is a personal home computer that monitors the two key fertility hormones, Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Estrogen (E3G), to prospectively identify six fertile days

CD -- Cycle Day Cycle day 1 is the first day of your period. A "textbook" cycle shows ovulation on day 14, beginning of next period on day 28. Most women's cycles deviate a bit.

CF -- Cervical Fluid (also called cervical mucus) Cervical fluid is an important indicator of fertility. It changes from dry, thick, sticky at the end of menstruation to being wet and slippery like egg whites as ovulation approaches.

CL -- Corpus luteum A corpus luteum, also referred to as a pregnancy ovarian cyst, is round and fluid-filled and ranges in size from under two centimeters to six centimeters or more. It develops from the egg sac. When an egg is released, the corpus remains in the ovary, secreting estrogens and progesterone, steroid hormones that prepare the uterus for implantation. If the egg is not fertilized, the corpus luteum stops secreting progesterone, decays, and is excreted in about 14 days. If the egg is fertilized and implantation occurs, the blastocyst secretes hCG which tells the corpus luteum to continue progesterone secretion until the placenta is able to take over. Generally it will disappear in the second trimester.

CM -- Cervical Mucus(also called cervical fluid) Cervical mucus increases in amount and texture throughout your cycle. These changes, caused by hormonal fluctuations, mirror where you are in your cycle. Your most fertile mucus when the mucus is clear, slippery, and stretchy.

CP -- Cervical Position During your cycle the position and feel of the cervix change. Right after menstruation it is hard (like the end of your nose), low and closed. Right before ovulation the cervix is soft (like your lips), higher and the os is open. After ovulation, the cervix returns to its low, closed, and hard position.

DH, DP -- Dear Hubby, Darn Husband, Dear Partner A very versatile acronym since it doesn't need to be changed to reflect good or poor behavior on the partner's part.

DPO -- Day/s Past Ovulation The luteal phase or countdown until a pregnancy test will show positive. Ovulation is day zero. Some tests are accurate at 10 DPO; Most by 14 DPO.

DTD -- Do The Deed/Sex Scheduled sex can be stressful. Read Getting Him into Babymaking for tips on taking the pressure out of trying to conceive and putting back the fun.

EC -- Embryo Cyro/Freezing Embryo freezing is more properly called "embryo cryopreservation." The goal is to store the embryo cryogenically and to preserve its viability for future initiation of pregnancy.

EDD -- Estimated Delivery/Due Date An approximate date, more accurately a one month window with the EDD in the middle, in which your baby is most likely to be born. Traditionally the EDD has been calculated from last menstrual period, but now is often determined from an early ultrasound.

Endometrium The uterine lining. This tissue is shed monthly in response to the hormonal changes of the menstrual period. The endometrium then grows back and slowly gets thicker and thicker until the next period when it is once again sloughed off.

EWCM -- Egg White Cervical Mucus Eggwhite cervical mucous refers to the mucous you have during ovulation. It looks like egg whites, is slippery, clear, and will stretch 1 to 10 inches. EWCM appears a couple of days before ovulation and disappears a couple of days after ovulation. The presence of EWCM by itself is not the best way to predict ovulation because it can be present without ovulation.

Fallopian Tubes Part of the female reproductive tract. There are two long slender fallopian tubes through which eggs pass from the ovaries to the uterus. The Fallopian tube is essential for unassisted procreation, serving as a conduit for the ovulated oocyte (egg) to enter the uterine cavity following fertilization. Its functions are regulated both hormonally and by the nervous system, and it is the usual site for oocyte fertilization. Tubal function can be impaired by infection, surgery, adhesions, and other pathologic processes. Function of the tube can often be restored surgically or it can be bypassed through the use of in vitro fertilization of oocytes followed by intrauterine embryo transfer.

Fertilization The joining of genetic material from the woman's egg and the man's sperm. The monthly window for fertilization is only a few days. Once an egg is released, it lives no longer than 24 hours. Sperm can survive several days in a woman's body so a baby can happen from intercourse occurring a few days before ovulation to one day past.

Folic Acid Lack of adequate folic acid during pregnancy increases the risk of birth defect involving the spinal cord and brain -- a neural tube defect such as spina bifida (meningomyelocele) or anencephaly.

FMU-First morning urine First morning urine has the highest concentration of hCG so will trigger a pregnancy test a day or more sooner than more dilute urine from later in the day.

Follicle Ovarian follicle is the basic unit of female reproductive biology. A baby girl is born with about 1,000,000 ovarian follicles. Each follicle contains a hollow ball of cells with an immature egg in the center. Hormonal fluctuations initiate growth and development, culminating in ovulation of usually a single competent oocyte. These eggs/ovum are only developed once every menstrual cycle.

