IVF: How to Survive the Two Week Wait
Updated: Sep 12
The two-week wait is the time between your ovulation and your next period. It’s a normal part of your cycle. Yet, for someone trying to get pregnant, it can be a time filled with anxiety, stress, and intense emotions.
The two-week wait can be especially emotional for those using IVF. Not knowing whether or not the treatment worked can cause high anxiety in couples or women who desperately want to hear good news about having a baby.
So, what can you do to get through the two-week wait? It’s important to keep yourself calm and as stress-free as possible during this time.
While it may be impossible to completely ignore the nerves and questions you might have, there are things you can do to help yourself both physically and emotionally.
Take Care of Your Body
One of the best things you can do for yourself after your embryo transfer is to rest. It’s okay to take some time off from work to simply give yourself time to relax and de-stress.
Remember, this is about your health and your baby’s health. Embryo implantation will happen just a few days after the transfer. The less stress and anxiety you’re dealing with, the healthier you’ll be. It might be hard to think about rest and relaxation when you’ve got so many questions and concerns. Still, find things that make you feel calm, and take this period of rest seriously.
Eating healthy is also important (and will be throughout your pregnancy). You don’t have to worry about special diets or eating one specific food. Instead, focusing on a well-balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains will be best for you.
Don’t Panic About Symptoms
You will likely be very in tune with your body in a unique way during this time. Some women feel things like light cramping or twinges. You might also experience light spotting or a brown discharge during these two weeks. Most of the time, these symptoms are perfectly normal and could be a good sign as they sometimes indicate proper implantation. Stay ahead of your worry and have a conversation with your doctor before the procedure about possible symptoms or call the office if you feel unsure about any symptoms you may be experiencing. And if they tell you your symptoms are normal, take their word for it. If cramping becomes severe or exceedingly painful, however, call your doctor immediately.
Don’t Test Too Early
It can be tempting to take a pregnancy test every day after your transfer. Usually, though, you’re only going to end up stressing yourself out even more. Plus, you may even disappoint yourself on a daily basis. This is anxiety you just don’t need right now.
Also, keep in mind the “trigger shot” contains hCG, which is the same hormone the at-home pregnancy tests detects. If you test too early, you may just be picking up traces of the injected hormones and get a false-positive.
You may not feel any pregnancy symptoms during that two-week wait, and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything happening. It’s important to wait 14 days after your transfer to take a test. You’re more likely to get a more accurate result.
Set Realistic Expectations
The tricky part is finding balance between hope and fear. It’s okay to be hopeful when you’re going through IVF. But, it’s also important to be realistic. IVF has helped so many women finally become mothers. It’s done wonderful things for couples who never thought they would be able to have a baby. Remember though, it’s never a guarantee.
By taking care of yourself and following some of these tips (as well as any advice from your doctor), you’ll be doing everything you can to encourage the likelihood of a pregnancy.
Whether you had a positive IVF cycle and end up pregnant or you end up with further disappointment, the weeks and months following an IVF cycle can be stressful. If you are pregnant, you may find yourself anxious and fearful every day and week of experiencing another miscarriage. If IVF was not successful, you will find yourself facing more difficult decisions and disappointment.
Therapy is very effective in helping women and couples through infertility issues and helping women manage their anxiety during a pregnancy following a previous pregnancy loss.
For support in your journey, please reach out to me today. I offer a complimentary phone consultation to all potential clients. To schedule yours in a matter of seconds, please check here.
COMING SOON! A workshop for couples who are thinking about or planning to have a baby, who are expecting a baby or who have children already. Based on years of research and experience and developed by the Gottman Institute, this 12 hour workshop is designed to repair communication skills and jump start your relationship with your partner. For more information, please click here.
Jennifer Perera is a mom, spouse and Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has over a decade’s worth of experience in mental health. She has a private practice in New Jersey, with locations in Cranford and Princeton. Her passion is helping new moms and dads find their joy again in parenthood through individual, group and couples counseling. Jennifer specializes in working with parents during the prenatal and postpartum periods and those coping with a pregnancy loss or infertility. Her other passion is travelling to different parts of the world and her goal is to vacation in a different locale every time. She also has a great fondness for cats!