What does Pupo mean in IVF?

What does Pupo mean in IVF?

If you have ever read infertility support group comments or reviewed your fertility consultation test results, you might have come across some acronyms and found it challenging to decipher their meanings. 

There are essentially two types of fertility acronyms – clinical ones that are used by reproductive endocrinologists, nurses, and embryologists, and informal terms used by infertility patients as shorthand to describe their fertility journey in community support groups.

What does PUPO stand for in IVF?

PUPO, also referred to as “pregnant until proven otherwise,” is among  preferred acronyms used in the trying-to-conceive (TTC) communities. This phrase is commonly used on social media platforms and infertility support groups to describe the positive mindset that women adopt during the two-week waiting period after undergoing an IUI or embryo transfer. During this time, they will not know if they have a positive pregnancy test, so they consider themselves pregnant until proven otherwise.

The process of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) comprises various stages, including stimulating egg production, retrieving eggs, and fertilization. PUPO in IVF pertains to the later stage of the process, which is the period following an embryo transfer. 

During this step, a woman’s fertilized embryo(s) is implanted directly into her uterus through the guidance of ultrasound technology and a catheter. Although the confirmation of pregnancy following an embryo transfer usually occurs after the infamous two-week wait, pregnancy is definitely possible during this period.

What does TWW stand for in IVF?

TWW is an acronym that stands for “two-week wait.” This term is commonly used in the world of fertility and TTC (trying to conceive) communities, and refers to the time period of approximately two weeks after ovulation or embryo transfer during which a woman waits to find out if she is pregnant.

During this period, many women experience a range of physical and emotional symptoms that can be difficult to interpret. Symptoms such as breast tenderness, fatigue, and cramping can be signs of pregnancy, but they can also occur due to hormonal fluctuations related to the menstrual cycle.

The two-week wait can be a time of anxiety and uncertainty, as women eagerly anticipate the arrival of their next period or the opportunity to take a pregnancy test. Many women turn to online support groups or forums to connect with others who are going through a similar experience and to share their thoughts and concerns. While the two-week wait can be challenging, it is an important part of the fertility journey and can ultimately lead to the joy of pregnancy and parenthood.

What does TTC stand for in IVF?

TTC stands for “trying to conceive“. This acronym is often used in the world of fertility and reproductive health to refer to couples who are actively attempting to get pregnant.

It often involves tracking ovulation, timing intercourse, and making lifestyle changes to optimize fertility. Couples may also face fertility issues that require medical intervention, such as IVF (in vitro fertilization) or other assisted reproductive technologies.

TTC can also be a time of hope and excitement as couples look forward to starting or expanding their families. Many couples turn to online support groups or forums to connect with others who are going through a similar experience and to share advice and encouragement.

While TTC can be a difficult journey, it is also an opportunity for couples to learn more about their bodies and their fertility, and to deepen their relationships through the challenges and triumphs of the process. Ultimately, the goal of TTC is to create a family, and the journey can be filled with moments of joy and anticipation along the way.

Is PUPO a realistic mindset for everyone undergoing IVF?

Adopting a PUPO mindset during IVF treatments serves as a double-edged sword. On one hand, it fosters an atmosphere of hope. This positive outlook is crucial during the emotionally taxing two-week wait period. It allows individuals to momentarily bypass the weight of potential failure, thus nurturing a more serene mental state.

  • Promotes a sense of hope and positivity amid uncertainty.
  • Helps mitigate stress, offering a psychological cushion against the harsh realities of IVF.
  • Empowers individuals by encouraging a proactive attitude towards their fertility journey.

Conversely, the approach has its drawbacks. The emotional aftermath of unsuccessful attempts can become magnified for those who clung to the belief of being pregnant until proven otherwise. Moreover, this mindset may pave the way for unrealistic expectations, leading some to overlook the inherent uncertainties of IVF procedures.

  • Intensifies the emotional impact of negative outcomes, leading to potential distress.
  • Risks cultivating unrealistic hopes, overshadowing the pragmatic aspects of fertility treatments.
  • Underlines the critical importance of maintaining balanced expectations and prioritizing self-care.

Therefore, while PUPO can be a source of strength for some, it necessitates careful consideration of one’s emotional resilience and the capacity to handle potential disappointment.


Orr, E., Jack, S. M., Sword, W., Ireland, S., & Ostolosky, L. (2017). Understanding the blogging practices of women undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF): A discourse analysis of women’s IVF blogsThe Qualitative Report22(8), 2206-2230.

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