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Navigating the 2 Week Wait

Woman's hand holding pregnancy testWhether you are actively trying to conceive on your own or undergoing fertility treatment, the time between potential conception and finding out if you are pregnant can feel like a lifetime. This period, commonly referred to as the 2 week wait (2ww), can be filled with both hope and anxiety. In order to help make the 2 week wait more manageable, we’ve compiled several important 2ww facts:

What is happening internally during the 2 week wait?

It takes about 2 weeks from the time an embryo implants in the uterine wall to start emitting enough of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to be detected by a blood pregnancy test known as a beta. After that period of time has passed, we can be reasonably sure that the test results are accurate.

Can I take a home pregnancy test before my beta blood pregnancy test?

At Shady Grove Fertility, we do not recommend taking an at-home urine pregnancy test, as it can render either a false positive or false negative. A false positive result would show that you are pregnant when you are, indeed, not. A false negative result would show that you are not pregnant when you are, indeed, pregnant. Either way, the emotional burden of a false result can be a lot for a patient or couple to bear.

A false positive may occur because the same hormone that is used to trigger ovulation—hCG—is what is measured during a urine pregnancy test. In this case, trace amounts of hCG leftover from fertility treatment may influence the results of the test and render them inaccurate. Similarly, for urine-based pregnancy tests that result in a false negative, it could be that not enough time has passed in order to measure the discrete amounts of hCG common in early pregnancy.

On average, two weeks after intrauterine insemination (IUI) or embryo transfer, patients will come back to our center for a pregnancy test. Unlike a home pregnancy test, the beta test administered in the office is blood-based and measures the hCG levels produced by a developing embryo. The most reliable pregnancy test available is the hCG blood test performed at your local Shady Grove Fertility office.

What is a good result for my first beta test?

We determine a beta test to be “positive” if the hCG hormone level is above 5 mIu/ml, as long as the test is not done too early following an hCG trigger injection. A blood hCG number over 100 is a good first beta result, although many ongoing pregnancies start out with a beta hCG level below that number. Higher numbers are not indicators of a multiple pregnancy; only the ultrasound can determine if you are pregnant with multiples.

What happens if my pregnancy test in the office is positive?

Additional beta tests are typically performed every 48 to 72 hours after the first positive test to confirm that hCG levels are continuing to rise. We look for the level of hCG to rise about 60 percent or more in each of the additional tests. If the number continues to increase, physicians become more confident that there is likely a viable pregnancy, as the rising levels indicate that the embryo is continuing to grow.

After your second or third hCG beta blood test, you may have one or two ultrasounds to verify the presence of a sac and, ultimately, a heartbeat.

Getting through the 2 Week Wait: Tips from Former Patients

Navigating your way through the 2 week wait can be tough, but finding support can help make the wait just a little bit easier. Over 16,000 people have found a network of support in our online community. Recently, a current patient posed this question to the group: “How did other women get through the 2 week wait?”

Christina: Keep busy and don’t obsess over it. Remember that it only takes one. After two failed IUIs, the end of my first IVF 2 week wait brought me the news that I was pregnant!

Julie: I never lost faith that it would happen someday, so I used to think about how we’d announce it and plan our baby registry.

Tarah: I had a wonderful, supportive nurse that I called almost daily to talk about different things I was experiencing. She stayed positive and did her best to calm my fears. I went for long walks and listened to inspirational music during this time as well.

Jaime: Stay busy doing whatever you can! Remember: it only takes ONE!!! Best of luck to you!

Tara: I just finished my first 2ww (unfortunately it was negative). My advice is to not start using at-home tests in the few days before you get the official blood test. I wound up not being able to resist, and then each time I did it there was that brief period of hope while I waited for the stick to change, and then the disappointment when it didn’t. And even if I had been pregnant, it still probably wouldn’t have shown up on the at-home test since it was just too early.

Jen: Stay busy!! Do something fun!! Get your nails done. Have a girls’ night.

