TTC? IVF? BMS? Couples who are planning for their first child might find these acronyms (and more) to be complete headscratchers. Fear not, we’re here to explain what they all mean.
We encounter a plethora of acronyms and abbreviations in our daily lives, including km/h (kilometres per hour), ICYMI (in case you missed it), and FYI (for your information). Furthermore, COVID-19 brought about a whole new set of acronyms and abbreviations for us to learn, no matter which country you’re living in.
And if you’re part of an enthusiast community, you’ll have another set of acronyms and abbreviations in your arsenal too. Take video game fans for instance, who’ll instantly recognise terms like FPS (first-person shooter or frames per second), RPG (role-playing game), and VR (virtual reality).
This rings very true for couples who are looking to have their first child as well. Parenting communities and online resources contain more than their fair share of acronyms and abbreviations revolving around conception. Trying to keep up can result in quite a few WTHs, but we’ve got you covered.
Here are all the fertility acronyms and abbreviations that you and your spouse absolutely need to know.
Warning: Some of them might make you ROFL and LOL.
Pre-pregnancy acronyms and abbreviations
AI: Artificial Insemination
No artificial intelligence is needed for this treatment, thankfully. It refers to inserting sperm directly into the uterus or cervix. Sexual intercourse is not required, with the insertion done via a purpose-made syringe.
The twoplus Applicator works in a similar manner, granting ladies who experience painful sex an affordable and easy method to directly deposit sperm higher up the vaginal tract without procreative sex. It’s designed for comfortable insertion and maximises semen flow through its unique design. What’s more, you can easily use this home insemination kit wherever you find most comfortable, without medical supervision.
ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology
This has nothing to do with the antigen rapid test (ART) we are all too familiar with and hate. As the name suggests, this is technology that’s used to help folks conceive. Individuals with fertility problems, to be precise. One of the most well-known forms of ART is IVF, but more on that later.
BD: Baby Dance
No, it does not refer to a dance choreographed specifically for infants or toddlers. It’s an adorable codename for unprotected sexual intercourse with the aim of getting pregnant. However, go ahead and put some music on and set the mood if it makes you and your partner more comfortable.
BMS: Baby Making Sex
There’s regular sexual intercourse, and then there’s baby making sex. Females should look out for their ovulation signs, which are essentially green lights for this variety of sexual intercourse. If you require lubricants, always remember to use sperm-friendly ones.
CD: Cycle Day
Add a number to the back of ‘CD’ and it will represent a specific point in your menstrual cycle. For example, CD1 refers to the first day of your period. CD14 is usually when you would ovulate and CD17 often marks the start of pregnancy if you did the BD or had BMS.
DPO: Days Past Ovulation
This acronym is self-explanatory, informing you how much time you have left for BMS before having to wait another month.
IVF: In Vitro Fertilisation
According to the Mayo Clinic, this is the most effective form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) . There are several steps to the entire process, which usually lasts around 3 weeks per cycle — this would also depend on your treatment type .
Learn more about IVF and what other ARTs are available here.
Ladies should be more than familiar with this abbreviation, with medical professionals recommending that women start seeing an ob-gyn as early as their teenage years. Visits to an ob-gyn are highly useful for one’s reproductive healthcare.
TTC: Trying To Conceive
This is the first acronym that you should remember by heart. TTC refers to couples who are literally trying to conceive and the whole realm of fertility knowledge and support.
And if you’d like a helping hand, check out twoplus’ Sperm Guide. This soft and flexible device is made of medical-grade silicone and is designed to minimise the leakage of semen post-intercourse. It also retains sperm closer to the cervix so that semen can directly interact with the cervical mucus.
OPK/OPT: Ovulation Predictor Kit/Test
This is a test that can be easily purchased off the shelf and is used to predict or tell when a woman is ovulating. This helps couples who are TTC nail down an optimal time for a round of BD or BMS, making the entire process more efficient (or otherwise, for some).
If you’re on the hunt for a quick and reliable ovulation test kit, twoplus’ solution by accredited medical distributor Point of Care is the way to go. A one-step ovulation test kit, it provides accurate and reliable results in as quick as 10 minutes.
Pregnancy acronyms and abbreviations
2WW/TWW: Two Week Wait
This is how long you’ll need to wait to take a pregnancy test after BMS or a fertility treatment. This period of time is when the embryo implants itself in the uterus, causing HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) hormone levels to rise .
ECP: Emergency Contraceptive Pills
If you and your spouse have a sudden change of heart and decide to put off having a child the morning after, this is what you’ll need. However, please note that this is only for emergencies. Proper planning for your child should be established before BMS.
EDD: Estimated Due Date
If everything goes according to plan, your child will be born on this date. Don’t be too worried if your child comes out slightly earlier or later, though. This is just an estimated date, after all.
