Decoding Fertility: Essential Terms and Abbreviations to Know

Stepping into the world of fertility can quite literally feel like stepping onto a new planet sometimes! The language. The abbreviations! The terminology. It often feels completely overwhelming and we absolutely understand – because we’ve been there, too!

Whether you’re just beginning to explore your fertility options or you’ve been navigating this path for some time, understanding these terms and abbreviations can help empower you to make informed decisions and communicate effectively with healthcare providers.

Common terms you may encounter:

Infertility: Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse (for individuals under 35) or six months for those over 35. It can also refer to the inability to carry a pregnancy to term.

Fertility Preservation: Fertility preservation involves methods to protect fertility potential for the future. This can include egg or sperm freezing, embryo cryopreservation, or other techniques before undergoing treatments that may impact fertility, such as chemotherapy or radiation.

Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): ART encompasses medical procedures to achieve pregnancy by handling eggs, sperm, or embryos outside the body. Common ART techniques include in vitro fertilization (IVF), intrauterine insemination (IUI), and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Ovulation: Ovulation is the release of a mature egg from the ovaries, typically occurring midway through the menstrual cycle. Tracking ovulation is crucial for timing intercourse or fertility treatments.

Follicle: Follicles are fluid-filled sacs within the ovaries that contain immature eggs. Monitoring follicle development is essential during fertility treatments like IVF.

Endometrium: The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus. It thickens during the menstrual cycle in preparation for embryo implantation.

Hormone Levels: Hormone levels, such as estrogen, progesterone, and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), play a crucial role in fertility. Monitoring hormone levels through blood tests helps assess ovarian function and reproductive health.

Luteal Phase: The luteal phase is the second half of the menstrual cycle, occurring after ovulation. It is characterized by increased progesterone levels and prepares the uterine lining for implantation.

Embryo Transfer: Embryo transfer is a procedure in which embryos are transferred into the uterus during IVF or other assisted reproductive treatments.

Gestational Carrier/Surrogate: A gestational carrier, also known as a surrogate, carries and gives birth to a baby for individuals or couples who are unable to conceive or carry a pregnancy themselves.

Common abbreviations:

·      IVF: In Vitro Fertilization

·      IUI: Intrauterine Insemination

·      ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology

·      FSH: Follicle-Stimulating Hormone

·      AMH: Anti-Müllerian Hormone

·      PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

·      TTC: Trying to Conceive

·      DPO: Days Past Ovulation

·      LMP: Last Menstrual Period

·      BMI: Body Mass Index

·      PGD: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis

·      PGS: Preimplantation Genetic Screening

·      HSG: Hysterosalpingography

·      LH: Luteinizing Hormone

·      OHSS: Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

By familiarizing yourself with these terms and abbreviations, you’ll be better equipped to navigate discussions with healthcare providers, understand treatment options, and advocate for your needs throughout your fertility journey. If you’d like to do a deeper dive into this topic, we recommend beginning with this website

Still have questions? Our team is here to provide the guidance, support, and resources needed to help you achieve your dreams of parenthood. So, whether you’re just starting out or have been trying for a while, don’t hesitate to send us a message when the time feels right for you.

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