Most patients undergoing Assisted Reproduction treatment must overcome the so-called “two-week-wait”. Its name refers to the period of time after the end of a fertility treatment and the day on which the pregnancy test is performed. These are days when patients have a lot of doubts.
In this article, the experts at IVFforYOU will explain what the two-week-wait consists of, what the symptoms that generally occur are and, what types of pregnancies exist, in the event that your test shows a positive result.
What is the two-week-wait?
The period of time that elapses between the end of a patient’s Assisted Reproduction cycle (Artificial Insemination or embryo transfer after In Vitro Fertilisation) and the day on which the pregnancy test is performed is called two-week-wait.
This period is so called because the pregnancy test analyses the values of the hormone beta-hCG, which is released by the embryo after implantation. As the embryo grows, so do the levels of this hormone, until the third month of pregnancy.
The two-week-wait lasts for about 15 days, after which beta-hCG levels are high enough to detect and confirm pregnancy.
Symptoms of the two-week-wait
As only a few days elapse between the end of the fertility treatment and the day of the test, it is not common for a patient to have pregnancy symptoms during the two-week-wait.
Symptoms during the two-week-wait mainly refer to the possible side effects of the drugs used for ovarian stimulation, which aim to increase the number of good quality eggs for fertilisation, or of the medication used to prepare the womb-lining, in the case of treatments with donated eggs or embryos.
Ovarian stimulation produces some symptoms that are very common in women, for example:
– Abdominal swelling
– Heaviness in the legs
– Mood swings
– Feeling of pressure on the ovaries
– Lower back pain
– Possible slight bleeding
During the two-week-wait, it is normal to have the feeling that the menstruation may come, as one of the common symptoms is light bleeding or brownish spotting. If you experience heavy bleeding, it is best to contact your medical team as a precautionary measure.
In other cases, it can also happen that you do not have any signs and have a symptom-free two-week-wait. This is normal, as every body is unique and reacts differently to hormone treatments.
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Tips for your two-week-wait
We know that these 15 days can be very overwhelming, and it is normal that you have a lot of questions about what to do and what not to do.
That is why at IVFforYOU we have compiled some answers and advice that we offer our patients on a recurring basis, so that they can live their two-week-wait with more peace of mind.
– On the first day after insemination, it is best not to exert yourself or carry any weight.
– It is normal to have some symptoms due to ovarian stimulation, do not worry too much.
– Support yourself in your close circle and surround yourself with friends, family or partner.
– It is advisable not to smoke or drink, as there is a risk of producing thrombi.
– Maintain a normal diet and good hydration. We especially recommend that you eat fibre to promote intestinal transit.
– You can do sports without any problem, however, it is preferable to avoid high-intensity or contact sports.
– To control nervousness, we recommend yoga and meditation; these techniques help patients to control their breathing and thoughts.
– We do not recommend doing any home pregnancy tests before the end of the two-week-wait.
Positive result after the two-week-wait: what types of pregnancies are there
If at the end of your two-week-wait, your doctor confirms that your test result is positive, congratulations, you are entering one of the most magical stages of your life: pregnancy.
There are many types of pregnancies, and each of them has specific symptoms and recommendations associated with it. However, don’t be alarmed! Many are common and pose no risk to you or your baby; the most important thing is that your pregnancy is monitored regularly by your medical team to avoid any complications.
To give you more information, here are the most common types of pregnancies that women can experience.
As the name suggests, this type of pregnancy is the one that develops inside the uterus, and is the most common and normal for a woman.
It lasts approximately 40 to 42 weeks from the fertilisation of the egg.
Intrauterine pregnancies also include twin or multiple pregnancies. With Assisted Reproduction treatments it is a little more common and possible to have this type of pregnancy. However, the statistics are not very high: at IVFforYOU we transfer a single embryo in 90% of cases to avoid them as much as possible.
Ectopic pregnancies, also known as extrauterine pregnancies, are pregnancies in which the egg develops outside the uterus.
This type of pregnancy is considered risky for the woman, since, unfortunately, in these cases the foetus cannot survive and, if it is not interrupted in time, the woman’s life can be put at risk.
Because the egg is fertilised outside the uterus, the foetus does not have the resources to develop and stay alive.
Generally, this type of pregnancy is detected in the first weeks, specifically between the 6th and 16th week. To diagnose it, the medical team identifies it through ultrasound scans or blood tests that you will undergo recurrently throughout your pregnancy.
Abnormally, there are also women who develop molar pregnancies. This type of pregnancy is a complication caused by the abnormal growth of cells that form the placenta.
This is one of the most risky pregnancies for the mother, as it is considered to be a non-cancerous tumour that develops in the uterus.
Molar pregnancies are unviable, as the embryo does not develop or in most cases never existed. For this reason, as soon as such a pregnancy is detected, a medical decision is made to terminate it.
The chances of developing a molar pregnancy are statistically very low, affecting only one in 1,500 pregnancies.
The most important thing for you to have a good pregnancy is to have regular check-ups with your medical team, eat a balanced and nutritious diet, and surround yourself with a calm and positive environment.
If you have any queries regarding the different Assisted Reproduction treatments, the two-week-wait or the development of your pregnancy, at IVFforYOU we will be delighted to help you and answer any questions you may have.