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Vocabulary for the Fertility Therapist and Client

In the Reproductive Therapy world there are a few key vocabulary words that are crucial for therapist and clients understand. Knowing terminology in infertility support groups, message boards and fertility appointments allows clients to feel empowered to be proactive advocates for their bodies.

TTC: Trying to Conceive

TTC means someone is actively trying to get pregnant. This can be through routes of tracking cycles, timing intercourse or pursuing fertility treatments.


RE is a Reproductive Endocrinologist. This is a Doctor who’s specialty is helping people become pregnant and stay pregnant.


Two week wait- this is a time that brings about lots of anxiety of “will I be pregnant” this occurs during the time a person ovulates or has an embryo transfer. This waiting time is really difficult for many people and there’s much anxiety involved in the daily symptom checking and hyper-vigilance in this period.

IUI: Intrauterine Insemination

This is a fertility treatment where sperm gets transferred to a person’s uterus in hopes of helping increase the odds of pregnancy. This is done in conjunction with medications and at times ovulation trigger shots.

Retrieval: Egg Retrieval 

This process is where an egg(s) is retrieved through surgery from a person’s ovaries which helps in egg freezing or IVF.

IVF: In Vitro Fertilization

IVF is a treatment in which eggs are removed from a person’s body and then fertilized in the lab. This can be done with donor eggs as well. The embryo’s can be tested for genetics or not- it’s up to each patient to make this choice for their family. The embryo is in put back into the uterus in attempt to achieve a pregnancy.

FET: Frozen Embryo Transfer

This is a procedure where embryo’s that are not used for a IVF cycle are frozen and stored for future use.

Need to learn more about fertility options and treatments? Check out ASRM’s patient resources.


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