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The Two-Week Wait

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Following infertility treatment, there’s the inevitable two-week wait before taking a pregnancy test.

If the fertility treatment was successful, your body will already be going through changes — some noticeable, others imperceptible. What’s happening inside the uterus is impossible to literally feel, but can set off all sorts of palpable symptoms, both emotional and physical.

Enormous hormonal changes take place during this luteal phase to support growth of the baby. If you’re particularly tuned into your body, you may feel the effects of this surge within the first few days of conception. You may have to go to the bathroom more often due to an increase of hCG. Fatigue, a result of higher levels of progesterone, is common as well. Progesterone also slows down the digestive track and may cause bloating. (Of course, bloating, along with sore breasts, is symptomatic of PMS, only adding to the uncertainty of this two-week period.)

Other early-pregnancy symptoms include mild tension headaches from increased blood volume and slight queasiness; however, full-on nausea typically strikes a few more weeks into pregnancy. And while you may not notice it, body temperature, which rises during ovulation, may continue to be slightly elevated by about half a degree.

Whether or not conception has occurred, this waiting period — when so much hangs in the balance — is often quite stressful. Dramatic mood swings, whether from the hormonal changes of pregnancy or the anxiety of waiting to take the test, are all a normal part of the process.