Postpartum Expert?
Check out our new directory!
Join now »

The ABCs of Conception: Acronyms to Know While Trying to Conceive (TTC)

TTC, BBT, BCP, CM: what does it all mean? There are some important acronyms to know whether you’re navigating conception, infertility, or somewhere in between. Some chuckle-inducing ones, too.

You’re trying to have a baby, and it is not happening. While that is painful and traumatic enough, if you have started to seek help or have done any research, you probably are confused with all the acronyms and abbreviations. 

And yes, it starts to feel like you may need a medical degree to get pregnant. 

Doing fertility testing or treatment is a whole new experience that comes with an entirely new dictionary of terms, and I will try and explain the most common ones to you.

Trying to conceive (TTC) acronyms: what to know

Jump to a section

General TTC terms to know

AF: Aunt Flo
Yes, you can say period or menstruation, but this is often a fun, silly way to do so if you are communicating on fertility message boards and groups.

BA: Baby Aspirin
Often used as part of a protocol when trying to conceive and/or in pregnancy.

BD: Baby Dance
Again, just for fun, this term explains having sex during infertility.

BBT: Basal Body Temperature is a technique many use to track ovulation.  Taking your temperature first thing in the morning and monitoring changes can help determine when ovulation starts.

BCP: Birth Control Pills
It seems weird to talk about birth control pills when the end goal of the whole journey is to get pregnant, but birth control is often used to get you onto a calendar and schedule for any treatments you may go through or to help regulate irregular periods.

CD: Cycle Day
This refers to what number day you are on your cycle. The first day of your cycle is the day you get your period, which continues from then. This helps determine ovulation and other testing.

CM: Cervical Mucus
You may have never stopped to think about this, but changes in cervical mucus can help determine ovulation.

DPO: Days Post-Ovulation
This determines cycles and chances of getting pregnant.

ENDO: Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a common cause of infertility.  It is also hard to diagnose; a diagnosis often occurs during the infertility journey.

HPT: Home Pregnancy Test
This is pretty simple, this is the pee-on-a-stick test.  Also, in my personal definition, you have not experienced infertility until you have either thrown or thought about throwing a negative test across the room.

IF: Infertility
A diagnosis that you have an inability to conceive.

LMP: Last Menstrual Period
This is the start date of the last menstrual period you had.  This can help determine how many days are in your typical cycle and where you are.  Also, while not always the best way to calculate, medical professionals still use this number most commonly to determine a due date in pregnancy.

O, OV: Ovulation
You need to ovulate to conceive, so if you are not, that might be the issue that infertility treatment addresses.

OC: Oral Contraceptives
Birth control that is taken orally.

OPK or OPT: Ovulation Predictor Kit or Ovulation Predictor Test
There is a plethora of options over the counter to be able to track and predict when ovulation occurs.

PCOS: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
This is extremely common in infertility, with 1 in 10 women experiencing it.

TTC: Trying to Conceive
This acronym is used anytime you are on the journey to try and get pregnant.

US: Ultrasound
If you undergo any testing or treatment, you will have transvaginal ultrasounds that can look at the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and cervix. This type of ultrasound will also be done in the early stages of pregnancy.

Early testing

If you have certain conditions or have been trying to conceive for over a year with no success (or for those over 35, for six months), you will likely get fertility testing.  These are some of the most common tests and diagnoses.

B/W: Bloodwork
Are vampires or medical professionals the ones treating you?  If you go through infertility testing and treatment, you will often feel like a human pincushion. These tests will determine baseline numbers and how your ovulation and treatment are going.

HSC or HSG: Hysteroscopy or Hysterosalpingogram
A test used in determining reasons and causes of infertility. It involves a special x-ray of your uterus through a tube inserted into the vagina.

LSP: Low Sperm Count

MF: Male Factor
While most people tend to focus on the woman as the issue, up to 50% of infertility cases involve some male factor. These may include poor sperm quality, motility, or low sperm counts.

PI: Primary Infertility
This refers to infertility the first time, meaning you have not had a successful pregnancy or baby.

RE: Reproductive Endocrinologist
A doctor who has special training in infertility.

SA: Semen Analysis
This involves taking a sperm sample to measure the quality and quantity of the sperm.

SI: Secondary Infertility
This refers to infertility that occurs after at least one successful pregnancy.

