How To Survive the Two-Week Wait | Symptoms To Look For

| Reviewed By Amanda Lundberg, BSN, RN

One of the biggest challenges while trying to get pregnant is the anticipation and wait for a pregnancy test.

You will wonder if you need to take a pregnancy test or if you should wait, and the days between wondering and knowing for sure if you are or aren’t pregnant feel interminable.

What is the two-week wait? The two-week wait is the time between when you ovulate and when you miss or don’t miss a period. Everything should be in place for your body to get pregnant, but there’s no way to know for sure if you have during the two-week wait. Your symptoms could be premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or pregnancy. 

Understanding how your body works and when pregnancy can be picked up by a pregnancy test will help you know what to do during the two-week wait. It will also let you know what symptoms deserve attention.

What Happens to Your Body During the Two-Week Wait?

Though you may not notice all the things going on, the two-week wait is a time of much activity in your body.

During this period of time, you will ovulate. If the egg is fertilized and implants, then you have become pregnant. However, it’s still too early for a pregnancy test to give you a positive result.

How Soon After Sex Is Conception?

Conception can occur half an hour after sex, with sperm fertilizing the egg quickly. It may also take a bit longer. However, the egg has to be fertilized within 12-24 hours of being released.

Do You Feel Anything During the Two-Week Wait?

Every pregnant woman is different. Some don’t feel any different during the two-week wait, while others swear they can sense early signs of pregnancy.

Breast tenderness, exhaustion, and increased urination can all be signs that you are pregnant. However, they can also be signs of an upcoming period, making the two-week wait even harder to endure.

Some women also say they just feel that they are pregnant during this time, though they can’t point to specific symptoms. Call it early maternal instincts.

How Soon Can HCG Be Detected in Urine?

HCG can be detected in urine around 12-15 days after you ovulate. That doesn’t mean you will get a positive pregnancy test on the first try, though.

Some women get a negative test before their levels are high enough to register a pregnancy. If your period hasn’t arrived and your first pregnancy test is negative, try again in a day or two.

After How Many Days Can Pregnancy Be Confirmed by Blood Test?

Blood tests can get you a result sooner when it comes to pregnancy. About a week after you ovulate, a blood test can come back positive. However, doctors often won’t test for pregnancy using blood unless there is a specific need for it.

48 Hours After Conception Symptoms

Most women don’t notice much of a change the first 48 hours after conception. However, other women have spidey senses that kick in and make them feel like something might be different in their bodies.

Very early symptoms may include slight cramping or exhaustion. You may also feel slightly nauseous.

Very Early Signs of Pregnancy – 1 Week

Again, week one doesn’t always offer a plethora of pregnancy signs. The signs you do get may easily be mistaken for PMS symptoms.

However, your breasts may be more tender than normal, and you may suddenly feel like you have to pee all the time.

Headaches, a higher body temperature, and a very acute sense of smell are also early signs you could notice the first week. The heightened sense of smell can also lead to food aversions. 

Two-Week Wait Symptoms Day by Day

Remember that you may not experience any symptoms during the two-week wait. That doesn’t mean you’re not pregnant.

Every person is different, and some experience symptoms earlier than others. Here’s what you can expect during that two-week period if you do have symptoms.

Days 1-6

The hard part about the day 1-6 symptoms is that they can feel a lot like a regular part of your cycle.

Your progesterone levels rise, but this happens after you ovulate whether or not you get pregnant. Your breasts may be sore, your mood may be off, and you could feel exhausted.

The very early days of the two-week wait are not a great time to determine whether or not you feel pregnant.

You may feel all of these symptoms, but they don’t particularly indicate pregnancy. You could also have no noticeable symptoms and be pregnant.

Day’s 7-11

If you are pregnant, implantation can take place during this time. Implantation bleeding occurs in about a fourth of pregnancies, but this light spotting isn’t a sure sign of pregnancy.

You may also feel implantation taking place. Dull cramping that doesn’t last is how most women describe the sensation. 

Other symptoms during these days may include light cramping, nausea, moodiness, and headaches. Again, these are often so subtle that it’s hard to tell if you are truly pregnant this early.

