Decoding Fertility Acronyms

Before you start your journey with fertility treatments and soon after as you start learning more about the process, you may start to notice something. This world almost has its own language. It can seem like a secret code, but in most cases, people in the infertility community use acronyms and abbreviations to more easily keep up with all of the information.

While we always try to spell out the meaning of any acronyms or abbreviations on our website and blog, there are other places online where you may see these ‘code words’ of infertility, such as IUI, HCG, and RPL. You may also hear those abbreviations mentioned at your appointments.

Common Fertility Acronyms

In this blog post, we will clearly spell out what some of these mean with help from RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association.

Beta or HCG: A beta pregnancy test is a blood test for the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Levels of hCG increase steadily in the early stages of pregnancy, which shows doctors that the pregnancy is progressing well.


ENDO: This stands for endometriosis, a condition in which endometrial tissue grows outside of the uterus.

IUI: Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a lower-tech fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate sperm delivery to the egg.

IVF: In vitro fertilization (IVF) involves combining an egg with sperm in a laboratory dish. If the egg fertilizes and the cells begin to divide, the resulting embryo is transferred into the woman’s uterus where it will hopefully implant in the uterine lining and continue developing.

LH: Luteinizing hormone (LH) is produced by the gonadotropin cells in the pituitary gland. In women, the rise of LH (known as the “LH surge”) triggers ovulation, or the release of the eggs.

PCOS: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a disorder in which the ovaries produce an imbalanced amount of hormones. This can prevent ovulation.

PGS: Preconception genetic screening is the process of testing embryos created during IVF for the most common genetic imbalances that lead to reproductive failure.

RPL: Recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) is defined as two or more consecutive, spontaneous pregnancy losses before the pregnancies reach 20 weeks.


SA: A semen analysis (SA) must be performed prior to a treatment cycle to evaluate the sperm’s potential to fertilize an egg.

SI: Secondary infertility (SI) is the inability to become pregnant, despite engaging in unprotected intercourse, following the birth of one or more biological children who were born without the aid of fertility treatment or medications.

TTC: TTC stands for trying to conceive. This is typically considered as the time period in which a couple has intentionally been trying to have a baby, but physicians consider it to be the entire time during which a couple is having regular, unprotected intercourse.


2WW: 2WW is  the two week wait. This is often a stressful time for patients since it takes about two weeks from the time a fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall to start emitting enough hCG hormone to be detected by the beta blood pregnancy test.


US: Ultrasounds can be used during ovarian reserve testing and to detect abnormalities of the ovaries, uterus, and other structures in the pelvis.

While there are many more, these are some of the more common abbreviations you may come across.

Learn How Alabama Fertility Can You On Your Journey

At Alabama Fertility, we want our patients to have the best experience possible with fertility testing and treatment. We encourage you to ask your doctors and nurses at Alabama Fertility questions about any unfamiliar terms or abbreviations that may be involved with your treatment options.

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Alabama Fertility is an advanced fertility care clinic specializing in a wide variety of fertility procedures for both men and women. We use our medical expertise to help our patients with both conception and pregnancy and we cannot wait to help you start your family! Our experienced and knowledgeable staff assist with couples and individuals looking to become pregnant or for those who need assistance with conception or fertilization. To help do this our clinic is proud to offer the most advanced fertility care available throughout Alabama. Some of the services we offer include fertility testing, fertility treatment, and reproductive surgery. We also have a selection of frozen and fresh donor eggs for our patients. We encourage any potential patients to learn more about our team, our medical specialties, and how we can help you. We also encourage those interested in fertility treatment to view our program overview to find the right fit for your conception, fertilization, and pregnancy needs.