Wellness·6 min read

Fertility and Pregnancy Acronyms to Know, Whether You're TTC or Not

A woman holding her pregnant belly
Design: theSkimm | Photo: iStock
January 9, 2023

Whether you’re trying to conceive or you have a visible bump, pregnancy can bring an overload of information with it. Including a long list of new acronyms that get thrown around in the doctor’s office, on Facebook groups, and in conversations with other expecting parents. Like the commonly used TWW and TTC.

If all of this makes you feel like you're back in biology class, you're not alone. Enter: Our pregnancy acronym cheat-sheet. We called up Dr. Alexander Chiang, OB-GYN at UCLA, to break down the ones you need to know. 

Expert interviewed:

Dr. Alexander Chiang

Dr. Alexander Chiang - Dr. Alexander Chiang is a board certified OB-GYN at UCLA Health.

CD: The day of your menstrual cycle you're on / EDD: The estimated date when you'll give birth / HPT: The pregnancy tests you can find at your local drugstore
Design: theSkimm

What does TTC mean in pregnancy?

TTC means “trying to conceive.” Aka you’re not pregnant yet, but you want to be. Whether that means you’re making a conscious effort to have sex before and during ovulation or you’re going through fertility treatments like IUI or IVF

Got it. And what does TWW mean in pregnancy?

TWW stands for “two week wait.” It’s the 14-day period between ovulation (when you’re most likely to conceive) and when doctors advise you to take a pregnancy test, said Dr. Chiang. And if you’re TTC, you know that these two weeks can feel more like two years. 

Any other pregnancy acronyms I should know?

Quite a few, actually. Here are some of the big ones:  

When you're trying to conceive...

CD: Cycle day

Meaning which day of your menstrual cycle you’re on. “Cycle day one is the first day of your period,” explained Dr. Chiang. And, reminder, the average cycle lasts 28 days.

CN: Cycle number

The number of menstrual cycles you’ve had since you started trying to conceive. Most people get pregnant within the first six months to a year. 

LMP: Last menstrual period

The first day of your last period. Important, because this helps your doc calculate how far along you are. 

BBT: Basal body temperature

Your resting body temperature. Which rises during ovulation, thanks to an increase in progesterone. Some people measure their temp to help them plan to conceive — or as a birth control measure.

CM: Cervical mucus

The fluid made in your cervix, which becomes more slippery during ovulation to help sperm find their way to the egg.

EWCM: Egg white cervical mucus

The name for the type of cervical mucus that’s discharged during ovulation. Which kind of look like raw egg whites. Aka your sign to get down and dirty if you’re TTC.

OV: Ovulation

Ovulation is part of your menstrual cycle. If you’re trying to conceive, this is when you’ll want to have sex to increase your odds of getting pregnant. It usually happens on the 14th day of a 28-day cycle and the egg lasts for 12 to 24 hours. 

DPO: Days past ovulation

The number of days after you ovulate before taking a pregnancy test. Aka the days during the TWW. 

OPK or OPT: Ovulation predictor kit or ovulation predictor test

A test you can get at the drugstore that can help you predict when you’ll ovulate.

HPT: Home pregnancy test

The pregnancy tests you can find at your local drugstore.

hCG: Human chorionic gonadotropin

The hormone that pregnancy tests look for to give you either a positive or negative result. It’s often called the “pregnancy hormone” because it’s produced by the placenta.

Fertility and infertility...

IF: Infertility

Defined as being unable to get pregnant after 12 months of unprotected sex.

M/C: Miscarriage

Losing a pregnancy before the 20th week. Which is more common than you think: Up to 20% of known pregnancies are lost. 

IUI: Intrauterine insemination

A fertility treatment where a partner’s or donor’s sperm is inserted into your uterus to fertilize an egg.

IVF: In vitro fertilization

Another fertility treatment. This time, your eggs are harvested and fertilized with sperm outside your body, then transferred to your uterus. 

DPR: Days past retrieval

The number of days that have passed since your eggs were retrieved during IVF treatment. 

ET: Embryo transfer

When a doctor transfers an embryo (a fertilized egg) into your uterus during IVF treatment. It’s the last step in the fertility treatment process. If it’s successful, the embryo will implant in your uterine lining in about 10 days. 

FET: Frozen embryo transfer

Embryos that are created during IVF and then frozen. When you’re ready to get pregnant, a doctor or fertility specialist can transfer one into the uterus. 

EDD: Estimated due date

The estimated date for when you’ll give birth. Spoiler, you're unlikely to go into labor on this exact day. 

GA: Gestational age

How far along you are in your pregnancy. Think: 12 weeks, 20 weeks, 39 weeks and 3 days, etc. 

Experts and testing...

CNM: Certified nurse midwife

A health care professional who helps with labor and delivery. Certified nurse midwives typically attend graduate-level midwifery programs and often work in hospitals. 

RE: Reproductive endocrinologist

Also known as a fertility specialist.

US: Ultrasound

You know that magic moment when your baby pops up on the big screen? That’s thanks to an ultrasound. It’s the machine doctors use to see your baby through your belly. 

CVS: Chorionic villus sampling

When a doctor tests the placental tissue to screen for any potential genetic abnormalities. It usually takes place between the 10th and 13th week.


It’s OK to feel overwhelmed by everything that’s thrown at you when you’re pregnant or TTC. Including all the new terms and abbreviations. Pro tip: Keep this list close by for reference during your next visit to Reddit or a doctor’s office.

This content is for informational and educational purposes only. It does not constitute a medical opinion, medical advice, or diagnosis or treatment of any particular condition. 

Subscribe to Skimm Well

Sign up here to receive our wellness newsletter filled with actionable advice, expert-vetted content, product recs, and more — delivered directly to your inbox.