Learn Surrogacy Terms

We’ve compiled a list of many commonly used surrogacy and infertility terms and acronyms used within the relevant communities to help you learn the lingo!

Be sure to check out the bottom of this post for an easy pinnable cheat sheet! 

· 2ww: 2 Week Wait – the time from transfer to the first doctor issued pregnancy test


· ACA: Anticardiolipin Antibodies – are antibodies often directed against cardiolipin and found in several diseases, including syphilis, antiphospholipid syndrome, livedoid vasculitis, vertebrobasilar insufficiency, Behçet’s syndrome, idiopathic spontaneous abortion, and systemic lupus erythematosus(SLE).

· ACTH: Adrenocorticotropic Hormone – also known as corticotropin, is a polypeptide tropic hormone produced and secreted by the anterior pituitary gland. Its principal effects are increased production and release of cortisol.

· AF: Aunt Flo aka Menstrual Period

· AFP: Alpha-Fetoprotein Test – An alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) blood test checks the level of AFP in a pregnant woman’s blood. AFP is a substance made in the liver of an unborn baby (fetus). The amount of AFP in the blood of a pregnant woman can help see whether the baby may have such problems as spina bifida and anencephaly. An AFP test can also be done as part of a screening test to find other chromosomal problems, such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21) or Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18).

· AHI: At-home Insemination – artificial insemination done at home.

· AI: Artificial Insemination – the injection of semen into the vagina or uterus other than by sexual intercourse.

· AOA: Anti-Ovarian Antibody – Anti-Ovarian Antibodies (AOA) have been reported in women with premature ovarian failure and unexplained infertility. Among women with infertility, those with evidence of ovarian autoimmunity appear to have poorer in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment outcomes than women without antiovarian antibodies.

· ART: Assisted Reproductive Technology – is the technology used to achieve pregnancy in procedures such as fertility medication, artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and surrogacy. It is reproductive technology used primarily for infertility treatments, and is also known as fertility treatment.

· ASRM: American Society of Reproductive Medicine – Organization devoted to advancing knowledge and expertise in the study of reproduction and reproductive disorders.

· ATA: Antithyroid Antibody – The immune system may produce antithyroid antibodies. These antibodies destroy thyroid tissue. This test can find out if you have these antibodies.

· AZH: Assisted Hatching – is a newer lab technique that was developed when fertility experts observed that embryos with a thin zona pellucida had a higher rate of implantation during IVF. With assisted hatching, an embryologist uses micromanipulation under a microscope to create a small hole in the zona pellucida.


· BBT: Basal Body Temperature – The basal body temperature method – a fertility awareness-based method – is a type of natural family planning. Your basal body temperature is your temperature when you’re fully at rest. Ovulation may cause a slight increase in basal body temperature.

· BCP: Birth Control Pills – a kind of medication that women can take daily to prevent pregnancy, or get your body onto a certain schedule for ART purposes.

· BFN: Big Fat Negative – as in negative pregnancy test.

· BFP: Big Fat Positive – as in positive pregnancy test.

· BG: Blood Glucose – A blood glucose test measures the amount of a type of sugar, called glucose, in your blood. This is a test for gestational diabetes.

· BT: Blood Test – a scientific examination of a sample of blood, typically for the diagnosis of illness or for the detection and measurement of drugs or other substances.

· BW: Blood Work – a scientific examination of a sample of blood, typically for the diagnosis of illness or for the detection and measurement of drugs or other substances.


· CB: Cycle Buddy – Women on the same menstrual cycle/fertility cycle.

· CBE: ClearBlueEasy – a Pregnancy test

· CCCT: Clomiphene Citrate Challenge – also referred to as the Clomid challenge test. It is a method of assessing the age-related decline in fertility or “decreased ovarian reserve.”

· CD: Cycle Day – day of menstrual cycle. The first day of your period is Cycle Day 1.

· CF: Cervical Fluid – fluid secreted by the cervix, the production of which is stimulated by the hormone estrogen. Throughout your menstrual cycle, the amount and quality of cervical mucus that is produced fluctuates, and by observing these changes you can begin to predict the most fertile days in your cycle.

