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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