So you are in a fertility treatment cycle experiencing the two-week wait (10-14 days)! Congratulations! This is the time between your timed intercourse, insemination or embryo transfer. The only way to know if you are pregnant is having a sensitive pregnancy test (blood draw) which will help quell your mental, emotional and physical worries about whether you are indeed pregnant! But accurate results can only be given after a two-week wait. Although it’s called the two-week wait, it’s typically on day 10 when the blood test occurs. The two-week wait can magnify fears and worries that the cycle might fail but can also be a time of hope and excitement.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to make this wait time more enjoyable and less stressful. After all, your body will be doing its best while the embryo is trying to successfully attach to your uterine lining through implantation. During this time, your body will also secrete a hormone called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which a pregnancy test can then spot. So what can you expect during your two-week wait?
It’s All About Timing
In the first week after ovulation: You won’t have any pregnancy symptoms until the fertilized egg gets to the uterus and implants into the wall, typically taking 6-12 days after fertilization. At that time, you might feel bloating, breast tenderness and sensitive nipples, headaches and food cravings. For 7-10 days after ovulation, you may notice light spotting for a day or so-called “implantation bleeding” as the fertilized egg implants itself to the uterus wall.
In the second week after ovulation: – you are in the home stretch of your two-week wait. You may find yourself with pregnancy symptoms from elevated hormone production like hCG levels or because your menstrual cycle causes you symptoms that mimic early pregnancy. It’s hard to know without a pregnancy test. Either one can leave you experiencing the following:
- Appetite increases
- Increased smell sensitivity
- Increased urination
- Cramps, diarrhea or constipation
- Darker nipples
- Nausea and vomiting
Do What You Love
One of the best things you can do to relieve your anxiety and stress during this two-week wait is to make it as enjoyable as possible. Making time to care for yourself and keep life as simple as possible can go a long way to alleviate your anxiety. Everyone is different, so it’s important to know what you need to relax. Some thrive on being busy while others do better when life slows down a bit. Know yourself and proceed accordingly!
- Do you have a creative hobby that gives you joy? Do that!
- Declutter and organize your closet that you’ve been meaning to get to.
- Journaling is a great way to sort and process your feelings.
- Helping others out can keep your mind busy and help you feel good.
- Plan a date with your partner or friends.
- Rent movies you’ve been wanting to see.
- Try something new you’ve been thinking about and putting off.
You can also fill in the time gaps by connecting with others online to feel more supported. Staying connected on Infertility forums, participating in a live infertility support group, letting your friends and family support you emotionally, and connecting with a therapist specializing in infertility can all boost your mood. The goal is to pass this anxious time with less stress no matter what the outcome is. Think of it as well-deserved heightened self-care!
And remember, our Utah Fertility Center team is always here to help make your fertility journey as smooth and enjoyable as possible. We welcome you to call us at 801-785-5100 if you have any questions or concerns during your two-week wait!