The Secret Language of Infertility

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In this day and age of message boards, Facebook, Twitter and text messages, support can be found just about everywhere! It helps to know what everyone is talking about and more importantly how to communicate.

Where To Go For Online Support

Online infertility support groups are available as email lists, newsgroups, chat rooms, blogs and social networking sites. Here is a list of some of the more popular sites:

  • Pink Pad, a free menstrual and fertility tracker and social health network.
  • BabyBump, a free comprehensive pregnancy app and social network for expecting parents.
  • iVillage’s Infertility Support Board, where women in all stages of their infertility battle discuss various tests and treatments they are undergoing.
  • Fertility Community, a general infertility support, as well as support through treatments, adoption support, pregnancy loss support, a “cycle buddies” area and more.
    Fertile Thoughts, designed to provide support to women, men, couples and singles who are building their families. We provide forums on infertility, adoption, pregnancy and parenting. Launched in 1996, and acquired by Fertility Authority in 2010, Fertile Thoughts is the world’s largest social networking site focusing on fertility and infertility.
  • TTC Dreams, created to provide the information that you may need to help you conceive your baby. Besides information on fertility and infertility, you will find message boards and links to support groups.


Decoding The Language of Online Infertility Sites

One of the first things I noticed when visiting these online groups were the acronyms, abbreviations and slang. It was very confusing to follow along and I still find it overwhelming. When all else fails, just ask. To help get you started here is a list of a few commonly-used acronyms in alphabetical order:

2WW: two-week wait; the time between ovulation and period
AF: Aunt Flo (menstruation)
AH, AZH: Assisted Hatching
ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology
BA: Baby Aspirin
BBT: Basal Body Temperature
BCP: Birth Control Pills
BD: Baby Dance (sex)
BFN: Big fat negative on a pregnancy test
BFP: Big fat positive on a pregnancy test
C#: Cycle Number
CB: Cycle Buddy
D&C: Dilation & Curettage
DE: Donor Eggs
DH: Dear Husband, Darling Husband or Damn Husband (depending on your mood)
DI: Donor Insemination
DOR: Diminished Ovarian Reserve
DP3DT: Days Post 3-Day Transfer
DPIUI: Days past IUI
DPO: Days past ovulation
DPR: Days Post-Retrieval
DPT: Days Post-Transfer
Dx: Diagnosis
EDD: Estimated Due Date
ENDO: Endometriosis
EPT: Early Pregnancy Test
ER: Egg Retrieval
ET: Embryo Transfer
FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer
FF: Fertile Friend
FM: Fertile Mucus or Fertility Monitor
FSH: Follicle Stimulating Hormone
FTTA: Fertile Thoughts To All
FV: Fertile Vibes
Fx: Fingers crossed
hCG, HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
HPT: Home Pregnancy Test
ICSI: Intra-cytoplasmic Sperm Injection
IF: Infertility
IPS: Imaginary pregnancy symptoms
IUI: Intra-uterine Insemination
IVC: Intra-vaginal Culture
IVF: In Vitro Fertilization
LAP: Laparoscopy
LMP: Last Menstrual Period (start date)
LP: Luteal Phase
LSP: Low Sperm Count
MC, m/c, misc.: Miscarriage
MF: Male Factor
O, OV: Ovulation
OC: Oral Contraceptives
OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kit
OPT: Ovulation Predictor Test
P4: Progesterone
PGD: Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis
PI: Primary Infertility
PIO: Progesterone in Oil
PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome
R-FSH, R-hFSH: Recombinant Human Follicle Stimulating Hormone
RPL: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
SA: Semen Analysis
SART: Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology
SI: Secondary Infertility
TET: Tubal Embryo Transfer
TRH: Thyroid Releasing Hormone
TSH: Thyroid Stimulating Hormone
Tx: Treatment
US, u/s: Ultrasound
V: Vasectomy
VR: Vasectomy Reversal
WBC: White Blood Cells
WNL: Within Normal Limits

A Word Of Caution

Be careful when you’re involved in internet support groups, as they are sometimes used to prey on vulnerable people and that is the last thing someone struggling with infertility needs to deal with!
Be aware of the possibility that people may not be who they say they are or may be trying to market a product or treatment. Many of the sites sell advertising so always read and understand the terms of use for a particular site and how your private information may be shared.
Wherever you are on the internet, use caution when revealing personal information, such as your full name, address, or phone number.
Never take what you read in an online support group as gospel; always, always, always consult your doctor! Every body is different.
Never let online support lead to isolation from your in-person social network.
Online support can be key to your infertility journey. Sharing your feelings with other individuals experiencing the same situations and issues you have might provide exactly the comfort you need, as well as advice and resources.