FRER-First Response Early Results Pregnancy Test According to their website, positive result were detected in "69% of women 4 days before their expected period, in 83% of women 3 days before their expected period, in 93% of women 2 days before their expected period, and in 93% of women 1 day before their expected period.”

FSH -- Follicle-stimulating Hormone Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is one of the hormones involved in the natural menstrual cycle as well as in pharmacological (drug-induced) stimulation of the ovaries. It is the main hormone involved in producing mature eggs. Commonly a test for levels of FSH is done on cycle day 3. Results of 10 are reassuring. A good response to ovarian stimulation is expected.

GS -- Gestational Surrogacy The two types of surrogacy currently used are traditional and gestational. Traditional surrogacy is done via artificial insemination, with the surrogate using her egg and another man's sperm. Gestational surrogacy is done via In Vitro Fertilization, implanting fertilized eggs from another woman into the surrogate's uterus.

hCG -- Human chorionic gonadotropin Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced in pregnancy made by the the developing embryo soon after conception and later by the the placenta. After implantation, the developing placenta begins releasing hCG into your blood. HCG can be found in the blood before the first missed menstrual period, as early as six days after implantation. Some hCG gets spilled in your urine and can be detected as early as 10 days after implantation.

HSG -- Hysterosalpingogram - x-ray The hysterosalpingogram is an x-ray test that is helpful in determining the cause of infertility. A picture is taken after dye has filled the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes, revealing any abnormalities of the uterus as well as tubal problems such as blockage and dilation. It has been claimed that pregnancy rates are increased in a cycle when an HSG has been performed. Using catheters, a radiologist can open tubes that are proximally blocked.

HPT -- Home Pregnancy Test Pregnancy tests detect the hormone your body makes during pregnancy: hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in urine. The amount of pregnancy hormone increases as pregnancy progresses.

ICSI -- Microfertilization ICSI is an acronym for intracytoplasmic sperm injection which means injecting sperm into the cytoplasm of the egg. ICSI is used in cases of male infertility (low sperm count, damaged or missing vas deferens, had an irreversible vasectomy) as well as various other situations such as low egg retrieval.

ISA -- Independent Surrogacy Arrangement There are two ways to find a potential match to work with during a surrogacy through a surrogacy agency or finding a match independently. An independent surrogacy arrangement has several benefits -- the matching is free, you can choose traditional surrogate, the surrogate doesn't have to meet as strict guidelines, fees can be negotiated, etc.

Implantation When the fertilized egg (blastocyst) settles into the thick uterine lining (endometrium). This occurs approximately 6-10 days after conception.

IUI -- Intrauterine Insemination IUI is a fertility treatment that uses a catheter to place washed sperm directly into the uterus. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and increase the chance of fertilization.

IVF -- In-Vitro Fertilization In Vitro Fertilization is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. When the IVF procedure is successful, a procedure known as embryo transfer is used to physically place the embryo in the uterus.

LH -- Luteinizing Hormone A female hormone secreted by the pituitary gland, necessary to regulate ovarian function.

LP -- Luteal Phase The luteal phase of the menstrual cycle spans the time between ovulation and the onset of the next menses. A luteal phase is usually 12 - 16 days and should be at least 10 days for successful implantation. A short luteal phase can make it difficult for a women to get pregnant.

MC or M/C -- Miscarriage We are sorry to learn that you may have experienced a loss. All of us within our Admin team have gone through that journey and know what a toll it can take regardless of the stage you may have been at. For support and information, please visit our Pregnancy & Infant loss forum and Grief and Loss pages.

Menstruation/Menstrual Cycle The monthly cycle of changes in the ovaries and the lining of the uterus (endometrium), starting with the preparation of an egg for fertilization. When the follicle of the prepared egg in the ovary breaks, it is released for fertilization and ovulation occurs. Unless pregnancy occurs, the cycle ends with the shedding of part of the endometrium, which is menstruation. Although it is actually the end of the physical cycle, the first day of menstrual bleeding is designated as "day 1" of the menstrual cycle in medical parlance.

Mittelschmerz An ache or twinge in the lower abdomen - caused by ovulation.

MS -- Morning Sickness Queasiness, nausea or vomiting that some women experience during pregnancy, particularly the first trimester. For tips on alleviating morning sickness, read these tips.

NPP -- Not Preventing Pregnancy Not actively pursing fertility treatment but not using birth control, more of a whatever happens, happens attitude toward babymaking.

O -- Ovulate, ovulation The release of the egg (ovum) from the ovary. Ovulation usually occurs approximately 14 days before the next menstrual period is due.

