Signs after embryo transfer

The 2 week wait after the embryo transfer can be the longest 2 weeks in your life ! Here's a guide to making sense of your symptoms

As any IVF patient will attest, the 2 week wait after the embryo transfer are the longest 15 days in your life. All the action and the excitement of taking injections , going for scans , monitoring your blood test results and admiring your embryos is now over. Your doctor has put your embryos back into your uterus - and now all you can do is wait for the final outcome , in order to find out whether the embryos have implanted are not. Not only is the fact that the outcome of the treatment completely out of your hands extremely frustrating, what makes it even worse is that there is no way to of finding out what is happening to your precious embryos inside your body.

Your doctor is not very helpful either , because he's finished doing whatever he can do . He just tells you to be patient and wait till you get the HCG result . It's easy for him to say this , because he has other patients to treat - but how do you deal with the uncertainty , the impatience and the anxiety of those 15 days - where every minute seems to last an hour.

Your mind plays all kinds of games with you ! Do my breasts feel more tender than usual ? I am feeling nauseous - is this early morning sickness and does this mean that my embryos have implanted ? Should I panic because I am not feeling anything at all ? Does this mean that my embryos have died and that they cycle has failed ? Was that blood in my vaginal discharge ? Does that mean my embryos are falling out ? Are my symptoms because of PMS or are they a side effect of the medications I'm taking ?

Your mind is full of doubts and questions and there is really no one who can provide the answers. There's little point in asking your doctor , because most the time all he can say is - We'll have to wait for the blood test results to find out what's happening. You can't keep on bothering your husband , which is why you spend hours on the net , googling your symptoms . You try to make sense of them by asking other more experienced IVFers on online IVF bulletin boards , so you can compare what's happening to you with their experiences. These expeditions often leave you even more confused and frustrated, because there's so much variability , and so many old wive's tales !

What you need is emotional support to calm your anxious mind , but while your head understands this, it's very hard for your heart to come to terms with the fact that these 15 days will also pass. You try to do everything possible to maximize your chances of success. Your friend's mother-in-law suggested that you should be resting in bed , so you spend all day , lying down. You read somewhere that eating pomegranates is good for your fertility , so you drink a bottle of pomegranate juice daily. The nurse at the IVF clinic suggested that you should be eating a lot of pineapples , so you eat a tin-full of slices daily; and your online buddy suggested that royal jelly helps embryos to implant, so you dutifully buy this and consume it religiously.

You try to stop your mind from playing games , by using meditation and other mind-body control techniques, but nothing seems to work . You are dying to find out what's happening inside you , and you start cheating by doing pregnancy tests 4 days after the transfer, even though you know it's too early to really get an answer one way or the other . When you see a second line, you wonder whether it's an optical illusion , or whether you are actually be pregnant.

You just can't understand why your husband is not as obsessed about the result as you are - and because he's busy with his work and you can't keep on bugging him about your feelings and your symptoms every day , you try to bottle them up.

When it's D-day and you go to do your pregnancy test , you are not sure whether you're happy that you are finally going to find out what the results are you . You are so scared , that you find yourself trembling with anxiety. This is not the sort of person you normally are. You are used to being in control of your life and to making decisions for yourself . You find it difficult to understand why you are behaving like a student who's waiting to find out what her exam results are . And then starts the final wait to find out what the results - and every time the telephone rings , you are never sure whether you should pick it up because the nurse may be calling with good news - or not !

Authored by : Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD and reviewed by Dr Anjali Malpani.