How to survive the IVF two-week wait
24 May 2021
24 May 2021
Approximately a fortnight after your IVF embryonic transfer, you’ll have blood tests to check your levels of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). If hCG is present, it means you are pregnant. Many women experience this two-week wait as one of the most personally difficult periods in their IVF treatment journey.
It can be a rollercoaster of emotions. We understand that this is a period filled with hope and anxiety, and we’ve gathered some advice from our experienced fertility specialists so you can feel as calm and supported as possible in this chapter of your IVF treatment.
Anticipate that this might be a challenging time. Fertility treatments may have a powerful impact on your body. They change your hormonal system, and this can have mental and physical effects. It is common to experience irritability or a heightened sense of emotion, and feel symptoms like soreness, bloating or tenderness in your lower abdomen. Around 30% of women experience implantation bleeding. This is within the range of expected responses to IVF treatment, and it’s helpful to expect some experiences like this. However, if you ever experience extreme symptoms, you should speak to a doctor immediately.
With mild physical symptoms, it’s important to remember that they may be related to your treatment and not indicators of pregnancy. Many of the symptoms of early pregnancy and IVF treatment are similar. Home pregnancy tests can return false positives, which can be deeply disappointing. Our fertility specialists recommend that you try to avoid taking them before the two-week wait has passed.
The emotional impact of the two-week wait is often the most difficult part. Remember that you have the resources and skills to move through this. Now is the time to seek support from your partner, your family, your friends, your fertility counsellor, or even forums and support groups that you may be a part of. Spend time with people that you love and don’t be afraid to reach out for those community networks.
Many women use mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga, journaling, acupuncture and conscious breathing to maintain a healthy connection with their emotions during this time. Techniques like this, which are best began before the waiting period, can be powerful tools for a sense of solace and peace, if only for a short period. Taking time away from social media can also contribute to a more stress-free experience.
Women who keep their days full often have an easier time surviving the two-week wait. Look after yourself and don’t take on anything too stressful, but also consider how staying busy can make that much-anticipated day come a little bit quicker.
One of the most challenging things about this period is doing nothing. Accept that parts of your IVF treatment journey are outside of your control. Be kind to yourself and remember that you are not alone.
Sometimes, you might need to check in with a medical expert. We have free appointments with fertility nurses at Monash IVF that you can book into at any time if you want to have a chat with us about how you’re going. We’d love to have you in.
Appointments can be booked at https://monashivf.com/free-fertility-nurse-chat/
Wherever you are on your journey, one of our supportive nurse enquiry team can help you understand your options and take the next step. These conversations are free and informative.