The two-week wait to receive news as to whether your IVF process was successful or not, can be incredibly challenging, but it’s also a time for hope and optimism. 

While the anticipation of receiving the news may be overwhelming, there are a few important things to focus on, and remember; IVF is a journey with many a bend in the road. 

If you, your partner or wife have undergone IVF treatment and you are currently waiting for the results, remember that IVF is a physically and mentally demanding process.

Were here to offer some helpful advice to get you through!

Firstly, What is the Two-Week Wait?

The two-week wait also referred to as the “TWW”, is the period between ovulation and when an embryo implants (in a successful pregnancy).

After this waiting period, your body will be producing enough beta-hCG (also known as the pregnancy hormone) to be detected in your urine or blood when you take a pregnancy test.

The most difficult part of the two-week wait is usually the emotional aspect of it all. When you’ve been focusing so much energy, time (and often, money) trying to conceive, it feels like everything is balanced on the result of this specific waiting period.

Mood swings and hormone changes aside, it’s perfectly natural to feel anxious, fearful or stressed during this time.

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Our Top Piece of Advice for Navigating the Dreaded Two-Week Wait

If you’re currently in this situation, we understand how tough it can be, but here is the Number One piece of advice to optimise your experience and alleviate some of the stress:

Trust in the Process

Remember, the success rates for IVF vary, every journey is different and it may take multiple attempts.

Lean into the fact that this is the reality and trust that you’re doing everything you can. You have whizzed through the steps and youve done so well so far! Even if this cycle doesn’t result in pregnancy, there are other cycles and other options and methods to explore. IVF is just one path to parenthood.

Know that your emotions are valid. Acknowledging that this process is tough and giving yourself the space to process all of the uncertainty, fear, stress and other emotions, is healthy.

Calming Your Body During The Two-Week Wait:  The Art of Box-Breathing

Navigating the two-week wait during your fertility journey can be an emotionally charged experience for women seeking to expand their families.

We understand the profound impact that stress and anxiety can have on this delicate phase.

It is crucial to embrace techniques that promote tranquillity and mindfulness.

Lets delve into the art of box-breathing—a proven calming technique that can empower you to centre your mind and maintain a sense of calm during the anticipation of the IVF outcome. 

Lets explore the proven and transformative power of controlled breathing as a supportive tool on your path to parenthood.

Firstly, lets learn how to box-breathe:

  1. Inhale for four counts
  2. Hold your breath for four counts
  3. Exhale for four counts
  4. Pause for four counts

Practiced daily for 5 mins, box-breathing has been scientifically proven to significantly improve anxiety.

What are the other benefits of box-breathing?

In a period of anxiety or stress, your body prepares as if its confronting danger. Youve heard of the fight or flight phenomenon. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, your muscles tense, and your breathing becomes shallow. 

Some people may feel short of breath, which can add to the feeling of overall anxiety.

Box-breathing helps to counter the stress response by bringing on a relaxation response. As your breathing becomes deeper, your heartbeat slows, muscles relax, and your blood pressure decreases or stabilizes.

Further research has suggested box-breathing can be beneficial for reducing negative emotions, improving attention and cognitive performance, lowering blood pressure and improving symptoms of depression.

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Ask The Experts: Dr Olaroguns Expert Advice for the Two-Week Wait 

Keeping a healthy routine during your two-week wait is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Here are some pieces of advice from our experts:

  • Try to keep the routine of a healthy diet, a good nights sleep and doing gentle activities you enjoy.
  • Dont drink alcohol or smoke, start treating your body as though you are already pregnant.
  • Try not to do a pregnancy test too early as this can lead to a false result and more anxiety.

If you already have an exercise routine, you may continue with it but dont take up any strenuous.

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Maintaining a healthy diet during your two-week wait is of optimum importance. Some foods that are known to positively affect endometrial health can assist in nourishing your body during this period:

  • Oily fish – a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that can improve blood flow to the uterus.
  • Whole grains contain essential nutrients such as fibre, B vitamins, and magnesium, which support hormonal balance and blood circulation to the uterus which is essential for thickening your endometrium.
  • Fruits – like citrus, pomegranate, and watermelon contain nitric oxide. This can cause the widening of your blood vessels to deliver more blood to your uterus.
  • Vitamin E – is an essential nutrient found in nuts, fruits like mango and vegetables like beetroot, avocado, and spinach.

Your Fertility Journey – Survival Tips During the Festive Season

Embarking on the fertility or IVF journey during the festive season can evoke a range of emotions, and it’s essential to approach this time with self-compassion and resilience. 

Firstly, permit yourself to set boundaries. The holiday season often comes with social gatherings and family events, but it’s okay to decline invitations or limit your participation to preserve your emotional well-being. 

Communicate openly with your loved ones about your journey, helping them understand the importance of sensitivity and support during this time.

Moreover, prioritize self-care to alleviate the potential stress associated with the holidays. Whether it’s taking quiet moments for yourself, indulging in a favourite hobby, or enjoying a warm bath, these small acts of self-nurturing can make a significant difference. 

Surround yourself with a supportive network of friends who are aware of your journey and can offer encouragement when needed.

It’s also crucial to be flexible with your plans and expectations. The fertility process can be unpredictable, and it’s okay if your holiday celebrations need to be adjusted to accommodate your emotional needs. 

Consider establishing new traditions that bring you joy and minimize stress. Above all, remember that you are not alone on this journey, and seeking professional counselling or joining a support group can provide additional resources and understanding. 

By prioritizing self-care, open communication, and flexibility, you can navigate the holidays with ease.

Weve compiled a list of helpful podcasts that weve found to be patient favourites;

  1. This is Infertility –
  2. Dear (In)Fertility Rescripted –
  3. Infertility Feelings –

Wishing Everyone a Wonderful Festive Season

As the festive season unfolds, we extend our heartfelt wishes to every one of you!

This time of year is a celebration of love and hope.

We recognize that the path to parenthood may be accompanied by its unique set of challenges, and we want you to know that you are not alone.

May these holidays bring you moments of tranquillity, surrounded by the warmth of loved ones.

Whether you’re on the brink of new beginnings, navigating the intricate journey of fertility treatments, or simply embracing the beauty of each day, we wish you resilience, strength, and unwavering belief in the miracles yet to unfold.

May the coming year be filled with the promise of new possibilities and the joy of fulfilled dreams.

We offer our warmest wishes for a joyful and peaceful festive season. Here’s to the magic of hope, the strength within each of you, and the boundless possibilities that the future holds. 

Happy Holidays!