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The “Two Week Wait”

The time between ovulation and (hopefully) a missed period is referred to as the “Two Week Wait” and these two weeks can feel very long.  Every patient wishes for the two-week waiting period to speed by and when they take a pregnancy test, see those two blue lines indicating a positive pregnancy test.  It is important to understand what the two-week wait really means and how to interpret any symptoms you feel (or don’t feel) during this period.

IMPLANTATION BLEEDING

When the blastocyst attaches to the lining of the uterus, something known as implantation bleeding might occur and may cause light bleeding or spotting.  This is completely normal and doesn’t require a visit to the hospital or a call to your fertility clinic.

EARLY PREGNANCY TESTING

How early is too early? How soon can you see a positive test? These are good questions!  Pregnancy tests may detect low levels of beta hCG, the hormone produced by a developing pregnancy. Most fertility specialists recommend waiting until the first day of a missed period or two weeks after ovulation to reliably show a positive pregnancy test.

It may be best to wait two weeks after ovulation or intrauterine insemination (IUI) and for IVF, blood testing may be performed 12 to 14 days after embryo transfer.  The downside of early testing is you that you may receive a false negative or detect a biochemical pregnancy.  This is a pregnancy that otherwise would not be viable and would result in a late menses. For accurate testing, it is best to have a blood test to confirm your pregnancy.

BREAST TENDERNESS, NAUSEA, ABDOMINAL CRAMPING, AND MORE

Patients who are on hormones such as estrogen and progesterone after a fertility treatment might experience symptoms that are in fact a side effect of the hormones and may not be related to a pregnancy.

However, by the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy, when blood and urine testing is positive, you could feel these symptoms, and often they are a good sign to predict a viable pregnancy.

DESTRESS DURING THE TWO-WEEK WAIT

It is best to have a plan for these two weeks.  Nothing beats setting aside some time to have a little fun and to make this period less stressful and pass more quickly.  Also, share your feeling with your partner and encourage them to do the same.  Allow yourselves to share the excitement and hope of this period and share your worries to get them off your chest.

RELAXING ACTIVITIES

Go to the spa, meet up with friends, or plan a short getaway! Plan something special with your significant other and use this time to enjoy each other’s company.

BE POSITIVE

The two-week wait can be a rollercoaster of emotions – anxiety, excitement, worry.  Try your best to not fixate too much on the passing time or what’s going on with your body.  Be positive every day and spend some time with family and friends, when possible, to take your mind off the wait.

MAKE A CONTINGENCY PLAN

While everyone hopes this cycle will be their last, it is wise for patients to have a plan for their next steps. If you are not sure of your next steps it may be best to consult your fertility specialist. This can make you feel more in charge of your future, which is empowering!

FINALLY, BEST WISHES

Our fertility specialists want all our patients to get pregnant! Our fingers are crossed for you 