Days 12-14

At this point in the two-week wait, your hCG levels are climbing enough to make a difference in how you feel. You might be dizzy, exhausted, or experiencing strange belly issues.

Your breasts will be a different kind of sore than they have ever been, and the size and color may also change.

Morning sickness can start around this time, and when you’re not dealing with food aversions, you will be running to the bathroom to pee every five minutes. Acne may dot your face as your hormones go for a ride.

I know. It doesn’t sound like a vacation, but these could be the first signs that you are pregnant. 

When Does Implantation Occur?

About five or six days after fertilization occurs, implantation will take place. This means the fertilized egg will burrow into the uterus lining, a step that is necessary for it to make a home for the next nine months.

What Does Implantation Feel Like?

Many women don’t know they are experiencing implantation. It can feel like menstrual cramps, and some women don’t even realize that’s not what it is.

However, implantation pain doesn’t worsen over time and will likely not last long.

It is possible to have implantation bleeding. This is light spotting that occurs as the egg embeds into the uterine lining.

What Helps Implantation During the Two-Week Wait?

There are no special rules for the implantation period that you have to follow unless your doctor tells you something different.

Assume you could be pregnant, and act accordingly by making good decisions that will benefit the possible baby in your belly.

Stay physically active during the implantation period. Listen to your body and pay attention to what it is asking for during this waiting time.

How To Encourage Implantation of Embryo

You don’t have a lot of control over whether or not implantation is successful. However, it’s never a bad idea to eat healthy meals and reduce your stress level.

Refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol, and don’t take in second-hand smoke if you can avoid it. 

What Not To Do During Implantation

You don’t have a ton of limits during the implantation period unless your doctor advises you to take it easy. It’s best not to take up extreme, intense exercise routines, but that’s about it.

Make mindful choices that will feed your body during this time, and try to reduce the stress that can come from all the waiting.

Does Implantation Always Produce Bleeding?

Implantation does not always cause bleeding. In fact, the majority of women don’t experience bleeding during implantation.

That’s why you should not depend on implantation bleeding to indicate pregnancy during the two-week wait.

Signs of Successful Implantation Without Bleeding

Implantation can cause slight cramping that doesn’t last too long. Since your hCG levels will rise after successful implantation, you may start to experience common pregnancy symptoms like exhaustion, sore breasts, and nausea.

PMS vs. Pregnancy Symptoms

While there can be overlap in PMS and pregnancy symptoms, there are also some differences that could help you figure out which one you’re experiencing.

When you’re pregnant, you may likely feel nauseous early on and may experience food aversions. In fact, even certain smells may cause you to feel ill. However, PMS usually brings a desire to eat any and all the food you can find.

Early pregnancy can also lead to implantation bleeding, a light spotting that is not like a normal period. This doesn’t happen to every pregnant woman, but it can be a sign that the fertilized egg is making a home.

When you have PMS, you won’t bleed until your actual period starts.

Period vs. Pregnancy Symptoms

Period and pregnancy symptoms overlap in so many areas that it can be impossible to figure out which is which. Both can cause acne, cramping, bloating, mood swings, and fatigue.

However, period symptoms don’t usually include nausea, food aversions, or light spotting. Pregnancy symptoms can. 

Period Due in 2 Days – No Symptoms – Could I Be Pregnant?

You can be pregnant without experiencing any early symptoms. However, it’s best not to take a pregnancy test until your period is actually late by at least a day.

This will ensure you are more likely to get a positive result. Taking a test before a missed period can give you a false negative result.

Signs That Your Period Is Not Coming

You won’t know your period isn’t coming until you’re late, but you may notice some differences in how you feel during the two-week wait if you are pregnant.

I usually have terrible cramps prior to my period, but I only experienced a bit of implantation cramping when I was pregnant. This was a relief and also a sign that something was different.

What Are the Symptoms of Rising HCG Levels?

Rising hCG levels can lead to nausea and lightheadedness. Don’t let yourself get too hungry because this can make your nausea even worse. 

Bloating is also common and can be uncomfortable. You may also notice mood changes as your hormone levels fluctuate as well.

