How do I cope with the two week wait?

6 fertility expert(s) answered this question

How to deal with the 2-week-wait after embryo transfer?

The two week wait in IVF treatment is a period of two weeks between your embryo transfer and the first blood tests and ultrasound scans scheduled to detect a pregnancy. The two-week wait can truly be an emotional rollercoaster, especially if you have been trying to conceive for a longer time and you’ve had a few failed cycles before. How to survive this time and remain hopeful?

Answer from:
Psychologist, In Vivo Fertility, Founder and CEO In Vivo Fertility

How do I cope with the two weeks wait?
Indeed, one gets to become a virtuoso in waiting when going through fertility challenges.
The difference that makes the difference in coping with waiting times is HOW you wait. I call it waiting effectively.
And exactly because each of us is unique – again you have to do your homework – and identify what is the most effective way of waiting FOR YOU.
The coping strategies that work for each of us are very different.
To some it might be sticking to your schedule, your routine, not changing what you would normally do.
To others, getting away from it all might be more resonant.
Or introducing rituals and behaviours which have worked for you in the past in other contexts where you had to wait.
To some being the two of you with your partner may work, others may want a crowd around them, to distract them from their stress and anxiety.
The way I have developed and structured the In Vivo Fertility coaching program, is that the psycho-social protocol mirrors the biological and medical protocol.
So indeed, we have a service which is exactly targeted to these excruciating two weeks of waiting, by suggesting for each day a different idea, ritual, strategy that you may want to explore in order to find YOUR WAY of waiting effectively.
Remember what has worked for you in the past and experiment with new ideas, EXPAND YOUR REPERTOIRE OF BEHAVIOURS AND RITUALS.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach, Founder of Your Fertility Hub

Two-week wait can be a truly horrendous time, whether this would be following treatment or following ovulation. There is this awful waiting period afterward, and that is all it is – it’s waiting. The doing is done. There’s nothing that you can do now to impact the results and that can be incredibly hard to deal with. First of all, I’d love you to just be kind to yourself, to give yourself what you need, to really listen to your intuition about what you need to do at any given moment or day, and give yourself the grace to do the things that you need.

It’s important also to keep busy, keep distracted, and that can be an active distraction as well: going out and about, doing things, meeting other people, if you’re feeling up to it, can also really help to take your mind off it. Many people return to work as well as that’s a good distraction.

Other things; there are some really lovely relaxation tools out there. Trying to find peace of mind during this time can be very difficult so there are specific meditations or things that you can listen to really help you calm your body and mind through this process.

It’s also important to keep social, keep talking, keep interacting with your partner your friends or your family during this period just maybe on a light level. You might want to actually specifically say to people “this is what I want, this is what I don’t want around, talking to me around my IVF”, for example. The other thing is making a plan. I always suggest you make a positive plan and a negative plan. It can really help you to feel on the sure ground around whatever happens. Thinking through if it is a positive, whom do you want to call, what do you want to do, what will you do that day? And thinking through if it’s a negative, this is what I want to do, this is whom I want to call, this is what I want to eat, etc. Actually having those plans, you don’t have to go into that in any depth but just having a plan can bring you a bit of comfort as you approach that.

The other thing is keeping positive. I think it can be very easy to try and think negatively to protect ourselves from the fall of a negative result. But it’s also important for our mindset and our general experience to try and be more positive. Have a look around about the things that bring you joy in your life and try and do those during the two-week wait because it can be so hard and so tough, so being kind to yourself is the most important thing.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach, Freedom Fertility Formula Specialist and co-host of The Fertility Podcast Freedom Fertility Formula Specialist and co-host of The Fertility Podcast

