The two-week wait is so important in the infertility world that it has an abbreviation: the TWW. This is the time between your embryo transfer or IUI (intrauterine insemination) and when you return to the clinic for a pregnancy test.
The TWW can vary from 9 to 14 days depending on your clinic. It may not exactly be two weeks, but it certainly can feel like a hundred years when you’re going through it. Here are some tips for getting through the anxiety and stress of the TWW.
Take a deep breath
Two weeks may not seem too bad for everyone else, but after fertility treatment time can drag on as you wait for your pregnancy test. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself that this might be a challenging time. You’ve just gone through the whirlwind of fertility treatments. This is the part where everything slows down and gives you a chance to regroup and reflect.
Studies have shown that the 4-7-8 breathing technique can help reduce anxiety, improve sleep and lower press pressure. So how does the 4-7-8 technique work?
- Find a comfortable place to sit.
- Empty your lungs.
- Close your lips and inhale through your nose for a count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth making a whoosh sound for a count of eight.
- Repeat the cycle up to 4 times.
Focus on yourself
While distraction can be helpful to keep your mind off your treatments, it can also be stressful if your schedule is packed. Now may be a good time to cancel non-essential events and take some time for yourself.
Schedule a massage or therapy appointment. Try journaling, eat your favorite foods and do things that help you relax. You deserve it after all you’ve been through over the last few weeks or months.
Find things to distract you
It’s hard not to focus all of your time on figuring out if your fertility treatment worked. If you are struggling with this, distraction can help. Some ideas include:
- Grab lunch with a friend
- Read a good book you can immerse yourself in
- Try something new, such as a hobby you haven’t done before, or a new recipe
- Declutter your office, photos, or your email inbox
- Get outside for a walk
Many fertility specialists will tell you not to take a home pregnancy test until the clinic test, known as your beta, at the end of the TWW. Everyone’s body is unique and embryos can implant in the uterus at different times. One person might get a positive pregnancy test 8 days after in vitro fertilization (IVF), but someone else may not get a positive test until day 14.
The TWW is already a rollercoaster of emotions. It might cause more anxiety to test on your own early.
But you could also be the person that needs to know what to expect ahead of time. If you do decide to test early, try to take the test using your first morning urine because it tends to be the most concentrated.
As hard as it can be, don’t go overboard with testing because it may become stressful. And if your results are negative, it doesn’t mean you didn’t get pregnant, it could just be too early to tell.
It can be helpful to reach out to a small circle of trusted friends or family members to get support for yourself. Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling and let them know how they can best help you. Surround yourself with people who are going to encourage you and lift you up and if you can, give yourself permission to avoid those who could bring negativity.
The TWW can be tough. Don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our CCRM fertility counselors for some extra support.