Cristen: I think the 2ww is the worst part! Like everyone else said: keep busy! Plan lots of stuff that will keep your mind off of it. Don’t pee on any sticks too! Wishing you the best of luck! We are pregnant with our third Shady Grove IVF baby boy!

Jaime: Stay very busy!!! Do anything you can to take your mind off the wait. My first IUI cycle was a success and I’m now 28 weeks pregnant. Good luck and stay hopeful!

Share your advice on the 2WW with other patients

While the 2 week wait can be a stressful time, we would caution you to avoid at-home testing. It is better to wait and get the most accurate results from your doctor, rather than be disappointed by a false negative or false positive. As our former and current patients recommend, try to stay busy and keep your mind off of the 2 week wait, as difficult as it may be. And always keep in mind that you have an active support team to help you through, whether it’s Shady Grove Fertility staff and support services, or the Shady Grove Fertility Facebook community.

If you are considering infertility treatment at Shady Grove Fertility’s offices throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755 or click here to schedule an appointment.

22 Comments

  1. Maried

    September 11, 2019 - 1:01 pm
    Reply

    Hi! I still have 7 days left and am going crazy! Made the mistake of taking a hpt on Monday (day 7 after Ovidrel shot) came out positive. Took two more yesterday and lines were very faint but still there, same thing this morning…could it be?

    I’m traveling to Europe on Monday (hopefully that will take my mind off of it) so I am seeing my dr today for any precautions.

  2. Lee

    April 16, 2019 - 2:56 pm
    Reply

    Hi
    I’m currently in the2WW period but I’ve been very tired of late.
    Like extremely tired.
    Is it to early to start experiencing fatigue even if I’m pregnant?
    And is it possible that I’m pregnant although I took a home test on day 7 after my trigger shot and it came back neg.
    I’m dying from the wait.

  3. Jersail

    April 10, 2017 - 11:51 pm
    Reply

    Today is 7th day post IUI. I cannot wait, Lord have mercy. I cant help it. On Saturday day 5 post IUI, I used home pregnancy test and turned out negative, Now I’m so worried that I may not pregnant this is my 2nd cycle of clomid and HCG shot. Im a bit sad that it turned out negative but I rely on the fact that testing too early with HPT can get false positive or false negative result. I hope I am pregnant. 7 days more to go for a full 2WW, that 7 days sounds a millions years for me. Oh my God, I’m a mess I know and being paranoid. Staying positive. :)

    • Katie

      May 23, 2017 - 3:53 pm
      Reply

      Jersail, How did it work out for you? I’m on my 3rd cycle of Clomid and my first HCG shot, and I’m in the 2WW. ON day 11 now and not feeling any different :(

  4. Channy

    September 7, 2016 - 9:45 pm
    Reply

    I am 16 days post IUI with the HGC Trigger. I had my blood work done today and they called me back and said that my number was at 22. I go back in 2 days for more blood work. Am I pregnant? They didn’t say no, they just want me to go back to make sure my numbers are increasing.

  5. Stacy

    August 22, 2016 - 2:56 pm
    Reply

    I’m currently day 11 after my ovidrel trigger shot and going a little nutzy. We visited Lowes last night looking at cordless blinds to replace the mini blinds in our guest room (hopefully nursery) because they’re safer for kids and I’m so sick of waiting to know if I should buy stupid blinds or not. We’ve been trying for 5 years so another 3 days should be no problem but it is and I’m an emotional mess. Random crying, daydreaming about motherhood, preoccupation in bodily symptoms, avoiding peeing on any sticks (hehe), trying to taper my hope in case its another month of BFN. It’s only by the grace of God we’re getting through this. I hope this is my last 2 week wait…

  6. Abby

    February 24, 2016 - 3:03 pm
    Reply

    im on my 2nd day of my 2weeks and I am just here praying the Good Lord to get me though this ….I’m soooo nervous …2weeks seems so long …I can’t even eat since yesterday ,I don’t even wanna work so nothing goes wrong lol I’m a mess I know ….

