By: Melinda B. Henne, M.D.
Going to the fertility clinic is scary enough even when you understand all the terms. It’s even harder when it feels like you are reading alphabet soup. Here is a list of common abbreviations used in the clinic.
ART—Assisted Reproductive Technology include advanced fertility techniques such as in vitro fertilization where an embryology lab is required to help fertilize an egg
ECS—Expanded Carrier Screening may be offered to couples planning to have a baby. There are many illnesses that have a genetic cause and require genes from both parents. If a person is a carrier of any of these conditions, they won’t be affected but if they conceive with someone who also is a carrier of these genes, there is a ¼ chance their child could have the condition.
FET—Frozen Embryo Transfer is when an embryo grown in the lab is transferred into the woman’s uterus after having been cryogenically preserved (frozen) for some period of time.
HSG—A HysteroSalpingoGram is a procedure where fluid is placed into the uterus and x-ray is taken of the uterus and tubes to see the shape of the uterus and/or to see if the tubes are open
ICSI—Sometimes, advanced techniques are needed to fertilize an egg. IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection is where a single sperm is placed directly into an egg to increase fertilization
IUI—IntraUterine Insemination is the process where sperm is concentrated and placed into the woman’s uterus.
IVF—In Vitro Fertilization is the process where eggs are retrieved from a woman’s body and fertilized in the laboratory with a man’s sperm to create an embryo. Embryos are then placed in the woman’s uterus.
OHSS—Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome is a condition that sometimes happens when ovaries have been stimulated to make more than one egg. Sometimes it is serious and requires medical intervention.
PCOS—PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition where women don’t ovulate (release eggs) regularly. The ovaries have a particular appearance on ultrasound and some women have higher than normal levels of androgens (masculine hormones). There are other conditions that may cause these symptoms that should be evaluated and ruled out before the diagnosis is made.
PGT—Preimpantation Diagnostic Testing is a laboratory procedure where cells are removed from the developing embryo and tested for genetic conditions
SET—Single Embryo Transfer is when one embryo is placed into a woman’s uterus. eSET is an elective SET and means there was more than one embryo available and the woman chose to have only one embryo transferred. Other embryos may be stored for later.
SIS—Saline Infusion Sonography is a procedure where salt water is placed into the uterus while ultrasound is being performed. This gives a very detailed look at the inside shape and lining of the uterus
TVOR—Transvaginal Oocyte Retrieval is the procedure where eggs are removed from a woman’s ovaries with ultrasound guidance. This is done by a needle attached to an internal (vaginal) ultrasound probe. Women are often sedated for this procedure.