The 2-Week Wait
5 Tips to Pass the Time
Anyone undergoing IVF treatment is familiar with the two-week wait. It’s called the luteal phase, and happens at the end of the IVF cycle. It’s the time that needs to elapse between embryo transfer and the pregnancy test. The two-week wait is an emotional time while you’re waiting to find out if the IVF cycle was successful and you are pregnant.
You may be hyper-aware of your body and wondering if every little change is a sign that IVF worked, or didn’t. This can be a period of worry and anxiety, but it can also be a time to dream about your future family.
Here are some tips to get through this time without losing your mind! Above all, remember to be kind to yourself and to your partner.
If you experience cramps or light spotting, don’t panic. These are both really common due to the hormones you’ve been treated with and the egg extraction procedure, and neither is a definite sign that you are or aren’t pregnant. If you experience severe cramps or heavy bleeding, contact your reproductive endocrinologist right away. Those may be symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which is a serious condition and needs to be treated immediately.
Your doctor will probably recommend that you behave as if you’re already pregnant. Don’t smoke or drink, eat nutritious meals, take folate (vitamin B9) and prenatal vitamins as your doctor recommends. You’re preparing your body for pregnancy and giving your future baby every chance for health.
Lessen the Stress
The two-week wait is a great time for gentle to moderate exercise, if your doctor gives you the go-ahead. Activities like yoga and walking outside in nature have been proven to reduce stress. Meditation is another great stress reliever. With apps like Calm and Headspace as close as your smartphone, it’s easier than ever to learn to calm your “monkey mind” and stop obsessing over the wait. Remember, too, that you don’t have to give your friends and family play-by-play during the two weeks. You may want to limit who you talk to about where you are in your cycle, so you don’t have to deal with their comments and (well-meant) concern.
Some people find handwork or crafts projects to be good for stressful times. The repetitive motions of knitting or crocheting help some relax. Other people like the distraction of getting lost in a crafts project and going in to a state of “flow,” or they enjoy the feeling of producing something useful or attractive. Look on Pinterest or Instagram for ideas.
Now is the time to binge-watch a TV series or a movie that makes you feel better, something nostalgic or that’s a complete escape. Snuggle up on the couch with your partner and your pet, and feel free to laugh or cry as the story takes you. Or dig into a good, long book. Whatever you enjoy the most, go for it!