Surrogacy Terms & Acronyms

Acronym/ Abbreviation Term Definition
A/B Antibody A protein found in the blood that is produced in response to foreign substances (e.g. bacteria or viruses) invading the body. Antibodies protect the body from disease by binding to these organisms and destroying them.
APGAR score The APGAR score is a measurement of a newborn’s response to birth and life outside the womb. Ratings are based on the following factors: Appearance (color); Pulse, Grimace (reflex), Activity and Respiration. A high score is 10 and the low end is 1.
AI Artificial Insemination Placing sperm into the female reproductive tract.
BBT Basal Body Temperature A woman’s base body temperature, measured at the same time each day, upon first waking up in the morning, before getting out of bed. Used in fertility charting.
BPM Beats Per Minute Referring to the fetal heart. A normal fetal heart rate ranges from 120 to 160 BPM. There is no correlation between fetal heart rate and the baby’s gender, despite common myths.
BETA Beta hCG Test A blood test used to detect very early pregnancy and evaluate development.
Biochemical Pregnancy When the patient’s pregnancy test is positive but no pregnancy is visible on ultrasound scan.
BIOP Biopsy The removal of a piece of tissue for microscopic examination.
Blastocyst Transfer The transfer of one or more embryos at the blastocyst stage into the uterine cavity.
C/S Caesarean Section Delivery or C-section The delivery of a baby via an abdominal surgical incision. Most common is a transverse (or “bikini”) incision that is performed along the top of the pubic hairline. Vertical (“classical”) incisions are less common but may be required in certain circumstances.
Chemical Pregnancy Pregnancy documented by a blood or urine test that shows a rise in the level of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone without the presence of a fetus.
CVS Chorionic Villus Sampling A procedure that involves taking a biopsy from the placenta to test the fetus for genetic abnormalities. It is usually carried out under ultrasound scan at about eleven weeks of pregnancy. The placenta has the same genetic make-up as the baby. There is a 2-3% risk of the procedure causing a miscarriage.
Clinical Pregnancy A pregnancy confirmed by increasing levels of hCG and the presence of a gestational sac detected by ultrasound scan but no fetus is present.
CLOMID Clomiphene A fertility drug (anti Estrogen tablet) used to stimulate ovulation.
D&C Dilatation and Curettage It is the dilatation of the cervical canal followed by the scrapping of the uterine lining.
DE Donor Eggs Eggs used in Surrogacy that is not from Surrogate or the Intended Parents. Also called oocyte donation.
DPR Days Post-Retrieval
DPT Days Post-Transfer
E2 Estradiol Estrogen steroid hormone and the major female sex hormone. Crucial in the regulation of the female reproductive cycles.
Egg Collection/Retrieval The procedure by which eggs are collected from the woman’s ovaries.
ED Egg Donor Woman who donates eggs used in IVF that is not Surrogate or Intended Parent.
Egg Recipient A woman who receives embryos created with donor eggs.
E Embryo A fertilized egg up to eight weeks of development.
ET Embryo Transfer The replacement of one or more embryos into the uterine cavity.
Fetus The term used for an embryo after the eighth week of development until birth.
FET Frozen Embryo Transfer When an embryo, frozen from a previous IVF cycle, is unthawned and transferred into the Surrogate Mother’s uterus.
Gamete A reproductive cell, either a sperm or an egg.
Gestation Period The period of development of the embryo/fetus from the time of conception until birth.
GS Gestational Surrogate A woman who carries a baby that is not biologically related to her for a person or couple. Pregnancy is achieved through In Vitro Fertilization, whereby embryos created from eggs of the “Intended Mother” or an egg donor and the sperm of the “Intended Father” or sperm donor.
HPT Home Pregnancy Test Non-clinical urine test used to determine if a woman is pregnant.
hCG Human Chorionic Gonadotropin A hormone produced by the placenta after implantation.
IPs Intended Parents A couple who choose to have a baby with the assistance of an egg donor and/or surrogate mother.
IUI Intrauterine Insemination Form of assisted human reproduction that involves transferring sperm into a woman’s uterus to enable fertilization. Does not involve the manipulation of eggs.
IVF In Vitro Fertilization A procedure that involves removing eggs from a woman’s ovaries and fertilizing them in the laboratory. The resulting embryos are then transferred into the woman’s (or surrogate’s) uterus through the cervix.
LAP Laparoscopy A minimally invasive surgical procedure in the pelvis or abdomen through a small incision with the assistance of a video camera.
MC Miscarriage Natural lose of a pregnancy.
Natural Childbirth Generally refers to childbirth without pain relief (anaesthesia or analgesia); may alternatively be used to indicate a vaginal delivery rather than a caesarean birth.
OB Obstetrician A doctor who specializes in childbirth, pregnancy and a woman’s reproductive system.
OC Oral Contraceptives Birth control pill designed to be taken orally.
OPK Ovulation Predictor Kit Urine test used to determine a woman’s fertility window.
P4 Progesterone Medication and naturally occurring steroid hormone helps prepare a woman’s body for conception and pregnancy.
PET Post-embryo transfer
PGD Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis A procedure used before implantation to help detect embryos that are genetically defective.
PMS Premenstrual Syndrome Emotional and physical symptoms that occur in a woman 1-2 weeks before her period.
RE Reproductive Endocrinologist A medical doctors with special training in fertility science.
SA Semen Analysis Measuring the health of a sperm.
SM Surrogate Mother A woman who bears a child for another person or couple. Pregnancy is achieved either through artificial insemination (Traditional Surrogacy) or by carrying until birth another woman’s implanted fertilized egg (Gestational Surrogacy).
S/S Signs/Symptoms
STD Sexually Transmitted Disease Infections commonly spread through sexual activity.
SubQ Subcutaneous Injection Injecting a drug into the tissue layer between the skin and the muscle using a short needle.
TS Traditional Surrogate A woman who carries a baby to term for another family using her eggs and artificially inseminated sperm from the father. Baby is then biologically related to the Surrogate.
TRIMM Trimester Three separate terms of pregnancy, each lasting approximately three months.
Twins, Fraternal Fraternal (dizygotic) twins are the result of two different eggs (ova) that are fertilized by two different sperm.
Twins, Identical Identical (monozygotic) twins are formed when a single egg (ovum), fertilized by a single sperm, divides (often after implantation in the uterus).
US, u/s Ultrasound A technique used for visualizing internal organs, assessing their sizes and shapes by using high-frequency sound waves.

This is the I AM; podcast hosted by Maria Szott and Jara Hallett. This is the show where we embrace meaningful conversations with incredible individuals making waves in the world through surrogacy & egg donation in Canada.

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