· CM: Cervical Mucus – fluid secreted by the cervix, the production of which is stimulated by the hormone estrogen. Throughout your menstrual cycle, the amount and quality of cervical mucus that is produced fluctuates, and by observing these changes you can begin to predict the most fertile days in your cycle.

· CMV: Cytomegalovirus – Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that can infect almost anyone. It is related to the viruses that cause chickenpox and infectious mononucleosis (mono). Between 50 percent and 80 percent of adults in the United States have had a CMV infection by age 40. Once CMV is in a person’s body, it stays there for life. Most people don’t know they have CMV because it rarely causes symptoms. However, if you’re pregnant or have a weakened immune system, CMV is cause for concern.

· CNM: Certified Nurse Midwife – possess a minimum of a graduate degree such as the Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctorate of Nursing Practice who provide counseling and care during pre-conception, pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.

· COH: Controlled Ovarian Hyperstimulation – a technique used in assisted reproduction involving the use of fertility medications to induce ovulation by multiple ovarian follicles.

· CP: Cervical Position – Checking your cervical position will allow you to notice changes throughout the month and get a personal prediction of your most fertile time of the month.

· CVS: Chorionic Villus Sampling – is a prenatal test in which a sample of chorionic villi is removed from the placenta for testing.


· D&C: Dilation and Curettage – is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Doctors perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.

· D&E: Dilation and Evacuation – In methods of abortion, dilation and evacuation (also sometimes called dilation and extraction) is the dilation of the cervix and surgical evacuation of the contents of the uterus.

· DE: Donor Egg – Egg donation, also referred to as oocyte donation, makes pregnancy possible for women who might not otherwise be able to get pregnant using their own eggs.

· DH/DW/DS/DD: Dear Husband/Wife/Son/Daughter

· DPO: Day Past Ovulation

· DPR: Days Past Retrieval

· DP3DT: Days Post 3-Day Transfer

· DP5DT: Days Post 5-Day Transfer

· DPT: Days Post Transfer

· DX: Diagnosis


· E2: Estradiol – is a female sex hormone that is the predominant estrogen throughout a female’s reproductive years.

· EB/EMB: Endometrial Biopsy – is a way for your doctor to take a small sample of the lining of the uterus. The sample is looked at under a microscope for abnormal cells. An endometrial biopsy helps your doctor find problems in the endometrium.

· ED: Egg Donor/Donation – Egg donation is the process by which a woman donates eggs for purposes of assisted reproduction or biomedical research.

· EDD: Estimated Delivery/Due Date – The estimated due date (EDD or EDC) is the date that spontaneous onset of labor is expected to occur. The due date may be estimated by adding 280 days (9 months and 7 days) to the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP).

· ELV: Easy Labor Vibes – Sending well wishes for an easy labor.

· EML: Extended Maternity Leave

· ENDO: Endometriosis – A disorder in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus.

· EPT: Early Pregnancy Test

· ET: Embryo Transfer – refers to a step in the process of assisted reproduction in which embryos are placed into the uterus of a female with the intent to establish a pregnancy.

· EWCM: Egg White Cervical Mucus – Egg white CM is the most fertile of all CM types. This stretchy mucus allows sperm to swim easily into the cervix.


· FAM: Family Awareness Method – Fertility awareness-based methods—or natural family planning—are all about tracking your menstrual cycle to determine the days that you can get pregnant.

· FBG: Fasting Blood Glucose – Fasting blood sugar (FBS) measures blood glucose after you have not eaten for at least 8 hours. It is often the first test done to check for prediabetes and diabetes.

· FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer – is a cycle in which the frozen embryos from a previous fresh IVF cycle are thawed and then transferred back into the woman’s uterus.

· FHR: Fetal Heart Rate

· FIF: Former Intended Father

· FIM: Former Intended Mother

· FIP: Former Intended Parent

· FMU: First Morning Urine – it is recommended to use the first morning urine as it contains the highest level of pregnancy hormone.

