This whole thing has a language all of it’s own – so here’s a little guide to terms that I will be using.
As we go further on our journey, I imagine there will be more.
2WW = 2 Week Wait – the time between ovulation and menstruation. Generally, when TTCing (see below), the wait is difficult. Many women will test for pregnancy before the end of the wait, usually around 11 or 12 days after they have confirmed ovulation. Same as the Luteal Phase (see below)
AF = Aunt Flo – a euphemism for menstruation
BCP = Birth Control Pills – however, this generally refers to any time of hormonal contraception (the Pill, the Patch, the Ring, etc)
BD = Baby Dance – a euphemism for sex intended for procreation (i.e. “unprotected sex”)
Beta = Blood test performed by a doctor to determine pregnancy. It measures human chorionic gonadotropin, better known as hCG, which is only produced during pregnancy. Early in pregnancy, the number should double ever 48 to 72 hours. For this reason, betas are done in sets – one, followed by a second one two days later, to determine doubling rate. The actual numbers are less important than the fact that they are doubling. (see: American Pregnancy’s hCG page)
BFN = Big Fat Negative – a negative result on a pregnancy test
BFP = Big Fat Positive – a positive result on a pregnancy test (and cause for congratulation). Pregnancy tests measure the same thing as betas, but in urine rather than in blood.
BW = Blood Work – when determining the fertility status of a woman, in particular, there might be a lot of blood work to test for various hormones.
C# = Cycle number. A cycle is measured from the beginning of menstruation to the beginning of the next menstruation.
CD = Cycle Day. This is the specific day of the cycle. CD1 is the day of menstruation.
Charting = Charting your body temperature upon waking. Based on extensive research for the last 80 years or so, ovulation causes a temperature shift that can be measured upon waking. By tracking this, or charting, one can determine if and when she is ovulating. The actual temperatures are less important than the pattern detected. This is fully described in Taking Charge of Your Fertility and there are a number of websites that also do fertility charting, including my favorite, Fertility Friend.
Chemical Pregnancy = A pregnancy that is detected on a urine pregnancy test or blood test (beta) but that fails before the pregnancy could be detected by an ultrasound. Rather than being just “chemicals” (i.e. no real pregnancy), it means that the pregnancy could only be chemically detected. In many women, if they aren’t testing early, they might not detect the pregnancy at all – their period may not even be late.
Corpus Luteum = The area from which the egg erupted. It releases progesterone to thicken the uterine lining for implantation. It will produce progesterone for about 12-16 days. If an egg is fertilized, it continues to produce progesterone until the placenta takes over.
DPO = Days Past Ovulation. This is called the Luteal Phase, and is the phase in which implantation, if the egg has been fertilized, occurs. Testing with a pregnancy test will often happen between 12 and 14DPO.
FF = Fertility Friend. One of several charting websites available. When I was deciding to chart my temperatures, I tried several different kinds of software, and eventually decided on this one. The free accounts are fine, but there are often sales on the paid services, which is what I use. They also have a good charting course that gets you down to the basics. Where it disagrees with TCOYF (see below), I side with TCOYF.
FSH = Follicle Stimulating Hormone
Fx – Fingers crossed. Just what it sounds like.
hCG, HCG = Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, the hormone that is only present in humans who are pregnant or have recently been pregnant. A level lower than 5 is considered not pregnant, while a level higher than 25 is positive. There’s a little bit of grey area there.
HSG = hysterosalpingogram. A dye test done to determine that the structure of the uterus is normal and both fallopian tubes are open. The dye is inserted through the vagina and watched on an x-ray screen. Has been known to “clear out the cobwebs,” clear minor obstructions, and improve outcomes for the three months following the test. However, the effect is not great enough that the test is used as a treatment in and of itself.
IF = Infertility. Generally characterized as the inability to get pregnant after 12 months of trying, or 6 months of trying if over 35. Some doctors have more liberal policies. For example, my doctor said 6 months for everyone, particularly if one is charting.
IRL = In Real Life. If you know me in real life, please don’t out me on this blog 🙂
IUI = Intrauterine Insemination. During this procedure, the cycle is timed using drugs, and then sperm is inserted into the uterus. By doing it this way, the sperm are closer to the fallopian tubes, and they are for sure there at the right time, hopefully increasing the chance of conception.
IVF = In Vitro Fertilization. Similar to IUI, the cycle is timed using drugs. However, the egg and sperm are combined in a petri dish, and then grown for several days (between 3 and 5, usually) before at least one fertilized egg is reinserted into the uterus. At this point, a woman is considered PUPO (see below)
LH = Luteinizing Hormone. The hormone that causes the egg to break through the ovary wall, and begin to make it’s way down the fallopian tube.
LP = Luteal Phase. The phase after ovulation during which the Corpus Luteum produces progesterone. The same as the 2WW.
MC = Miscarriage. Very common early in pregnancy. It becomes less and less common as the weeks progress. Past 20 weeks, it is called stillbirth.
OB or OBGYN = Obstetrician/Obstetrical Gynecologist. Most women see a OBGYN once a year for their pap smear. Often they refer a woman to an RE if they haven’t conceived.
OPKs = Ovulation Predictor Kit. A test that measures Luteinizing Hormone – unlike pregnancy tests, the line has to be exactly as dark as the control line to be considered positive.
PCP = Primary Care Provider. Your regular doctor (not the OB, not the RE).
PG = Pregnant.
POAS = Pee on a Stick. Generally, peeing on a pregnancy. Since I’m not one for OPKs, I’m not peeing on them.
Rx = prescription.
RE – Reproductive Endocrinologist. Fertility doctor. Most people are referred to an RE by their PCP or OB
SA = Semen Analysis. A test taken at a doctor’s office that measures the number of sperm, whether they are formed normal, and whether they can move normally.
TTC = Trying to Conceive
US or U/S = Ultrasound