The two week wait is a mind field. Its worth thinking about putting things in place during that time frame, to take your mind off what you’re waiting to find out. Dealing with infertility makes you patient by nature of the time it takes to go through treatment or the investigations that come with it. So during that two week period, maybe make some plans to meet some friends that you know will make you laugh, maybe go away, if you are at work and you feel happy about work then great! Maybe there are projects you can get stuck into. Don’t feel as if you shouldn’t be at work and put pressure on yourself.
It might be better to be busy, there is no reason why being at work or not being at work is good for you. You need to think about what’s best for you, having nice things to eat, go for nice long walks. Try and avoid the temptation of googling symptoms and avoid the temptation to do early pregnancy testing because whatever happens. It’s not going to change the final outcome. So have a list of things prepared to do, make it different from the norm so you’ve got something to look forward to and two weeks will fly by so don’t drive yourself mad about that fourteen day period.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach, Fertility Mentor Sarah Banks Coaching Ltd

The two-week wait is the time from when you’ve had your embryo transfer through to finding out whether your IVF has been successful and when you take your pregnancy test. A lot of people say this is the most stressful time of treatment because obviously, you’re waiting to find out if it’s worked. you don’t have as much contact with the clinic, so you’re out on your own a little bit, and it can be quite stressful. People say, don’t focus on the fact that you’ve had your embryo transfer, but how are you not supposed to focus on it because it’s such a huge thing. It can be really tricky, and that’s really normal.

What I would say is think about what works for you, so if you are the sort of person who will worry when you’re off, who will think about it all the time then maybe being in work might be the best thing to be slightly distracted. If you’ve got a stressful job and feel taking time off would be better because you can completely relax and won’t google and worrying about every little thing. Think about what works for you because that’s what’s most important. How can you make the most of the time? That might be being at work and being distracted. It might be being off work and planning lots of things that are enjoyable. It might be being off work doing nothing watching boxsets for two weeks. It’s completely up to you. Think about the best way that you cope with things. Try and distract yourself as much as possible.

I know it’s really difficult. Things like boxsets, reading books, hobbies, making time for friends and family and planning day trips to keep yourself as distracted as possible. I know it’s impossible to completely be distracted but think about what things help you stay distracted. I think this is definitely the best time to reduce your time on google and social media. I think it’s a perfect time not to have triggers, not to be googling every symptom, which is really hard. You want to know what’s going on, but it’s likely to cause more worry. Going on social media is likely to be triggering for you. You want to just try and be as relaxed as possible to not have triggers not have reminders and not be creating additional worry for yourself by googling every symptom. So try and stay off google as much as possible. It might help to write down how you’re feeling, and this is something that people also enjoy looking back on afterwards as well.

Journaling is really good for getting out your feelings. If you’re sat, and you’ve got the time to do it, then maybe journaling and writing about how you’re feeling, the worries you’ve got so that you can start to get those off your chest and written down. You don’t have to share it with anybody; it can be just for you. Do things for others; this could be the perfect time to stay distracted by shopping for a loved one or going to visit elderly relatives to support them. Think about some of the things you could do for others to help you stay distracted. It’s good to focus on others and it makes us feel good as well when we’ve done that, so it’s something that will make you feel good about yourself while you’ve got these two weeks where you’re very hyper-focused on everything that’s going on with your body, doing something for other people. If you are off, I’d say maybe keep to some sort of schedule, so the days don’t drag out really long, keep to some kind of set schedule, plan things in so that you are doing something. Just so that you’re not totally focused on what’s going on with your body and every little sign and symptom because it can start a train of worry.

Try and get as much rest as possible; medically, you don’t necessarily need to. Still, it might just be that for your own sake getting more sleep and rest is just good for you and generally feeling better in yourself and health-wise. Think about some of the things that you really enjoy. What makes you smile? The people who you smile at and the things you really enjoy. Rather than just being worried about what the test result will be, you’ve got things you’re enjoying and things you’re looking forward to, things to make you smile and feel happy during those two weeks. They can feel like a long time when you’re in it, I remember, and it can feel like a really long time.

