Two week wait (2ww) in IVF - signs and symptoms | Success or failed IVF | Implantation bleeding

Will my symptoms during the 2ww tell me whether I am pregnant or not?

During the 2ww (2 weeks wait, from embryo transfer to the pregnancy test) it is very natural to wonder about the fate of the embryos which are transferred to the uterus. Every woman who has had an embryo transfer longs to know the outcome of her IVF cycle. Every minute of the 2ww lasts an hour - and the 2ww is the longest wait for any woman who has undergone IVF.

When going through the 2ww, women become aware of even the slightest change that happens to their bodies. I am feeling warmer than usual; I have a tingling feeling in my breast; my nipples are sore; I could sense a muscle being pulled in my pelvic region; I have a strange vaginal discharge; I urinate frequently; I feel nauseous - does this mean I am pregnant? This is the question that lingers in the mind of every woman - whether they explicitly acknowledge it or not. This can be made worse by a worried spouse who solicitously asks every day - How are you feeling? Many women constantly surf the web to read about the 2ww symptoms of women who got pregnant after an embryo transfer. Although this can make the 2ww interesting and can help some women to cope with it, many women start to panic too when they do not experience any symptoms. Others start imagining that they are pregnant or if they have any of the about symptoms. Are there really any symptoms which could tell you whether you are pregnant or not, before taking a pregnancy test?

Sadly, the answer is no. While every woman is different, the reality is that your body cannot provide you with any clue during the 2ww which could tell you whether you are pregnant or not. Women who do not have any symptoms at all find they are pregnant - while women who experience all the symptoms can end up getting a negative pregnancy test. During the 2ww, your body is under the influence of the two most important sex hormones - estrogen and progesterone. These sex hormones have an influence on many of your body functions. Because of excess progesterone, your body becomes warmer than usual; your digestive system becomes sluggish and you can suffer from constipation; water accumulates in your tissues leading to sore breasts and nipples; you might have low-back pain, cramps and so on. High estrogen can make you nauseous; can cause breast pain, and might make you sensitive to smells. So the symptoms you experience during 2ww are only due to the high levels of these hormones, which is why they are so similar to the symptoms of PMS ( premenstrual syndrome). The only proof whether you are pregnant or not is a positive blood pregnancy test.


What is implantation bleeding?

Some women get a little bit of bleeding around the time the embryo buries itself into the uterine lining - when implantation happens. Although some women experience this, many don't. So, if you do not experience spotting during the 2ww, do not think that you are not pregnant. Implantation bleeding is a phenomenon which does not have a sound scientific explanation. Your embryo is microscopic and its implantation does not cause bleeding! It is hypothesized that the hormonal changes that happen around the time when an embryo implants cause this slight bleeding. Similarly, if you do spot a few days after your embryo transfer, please do not panic. However, if the spotting increases, please call your clinic.

I am bleeding before my pregnancy test, should I stop all my medicines?

Please do not stop your medicines without consulting your doctor even if you are bleeding heavily. Many women may experience bleeding during pregnancy as well. The doctor will need to order a beta HCG blood test to get more information. Read more at Click here

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