When I was delivered my infertility diagnosis my mind was racing.
I didn’t know what to do, but I had to find a solution, so I became a Google warrior and did nothing but research my diagnosis obsessively. Inevitably, I stumbled into some Facebook support groups and fertility forums and what I found was a Clockwork Orange-type of language that required some pretty serious deciphering. Acronyms, and scientific words, different diagnoses, and new ways to wish people luck in the world of fertility. The fertility world is truly that, its own little world that has its own little language. There are several exhaustive online dictionaries available to help you with this, and this is by no means one of those lists, but my hope is that it will at least get you started.
TTC (Trying to Conceive), is generally used in conjunction with the amount of time you’ve been trying to get pregnant, and for the majority of people, is usually over a year because unless there are specific reasons to be concerned, family doctors don’t refer you for testing until you’ve been unsuccessfully doing the BD (Baby Dance) for at least six months.
DPO (Days Past Ovulation), is a term used to explain to others how long it’s been since one ovulated, providing context as to whether the symptoms you’re feeling may be pregnancy, or whether it’s too early to take a pregnancy test – which you’ll likely be incredibly impatient about and may end up taking, even if you know that 3DPO is way too early to do so.
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is essentially pregnancy hormone, the levels in the body shoot up when a woman is pregnant and it’s the same hormone that is measured on a pregnancy test.
SA or Semen Analysis, when the male partner attends an appointment at the andrology lab and deposits his sample into a cup behind closed doors to find out the count and quality of his swimmers.
DH (Dear Husband) is usually used when speaking about a husband’s infertility, but sometimes is used to describe something thoughtful a husband has done to support his wife. Similar acronyms exist for Dear Wife (DW), and in cases where the writer has had children already, Dear Son (DS) and Dear Daughter (DD).
IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) literally means “in glass” fertilization, referring to the treatment that requires stimulation of the ovaries, harvesting of eggs, and then fertilization of those eggs in a glass petri dish to hopefully be “transferred” into the uterus later on.
7dp5dt (Seven Days Past Five Day Transfer) – The number seven here is interchangeable, but the five day transfer is of an embryo which has been matured for 5 days post-fertilization, which is the time it takes to get the embryo matured enough to transfer to the uterus. 7dp3dt would be used in the case of the embryos being transferred after only 3 day of maturation. You may even at times see things such as 7dp6dt, because 6 days is the maximum amount of time an embryo can be cultured before it starts to hatch, and once it hatches, it can’t be frozen.
FET, or Frozen Embryo Transfer, refers to the day they take one of your fertilized eggs, which was subsequently frozen after the highly invasive egg retrieval procedure as part of IVF treatment, and place it in the uterus following which you cross your fingers, and toes, and legs, and arms, and even your eyes, and hope to hell the embryo implants to the wall of the uterus.
IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) is a slightly less invasive and much less expensive option than IVF. It refers to the collection of semen and placing it inside a woman’s uterus to assist in fertilizing eggs. Depending on the diagnosis it’s often used in conjunction with what they call “injectables” that stimulate and facilitate egg production.
MC or m/c is the abbreviation used to symbolize a miscarriage, and however horrible it may sound, often includes a number, referring to how many MCs the writer has had – one of the most difficult realities for those dealing with infertility.
MMC, or a missed miscarriage is an acronym you won’t see too often, as they are considered quite rare. A missed miscarriage, is when fetal demise has occurred, but no obvious signs are apparent for weeks, as the woman’s body does not realize it has happened. Not to worry, these unfortunate occurrences only account for about 2% of all miscarriages.
The TWW (Two Week Wait) is the dreaded and unending two weeks between ovulation and expected period (when you can test at home) or from your pregnancy attempt to when you get your blood test to tell you if you’re actually pregnant. This also refers to the longest wait of your life, followed by either extreme disappointment, or extreme happiness.
When a forum or Facebook group post is made with “sensitive post” as a heading, it likely means that the writer is announcing their own pregnancy and is trying really hard to be sensitive to all the others still struggling, but can’t contain their excitement. It is almost always accompanied by BFP (Big Fat Positive) and EDD (Estimated Due Date) of the baby.
And my personal favorite is the extremely supportive and well-wishing act of sending someone Baby Dust (sending someone “good vibes” to get pregnant), which in reality is just words, but those two words exemplify what the the highly supportive and overly hush-hush world of infertility is really about – supporting each other. The support we received over our journey has been tremendous – from friends and family, as well as online groups. Dealing with something like this can truly consume your life and can start to feel like its all you have – but speaking from experience, having the level of support and knowledge in place that online groups provide makes a major difference in helping you see the light at the end of the tunnel.