Mental Health & Surviving the Two-Week Wait
For those undergoing fertility treatment, the two-week period between an embryo transfer and taking a pregnancy test is often referred to as the “Two-Week Wait.” This is the final phase of IVF, and for most, it’s a time flooded with uncertainty, unknowns, worries, doubts and expectations. Getting through it while trying not to obsess or bury your emotions can sometimes be the hardest part, but remembering to prioritize your mental health can be the key to surviving this time without feeling like you’re going a little crazy.
Tips to Get You Through the Wait
Patients often find activities like baking, hiking, gardening or yoga to be healthy ways to manage emotions. Self-care and relaxation can also be vital to navigating through this period of uncertainty. The Calm app, Breathwrk and Moodnotes are a few of our favorite apps for mindfulness, stress relief and journaling.
We encourage patients to get involved in a local or virtual support group because it offers the opportunity to open up to those who have shared similar experiences, gain insight from them, learn more about your fertility and find emotional support.
Find a peer-led support group near you using RESOLVE’s website or Infertility Unfiltered, joining a Facebook group or taking advantage of support resources like Fertility Out Loud and Fertility Help Hub Squad app.
Social media is filled with communities of men and women who have experienced infertility or who are in the midst of their two-week wait. Here are a few of our favorite infertility accounts that provide a platform for conversation, support and information.
Using the hashtag #TWW is another great way to engage with the online infertility community and find many others who are in the midst of their two-week wait.
What Not to Do
Some patients may experience period or pregnancy-like symptoms during the two-week wait, and searching the internet to guess what each symptom could mean can make things much harder.
Take early pregnancy tests
Not only does taking early pregnancy tests put you at risk for getting a false negative, it places your curiosity above your mental health during this two-week period. It can lead to believing your worst fears about what will happen and create confusion during an already difficult experience.
Be hard on yourself
Accept all of your emotions during this time! You may wake up feeling positive one day and anxious the next— all of your emotions are valid and it’s crucial to be as kind to yourself as possible through this experience. Being hard on yourself when you’ve already been through so much can be harmful to your mental health.
You’re Not Alone
Infertility does not have to be navigated alone. The Laurel Fertility Care team is here to support you throughout your entire fertility journey, and we are available should you have any questions or concerns during your two-week wait. To make an appointment or talk to a staff member, contact us at (415) 673-9199.