What Does IVF Mean? 9 Terms Couples Who Are Trying To Conceive Should Know
Sometimes couples that are ready to start a new family may feel like they need to learn a new language. If you and your partner are ready to have a baby, there are a ton of acronyms and phrases thrown at you from medical articles and message boards alike. What does IVF mean? What is TTC? Does this jargon even have anything to do with babies? It turns out that couples who are trying to conceive (or TTC) should know some of these terms and ideas to increase their chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy.
Arming yourself with knowledge is always a good idea, and that goes double when you are creating new life. Because there are plenty of infertility myths still circulating, educating yourself about the basics of reproductive biology, current fertility technology, and even the TTC support community may help make your journey to pregnancy easier and less stressful. Soon you will know the difference between BBT, HPT, and PNV, and why all of those things may affect your ability to conceive. Now just grab a thermometer, some folic acid supplements, and a few home pregnancy tests, and you and your partner will be ready for conception in no time.
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in vitro fertilization, or IVF, is the process by which sperm and egg are combined outside of the body and, once embryos form, placed in the uterus. This is a good option if you or your partner deals with infertility problems such as endometriosis or low sperm count.
The first acronym you'll spot when you want to have a baby is TTC, which means trying to conceive. This can be a struggle for many couples, so it's important to offer support to anyone who says they are TTC.
Tracking your basal body temperature, or BBT, may help you keep track of ovulation, according to the Mayo Clinic. This, in turn, may help you determine when you’re most fertile. You will need to keep track of your temperature every day for a few weeks in order to keep track of changes.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that doctors may perform a test for the follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH to test for signs of menopause, PCOS (which we'll get to later), or infertility issues. Men may also get this test to check for infertility issues as well.
The home pregnancy test, or HPT, detects the presence of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone that is produced a few days after fertilization, according to Web MD. If it’s negative, you may want to test again in a few days. If it’s positive – congrats! – see your doctor for a follow-up.
Mayo Clinic writes that polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, is an endocrine system disorder that may make your ovaries enlarged. This is also a common cause of infertility among women, so speak with your healthcare provider if you have PCOS and plan to conceive.
When trying to conceive, women may benefit from taking prenatal vitamins, or PNV, that help set the stage for a healthy pregnancy. Taking additional folic acid, in particular, may help prevent brain and spinal cord birth defects that occur in the first three to four weeks of pregnancy.
Fit Pregnancy notes that the two-week wait, or TWW, is the time between ovulation and when you're able to take a pregnancy test. It's a nerve-wracking time when you may experience period-like symptoms and feel some serious stress. Remember to take care of yourself during this precarious time.
9. BFP or BFN
You've peed on a stick, waited three minutes, and it's time to see the result. You'll either get and BFP or BFN, which mean big fat positive and big fat negative, respectively, according to BabyCenter. If you get a positive — congrats, by the way — it's time to meet with yoru doctor. If you get a negative, you may want to meet with a doctor see why you are struggling to get pregnant.