New to the fertility world? Don’t fret! The vast array of terms and abbreviations can feel overwhelming at first. But fear not, we’ve got your back. Below, you’ll find an extensive list of abbreviations commonly used in the fertility community.

If you encounter any other unfamiliar terms along the way, reach out to us without hesitation. We’re here to provide clarity and answer all your questions.

ART = Assisted Reproductive Technology

Assisted reproductive technology is the extended term encompassing all assisted reproduction methods, including surrogacy, in-vitro fertilization, gamete donation and more.


IVF = In Vitro Fertilization

IVF refers to the ART technique of retrieving eggs and sperm and creating embryos in a lab.


DE = Donor Egg

A donor egg is used to create an embryo for an Intended Parent, who may be a single man, a same-sex male couple or an intended mother whose eggs are not viable for healthy embryos.


ED = Egg Donor/Donation

This is an acronym used when a surrogacy process includes an egg donation.


GC = Gestational Carrier

A gestational carrier (or Gestational Surrogate) is a woman who carries the Intended Parents’ child. She is not genetically related to the baby.


IF(s) = Intended Father(s)

IM(s) = Intended Mother(s)


IP(s) = Intended Parent(s)

The Intended Parents are the people who are trying to have a biologically related child through surrogacy.


RE = Reproductive Endocrinologist

A reproductive endocrinologist is a fertility specialist who assists Intended Parents through their infertility struggles. This will likely be one of the first professionals Intended Parents interact with. After they decide to pursue surrogacy, a reproductive endocrinologist will work with the Intended Parents and the Surrogate to coordinate the embryo creation and transfer process.


BCP = Birth Control Pills

Birth control pills are sometimes used in surrogacy when a fresh embryo is created. A Surrogate will take the pills to coordinate with the intended mother’s or Egg Donor’s cycle before transfer.


CD = Cycle Day

A cycle day is the first day of a woman’s menstrual cycle. The first day of her period is Day 1.


CM = Cervical Mucus

Cervical mucus is a good representation of a Surrogate’s fertility and usually has to reach a certain level before an embryo transfer can occur.


LH = Luteinizing Hormone

Luteinizing hormone, also known as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), is closely monitored during the surrogacy process. It’s a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland to stimulate the growth of the ovarian follicle in the development of eggs and control the menstrual cycle.


E2 = Estradiol

Estradiol is an estrogen medication that Surrogates take to prepare for embryo transfer, mainly to help grow the lining of the uterus.


US or U/S = Ultrasound

Ultrasounds are completed at various stages throughout the surrogacy process. At first, they will be completed to ensure her uterus is “ready” for a transfer and then to ensure a baby is developing correctly.


LMP = Last Menstrual Period

A Surrogate must be aware of her LMP, which is the last time her period started, so fertility specialists can know when she is most fertile and can accept a transferred embryo. Usually, a fertility clinic tracks this closely.


ET = Embryo Transfer

The fertility clinic completes the embryo transfer once a Surrogate’s body is deemed ready to accept an embryo.


FET = Frozen Embryo Transfer

Rather than a fresh embryo transfer, this kind of transfer involves a frozen embryo, usually left over from the Intended Parents’ previous IVF treatments.


DPT = Day Post Transfer

This is a more general acronym for post-transfer day tracking.



2WW = 2 Week Wait

The two-week wait refers to the time between when an embryo is transferred into the Surrogate’s uterus and when she can be tested for a positive pregnancy.



BETA = Blood Test for Pregnancy

BETA hCG levels are the chemical and blood levels that determine if a Surrogate is pregnant. Surrogates and fertility clinics will track their BETA levels; while an increasing BETA level means a Surrogate is pregnant, a declining BETA level means a Surrogate is not pregnant.


HCG/HCG = Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

HCG is the hormone tested during a blood test for pregnancy (BETA), as it’s the hormone created by the placenta during pregnancy.


HPT = Home Pregnancy Test

While fertility clinics and Intended Parents prefer the absoluteness of a blood pregnancy test completed at the clinic, some Surrogates take home pregnancy tests in the days leading up to their BETA to see if their positive pregnancy read strengthens.


PG = Pregnant

This is an acronym Surrogates use to describe where they are in their surrogacy journey, either after they complete a pregnancy test or otherwise.


SubQ = Subcutaneous Injections

These injections are the standard way that pregnancy and preparation hormones are administered to prospective Surrogates and women who have their eggs retrieved.


PIO = Progesterone in Oil

This is another progesterone supplement.


PUPO = Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise

After transfer, the Surrogate is considered pregnant until betas, when blood work will prove the Surrogate is pregnant or not.


OB = Obstetrician; OB/GYN = Obstetrician/Gynecologist

After the reproductive endocrinologist confirms a healthy pregnancy, the OB/GYN is the professional who will work with the Surrogate throughout her pregnancy to make sure she and the unborn baby are healthy.


PGT-A = Pre-Genetic Testing for Aneuploid Embryos

This sampling is a prenatal test conducted to diagnose chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome and other genetic disorders. Fertility clinics will usually test several embryos with this process before determining which one they will transfer to a Surrogate’s uterus.


NIPT = Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing

It is a method of determining the risk that the fetus will be born with specific genetic abnormalities. This involves testing and analyzing small DNA fragments circulating in the Surrogate’s blood.


N/T = Nuchal Translucency

The nuchal translucency (NT) ultrasound can give you information about the baby’s health, and can be done only at a certain time in pregnancy: from 11 weeks 2 days to 13 weeks 3 days.


SCH = Subchorionic Hemorrhage

This is a hematoma that develops in about 25 percent of pregnant women. While a subchorionic hemorrhage usually regresses, it’s important that Surrogates who experience any kind of unusual vaginal bleeding while pregnant, contact their doctor.



HSC = Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy is a procedure that allows a doctor to look closely at a woman’s uterine lining. It can be used to diagnose infertility or diagnose any difficulty in a Surrogate’s ability to successfully carry a baby.


OPU (Ovum Pick-Up)/Egg Retrieval

Refers to the ART procedure of retrieving the Egg Donor’s eggs while under sedation.This process is done using a needle guided ultrasound probe and extracting the eggs from each of the donor’s ovaries.