What to do during the two-week wait
The two-week wait is the time between ovulation and possible fertilization of the egg to the expected period where you can take a pregnancy test. The two-week wait can be a stressful and confusing time if you are trying to conceive. Therefore, we will provide you with insights into what you can expect during the two-week wait. You will get useful tips that can help to make the wait a little easier.
Two-week wait symptoms
Knowing what happens to the body and what symptoms that are to be expected during the two-week wait can be helpful. Many women convince themselves that every little ache in the body could be a sign of pregnancy. However, many of the early pregnancy symptoms are similar to those of an upcoming period. Additionally, pregnancy symptoms can be very different from women to women. Only a pregnancy test will be able to confirm whether or not you are pregnant.
Week 1 past ovulation:
The moment an ovary releases an egg is called ovulation. When ovulation begins, the woman enters the luteal phase of the menstruation cycle which ends with a menstrual period unless pregnancy has occurred. During the earliest part of the luteal phase, the woman will not experience any pregnancy symptoms. It is first when a fertilized egg reaches the uterus and implants itself into the uterus wall that the woman may begin to experience pregnancy symptoms. This happens between 6-12 days after fertilization. The symptoms that may be experienced are bloating, tenderness in the breasts and increased sensitivity in the nipples, food cravings, headaches and muscle aches. Though, these symptoms may also occur for women who are not pregnant in the time before the period.
Days 7-10 of the two-week waiting period:
One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding is when the fertilized egg implants itself to the uterus wall. This happens for around one-third of women. This spotting-like bleeding often only last a day or two and it is very light. However, even if a woman experiences implantation bleeding it is still too early to detect the pregnancy through a pregnancy test. Also, the bleeding can be caused by something else than pregnancy. It is also during implantation that the body begins to produce hCG, known as the pregnancy hormone.
Days 11-14 – The last days of the two-week wait:
During the last days of the two-week wait, the hCG levels may be high enough to experience pregnancy symptoms. But this is also the time in the menstrual cycle where you are most likely to experience symptoms that means that you are about to get your period. This can be confused with early pregnancy symptoms. At this stage, some of the early pregnancy symptoms could include increased hunger or food cravings, more frequently need to use the bathroom, gastrointestinal changes like cramping or diarrhea or darkening in the colour of the nipples. It should also be mentioned that some women do not experience any early pregnancy symptoms at all and that is very normal as well.
What to do (or not to do) during the two-week wait
The two-week wait can feel endless and immense. It can feel even more frustrating if you are going through fertility treatment, and many questions are floating around. Here are 3 survival tips for the two-week wait which hopefully will make the waiting just a bit more bearable.
Tip 1: Don’t let “pregnancy symptoms” stress you
As mentioned earlier, many of the early pregnancy symptoms are similar to those of an upcoming period that you experience month after month. Also, it is totally normal not to experience any early pregnancy symptoms at all, even if you are pregnant. Therefore, try not to think too much about how your body feels and detect every little change that you think is happening, and do not stress if you feel like nothing is happening. Relax and enjoy your body the way that it is!
Tip 2: Enjoy your time and keep busy
Instead of sitting around, waiting and counting the days until your expected period may or may not show up, you should use the two-week wait to do all the things that you enjoy doing. Also, if you are busy doing things that you enjoy there is less time for you to worry and stress over the what-ifs and the wait. So, fill out your time with work, friends, a date with your partner or whatever you want to do, and remember to enjoy it!
Tip 3: Get support
Remember that no matter what situation you are in, you are not in it alone. Having someone to talk to about everything that is going on inside of your head can be really helpful. It could be online forums (for example our Facebook group Family Dreams) with people who are going through or have been going through the same as you. It could be friends or family, or perhaps a therapist. Just remember that you should not go through this alone.
Can I drink alcohol during the two-week wait?
Generally, you should avoid drinking alcohol during the two-week wait. The first few weeks after conceiving can be very critical so it is better to be safe than sorry. Though, with that being said, you should not beat yourself up if you have had a drink before the positive pregnancy test.
If you liked this blog post, you may also like to read this pregnancy guide to the baby’s development.