Learning a New Language

September 6th, 2012

When I first started following and seeking support on fertility boards at places like babycenter.com and fertilethoughts.com, I thought I had stumbled into an alternate universe. There is so much slang and lingo used on these boards that it seems as if they aren’t even speaking english at times. One of the first posts I read went something like this:

“BDing didn’t work, so our RE suggested ICSI and, after four 2WWs, DH and I got our BFP!”

Translation: “Baby dancing [aka having sex] didn’t work, so our reproductive endocrinologist suggested intracytoplasmic sperm injection and, after four two week windows, dear husband and I got our big fat positive [pregnancy test]!”

I promise to always speak plain english here, but just in case I slip up, or in case you are just curious about the IVF lingo that I am learning to speak, here are some of the most common terms:

•3-day Transfer (3dt): Embryos are transferred back into mother 3 days after retrieval
•5-day Transfer (5dt): Embryos are transferred back into mother 5 days after retrieval.OHSS: Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome. Eggs left in body after retrieval are still being stimulated by the trigger shot. They get large and bust, causing fluid to be leaked into abdominal cavity. This causes weight gain, uncomfortable bloating, and terrible pain. Severe cases have caused people to go to the hospital.
•Beta – The pregnancy test schedule approximately two weeks after the ET that tests HCG levels in your blood
•BFP or BFN – Often used on message boards – an abbreviation that indicates the results of the pregnancy test after the cycle “Big Fat Positive” or “Big Fat Negative.”.
•Blastocyst – A day 5 embryo
•CD: Cycle Day, e.g. CD1 is Cycle Day 1
•Chemical Pregnancy – Initial positive beta and pregnancy tests that do not result in a long-term pregnancy or live birthEctopic – Implantation outside of the womb, often in the tube and thus sometimes referred to as a tubal pregnancy. Chances of this occurring are increased in IVF.
•ER – Egg Retrieval – After being administered medications and extensive monitoring the RE will surgically remove eggs from the ovaries that will ultimately undergo the fertilization process.
•E2 Level – A check of the estradiol level that helps measure follicles, how well the patient is being stimulated, and generally helps the physician regulate the medication in the cycle.
•ET – Embryo Transfer – The transfer of embryos that were created by the manual fertilization process. It is the hope that this embryo(s) will implant meaning that you conceive.FET – Frozen Embryo Transfer – the transfer of embryos that were cryopreserved or frozen after a “fresh” IVF cycle. Not all women will have frozen embryos after an IVF procedure.POAS: Pee on a stick. Take a home pregnancy test.
•FSH or LH – Follicle Stimulating Hormone or Luteinizing Hormone prompt ovulation and the production of follicles
•ICSI – Intracytoplasmic sperm injection – a process that directly transfer sperm into the egg via injection
•IVF – In Vitro Fertilization – the process of fertilizing eggs with sperm outside of the womb
•PGD – Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis – screens embryos to identify those at risk prior to transfer in IVF.
•Progesterone: Comes in 2 forms. Progesterone in oil (PIO) or suppository. Pregnancy hormone.
•RE – Reproductive Endocrinologist
•SQ: (Sub-Cutaneous) Shots that go just under the skin, usually around your belly button. Generally use a small needle and don’t hurt too badly.
•Trigger Shot: Intra-muscular shot 36 hours before egg retrieval. Makes the follicles mature overnight.
•PIO – Progesterone in Oil – One method of progesterone supplementation necessary for IVF patients. PIO is given via intramuscular injection.
•Stims – A generic term for the medication administered prior to ER that is intended to help a woman produce eggs. Some stim medications include Follistim, Bravelle, Repronex, Menopur, and Gonal F.
•Suppression – The use of a medication, often Lupron that prevents premature ovulation
•Trigger – Sometimes called HCG injection it is a shot that is taken to induce ovulation at the appropriate time in your IVF cycle.


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