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What Does IVF Stand For? Answering Queries on Some Unfamiliar Terms
Article from medical experts from our clinic
2022-08-23

What Does IVF Stand For? Answering Queries on Some Unfamiliar Terms

We understand that some of the steps on the path to parenthood can seem disheartening, and may even be confusing if you’re presented with information and terms you’ve never come across before. This includes terms you may hear being used by others taking their own journeys, or even medical abbreviations such as IVF. But what does IVF stand for? What do you need to know about it? Are there any other terms you’ll come across that you should be familiar with before starting?

We have answered some of the most common queries patients have about abbreviations and medical terms they may come across. Read on to learn more, or contact us today if you feel that you are ready to book a consultation with a professional. We’ll even be glad to provide you with a free-of-charge mini consultation and introduction to our clinic if you are still deciding where to conduct your treatment.

What Does IVF Stand for in Medical Terms?

In medical terms, IVF stands for “in vitro fertilisation”. This can then be broken down into parts, in order to get a better idea of what each one means:

• In: This is simply the Latin for “in”. When put together with vitro, the result is the Latin for “in glass”

• Vitro: As mentioned above, this is the Latin word for “glass”. It refers to the glass test tubes that were used in early IVF procedures, which have allowed the technology to develop and to make such procedures possible outside of a living organism on a regular basis

• Fertilisation: This refers to the part of the IVF process where the eggs and sperm are introduced and combined, in order to create an embryo

To learn more about this form of assisted reproduction, its forms, and its success rates, please visit our page or contact our clinic directly. One of our professional consultants will be glad to provide the answers you need.

What Does Beta Stand for in IVF?

Around 10 days after a patient has undergone an embryo transfer, they will be invited to return to the clinic in order to see if the transfer has been successful. 

This will be done by carrying out a blood pregnancy test, which is often called a “beta” test because it measures a beta chain portion of the human chorionic gonadotropin (also called the hCG hormone). This is the hormone for the maternal recognition of pregnancy in the body, and is why the test is officially called the “beta hCG” blood test.

The hCG Hormone

The hCG hormone is only ever present during pregnancy, so our test will clearly be able to determine whether or not a cycle has resulted in a pregnancy based on the levels of the hormone in the patient’s blood. However, it must also be noted that there is no single cutoff point in an hCG level that determines or defines a “normal” pregnancy. 

The beta hCG level will vary, based on when the test was performed.

What is Considered a Good hCG Level?

Generally, a beta hCG level of over 100 is considered a good, positive result, but the most important factor overall is the rate of increase over time. It should double every 48 hours, and the higher the percentage of rise in hCG drawn two days after the initial beta test was conducted, the more likely it is that the pregnancy will be viable.

Particularly high hCG levels after a beta test could also indicate multiple births (twins or triplets). This would have to be confirmed via an ultrasound scan, however, as high levels can also have other medical reasons and conditions behind them. Your specialist will always carefully go over your results with you and make sure you are fully informed about the next steps and the options you have before proceeding.

What Does FET Stand for in IVF?

When having IVF treatment at our private clinic in London, your consultant will also speak to you about the process involved in frozen embryo transfer (FET). FET cycles are IVF cycles carried out using frozen embryos, which are then thawed and transferred into a patient’s uterus in the hopes of achieving a viable pregnancy. 

FET is typically carried out using embryos that a patient has frozen from a previous cycle of Stimulated (also called Conventional) IVF. It is also possible for an embryo to be created from a previous egg donation, in the event that the intended parents are unable to use eggs of their own, as well as donor sperm for the same reasons.

Should IVF Use Frozen or Fresh Embryos?

There isn’t usually a preference between a frozen or fresh embryo transfer, though in some cases a specialist may recommend one over the other. Fresh embryo transfer is still considered as a good choice for normal responders. In circumstances where the patient is considered high-risk of OHSS, or where the patient is having embryo testing for chromosomal abnormalities, embryo freezing and having a frozen transfer is the best option.

 In circumstances where a fresh embryo transfer is to take place, for instance, the patient may be younger and have no suspected chromosomal issue that would affect a viable pregnancy.

We have also listed a few of the reasons you may choose to consider FET when undergoing an IVF procedure:

• You are planning on having more children in the future

• You would like to save them, in case your first cycle does not work

• You are planning on having genetic screenings carried out

• You are at high risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS)

• You are using an embryo donor

• A fresh embryo transfer was cancelled

• A polyp has been identified.

What Does PASP Stand for in IVF?

Alongside medical terms and abbreviations, you are also likely to find acronyms and initialisms which have been invented by internet users and prospective parents looking to share their experiences and their fertility journey within an online community. 

One of these initialisms is PASP, which stands for “Pregnant and Staying Pregnant”. It is a term used in hope, and all of us here at GENNET City Fertility wish to help our patients reach the stage where they can confidently declare that they are PASP as well.

Other Medical Terms to Consider

The internet-invented abbreviations you will come across can vary greatly, depending on the forums you choose to use and the support groups you find there. We cannot necessarily help you with all of these, but we are more than happy to provide information and explanations on medical terms. 

Below, we have listed some of the terms you may come across when getting that little bit of extra help on your journey to parenthood:

• Artificial Insemination (AI, or IUI, or intrauterine insemination)

• Assisted Reproductive Technologies (or ART)

• Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI)

• Intracytoplasmic Morphologically Selected Sperm Injection (IMSI)

• Physiological Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (PICSI)

• Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis, or Preimplantation Genetic Testing in Monogenic Diseases (PGD or PGT-M)

• Preimplantation Genetic Screening, or Preimplantation Genetic Testing of Aneuploidy (PGS, or PGT-A)

If you have any questions about any of these terms, please don’t hesitate to take a look at our advice pages on them, or to speak to us in person. 

Have You Been Considering IVF Treatment in the UK?

If you know you are ready to take the next step and start forming the family you have always wanted, contact our team today. With specialist knowledge and advice from consultants, and care and understanding from our full team, you will be given everything you need to make the IVF treatment decision that’s right and completely personalised for you. 

You will never be left wondering about terms or abbreviations that are related to your care with our service. Speak with us today and let's start mapping out your journey to parenthood.

Article from medical experts from our clinic