When I first began struggling with my own issues four years ago, I found myself scouring online message boards and reading other people’s personal accounts of their own fertility journeys. The problem was, I couldn’t understand half of them because the accounts were peppered with acronyms like BFN (big fat negative) and TWW (two-week wait).
Infertility facts and figures If you’ve been recently thrust into the world of infertility, chances are that you’re suddenly dealing with a lot of new medical terms and acronyms. To help you keep up with the conversations, here’s a handy list of the acronyms most commonly used on message boards and in articles for those who are TTC (trying to conceive).
Aunt Flo, or menstruation (not the other AF that’s popular right now)
Advanced maternal age (refers to women 35 and over)
Birth control pill
A blood test that measures levels of beta hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is commonly known as the pregnancy hormone.
Big fat negative (indicates a negative pregnancy test)
Big fat positive (indicates a positive pregnancy test)
Cycle day (cycle day one is the day you start your period)
Days past ovulation
Days past embryo transfer
Egg white cervical mucus
Frozen embryo transfer (this is done after a cycle of IVF in which the embryos are frozen)
Human chorionic gonadotropin (this is the hormone produced by the placenta after implantation, and it’s what pregnancy tests detect to determine a pregnancy)
Intrauterine insemination (the process in which sperm is placed inside a woman’s uterus with a catheter)
In vitro fertilization (the process in which eggs are extracted and fertilized outside a woman’s body to make an embryo, which is then transferred into her—or another woman’s—uterus)
Last menstrual period
Ovulation predictor kit
Pregnant until proven otherwise
Reproductive endocrinologist (a doctor who specializes in fertility and hormone treatments)
Trying to conceive
Trigger warning (meaning the post or article may contain trigger wording about a loss or even a pregnancy)
Two-week wait (the amount of time between when you ovulate and when you can take a pregnancy test)