Cervical Mucus During Two-Week Wait

You may have a vaginal discharge that signals your body is preparing for pregnancy.

Many women confuse this with a normal discharge that can happen during their cycles, but some women notice subtle differences that clue them into the idea that this discharge might be pregnancy related.

What To Do During Two-Week Wait

During the two-week wait, you can do things to feed your mind and body. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Eat a healthy, balanced diet that will prepare your body for pregnancy. Focus on whole foods that offer nutrients and healthy calories.
  2. Stay hydrated even if you feel like you have to pee all the time. Drink plenty of water and other beverages to help fight the fatigue that can land during this period.
  3. Take a walk or enjoy another low-impact workout. Exercise should be a part of your daily routine anyway, so it’s a good idea to keep the habit during this waiting period. 

Food To Eat During Two-Week Wait

You should strive to eat a healthy, balanced diet the minute you decide to try to conceive. This should continue through all your attempts to get pregnant and through the two-week wait.

Your doctor may also recommend a daily prenatal vitamin even before you start trying to get pregnant.

Go for whole foods and include lots of green vegetables and fresh fruit. Consume plenty of lean protein, and stay hydrated as well.

If you start experiencing nausea, go for crunchy, bland food that will help settle your stomach when you aren’t feeling well. 

Foods To Avoid During Two-Week Wait

Once you’re trying to conceive, you should avoid any foods that could be problematic if you get pregnant. These include:

  • Raw meat
  • Sushi
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • Raw eggs
  • Alcohol
  • Fish high in mercury
  • Hot dogs and cold deli meats

Coffee During Two-Week Wait

You can still have coffee during the two-week wait. Just keep it to around 12 ounces a day, the same amount your doctor will recommend you can consume while pregnant.

Drinking During Two-Week Wait

There is no safe amount of alcohol that you can drink while pregnant. If you are stuck in the interminable two-week wait, don’t try to numb your anxiety with alcohol. It’s not worth the risk in case you are pregnant.

Can You Have Sex During the Two-Week Wait?

If sex is your chosen form of stress relief, you should be okay to enjoy it during the two-week wait. It’s unlikely that sex will negatively impact implantation.

Just make sure to ask your doctor’s advice if you have had miscarriages before or if you start spotting. It’s also important to seek specific guidance if you are undergoing IVF. Avoiding sex may be recommended in these cases.

What NOT To Do During Two-Week Wait

During the two-week wait, you don’t want to do anything that your future pregnant self would be concerned about later. For example, drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and starting an intense exercise program should all be avoided.

You can still exercise, but don’t take up a new type that is especially rigorous without talking to your doctor.

It’s also wise to avoid testing every single day of the two-week wait. In fact, try to avoid testing at all since results can be inaccurate this early.

What Happens After the Two-Week Wait?

After the two-week wait, you should be able to take a pregnancy test if your period has not arrived.

Remember that hCG levels may still not be high enough in the very early days to detect pregnancy. However, once your period is late, you can test with a better chance of accuracy.

If the two-week wait ends with your period arriving, that means you can try again next month.

How To Survive the Two-Week Wait

  1. Don’t take a pregnancy test. You likely won’t get an accurate result, and you will stress yourself out in the process.
  2. Avoid looking up pregnancy symptoms. You can make yourself crazy trying to figure out if you feel pregnant.
  3. Don’t isolate yourself. Hang out with your friends, and do things to get out of the house and out of your head.
  4. Try to find a routine. Keeping a routine will help fill your time in a meaningful way so you won’t spend all your time wondering if you’re pregnant.
  5. Practice stress-busting techniques, such as yoga, meditation, or long walks.
  6. Don’t look at the calendar. I know that it’s hard not to count down the days. However, they won’t go by any faster if you are hyper-aware of them.
  7. Try something you’ve always wanted to try. This could mean taking a trip, exploring a new part of your town, or trying a new hobby. The novelty of something new can be a beautiful distraction.

Closing Thoughts

The two-week wait is only 14 days long, but it can feel like a lifetime. Stay busy during this time to avoid obsessing over the status of your womb.