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Infertility Cubby

Common infertility Acronyms and Phrases

The world of infertility carries an alphabet soup of acronyms, in addition to many unfamiliar words and phrases. Knowing exactly what each acronym or phrase means increases awareness and knowledge, which in turn decreases anxiety and fear. Here is a list of some common infertility acronyms or phrases. Do you have some other suggestions? Click here to send them to us.

DOR = diminished ovarian reserve.
Ovarian reserve roughly equates to how many eggs are left in the ovaries. If ovarian reserve is diminished, it could be a sign that the ovaries are "old", meaning that menopause is approaching. See also POF.

E2 = shorthand for estradiol.
This is the form of estrogen that is measured in blodwork. This is most often checked during the portion of a cycle when the doctor is checking on the performance of the ovaries.

ED = egg donation.
The process of using eggs from another woman during an IVF cycle.

HSG = hysterosalpingogram.
This is a test which checks the basic structure of the uterus as well as checking to see if the fallopian tubes are open. During the test, a doctor shoots dye up through the cervix to see if it flows through the uterus and both fallopian tubes. Click here to read about StorkNet members' experiences with HSG.

Injectables = any number of gonadotropic medications which are used to either induce ovulation or promote ovarian hyperstimulation.
The name comes from the fact that the medication is delivered via an injection. Common injectable medications include Follistim, Gonal-F, and Repronex.

OHSS = ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
A medical emergency caused when the ovaries are over-stimulated by gonadotropins. Symptoms include rapid weight gain, swelling, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, and pain.

P4 = shorthand for progesterone.
This hormone is measured at various times during the cycle in order to monitor ovulatory function.

PCOS = polycystic ovarian syndrome.
A complex condition where many cysts form on the ovaries. Other components of the syndrome include insulin resistance, excessive body hair, excess weight, irregular menstrual cycles, and difficulty conceiving.

PGD = pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.
Used in conjunction with IVF in order to make certain that the embryos which are transferred back to the uterus are genetically viable. PGD is sometimes used to check for the standard chromosomes that are known to go awry, i.e. Chromosome 13. In other cases, PGD is used because one of the parties involved in the IVF has a known chromosomal defect.

POF = premature ovarian failure.
This occurs when the ovaries shut down earlier than one would expect, based on age and health history. In layman's terms, this would be the same thing as early menopause.

RE = reproductive endocrinologist.
An OB/GYN with additional training, these physicians are specially trained to diagnose and treat infertility. They do not perform well-woman exams or deliver babies; they spend all of their time working with infertile couples. Make sure to look for an RE certified by the ASRM.

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