LMP: Last Menstrual Period
The first day of your last menstrual period is also when your pregnancy begins. Therefore, you are approximately six weeks pregnant once it’s two weeks past your first missed period.
MS: Morning Sickness
You’re definitely pregnant if you have this, but it’ll usually (fingers-crossed) disappear once you’re in your second trimester. Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms and despite the name, can occur at any time of the day. Sometimes, MS doesn’t even require a trigger (e.g. strong odour, heat, etc.).
This is a useful acronym to have on hand, seeing that you get to save six characters every time you have to talk about your pregnancy online.
Post-pregnancy acronyms and abbreviations
FTTA: Fertile Thoughts To All
In TTC forums and communities, this is a common sign-off that you’ll see. It sounds a bit cheesy and dated even, but you can’t deny that it has a feel-good factor. And for couples who’re TTC, you’ll need all the ‘feel-good’ that you can get!
LO: Little One
We know what you’re thinking. This acronym doesn’t refer to that little one! It actually refers to your child, who was brought into this world thanks to all your hard work. And if you’re planning for a big family, you’ll be happy to know that labour is generally shorter from the second child onwards .
This is an outcome that no couple TTC would want, but life happens. In fact, it’s not uncommon for couples to lose their child before they even know it. Foetuses are highly vulnerable during their earlier stages of development, and miscarriages most often occur during the first trimester.
They are trained healthcare professionals who help women with anything they might need during and after pregnancy. Think of them as godsends for couples who are parents for the very first time. The best way to choose a midwife would be to see who your ob-gyn or primary care physician recommends.
This refers to the period of time immediately after a woman gives birth. It is a critical stage for both women and their babies, so this is where men need to step up to the plate and be extra vigilant. Heed the doctor’s advice and fingers crossed that the recovery process will be a smooth one.
This refers to a baby that’s born after a couple loses a child due to miscarriage, stillbirth, or other issues. Rainbow Baby isn’t an acronym or abbreviation, but it’s one term that’ll definitely warm your heart whenever you see it being used.
Other useful acronyms and abbreviations
BBT: Body Basal Temperature
If you’re guessing that this refers to your body’s base temperature, you’re right. As trivial as this sounds, your temperature while at rest is something that you should track. That’s because ovulation tends to increase your BBT slightly, indicating that it’s time for BD or BMS.
CP: Cervical Position
This literally refers to where your cervix is located. It changes throughout the course of your menstrual cycle and even because of your level of sexual arousal. It’s akin to a firm, round dimple and should be found easily if you aren’t ovulating . Do ensure that your hands are squeaky clean before checking your CP.
CM: Cervical Mucus
This is indeed a type of mucus that’s produced by the cervix. Its viscosity and appearance depends on which stage you are at in your menstrual cycle. For example, it tends to be dry and sticky during the first week of your period. In the second week, it’s usually runny and clear.
EWCM: Egg White Cervical Mucus
This indicates that it’s now prime time for BMS. A fluid that’s produced by your cervix several days before ovulation, it makes it easier for sperm to travel from the vagina to the uterus. For some, this continues to be discharged for around two days after ovulation.
FM: Fertility Monitor
Ah, the wonders of technology. This is an electronic device that you strap-on, helping you identify when you are fertile. It helps to maximise your chances of getting pregnant as it often accurately indicates the days leading up to ovulation — some fertility monitors even boast to be 99% accurate !
This is essentially an x-ray of the uterus, aiming to identify whether the fallopian tubes are blocked. If so, it may cause infertility. Despite the scary-sounding name, it’s a fairly simple and quick procedure. You can even pencil an appointment in during your lunch hour.
PMA: Positive Mental Attitude
This doesn’t need any explaining at all and it’s an attitude that you and your spouse should adopt right from the get-go. Parenting is a lifelong process and having a PMA will go a long way in overcoming many obstacles along the way. Your children will thank you as well.
SA: Semen Analysis
The name is slightly misleading as both the man’s sperm and semen are analysed. This is essentially a male fertility test, identifying things like sperm count, sperm motility, and sperm morphology. If couples are having a hard time TTC, both parties should take a fertility test. After all, you know what they say about two hands and clapping.
With these acronyms and abbreviations in hand, you and your spouse are now more than ready to take on the TTC world. The two of you will have a much easier time deciphering the many resources available out there, along with the messages that folks share in TTC forums and private chat groups.
It might be a hassle to learn a whole new set of acronyms and abbreviations, but it’ll all be worth it once your baby is born without a hitch. And brace yourself, because your child will be the one introducing you to a whole new set of acronyms and abbreviations as they grow up in this hyper-connected era. Till then, FTTA and TTYL.