O'ING -- Ovulating Releasing an egg. Yesterday and today are great times for intercourse.

OI -- Ovulation Induction Ovulation induction is used to stimulate the follicles in your ovaries resulting in the production of multiple eggs in one cycle. Common medications include clomiphene citrate, gonadotropins, Metformin and Parlodel. OI also controls the timing of egg release or ovulate, so sexual intercourse, intrauterine inseminations, and in vitro fertilization procedures can be scheduled at the most likely time to achieve pregnancy.

Ovulation Calculator A calculator or charting tool to find out when you are most likely to become pregnant and to estimate your due date should conception occur. Pregnancy.org's BBT Charting Tool features customizable data, simple entry, previews and much more.

OPK -- Ovulation Predictor Kits A home ovulation test detects a woman's LH-Surge or the time a woman ovulates, allowing a determination of when conception is most likely to take place (period of peak fertility).

PCOS- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Polycystic ovary syndrome is a health problem that can affect a woman's menstrual cycle, ability to have children, hormones, heart, blood vessels, and appearance. With PCOS, women typically have high levels of androgens, missed or irregular periods, and many small cysts in their ovaries.

PG -- Pregnant/Pregnant Our goal! Good luck!

POAS -- Pee on a Stick Take a home pregnancy test.

Progesterone One of the female sex hormones, which is produced by the ovary and placenta. Progesterone prepares the lining of the uterus, for implantation of a fertilized egg, and helps maintain the pregnancy.

PVN -- Prenatal Vitamin For mom and baby's health, it's recommended she take a specially formulated multivitamin beginning 2 to 3 months before trying to conceive. During the first trimester all of the baby's major organ systems are forming and developing. Folic acid is especially important in preventing neural tube defects. The baby's neural tube begins to close within the first month of pregnancy, during a time when many women aren't aware they're pregnant!

RE -- Reproductive Endocrinologist A reproductive endocrinologist is a type of medical doctor who specializes in treating people with reproductive disorders. Among problems an RE treats are hormonal disorders, menstrual problems, infertility, and pregnancy loss.

ROBI Robitussin or generic guaifenesin syrup, an expectorant, is used to thin cervical mucus. Find a brand whose only active ingredient is guaifenesin, and it contains 100 mg per teaspoon. It's important to avoid the versions that contain decongestants as those may dry up cervical mucus. (Mucinex is the same thing in pill form. Easier to take and it's a higher dosage.)

SA -- Semen Analysis A semen analysis measures the amount of semen and determines the number and quality of sperm in the semen sample. It may be done while investigating a couple's infertility or after a vasectomy to verify that the procedure was successful.

SHOW -- Soft, high, open and wet Cervical position and mucus signaling optimal fertility.

SD -- Sperm Donor A sperm donor provides semen with the intention it be used to achieve a pregnancy in a woman who is not the man's sexual partner and with whom he doesn't have sexual intercourse. Attempts are made to impregnate a woman with the donor's sperm using third party reproduction techniques, generally artificial insemination. Sperm donation commonly assists couples unable to have children because of male factor fertility problems, and is increasingly used as a means to enable single women and coupled lesbians to have children.

SO -- Significant Other Refers to your partner, husband or wife.

TCOYF, TCOY Taking Charge Of Your Fertility is a helpful book for anyone wanting to start TTC. It clearly outlines and explains the Fertility Awareness Method, and teaches you how to chart your three main fertility signs: Cervical position, Cervical mucous and Basil Body Temperature.

TR -- Tubal Reversal Women choosing not to have any more children may decide on a tubal ligation as a form of birth control and then change their minds. A tubal reversal restores blocked or tied fallopian tubes to restore fertility in a woman. Microsurgery success rates are generally higher than 90%, depending on the type of tubal ligation and the clinic.

TS -- Traditional Surrogacy The two types of surrogacy currently used are traditional and gestational. Traditional surrogacy is done via artificial insemination, with the surrogate using her egg and another man's sperm. Gestational surrogacy is done via In Vitro Fertilization, implanting fertilized eggs from another woman into the surrogate's uterus.

TTC -- Trying To Conceive The reason we're here! Do the baby dance, get that egg fertilized and baby started to grow!

US -- Ultrasound An ultrasound is an imaging technique using high-frequency sound waves and a computer to create images of tissues and organs. Both abdominal (ultrasound probe on mother's abdomen) and transvaginal (ultrasound probe inserted in vagina) are frequently used in fertility care. Ultrasounds screening can detect uterine fibroids, polyps, ovarian cysts, and other conditions which may affect fertility. It is also used to assess ovarian follicle development for intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization cycles.

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