· FRER: First Response Early Result – A brand of pregnancy tests.

· FX: Fingers Crossed


· GC: Gestational Carrier – a woman who volunteers to carry a pregnancy for someone who cannot otherwise carry a pregnancy.

· GD: Gestational Diabetes

· GS: Gestational Surrogate – a woman who volunteers to carry a pregnancy for someone who cannot otherwise carry a pregnancy.

· GTC: Going to Conceive

· GTT: Glucose Tolerance Test – measures your body’s response to sugar (glucose).


· H&H9: Happy and Healthy 9 Months – Pregnancy Congratulations

· HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin – a hormone produced in the human placenta that maintains the corpus luteum during pregnancy. The presence of hCG is detected in pregnancy tests.

· HGB: Hemoglobin – is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells.

· HOM: High Order Multiples – Higher-order gestations are multiple pregnancies with three or more fetuses.

· HPT: Home Pregnancy Test

· HSC: Hysteroscopy  a procedure that allows your doctor to look inside your uterus in order to diagnose and treat causes of abnormal bleeding.

· HSG: Hysterosalpingogram – an X-ray test that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them.

· HTH: Hope That Helps

· Hx: History


· ICI: Intracervical Insemination – one of the oldest and most common artificial insemination procedures, dating back as far as the 1880s. Similar to intrauterine insemination (IUI), it involves placing sperm directly into the woman’s reproductive tract to improve the chances of pregnancy.

· ICSI: Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection – is an in vitro fertilization procedure in which a single sperm is injected directly into an egg.

· IF: Infertility, yet also stands for Intended Father – Father-to-be

· IM: Intended Mother – Mother-to-be

· Indy: Independent – A surrogacy journey done without an agency

· Insems: Artificial Insemination – the injection of semen into the vagina or uterus other than by sexual intercourse.

· IP: Intended Parent – parent-to-be via surrogacy

· ITI: Intratubal Insemination – This is a more invasive procedure where the sperm is placed directly into both of the fallopian tubes.

· ISA: Independent Surrogacy Arrangement

· IUI: Intrauterine Insemination – a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman’s uterus to facilitate fertilization.

· IVF: In Vitro fertilization – the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish, and then transferring the embryo to the uterus.




· LAP: Laparoscopy – a surgery that uses a thin, lighted tube put through a cut (incision) in the belly to look at the abdominal organs or the female pelvic organs . Laparoscopy is used to find problems such as cysts, adhesions, fibroids , and infection.

· L&D: Labor and Delivery

· LMP: Last Menstrual Period

· LP: Luteal Phase – the latter phase of the menstrual cycle.

· LPD: Luteal Phase Defect – a disruption in a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle.


· MAT LV: Maternity Leave

· MC or M/C: Miscarriage – Spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before the 20th week, most often before the 12th week.

· MFI: Male Factor Infertility – may occur if sperm are produced in low numbers, or if many of the sperm produced are abnormal in shape or not able to move well.

· MO: Months old

· MS: Morning Sickness

· MW: Midwife


· NFP: Natural Family planning – Fertility awareness-based methods—or natural family planning—are all about tracking your menstrual cycle to determine the days that you can get pregnant.

· NP: Nurse Practitioner – advanced practice registered nurses who provide care to patients throughout the lifespan, from premature newborns to the elderly.

· NST: Non-Stress Test – a simple, noninvasive way of checking on your baby’s health. The test records your baby’s movement, heartbeat, and contractions. It notes changes in heart rhythm when your baby goes from resting to moving, or during contractions if you’re in labor.


· O: Ovulation – is when a mature egg is released from the ovary, pushed down the fallopian tube, and is available to be fertilized.

· O’ing: Ovulating

· OB: Obstetrician – a doctor who specializes in women’s reproductive health.

· OB/GYN: Obstetrician/Gynecologist – a doctor who specializes in women’s reproductive health.

