For those undergoing fertility treatment, the two-week period between an embryo transfer and taking a pregnancy test is often referred to as the “two-week wait.” This is the final phase of IVF and, for most, it’s a time fuelled with uncertainty, questions, anxieties, doubts and expectations.
You will most likely find it hard to resist Dr Google and probably will want to Google every symptom and twinge under the sun. We recently asked you guys, via our Instagram polls, what you’d like more information on, when it comes to the dreaded 2WW (two-week wait). We’ve turned to Laurel Fertility Care, a boutique fertility clinic based in San Francisco, California, who are delighted to answer your questions and share tips and resources, to help guide you through this difficult period.
Words by Laurel Fertility Care
www.laurelfertility.com | @laurelfertilitycare
Can I exercise during the two-week-wait?
Avoiding strenuous activity during this two-week period is best, however light exercise is fine. Avoid heavy lifting and any activity that may accelerate your heart rate. We recommend keeping your heart rate low until your first ultrasound.
Will I experience implantation bleeding?
Some patients do experience implantation bleeding, and some don’t! Each individual is different, and bleeding or not bleeding is completely okay. Don’t read into this too much.
Are there certain food and drinks that I should avoid?
Avoid the food and drinks which are not recommended during pregnancy, such as alcohol, raw fish, deli meat, unpasteurized juices and foods that are high in nitrates. Food precautions are the same as if you had conceived naturally.
Should I continue taking vitamins and fertility supplements?
Continue your normal vitamins and fertility supplements, unless otherwise instructed by your provider.
Related Article – How Inspirational Quotes for (In)Fertility Can Motivate You
Our patients at Laurel Fertility Care often find activities like baking, hiking, gardening or yoga to be healthy ways to manage emotions. Self-care and relaxation can also be vital for navigating through this period of uncertainty. The Calm app, Breathwork and Moodnotes are great ways to practise mindfulness, stress relief and journaling at home.
Find support & community
We encourage patients to get involved in a local or virtual support group because it offers the opportunity to open up to those who have shared similar experiences, gain insight from them, learn more about your fertility and find emotional support.
Find a peer-led support group near you by using RESOLVE’s website, joining a Facebook group or taking advantage of support resources like Fertility Help Hub Squad app and Fertility Out Loud. Social media is filled with communities of men and women who have experienced infertility or who are in the midst of their two-week wait. Using the hashtag #TWW is a great way to engage with the online infertility community and find many others who are in the midst of their two-week wait.
Related Article – Mothering Yourself Whilst Trying to Conceive
Things to avoid
Some patients may experience period or pregnancy-like symptoms during the two-week wait and searching the internet to guess what each symptom could mean can make things much harder.
Taking early pregnancy tests
Not only does taking early pregnancy tests put you at risk for getting a false negative, it also places your curiosity above your mental health during this two-week wait period. It can lead to believing your worst fears about what will happen and create confusion during an already difficult experience.
Being hard on yourself
Accept all of your emotions during this time. You may wake up feeling positive one day and anxious the next — all of your emotions are valid and it’s crucial to be as kind to yourself as possible through this experience. Being hard on yourself when you’ve already been through so much can be harmful to your mental health.
Related Article – Negative Pregnancy Tests: How to Not Give Up Hope by Alice Rose