UR: Urologist
In cases of male factor, this is a specialized doctor that men would go to for treatment.

First procedures

If you are diagnosed, the next step is to start with procedures and treatments.  These are the most common first steps.

ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology
This involves all of the procedures that are involved in infertility treatment.  It falls under this umbrella if you are not conceiving naturally and need assistance.

E2: Estradiol
Estrogen that is taken orally, via patch, gel, vaginal cream, or an injection.  Commonly used during ART treatments.

FSH: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone
These hormones are responsible for growing eggs in the ovaries.  You often inject these hormones during ART treatment to produce more eggs.

IUI: Intra-uterine Insemination
This is usually the first step in ART.  This involves taking a sperm sample, “washing” it, and injecting it directly into the uterus.  Most insurance companies require a certain number of these procedures before starting IVF. 

IVF: In Vitro fertilization
This is the process of fertilizing embryos outside of the body and then injecting those embryos into the uterus.

OHSS: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
While going through medical treatments and problems. To prevent this, you will have a lot of testing and monitoring to ensure and possibly change protocols if there are signs this may be happening.

P4 or Prog: Progesterone
This is a hormone required to support an embryo and baby throughout pregnancy.  Most ART procedures involve injections or vaginal inserts with progesterone to increase the chances of conception and maintaining a pregnancy.


While IVF is probably the most commonly known and talked about, it is not always the best for everyone, but if you do go down this road, here are some really important terms to know.

AH: Assisted Hatching
Frequently used in IVF, this involves the embryologist placing a small crack in the exterior of the embryo to help implantation in the uterus.

ER: Egg Retrieval
This is an outpatient surgery during an IVF cycle.  Eggs are collected from the ovarian follicles to be brought into the lab, injected with sperm, and then grown.

See Also
Couple with pregnant wife sitting on a grey couch

ET: Embryo Transfer
This is when the embryo is placed directly into the uterus.

FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer
This is when the embryo has been frozen after creation, and the transfer occurs. The embryo may be frozen because of genetic testing or if coming back for future transfers.

ICSI: Intra-Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection
If there is an issue of poor sperm motility, this procedure injects a single sperm into an egg.

PGD: Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis
This is testing of embryos if there is a certain condition that you or your partner has and you want to ensure is not passed down to your children. The screening is specific to individual conditions. 

PGT: Pre-Implantation Genetic Testing
This general genetic testing of embryos examines the number of chromosomes in each embryo to screen out and use only the most likely viable embryos.

PIO: Progesterone in Oil
This is the hormone in oil, so you can inject it.

Post-Transfer or Procedure

After you go through a transfer or other procedure, you must wait to find out if it worked. The waiting is tough, and here are some terms to help.

2WW: Two-Week Wait
This refers to the time you wait between the procedure or sex and finding out if it works. Most people will tell you this is the most agonizing time of the journey.

Beta: HCG Pregnancy Test
This is the blood test that is used to determine pregnancy.

BFN: Big Fat Negative
A negative pregnancy test.

BFP: Big Fat Positive
A positive pregnancy test.

DPR: Days Post-Retrieval
Counting days after retrieval.

DPT: Days Post-Transfer
Counting days after transfer.

HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
This hormone develops after conception and determines if you are and continue to be pregnant.


Unfortunately, even in the best of infertility procedures, loss happens.  Any loss is difficult, but it is even more difficult after going through infertility treatment.  If you do experience this, here are some terms to use.

D&C: Dilation & Curettage
This is a procedure used to remove tissue from inside the uterus. It may treat conditions such as heavy bleeding or clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or other pregnancy loss.

MAI: Miscarriage After Infertility
This refers to the double whammy of infertility and losing the pregnancy.

MC, m/c, misc.: Miscarriage
This speaks for itself but is when you lose a pregnancy.

RPL: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
This refers to the experience of some who have multiple miscarriages, usually with no clear reason or explanation.

Final words of encouragement

This whole journey is traumatic, difficult, and confusing. This list of acronyms is an attempt to help guide and clear up confusion.  Best of luck, and I hope you get your PG (pregnant) result soon. 

In the meantime, here’s one last acronym for you: FTTA (Fertile Thoughts to All)!

Other articles you might find helpful

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2023 Hello Postpartum™. All Rights Reserved.

Scroll To Top