    • Mimi

      April 18, 2016 - 10:05 pm
      Reply

      You aren’t the only one! I’m on day 7 of the 2WW and i shouldn’t have kept reading up on it because now I am an anxious mess!

      Who knew it was so complicated to get pregnant! Sheesh!

  7. Tasha

    January 6, 2016 - 5:46 pm
    Reply

    I’m on day 12 post iui using gonal f and ovidrel. I was anxious and took a hpt and it was negative. I was wondering could the fertility meds extend the implantation process; therefore not causing me to produce hcg yet? I go for my beta on Monday and I am so scared.

  8. Klarissa

    October 30, 2015 - 5:49 pm
    Reply

    I’m on my 10th day post HGC shot… Grrrrr…. 4 more days!!! Hoping for a positive test!

  9. Christine

    August 20, 2015 - 1:45 am
    Reply

    Hello everyone!

    It’s been five days since my first IUI, and I was given a HCG shot to trigger my ovulation.
    On day 3 post IUI, I decided to take a HPT using Clear Blue digital PT and the result was positive “pregnant”. I did some research and I read that HCG can cause to give you a false positive pregnancy. I didn’t really believe it that I am pregnant. Just tonight (5 days post IUI) I took another HPT and the result is the same. Could I be pregnant? my Beta test is next week on the 27th . I cannot wait. I staying positive. And I wish everyone Good luck! :-)

    • Summer

      August 25, 2015 - 2:51 am
      Reply

      The trigger shot isn’t out of your system until a minimum of 8 days after triggering. Good luck!

  10. Meagan

    July 22, 2015 - 7:36 pm
    Reply

    I am currently on day 10 of my TWW of my first IUI. I am doing my best to keep my mind off it and keep my stress level down. But it is KILLING me not knowing. I wish I was able to know now, but I know that good things come to those who wait.

    • Christine

      August 20, 2015 - 1:46 am
      Reply

      Hi Meagan!

      Are you pregnant?

  11. Monica

    July 21, 2015 - 5:52 pm
    Reply

    I am in day 4 of my 2WW after my first IUI. It is a little nerve-wracking but I keep thinking that one day, I will get pregnant; if not now, one day so that keeps me positive. I also decided to keep a journal for my future baby chronicling the 2WW and then when I do get a positive for pregnancy, I will keep that journal going for him or her. I also do yoga every day and eat like I am already pregnant. I have been doing that for a few months now. Good luck to everyone!

  12. Melissa

    March 31, 2015 - 4:21 pm
    Reply

    Oh man! The two-week wait is the WORST! I’m a high-stress person anyway; combine that with hormones and … wow. My nurse, Carrie, was amazing, answering all my questions and just letting me vent. Yikes! Praise God, it wound up being good news!

    To add to the suggestions of what NOT to do: those online “am I pregnant” quizzes. Those quizzes all said I probably wasn’t pregnant (since, technically, I hadn’t missed my period yet), even though — as it turned out — I was. Who needs that kind of morale deflator?

    Best of luck and lots of prayers to those parents out there dealing with the wait now! You will get through it!!

  13. Neal Nunez

    November 15, 2014 - 9:36 am
    Reply

    Since home pregnancy tests are less sensitive, taking a test too early can result in a positive pregnancy test as a result of trace amounts of hCG injection still in the bloodstream. Does it happen always?

    • Shady Grove Fertility

      July 21, 2015 - 3:59 pm
      Reply

      It doesn’t always happen, but since there is no way to indicate that this test or person will result in a false positive or negative, it is best to wait the full 2 weeks prior to taking a home pregnancy test.

  14. michele

    October 9, 2014 - 1:55 pm
    Reply

    I had 1 IUI and it came back positive but the numbers were just too low and I lost the baby BUT during the 2ww I did take at home test and one came back positive the others neg so I def do NOT recommend any home testing I learned my lesson lol Im still very hopeful I start my second IUI soon and prayers for this one, the staff is amazing and they keep me calm and reassured. Good luck everyone!

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