A Beginner’s Guide to Fertility Forums

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Those new to fertility forums may find themselves intimidated by the acronym shorthand used by the commenters. Here’s a handy guide (in alphabetical order) to navigate your experience – and help you participate yourself!


AF – Aunt Flo, or, got my period


AFAF – Bleeding out my vagina hard as fuck


AFNW – Aunt Flo not wanted


AFNSFW – Aunt Flo not safe for work because I’ll throw a stapler at the first person I see once I learn this last round of emotionally-crippling shots was pointless


AH – Assisted hatching


AHHHHHH – Please oh please I don’t want to do IVF


AI – Artificial insemination


AIAI – Artificial insemination done by a robot


ART – Assisted reproductive technology done in pointillist style


BA – Not, as one assumes, a bachelor’s degree of arts, but baby aspirin, because that’s what you care about now


BFN – Big fat negative pregnancy test


BFGW – My Big Fat Greek Wedding, an excellent movie to watch during hormonally-induced bouts of crying. Where’s MY mother to hold me to her bosom and feed me spanakopita?


BMS – Baby-making sex, and not, as one might assume, the plural of “bowel movement”


BOB – Baby on the brain. Also Bob, your next door neighbor who keeps asking after your fertility journey in an uncomfortable way.


CB – Cycle buddy, meaning someone who is on the same ovulation timeline as you, and who will also, occasionally, force you to go to spin class


GF – Gluten-free, which if your infertility is impacted by endometriosis, is something you may wish to consider


GFL – Good fucking luck actually sticking with that diet though


IPS – Imaginary pregnancy symptoms, which you will experience every two weeks before your period and lead you to search engine results like, “are you pregnant, or are you just a hangry bitch?”

IPO – Did you know your social stock price increases once you have kids? As a barren woman you’re not quite ready to go public so avoid neighborhood potlucks and other gatherings where you’ll be the only childless couple.


IUI – The turkey baster method




LSC – Low sperm count


LSSC – The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. If you’re feeling low about your situation, get up to date on the impending fall our democracy!


MC – Miscarriage


MSC – Missed carriage (pre-1900s references only)


MF – Male factor infertility


MFSMFEMFU – I’m tired of this motherfucking sperm not penetrating my motherfucking egg and not implanting in my motherfucking uterus!


PG – Pregnant. Didn’t you learn that from watching the movie Grease?


RE – Reproductive endocrinologist


REI – Place where you spend too much money during an emotionally-charged period where you attempt to do “Wild”


SA – Semen analysis


SOS – Song by ABBA we suggest playing on repeat, especially during BMS


TTC – Trying to conceive


TLC – A reminder to stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to. Why do you think you can bypass God and grow a baby through science?? Also a reminder to be kind to yourself. This process is tough and you are tougher, but it’s okay not to be all the time.


VAG – Vagina. Like you needed a guide to tell you that.

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