At Fertility Fusion, we understand that fertility can be stressful, both physically and mentally, and our team wants to make sure that you are prepared and well-informed for your journey ahead, so we’ve produced a handy guide to some of the acronyms you may hear or read about on our website, others like it and within any materials you research.
Included below are some of the common acronyms, descriptions and additional information to help you better understand your body and the processes you may undertake with us.
IVF – In vitro fertilisation – this is one of our cycles of treatment that has give main stages – stimulation, egg collection, insemination, embryo culture and embryo transfer. You can find out more about IVF treatment here.
ICSI – Intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection – this is the process by which an individual sperm is injected into an individual egg, which is a different process to that of IVF, otherwise the treatment pathway remains the same for both. We often use the ICSI process in cases of male factor infertility, previous poor fertilisation rate with IVF treatment or previous unsuccessful fertilisation with standard IVF.
IUI – Intra-uterine insemination – this form of treatment can improve the chance of conceiving by having a combination of ovulation induction, using either tablets or injects, combined with a timed insemination of prepared sperm directly into the uterus. You can find out more about IUI here.
HFEA – Human Fertilisation Embryology Authority – the HFEA is the UK government fertility regulator, offering impartial, accurate information about IVF, clinics and other fertility treatments. You can find out more about Fertility Fusion’s HFEA rating and leave feedback about your experience with Fertility Fusion here.
GP – General Practitioner – if your fertility journey is being funded by the NHS, you can be referred to us by simply asking for a letter of referral from your GP.
PCOS – Polycystic ovary syndrome – this is a common condition that affects how a woman’s ovaries work, related to abnormal hormone levels in the body, including high levels of insulin. You can find out more about the condition on the NHS website here.
AMH – Anti-mullerian hormone – a hormone secreted by cells in developing egg sacs (follicles). The level of AMH in a woman’s blood is generally a good indicator of her ovarian reserve.
FSH – Follicle-stimulatory hormone – this helps control a woman’s menstrual cycle and the production of eggs – FSH stimulates the ovaries to produce follicles, which are fluid filled sacs, which grow, develop and release an egg.
LH – Luteinising hormone - this is linked to ovarian hormone production and egg maturation, causing follicles to grow, mature and be released ready for fertilisation. It reaches its highest level in the middle of the menstrual cycle, around days 12 to 14 of a 28-day cycle, peaking at approximately 37-40 hours before ovulations occurs.
HyCoSy – Hysterosalpingo-contrast-sonography - a scan which will check that the fallopian tubes are open. This involves the injection of a specially designed foam through the cervix into the cavity of the womb, enabling us to confirm whether or not the tubes are patent (not blocked). It is also referred to as HyFoSy (Hysterosalpingo-foam-sonography)
STD – Sexually transmitted diseases – some STDs can negatively impact on fertility and in some cases, cause infertility. At Fertility Fusion, tests are carried out for chlamydia, as this is a significant contributory cause of tuba, factor infertility.
PVSA – Post vasectomy semen analysis - this usually takes place 20 weeks after a vasectomy and the test takes place to check for sperm in a semen sample following the procedure. You can find out more about this process here.
FET – Frozen embryo transfer – frozen embryos can be replaced in either a natural cycle or a medicated cycle. If your periods are infrequent of irregular, it may not be possible to use the natural cycle as the transfer is timed to follow the ovulatory Luteinising Hormone (LH) surge. This would be determined by ultrasound scans and LH testing (using either urine or blood tests). The embryo transfer is the same as for fresh embryos when replacing frozen thawed embryos.
If pregnancy is achieved in a medicated transfer cycle, those medications will need to be continued until the pregnancy has reached 12 completed weeks. The drugs used are a mixture of oestrogen and progesterone, which can be administered by a variety of routes.
BMI – Body mass index - this is a measure that uses your height and weight to work out if your weight is healthy. Being overweight or obese (having a BMI of 30 or over) reduces fertility; in women, being overweight or severely underweight can affect ovulation.
TSH - Thyroid stimulating hormone – TSH is vital for regulating your metabolism through the production of thyroxine. Thyroid gland abnormalities can affect fertility and many fertility specialists prefer the TSH to be in the lower half of the normal range, this is something we will test for at Fertility Fusion.