Fertility Dictionary: Your Guide To Common Acronyms


One thing the world of infertility doesn’t prepare you for is learning a whole new set of medical terminology. From HSGs, to IUIs, to PGT – the acronyms seem endless! Navigating infertility can feel overwhelming, but understanding the lingo doesn’t have to be.  We’re sharing some common acronyms that you need to know to help you along your journey to parenthood.

  1. FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer. This is a common procedure that takes cryopreserved embryos from a previous IVF cycle, and allows them to be thawed and then placed into the uterus for subsequent pregnancy.
  2. FSH: Follicle stimulating hormone. This hormone is an indicator of how many eggs your body is producing during your menstrual cycle.
  3. hCG: Human Chorionic Gonatropin. A hormone that is secreted during pregnancy by the placenta. hCG levels are often measured after a treatment cycle to determine if you are pregnant, and can also be used in synthetic form as an injection to trigger ovulation.
  4. HSG: Hysterosalpingogram. An HSG is a common test used to detect tubal patency (i.e. whether your fallopian tubes are open or blocked) during a fertility work-up.
  5. ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection. ICSI is a procedure that is recommended by physicians in IVF cases that are affected by male factor infertility or when there is a history of poor fertilization in IVF cycles.
  6. IUI: Intrauterine insemination. An IUI is a common procedure that allows sperm to be injected directly into the uterus, to help increase chances of fertilization.
  7. IVF: In Vitro Fertilization. IVF is the most successful fertility treatment option available today because it allows skilled embryologists to fertilize eggs and sperm in a lab. Once embryos reach the blastocyst stage, they can then be transferred back into the woman’s uterus.
  8. LMP: Last menstrual period. This is often used to help your doctor figure out where you’re currently at in your cycle, and to properly track your cycle for future treatments.
  9. PCOS: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. A hormonal disorder that affects infertility and other hormonal factors. Typically categorized by irregular periods, lack of ovulation, excess hair growth and acne, PCOS often impacts women of reproductive age.
  10. PGT: Preimplantation Genetic Testing. This refers to genetic testing of IVF created embryos. A few cells are removed from the embryo, and sent for specialized testing to screen for various chromosomal abnormalities, specific gene mutations, or structural rearrangements.

Additionally, websites like RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and What To Expect offer their own fertility glossaries if you’d like to learn more.

Wherever you are at in your journey, South Jersey Fertility Center is here to help! For more information on our services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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