The Two-Week Wait in the TTC (trying to conceive) community is a term used to describe the 14 days following timed intercourse, insemination or embryo transfer (in the case of IVF or similar treatment). After the two week wait (TWW), a trustworthy result can usually be obtained from a sensitive pregnancy test.
For those longing to become pregnant, the two-week wait is usually more than just waiting, as it is often a source of stress and anxiety. Apricity Advisors are always a phone call away for support and guidance before, during and after the TWW, but for further reading, the following should help you prepare for what to expect and answer some of our most frequently asked questions.
What should happen during the two week wait?
After an embryo is transferred back into the womb, it needs some time to hopefully attach to the lining of the uterus and start putting down roots, as it were. This enables a good blood supply for nutrients, oxygen, and everything else a baby would need during its nine months in the womb. When the embryo attaches to the uterus, it’s called implantation, and it is at this stage that a hormone called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) rapidly increases in the body. It is hCG that your pregnancy test will look to detect.
What are the signs of successful implantation?
Everyone’s body reacts differently to embryo transfers, so it’s important to note that there are no universal symptoms for successful implantation. However, there are some common symptoms that you may or may not experience. These could include:
- Breast tenderness
- Changes to cervical mucus (white, slippery and increased in quantity)
- Slight bleeding (around 30% of women report this). This is not like menstrual bleeding but more pink or brown
- An intuitive ‘feeling’ of being pregnant – although for obvious reasons this is difficult to track
The problem with many of the possible signs of early pregnancy is that they tend to be linked to a change in hormone production (progesterone in particular), which also happens prior to menstruation – this is why it’s difficult to use symptoms as indicators of pregnancy, particularly so when you are taking medications that contain hormones.
If you experience any symptoms that you are at all worried about, your Apricity advisor is a tap on your smartphone away seven days a week, and would be happy to guide and support you.
Is constipation a sign of implantation?
Constipation and abdominal cramping, once again can be caused by changing progesterone levels, which occur during a normal menstrual cycle alongside after implantation. So it’s likely that a woman would experience some sort of constipation or cramping whether she is pregnant or not. This is another reason why it’s important not to pay too much attention to ambiguous symptoms and to carry out a sensitive pregnancy test at the correct time.
What should I do during the two week wait?
We understand that uncertainties are very hard to cope with, and it is perfectly normal for anxiety levels to increase during the fourteen day wait. Our app offers guidance, relaxation and meditation resources, but the general suggestion we give is to return to ‘normal life’ as much as possible, taking care of yourself and avoiding strenuous exercise.
Stress and anxiety are very real symptoms and often consequences of the two week wait, and we suggest you try to address these as early as possible. If you feel at a loss, your Apricity advisor can suggest appropriate relaxation techniques that suit your personality and preferences, ranging from counselling to calming podcasts and music, meditation, gentle yoga, aromatherapy, massage and acupuncture, among many others.
Our Support page has plenty of content on managing stress, and there are a huge range of supportive communities online which may help you feel less isolated in your journey. The TTC community is extremely supportive and gentle, and we find many take comfort from sharing their experiences and supporting each other. The UK's fertility charity, the Fertility Network, are an example of great forums and support resources available.
After you take your pregnancy test, you can press the feedback loop in the Diary section of your Apricity app, or phone your Apricity advisor with the result. It's very important to take a pregnancy test even if you have had a bleed, which does not always mean a negative result.
If you’re interested in getting started with Apricity, use the link below to book a free call with a fertility advisor at a time that suits you.Book a free call