• The IVF Two Week Wait: Early Pregnancy Symptoms in the 2WW


      Early Symptoms of Pregnancy During the 2WW

      The 2WW is agonizing for most of us; there is not a whole lot we can do to improve our odds of success. So we wait and worry, pray and cry, read everything we can about the 2WW and obsess about every possible twinge we feel in our bodies.

      Deciphering the early symptoms of pregnancy can be almost impossible, because many of the same symptoms that indicate early pregnancy can also indicate the onset of a menstrual period - especially because many infertility patients are on supplemental progesterone (it is maddening!).

      Very early pregnancy symptoms include:
      Breast changes, including swelling, soreness and tenderness are common in early pregnancy.
      Some women report that their breasts feel "puffy", while others experience general discomfort ("something in my bra just feels different"). Occasionally women report see in more blue veins in their breasts, although this typically emerges later in the pregnancy.

      Headaches are another symptom of early pregnancy. (And the onset of a period. Or stress.) Doctors attribute headaches in early pregnancy to the sudden surge in hormones as the woman's body prepares itself to nourish and protect the embryo.

      Fatigue, ranging from a bit tired to feeling completely worn out, can be another indicator of early pregnancy. Your body is shifting gears to go through rapid changes over the next nine months, and as it begins these physiological changes it can leave you feeling fatigued.

      Nausea or an upset stomach can emerge during the 2WW, although these symptoms typically emerge after the third week of pregnancy.

      Frequent urination and excessive thirst are often noted by pregnant women during the 2WW. During pregnancy your metabolic rate increases, causing you to lose more water. In addition, your body is preparing to increase your blood volume by upwards of 50% by the end of your pregnancy, and water is a much-needed component for this.

      Excess saliva has been noted by many pregnant women during the 2WW; this can be caused by hormonal changes in the body, or by other factors such as nausea.

      Basal body temperature stays higher than normal for a longer period of time if a pregnancy exists. Women who continue to chart basal body temperature may notice this phenomenon; it's quicker to do a home pregnancy test than wait 18 days post ovulation to see if your bbt is still high, however.

      Implantation bleeding may or may not be noticeable during the 2WW. This slight bit of spotting can happen when an embryo burrows into the uterine lining, implanting and continuing to grow.

      Cramps, uterine discomfort or other lower abdominal sensations can indicate early pregnancy. When an embryo implants, it can cause slight cramping (and spotting, as noted above).

      Intuition, or "just feeling pregnant" is considered a symptom of early pregnancy during the 2WW. Many women are anxious or stressed enough that they don't hear or listen to their own intuition; however, there are a lot of women who just know they're pregnant. (This is another symptom that drives other women batty during the 2WW; it sounds so smug and fertile to "just know." But it does happen.)

      How to Interpret Early Pregnancy Symptoms

      They key to unraveling the meaning of your symptoms, for the most part, lies in figuring out what symptoms are different from your normal symptoms prior to the onset of your period. This list of early pregnancy symptoms is most helpful if you are aware of how you usually feel before your period (or how you feel during the months when you did fertility treatments but did not get a positive pregnancy test).

      Can you have breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, implantation bleeding, cramps and the "I'm pregnant" intuition and turn out pregnant? Yes. Can you have breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, implantation bleeding, cramps and the "I'm pregnant" intuition and end up not pregnant? Unfortunately, the answer to this is also yes.

      The question really needs to be: which of these symptoms do you normally have before a period, and which ones do you never have?The absence of symptoms that you normally have before your period can be indicators of pregnancy during the 2WW, just as the presence of symptoms that you don't normally have before your pregnancy can be a clue that you're pregnant.

      What Next?

      A whole lot of waiting. More waiting than you've ever done. And then - at the end of your 2WW - if you haven't gotten your period: you test.
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