Decoding Infertility Forums


Decoding Infertility Forums | Denver Metro Moms Blog

Our infertility journey started about 6-years-ago in a bit of a strange way. My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for about 8-months or so when I had severe abdominal pain. I spent several hours in the ER where my doctor and the surgical resident debated over whether or not I had appendicitis. Eventually, I think the surgical resident just wanted to go home, so he decided that’s what I had and they took me up to the surgical floor to remove my appendix. About a month later I had the exact same pain, in the exact same place – so unless I miraculously grew a new appendix, I don’t think I had appendicitis. No, I have endometriosis and the surgeon even confirmed this when he biopsied some spots he “didn’t like.” With this diagnosis (which I had always suspected I had, based on personal and family history) and our now 9-months of trying with no results, my OB/GYN went ahead and started some infertility testing and treatment.

As my fellow infertile can attest, this is a difficult and confusing time.

Doctors throw a lot of new information your way and you do your best to ask questions during your appointments, but it’s often not until later, when you’ve had a chance to digest the information that new questions come up. So, what do you do? You turn to the internet, of course. Always a terrible idea, but that’s what you do all the same. When I began my infertility related searching, I encountered many infertility forums and was quickly confused by the acronyms and flashing animated gifs. I would read a sentence like this:

Seven months TTC. No sign of AF, so I did a POAS and got a BFN, but I still have my FX!

Confused? I was too! But wait, it gets worse. At the end of a lot of these forum posts, the writer would often put their stats so that others would know what she was dealing with:

Me: 34, ENDO
DH: 35, Perfect in every way

2011/12 4 AWOL-BFN, 3 IUIs-BFN
11/12 IVF#3
Froze: 4 5-day blasts
02/13 Transferred 2 5-day blasts
1st U/S TWINS!!!
EDD: 11/03/2013

I was already so inundated with data from the doctors and now I had to learn what appeared to be a new language? Very frustrating and confusing! I just wanted to know if a clogged fallopian tube can be unclogged?!

So, for those that are new to the infertility world, I offer definitions for a few of the more common abbreviations in the hopes that you won’t feel quite as overwhelmed by visiting these forums for some of your questions:

AF: Aunt Flo, aka your period
AWOL: A Woman On Lupron (I guess because Lupron can make you feel like a crazy person)
BBT: Body Basal Temperature Charting
BCP: Birth Control Pills
BD: Baby Dance, aka sexual intercourse during fertile days
BD (or BV): Baby Dust (or Baby Vibes), a good luck phrase often used in responses to the original poster
Beta: Pregnancy test that measures the levels of hCG (pregnancy hormone) via blood work
BFN: Big Fat Negative – pregnancy test
BFP: Big Fat Positive – pregnancy test
B/W: Blood Work
CD: Cycle Day, usually associated with a number, e.g. CD 5 is the fifth day after your period has started
DH: Dear or Darling Husband (You will also see DS or DD, aka Dear Son or Dear Daughter)
DPO: Days Past Ovulation
DPR: Days Past Retrieval, or number of days since egg retrieval during IVF treatment
DPT: Days Past Transfer, or number of days after embryo transfer in an IVF treatment
EDD: Estimated Due Date
ET: Embryo Transfer
ENDO: Endometriosis
FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer, referring to an IVF cycle using previously frozen embryos
FX: Fingers crossed
hCG: Pregnancy hormone
HPT: Home Pregnancy Test
IPS: Imaginary Pregnancy Symptoms
IUI: Intrauterine Insemination
IVF: In Vitro Fertilization
LSC: Low Sperm Count
MC: Miscarriage
OV: Ovulation
OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kit
PCO: Polycystic Ovaries
PG: Pregnant
POAS: Pee On A Stick (aka, a home pregnancy test)
TTC: Trying to Conceive
U/S: Ultrasound

Good luck to all of my fellow infertile (or should I say BV to you all)!

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Sara is a Denver native – a proud graduate of East High and UC Denver. She used to be in the IT biz, but retired from the office job to stay home when her twin boys were born. In addition to her boys, she just had a baby girl and is surprised about how much easier and harder it is the second (third?) time around, but is doing her best to keep it all together. She is married to Mark – they’ve shared 7 years of wedded bliss but compliment each other so well, you’d think it was many more! Sara has an affinity for the color green, loves music, loves food, loves her fur baby Dash, is great at styling hair with BBQ sauce, and would be a very formidable trivia opponent!


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