The ABC’s of Infertility

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Do you speak Infertility?

Having to go through the infertility journey is hard enough but having to learn a whole new language is maddening!  Not only do you have to learn how to cope in ways you never imagined you need to learn a whole new language of abbreviations that are constantly used.  Sometimes it can sound so foreign, that I thought it might be helpful to compile an alphabetical list to help a sista out. Let me know if I missed any and feel free to share.  




The ABC’s of Infertility




ACA – Anti-Cardiolipin Antibody 

An immune disorder that can cause miscarriages and lack of implantation.


AF – Aunt Flo 

aka your period (the enemy – )


AH – Assisted Hatching

Procedure by which a small crack is made to the embryo that is believed to help the embryo implant in the uterus.


AI – Artificial Insemination

Pretty self explanatory…. Also see IUI


ACA – Anti-Cardiolipin Antibody 

ANA – Anti-Nuclear Antibodies


APA – Anti-Phospholipid Antibodies


These are all immune disorders that can cause miscarriages and lack of implantation.


ART – Assisted Reproductive Technology 

The umbrella word used to describe the medical procedures that are used to achieve pregnancy other than the old fashioned way.


ASA – Anti-Sperm Antibody

When semen cause an immune response either in the male of female and antibodies are produced.


ASRM – American Society of Reproductive Medicine 

Organization dedicated to the advancement of Reproductive Medicine.



BA – Baby Aspirin

A low dose aspirin sometimes used for certain clotting conditions.


BCP – Birth Control Pills

I’m quite certain you are familiar with these.  (Insert emoji)

BD – Baby Dance

What fertile couples do to get preggers.



The hormone that the embryo produces when it implants in the uterus.  This is the blood test that is done after the 2WW.


BFN – Big Fat Negative

It didn’t work…


BFP – Big Fat Positive

Lets celebrate!


B/W – Blood Work

Get ready for lots of it!




CD – Cycle Day

Cycle day 1 is your first day of AF.


COH – Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation


What happens when you take fertility drugs.



E2 – Estradiol

aka Estrogen.  Will be monitored during various stages of stimulation and after implantation.


ENDO – Endometriosis

A disorder whereby uterine tissue grows outside the uterus.  This can cause painful periods and can be a cause for IF.


ER – Egg Retrieval

When the eggs that you have stimulated are removed from your ovaries.


ET – Egg Transfer

When the embryo is transferred back into your uterus in hopes of it implanting.




FHR – Fetal Heart Rate

Can be heard around 7 weeks of pregnancy and right before being released from your RE.


FP – Follicular Phase

The period of you cycle where the follicles are growing.


Frostie – Frozen Embryo

When you have extra viable embryos that are not transferred you can freeze and store them for a later cycle.


FSH – Follicle-Stimulating Hormone

Hormone that is injected to grow many eggs at one.  Brand names such as Follistim, Gonal-F and Bravelle.




GIFT – Gamete Intra-fallopian Transfer

When a gamete is placed directly into the fallopian tube.




HSG – Hysterosalpingography

A type of x-ray test that can show whether the fallopian tubes are open or closed.




ICI – Intracervial Insemination

A type of IUI where the sperm are injected onto the cervix.


ICSI – Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection

When there is an issue with the sperm the embryologists can take a single sperm and inject it into the egg in order to fertilize it.


IF – Infertile

Having a hard time getting pregnant doing the baby dance.


IM – Intramuscular Injections

Hurt like hell and are used for many shots during a cycle like Progesterone.  Injected directly into a muscle.


IUI – Intrauterine Insemination 

Procedure where the sperm are injected into the uterus.


IVF – In Vitro Fertilization

The process of having a test tube baby.


IVIG – Intravenous Immunoglobulin

An IV medication sometimes used to calm an immune response your body may have to pregnancy.




LIT – Lymphocyte Immunization Therapy 

A procedure whereby the dad to be’s white blood cells are injected into the mom to be to help her immune system prepare for pregnancy.



NK – Natural Killer Cells

A type of white blood cell that can cause implantation failure and miscarriage when the embryo is seen as a foreign body.




P4 – Progesterone

The hormone needed to help thicken the uterus for implantation.  Will be checked after retrieval and during pregnancy.


PAF/PANFERT – Pregnancy After Infertility

It happened yay!


PCOS – Polycistic Ovarian Disease

When a woman’s hormones are out of whack causing irregular periods and possible IF.


PCT – Post Coital Test

A test that measures the interaction of sperm and cervical mucus.


PG – Pregnant

You have a bun in the oven.


POAS – Pee on a Stick

What most couples get to do.


PGD – Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis

When the embryo is tested before implantation to ensure it’s a viable embryo.

PI – Primary Infertility

Infertility that occurs before you have had a live birth.


PID – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

When scar tissue forms on the woman’s reproductive organs and prevent sperm and egg meeting.


PIO – Progesterone in Oil

Injectable form of Progesterone that is typically mixed with peanut oil.


POC – Products of Conception

Medical term used to describe the tissue formed when an egg and sperm unite.


POF – Premature Ovarian Failure 

aka early menopause


PROM – Premature Rupture of Membranes 

When your water breaks earlier than expected.




RE – Reproductive Endocrinologist

A specialist who treats IF.


RI – Reproductive Immunologist

A specialist who treats IF as it relates to the immune systems interaction with the reproductive system.


R-hFSH – Recombinant Human Follicle Stimulating Hormone

The name for the class of drugs used to stimulate the follicles.


RIP – Reproductive Immunophynotype

A test that looks at the immune cells response to pregnancy.  When elevated may explain RPL.


RPL – Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

When you keep miscarrying (insert emoji).


RSM – Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion

aka miscarriage




SA – Semen Analysis

When a man’s swimmers are tested to ensure they can get the job done.


SART – Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology

Primary organization of professionals dedicated to ART in the U.S.

SI – Secondary Infertility

When IF occurs after having already achieved a natural pregnancy and birth.


SPA – Sperm Penetration Assay

A lab test that can predict the ability of a mans sperm to penetrate an egg.


SPAL – Subsequent Pregnancy After a Loss

Exactly what it sounds like.


S/S – Signs/Symptoms

Tell tale signs of pregnancy.


SubQ – Subcutaneous Injection

When an injection of medication is under the skin but does not go to the muscle.




TESA – Testicular Sperm Aspiration

A procedure by which sperm are collected directly from the testicles.


TET – Tubal Embryo Transfer 

When early embryos are transferred into the fallopian tubes instead of the uterus.


TSH – Thyroid Stimulating Hormone

A hormone that helps regulate how your body uses energy.  If the levels are either too high or too low can result in RPL.

TTC – Trying to Conceive

Trying to have a baby (emoji)


TWW or 2WW – 2 Week Wait 

This is the period of time after an IVF Transfer that you wait until your pregnancy test.  In my opinion the most torturous….


TX – Treatment

Medical recommendation from a doctor.




US – Ultrasound

Imaging that uses sound waves to see inside the body.




WNL – Within Normal Limits

When a test result is considered normal.




ZIFT – Zygote Intra-fallopian Transfer

When a zygote is placed directly into the fallopian tubes

Caryn Rich

Caryn Rich

Is a fertility coach that helps women stuck in secondary infertility, recurrent miscarriage, and IVF failure make their next cycle the best.

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Caryn Rich Fertility Coach
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I help women stuck in secondary infertility, recurrent miscarriage, and IVF failure make their next cycle their best.

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