As you’re trying to conceive or navigating the first months of pregnancy, you might start to come across what looks to be a strange new language. “I’ve been TTC for 6 months …” “Just got my first BFP and I’m over the moon …” “Any tips for getting through the 2WW? It seems endless …” You may be unfamiliar with the many acronyms, abbreviations and terms used in the online discussion about getting pregnant, taking pregnancy tests and experiencing infertility. If that’s the case, here’s a quick guide.
Abbreviations about your cycle
Aunt Flo. Yep, the same nickname for periods you used in high school is still around!
Advanced Maternal Age. This typically refers to folks who are trying to get pregnant after age 35.
Birth Control Pill, oral contraceptives or just “the pill.” This can include estrogen and progestin pills, or progestin-only pills.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome/Disease is a condition in which the female reproductive hormones are out of balance, which can prevent ovulation from occurring regularly and make it more difficult for a woman to get pregnant.1
Abbreviations about trying to conceive
Artificial Insemination, or a procedure in which sperm is inserted into the uterus using a catheter.
Assisted Reproductive Technology. According to the CDC, ART “includes all fertility treatments in which either eggs or embryos are handled.”2 It doesn’t include treatments in which only sperm are handled or medications used to stimulate egg production.
BFP (and BFN)
Big Fat Positive, meaning a positive pregnancy test result. Or, BFN: Big Fat Negative.
Basal Body Temperature, or the body’s temperature when you’re fully at rest. Tracking BBT is a tool some women use to understand the pattern of their fertile days in each cycle by detecting a slight rise in their BBT after they ovulate.
Days Past Ovulation. Ovulation happens when one of your ovaries releases an egg into your fallopian tube. If you’re hoping to conceive, tracking your ovulation can help you better understand your cycle. Knowing how many days past ovulation you are can also help you decide when to take a pregnancy test.
Egg White Cervical Mucus, or the clear, slippery egg white-like discharge that occurs near ovulation.
First Morning Urine. As the name might imply, FMU is your urine when you first get up in the day. Drinking a lot of liquid before testing dilutes the amount of hCG (see our next acronym!) in your urine, making it harder for the test to detect. To make sure you're taking a pregnancy test correctly, it’s best to use your first urine of the day.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, or hCG, is a hormone produced during pregnancy. All pregnancy tests detect the presence of hCG in either urine (for home pregnancy tests) or blood (if you get a pregnancy test at your doctor’s office).
Infertility or a reference to someone dealing with infertility.
In Vitro Fertilization, a process used to help with fertility. During IVF, mature eggs are collected from ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a lab. The fertilized egg is then transferred to a uterus. IVF is a common form of ART.
This one might be unexpected: Peeing On A Stick, which is really just a fun way to reference a pregnancy test.
Trying To Conceive, though this doesn’t have to literally relate to having sex. TTC can also include research, treatment and the whole journey of hoping to become pregnant.
Trying To Conceive After Loss. This is often a painful journey, through which many women and hopeful parents may turn to online support groups for solidarity or understanding.
Trigger Warning, which may apply to an online post or article with triggering wording about a loss or a pregnancy.
Two-Week Wait, or the estimated amount of time between when you ovulate and when you expect your period. If you want to get fancy and start combining lingo, your DPO fall within the TWW.
Abbreviations about pregnancy
Estimated Due Date or Estimated Date of Delivery. Now you have a shorter version to write on every calendar.
Last Menstrual Period, or the first day of your last period. If this is hard for you to remember, tracking your period can give you a ton of useful information. Period tracking apps make it easy and convenient to keep tabs on your cycle. Learn more about the Clearblue® Advanced Period Tracker and our app’s privacy.
MC or M/C
Both versions mean Miscarriage.
This stands for Ultrasound, though your doctor may just use the official name.
It might seem like you’re committing an entirely new dictionary to memory, but you don’t have to know every abbreviation to be a prepared hopeful parent. Pick up what is relevant to you and use them if you feel like testing out some new jargon!
When to start testing for ovulation?
When can I take a pregnancy test?
If you think you might be pregnant, you want to know right away. But it’s important to understand what’s happening in your body so you know how soon you can test.
- “Polycystic ovary syndrome”, (February 2021), The Office on Women's Health, https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/polycystic-ovary-syndrome#:~:text=Polycystic%20ovary%20syndrome%20(PCOS)%2C,of%20a%20healthy%20menstrual%20cycle
- “What is Assisted Reproductive Technology?”, (October 2019), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Reproductive Health, https://www.cdc.gov/art/whatis.html