Then spend time as a couple, so again you don’t need to talk about treatment. You can talk about it if you want to talk about how you’re feeling, how you think it might go but just spend time as a couple. enjoy that time where there’s nothing happening treatment-wise. there’s nothing else you can do to help treatment so enjoy that time together where the pressure’s off slightly. Try and take that time. The most important thing is to think about what works for you. Don’t think, oh well so-and-so did that, and it works, and so-and-so did that, and it didn’t work. It’s really important to think about what works for you and what will help you get through that two-week wait and know that you’ve done what was best for you at the end of it.


Answer from:
Fertility Coach Monica Bivas Mindset & Holistic Fertility Coach

I used to say that a two-week wait is one of the most stressful parts of IVF because technically, we are pregnant until it’s proven wrong. Why? Because there is an embryo that they transferred directly into our uterus and we are just waiting and praying that it’s going to attach, breaking all its little chromosomes and form a baby, become a little human so we are technically pregnant.
So, it’s a very difficult time to handle and I’ve been there five times – four times, actually, one cycle was canceled. So how do I cope?

I’m going to just guide you with what I did. I found that Art Therapy; colouring, knitting helps a lot. Why? Because when we activate creativity in our brain, by default serotonin and dopamine are being produced in our gut. Serotonin is being produced 70% in our gut and 30% in our brains so when we put our brain to create and do something that develops our capability; waking up the artist part that we have, in our right brain – the right side of the brain we are producing serotonin. Serotonin makes us happy, if we are happy we are open to receive. So the best thing that I did when I found out was coloring, that’s why I also created a mandala chapter in my book because when I felt so worried and I was going to the bathroom every five minutes to check that I’m not bleeding and I said to myself I need to stop for a little bit. And, there was another sticker in my bathroom and on my computer; art, colour, when I feel like going crazy I colour, then when I see the results of what I coloured I can also interpret how my feelings were. So if it was bright colours, I was a little happy which means I’m positive, I’m moving on with this and I’m praying for the positive. If it was a little like dark colors it means I have a little mood.

That’s art therapy, art therapy could be watching movies that make you laugh, anything – anything that can make a smile on you, that’ll make you laugh and can click that part of our brain and gut to produce serotonin… trust me, it’s the best therapy and the best way to handle not only the two-weeks wait, but the whole in vitro because after the two weeks wait if you get a big fat positive now you are praying to not lose it so it’s another thing. So try your best to… from the moment you start your fertility treatment up to the end of it, do things that can make you happy or can make you smile even if it is for five minutes a day. That’s a big secret, I applied it and it worked for me.

Answer from:
Fertility Coach

I think the two-week wait is, for many people, the most difficult, stressful stage of the fertility process. I think the reason it is so difficult and stressful is that we want so much is to have control over the two-week wait and control the outcome of the two-week wait, determining the outcome at the end of the two weeks. Because we want to do this, we are going to do things or not, try to detect symptoms and Google about these symptoms, and test early and as early as possible. But the frustrating truth is that we cannot determine the outcome, and we don’t have control of the two-week wait and the outcome, and that is very frustrating and very difficult to accept. You can also not feel the implantation because it happens at a very small cellular level, so that is frustrating, we can all only try to trust the process and surrender, and of course, that is difficult. I mean, been there, done that. I haven’t been the perfect example in the past, but it helps that you start from the realization, “I cannot change it,” and if worst-case scenario, the test is negative, it’s also not your fault.

Furthermore, I think the best thing you can do is to get through those two weeks as pleasantly as possible so that you get into a positive vibe as much as possible because that’s important. So, ask yourself, what do you like to do? What makes you happy? I would say, go and do that. For example, planting in advance that you like to do. There are a lot of things you can do in your fertility process. A fertility doctor once told me I could do everything except three things. I still remember them: bungee jumping, deep-sea diving, and climbing the Himalayas. So, you have a lot of choices to make.

I also think if you have questions about what I can do, what I cannot do, or you are worried about things you feel, just call your fertility clinic because being left with questions just promotes stress, and googling about it for hours won’t make you any more relaxed.

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