When you are having fertility treatment you may find yourself having to endure the ‘two week wait’. For some people this wait will be the full 14 days, while for others it may be slightly shorter. But once thing’s for sure, waiting to do a pregnancy test after a fertility treatment cycle can feel like an eternity.
We’ve put together our tips and ideas to help you get through the two week wait with a positive mindset that may help you feel less anxious.
What Is the Two Week Wait?
The two week wait (or 2WW) is the time between havingfertility treatment and being able to do a pregnancy test. The 2WW can start after intra-uterine insemination (IUI) orfollowing an embryo transfer if you have had IVF or ICSI.
Fertility treatment cycles can be a time of apprehension, high anxiety, and frustration. You may feel desperate for a positive pregnancy test, and this longing and uncertainty can make the 2WW feel even more fraught.
Although it’s not possible to completely take away the stress of the 2WW, there are some things that could make the fortnight feel easier to cope with.
Top Tips for Coping with the 2WW
There are several different strategies you could put in place to help you get to your pregnancy test date as smoothly as possible.
Be kind to yourself
It can help to accept that stress and anxiety are a normal part of having fertility treatment. Rather than trying to persevere with your usual routine, schedule some time off work and block out a weekend for watching movies, going for walks, or starting a new novel.
Find ways to relax
Relaxation techniques are subjective, so pick one or two of our suggestions and see if they help take your mind off waiting.
Meet up with friends or family
Spending time with others can be a great distraction from the 2WW. The day may go faster if you are busy socializing, so book some time in to go for dinner, head out for a hike, or go to the movies together.
Try not to obsess
This last one is easier said than done, but during the 2WWyou may find yourself noticing every new symptom, including twinges, mild sickness and spotting. When you have had fertility treatment, symptoms similar to those of early pregnancy can be caused by the medications you are taking, making it even harder to guess what’s happening in your body.
It can be tempting to do a pregnancy test earlier than advised by your doctor. However, if you can hold off until yourofficial test day you will get an accurate result. Waiting the right number of days can help you to avoid both false hope and false disappointment.
Make time for worries
No-one will expect you to be worry-free during the 2WW. However, rather than letting anxiety run wild day and night, schedule in some time to face your worries. Take 15 minutes twice a day to think about, or write down, everything on your mind. At the end of 15 minutes, let your worries go and try to move on with the rest of your day.
If you are struggling with the 2WW, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Try speaking to your partner about how you feel, open up to close friends, join an online infertility group, or approach a therapist who specializes in infertility.
The two week wait can feel like one of the most stressful parts of a fertility treatment cycle because there is little you can do to change the outcome. Choosing a few ideas to help you cope with not knowing if your treatment has been successful can help you feel less anxious and better prepared for managing this long fortnight. If you are finding the waiting hard, reach out to friends, family, support groups or a professional therapist for help.