· OLV: Open Legs Vibe – for luck; to see gender during ultrasound

· OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kits

· OPT: Ovulation Predictor Test

· OTC: Over the Counter


· PBO: Pre-Birth Order – a court order determining legal parentage for the child in a surrogacy agreement.

· PCOS: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome – A hormonal disorder causing enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges.

· PED: Pediatrician – is a medical doctor who manages the physical, behavioral, and mental health of children from birth until age 21.

· PG: Pregnant

· PGD: Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis – testing the embryos before transfer to check for abnormalities

· PI: Primary Infertility – refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year having sex without using birth control methods.

· PID: Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – an infection of the female reproductive organs.

· PIF: Potential Intended Father

· PIM: Potential Intended Mother

· PIO: Progesterone in Oil – an injectable form of progesterone, an essential pregnancy hormone.

· PIP: Potential Intended Parent

· PMS: Premenstrual Syndrome  physical and emotional symptoms that occur in the one to two weeks before a woman’s period.

· POAS: Pee On A Stick – Use a home pregnancy test.

· PPD: Postpartum Depression – Depression that occurs after childbirth.

· PROM: Premature Rupture of the Membranes – a condition that occurs in pregnancy. It is defined as rupture, or breakage, of the amniotic sac more than one hour before the onset of labor. The sac, or “membranes” contain amniotic fluid which surrounds and protects the fetus in the womb.

· PTL: Preterm Labor  is labor that happens too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy.



· RBC: Red Blood Cell – Blood cells that deliver oxygen to the tissues.

· RE: Reproductive Endocrinologist – a surgical subspecialty of obstetrics and gynecology that trains physicians in reproductive medicine addressing hormonal functioning as it pertains to reproduction as well as the issue of infertility.

· RPL: Recurrent Pregnancy Loss – This is a condition when a woman has 2 or more clinical pregnancy losses (miscarriages) before the pregnancies reach 20 weeks.

· RSA: Recurrent Spontaneous Abortion  is a disease distinct from infertility, defined by two or more failed pregnancies.


· SAAF: Stay Away Aunt Flo

· SAHD: Stay At Home Dad

· SAHM: Stay At Home Mom

· SCH: Subchronic Hematoma/ Subchronic Hemorrhage – the most common reason for first trimester bleeding – a pooling of blood between the membrane surrounding the embryo and the uterine wall.

· SD: Sperm Donor – the provision, or “donation” by a male of his sperm, principally for the purpose of inseminating a female who is not his sexual partner.

· SET: Single Embryo Transfer – the transfer of one single embryo.

· SHG: Sonohysterogram – a saline solution ultrasound

· SHOW: Soft High Open Wet – condition of cervix during ovulation.

· SI: Secondary Infertility – defined as the inability to become pregnant, or to carry a pregnancy to term, following the birth of one or more biological children. The birth of the first child does not involve any assisted reproductive technologies or fertility medications.

· SO: Significant Other

· STD: Sexually Transmitted Disease

· SubQ: Subcutaneous Injection – a shot given into the fat layer between the skin and muscle.

· SW: Social Worker


· TS: Traditional Surrogacy – In which the surrogate either undergoes artificial insemination or IVF with sperm from the male or from a sperm donor. The surrogate herself provides the eggs and is therefore genetically related to the child.

· TTC: Trying to Conceive

· Tx: Treatment


· US: Ultrasound

· UTI: Urinary Tract Infection


· VBAC: Vaginal Birth after Cesarean

· VBA2C: Vaginal Birth after 2 Cesareans


· WAH: Work At Home

· WAHD: Work At Home Dad

· WAHM: Work At Home Mom

· WAHP: Work At Home Parent

· WBC: White Blood Cells

· WD: Working Dad


· X-AFP: Expanded Alpha-Protein Test – Quad Screening is a prenatal test to determine the likelihood that a fetus (unborn baby) is affected with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), trisomy 18, and certain types of birth defects (open neural tube defect or abdominal wall defects).


· YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary – your experience may be different.



Surrogacy Acronyms Cheat Sheet