Every single community, no matter how big or small, develops its own jargon. Even twins sometimes make up their own language and words for things. So it's not surprising that one big part of the infertility community is actually something small like the language, but it's very confusing if you don't understand it.
At first, when I was learning all of the abbreviations, I thought it was just flat out stupid. I felt like everyone was being 14 year old teenagers texting on their phones that had a 160 character limit. But as I started using it, it's actually become very useful. There are a lot of big words or phrases that are commonly used, and typing an abbreviation is simpler and easier than having to look up a word to know how to spell it, and is a time saver since we say them so often (only once you understand what all of the phrases mean first.) It's so much easier to use abbreviations when chatting with my online support group. Everyone know what it means, so why not save some time? Now I even catch myself having to proofread my blog posts on here to catch any abbreviations I might have used accidentally!
Here are the common ones. There is a huge list, but most aren't used all that often. Here are the very common ones. They probably should be in alphabetical order, but I'm just typing them as I think of them. More like order of importance.
TTC- Trying to conceive (I promised I'd tell what it is!)
TWW or 2WW- Two week wait. The wait after ovulation until you can test.
AF- "Aunt Flo," a nicer word for menstruation
CD- Cycle day
DPO- Days past ovulation (Counting the days in the TWW)
OPK- Ovulation predictor kit
HPT- Home pregnancy test
POAS- Pee on a stick, taking a pregnancy test.
FMU- First morning urine
BFN- Big fat negative! For when you test for pregnancy and it's negative
BFP- Big fat positive! A positive pregnancy test
BBT- Basal body temperature. The temp that ladies take in the morning to track ovulation.
BD- "Baby dance," or intercourse. It seems less personal to talk about it that way
CM- Cervical mucous. Don't even worry about why women are talking about it.
DH- Dear husband
AFM- As for me
EDD- Estimated due date
hCG- Human Chronic Gonadotropin. You all know that one already.
IUI- Intrauterine insemination
IVF- In vitro fertilization
LH- Luteinizing hormone, the hormone detected by OPKs
RE- Reproductive endocrinologist
SA- Semen analysis
That's just about it!
Here's an example of how I use them every day.
"Hey [user] congrats on the BFP! I'm so glad you decided to finally POAS even though it's only 12DPO and not let the fear of a BFN get in the way. Did you track your BBT and see the temp dip? Will you get an hCG quant. test soon? What is your EDD?
"AFM: Been TTC since Feb. 2010, so it'll be three years on Valentine's Day. It feels so weird to think it's been that long. CD 3 today, took Clomid. It sure gave me really weird, creepy dreams last night. AF still hanging on but not too bad this time. I'l start OPKs next week and hopefully DH and I will BD at all the right times and finally have our miracle!"
Did you catch on quickly? That actually looks like an average conversation.
You're now ready for a conversation with pretty much every online group talking about infertility, and even those women just talking about TTC. These aren't exclusive to the IF community.