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  • Dr. Shari-ann James

IVF, DOR, TTC, IUI, What Does It All Mean? Understanding Fertility Acronyms & Treatment.

Fertility acronyms, phrases and treatment

Whether you are in the fertility process, about to begin or know someone going through their own treatment, you have come across a host of different acronyms. This can be a confusing process, especially if you do not know what it all means.

Here is a list of phrases, terms, and acronyms to better understand what it all means:

Fertility Phrases and Terminology

  • Ovulation: The release of an egg from the ovary, typically around the middle of a woman's menstrual cycle.

  • Menstrual Cycle: The monthly series of changes a woman's body goes through in preparation for the possibility of pregnancy.

  • Infertility: The inability to conceive a child after one year of regular, unprotected intercourse (six months if the woman is over age 35), or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.

  • Fertility Awareness: The practice of tracking fertility signs and symptoms to identify the most fertile days of the menstrual cycle.

  • Recurrent Pregnancy Loss: Also known as recurrent miscarriage, refers to the loss of two or more consecutive pregnancies before 20 weeks gestation.

  • Luteal Phase: The phase of the menstrual cycle between ovulation and menstruation, typically lasting around 10-16 days.

  • Follicular Phase: The phase of the menstrual cycle where ovarian follicles develop in preparation for ovulation.

  • Ovarian Reserve: The number and quality of a woman's eggs remaining in her ovaries, which can affect fertility and the success of fertility treatments.

  • Basal Body Temperature (BBT): The body's lowest resting temperature, which can rise slightly after ovulation and is used in fertility charting.

  • Cervical Mucus: The fluid produced by the cervix that changes consistency throughout the menstrual cycle, becoming thin and stretchy around ovulation.

  • Anovulation: The absence of ovulation, which can contribute to infertility.

  • Secondary Infertility: Difficulty conceiving or carrying a pregnancy to term after previously having a child without difficulty.

  • Azoospermia: The absence of sperm in semen, which can be a cause of male infertility.

  • Oligomenorrhea: Irregular menstrual periods characterized by infrequent or prolonged cycles.

  • Teratozoospermia: A condition characterized by abnormal sperm morphology, which can affect fertility.

  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): A potentially serious complication of fertility treatments, characterized by swollen and painful ovaries due to excessive hormone stimulation.

Fertility Treatment Options

  • In Vitro Fertilization (IVF): A fertility treatment where eggs are retrieved from the ovaries and fertilized with sperm in a laboratory, then implanted in the uterus.

  • Intrauterine Insemination (IUI): A fertility treatment where sperm is placed directly into the uterus during ovulation to increase the chances of fertilization.

  • Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): A range of fertility treatments that involve handling eggs, sperm, or embryos outside the body to help achieve pregnancy.

  • Gamete Intrafallopian Transfer (GIFT): A fertility treatment where eggs are mixed with sperm and inserted into the fallopian tubes, allowing fertilization to occur inside the woman's body.

  • Medicated Cycle: A medicated cycle involves using fertility medications, such as oral medications (e.g., clomiphene citrate) or injectable gonadotropins, to stimulate ovulation and regulate the menstrual cycle. Medicated cycles are commonly used in conjunction with fertility treatments like IUI or timed intercourse to improve the chances of conception, particularly in cases of ovulatory disorders or unexplained infertility.

Fertility Acronyms

  • TTC: "Trying to Conceive," commonly used in online forums and communities by individuals who are actively trying to get pregnant.

  • DPO: "Days Past Ovulation," used to track the number of days since ovulation to estimate the likelihood of pregnancy.

  • LMP: "Last Menstrual Period," used to calculate a woman's estimated due date or to track the timing of ovulation.

  • HSG: Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a diagnostic test used to examine the shape and condition of a woman's uterus and fallopian tubes. It involves injecting a contrast dye into the uterus and fallopian tubes through the cervix while taking X-ray images. HSG can help identify blockages or abnormalities in the fallopian tubes, uterine abnormalities such as fibroids or polyps, and problems with the uterine shape.

  • OI: Ovulation induction (OI) uses medicine to help stimulate the development of follicles so that at least one egg is released for ovulation. Timed intercourse or intrauterine insemination can then be used to fertilize the egg naturally.

  • ICSI: Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) involves injecting a single live sperm directly into the center of a human egg.

  • DOR: Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR) refers to a decrease in the quantity or quality of a woman's remaining eggs in her ovaries. It is often associated with advanced maternal age, but can also occur in younger women due to various factors such as genetic predisposition, previous ovarian surgery, certain medical conditions, or environmental factors. Women with DOR may have difficulty conceiving naturally or responding to fertility treatments, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), because they have fewer eggs available for ovulation and fertilization.

  • DI: Donor insemination (DI) involves using donor sperm to fertilize a woman's egg either through intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF). It is commonly used by single women, same-sex female couples, or heterosexual couples experiencing male factor infertility.

  • DE: Donor egg (DE) refers to the use of eggs donated by another woman in fertility treatment. Women who have diminished ovarian reserve, premature ovarian failure, or genetic conditions may opt for donor eggs to conceive.

  • PGT: Preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) involves testing embryos created through IVF for genetic abnormalities or chromosomal disorders before they are transferred to the uterus. PGT can help identify embryos with a higher likelihood of implantation and reduce the risk of miscarriage or genetic disorders in offspring.

  • RE: A reproductive endocrinologist (RE) is a medical doctor specializing in fertility and reproductive health. They diagnose and treat infertility, hormonal imbalances, and other reproductive disorders, often using assisted reproductive technologies (ART) such as IVF.

Other Acronyms

  • HPT: Home Pregnancy Test

  • OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kit

  • IUI: Intrauterine Insemination

  • IVF: In Vitro Fertilization

  • D&C: Dilation and Curettage

  • BMI: Body Mass Index

  • FSH: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone

  • LH: Luteinizing Hormone

  • HSG: Hysterosalpingogram

  • AMH: Anti-Müllerian Hormone

  • ESHRE: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

  • ASA: Antisperm Antibodies

  • LAP: Laparoscopy

  • OHSS: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

  • TWW: Two-Week Wait

  • PGD: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

  • PGS: Preimplantation Genetic Screening

  • FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer

  • ESHRE: European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology

  • USG: Ultrasound

Common Fertility Issues and Conditions:

  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): A hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges, often leading to irregular periods and infertility.

  • Endometriosis: A condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, often causing infertility and pelvic pain.

  • Male Factor Infertility: Fertility issues related to problems with sperm production, sperm motility, or sperm quality. These acronyms, phrases, treatment options and conditions cover a wide range as it relates to fertility and reproductive health. The hope is that it can help individuals better understand the terminology commonly used in discussions about fertility treatments, menstrual cycles, and reproductive anatomy.


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