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TTC Abbreviations

You Probably Won't Understand These Abbreviations Unless You've Tried For a Baby

Once you stop your BCPS, it's time to do the BD with DH and hope for a BFP. But, ugh, the TWW sucks; am I right? Get a BFN 14DPO? Sounds like another month of tracking that CM.

If the above paragraph makes any sense to you, chances are you've entered the wonderful world of TTC, or "trying to conceive." Many women want to keep the decision to start or expand a family private. So instead they turn to strangers on internet message boards for advice and insight, which are often filled with a special brand of acronyms. Obsessive googling of symptoms during each cycle can land you on comment threads that make you feel like you ended up in an AOL chat room circa 1997. But instead of POS ("parent over shoulder") or TTFN ("ta-ta for now"), you may be talking IUI and IVF.

Whether you get pregnant right away or struggle with infertility, these sometimes neurotic yet no-such-thing-as-TMI communities can help you feel less isolated . . . assuming you can figure out the lingo. Perhaps we revert to abbreviations when trying to get pregnant because we're not used to speaking freely about our bodily functions, like EWCM. Not sure what that is? See our key below to decode the acronyms that only make sense after you've started trying to have a baby. No matter what message board you lurk on, this is the universal language.

  • AC: Assisted conception. Any technology that helps achieve conception, including ovulation-inducing drugs, IUI, or IVF.
  • AF: Aunt Flo. You know this one from middle school.
  • AI: Artificial insemination. A procedure that places sperm directly into a woman's uterus, with conception as the goal; also known as IUI.
  • AIH: Artificial insemination with husband's sperm. Written to specify that you used your husband's sperm instead of a donor's.
  • ART: Assisted reproductive technology. See AC.
  • BBT: Basal body temperature. The temperature when your body is at rest. Some women track this because it may increase when you're ovulating.
  • BC: Birth control or before children.
  • BCPS: Birth control pills.
  • BD: Baby dance. Having sex with the goal of conceiving.
  • BF: Breastfeeding.
  • BFN: Big fat negative. The result on a pregnancy test that means you're not pregnant.
  • BFP: Big fat positive. The result on a pregnancy test that means you are pregnant.
  • BM: Breast milk or bowel movement. Let's hope context helps you tell them apart.
  • BSC: Batsh*t crazy. As in trying to conceive can make you feel insane.
  • BW: Blood week. Your period.
  • CD: Cycle day. The day you start your period is cycle day 1, or CD1.
  • CF: Cervical fluid. It changes throughout your cycle and can help you predict ovulation, conception, or your period. Lots of time on message boards is spent analyzing it.
  • CM: Cervical mucus. See above.
  • CP: Cervical position. Allegedly can help you time ovulation or predict conception — good luck figuring it out, though!
  • DD: Dear daughter. For some reason, "dear" is added before each family member.
  • DF: Dear fiancé.
  • DH: Dear husband. Can also be read as "d*mn" or "dumb," depending on your mood.
  • DI: Donor insemination. Using a donor's sperm to complete IUI.
  • DP: Dear partner.
  • DPO: Days past ovulation. Some home pregnancy tests will test as early as seven days after you ovulate, or 7DPO.
  • DS: Dear son.
  • DSD: Dear stepdaughter.
  • DSS: Dear stepson.
  • DTD: Do the deed.
  • DW: Dear wife.
  • DWIL: Dealing with in-laws.
  • DXP: Dear ex-partner. (If you are still on good terms.)
  • EP: Ectopic pregnancy. When a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes. The pregnancy cannot continue safely.
  • ER: Egg retrieval. A step in IVF.
  • ET: Embryo transfer. Another step in IVF that happens after egg retrieval.
  • EWCM: Egg white cervical mucus. The cervical mucus that signals ovulation and that it's time to have sex if you want to conceive. It's slippery and, yes, resembles egg whites.
  • FIL: Father-in-law.
  • FMU: First morning urine. What you want for those home pregnancy tests.
  • FOO: Family of origin. The family you grew up with.
  • FRER: First Response Early Results. A popular home pregnancy test.
  • FTM: Female to Male. Used for a transexual man or transgender man.
  • GOAT: Written when someone has read all the previous responses before commenting.
  • hCG: Human chorionic gonadotropin. The sought-after pregnancy hormone that will show up on a positive pregnancy test.
  • HIPPO: Written when someone comments without reading previous responses.
  • HPT: Home pregnancy test.
  • HTH: Hope this helps.
  • IC: Internet cheapie. An inexpensive home pregnancy test . . . not always the most reliable.
  • IUI: Intrauterine insemination. A less expensive and less invasive means of assisted conception with lower success rates — see "AI" above.
  • IVF: In vitro fertilization. A relatively expensive and invasive means of assisted conception that comes with higher success rates.
  • LO: Little one.
  • LP: Luteal phase. The stage of your menstrual cycle that lasts after ovulation and before your period — when implantation may happen.
  • MC or M/C: Miscarriage.
  • MIL: Mother-in-law.
  • MOO: Mother of origin. Another way to say "mom" that doesn't actually save any letters.
  • MS: Morning sickness or multiple sclerosis.
  • O: Ovulation.
  • O'd: Ovulated.
  • OH: Other half.
  • OP: Original poster.
  • OPK: Ovulation predictor test kit. A set of tests you can buy at the drugstore to tell you when to have sex if you want to conceive.
  • OWT: Old wives' tale.
  • PG: Pregnant.
  • POAS: Pee on a stick. Taking a pregnancy test.
  • POF: Premature ovarian failure. When your ovaries don't function properly before the age of 40.
  • RE: Reproductive endocrinologist. A fertility specialist.
  • SAHM: Stay-at-home mom.
  • TCOYF: Taking Charge of Your Fertility. A book popular with women on message boards who are trying to conceive.
  • TIA: Thanks in advance.
  • TTC: Trying to conceive.
  • TWW or 2WW: Two-week wait. The painfully long waiting period between ovulation and your period or positive pregnancy tests.
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