What to do during the two-week wait
Know what happens in your body during the two-week wait, and get tips to make the wait a little easier.
Two-week wait symptoms
It can be helpful to know what happens to the body and what symptoms to expect during the two-week wait. 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. This 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 not until a fertilized egg reaches the uterus and implants itself into the uterus wall that the woman may begin to experience pregnancy symptoms. Implantation happens between 6-12 days after fertilization.
The symptoms you may experience are:
- Tenderness in the breasts
- Sensitive nipples
- Food cravings
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 related to your period. These symptoms can be confused with early pregnancy symptoms.
At this stage, some of the early pregnancy symptoms could include:
- Increased hunger
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitive sense of smell
- Feeling tired
- Peeing more often
- Cramping or diarrhea
- Darkening in the colour of the nipples
Some women do not experience any early pregnancy symptoms at all, and that is very normal too.
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 that hopefully will make the waiting just a bit more bearable.
1. Do not let (the lack of) pregnancy symptoms stress you
As mentioned earlier, many 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.
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. If you are busy doing the things you enjoy, there is less time 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!
3. Get support from family, friends or a therapist
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 your head can be really helpful. It could be online forums or groups (for example, our Facebook group Family Dreams) with people who go 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, and it is better to be safe than sorry. However, you should not blame yourself if you have had a drink or two before the positive pregnancy test.
If you liked this blog post, you might also like to read this pregnancy guide to the baby's development.