Do's and Don'ts During The Two Week Wait After An IUI

Laura Morrissey, RN, BSN

6 min read

What Is the Two Week Wait?

The two week wait, also known as “TWW” in the world of fertility lingo, refers to the two weeks after an IUI that you have to wait before you can take a pregnancy test to determine if the procedure worked. 

What’s Happening In My Body During the TWW?

At the start of these two weeks, your body ovulates the mature egg grown during the first half of the IUI cycle. Then, the sperm that was placed in the uterus during the IUI has the opportunity to fertilize the newly ovulated egg as it travels down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. If fertilization is successful, the egg will then be called an embryo. 

Over the next few days, the developing embryo makes its way to the uterus where it can implant into the uterine lining (endometrium). If implantation occurs, the embryo will continue to grow and while it does it will produce the pregnancy hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotropin (beta hCG). This hormone is what is detected in urine and blood pregnancy tests. At the end of the two weeks, the level of beta hCG should be high enough to be detected by these tests to confirm the result of the IUI cycle. 

Do’s and Don’ts During the Two Week Wait

The TWW is an anxious and exciting time. The most common complaint from patients is that the two week wait feels like an eternity because you really just want to get to the end and find out the results.

Here is a list of a few things to keep in mind while you are waiting to benefit your mind and body and to prepare for pregnancy. 


  • Rest is critical for your body to function at its best. Getting adequate sleep and taking it easy when your body feels tired can really help keep all of your body systems running properly.

  • Hydration helps with blood volume and perfusion of the blood into all of the organs. This perfusion is what helps blood flow to the uterus, which is critical for an embryo to implant and thrive. 

  • Moving your body, besides being great for your cardiovascular health, is a proven way to distract your mind from obsessing over every possible symptom. Movement also causes the release of endorphins (the feel-good chemical) to help boost your mood.

  • Eating healthy is another way to make sure your body has all the resources it needs to support the implanting embryo and resulting pregnancy. The best way to achieve a balanced diet that includes all the protein and vitamins you’ll need is to focus on eating things like meat, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. 

  • Take a prenatal vitamin that contains folic acid. Folic acid is important in pregnancy because it helps prevent neural tube defects in the developing fetus.  

  • Take all medications as instructed by your doctor. Medications like progesterone are often prescribed during the two week wait to help support the implantation of the embryo. If the pregnancy test is positive, typically the progesterone will continue for a few more weeks. You may also be instructed to continue other medications. Make sure you have clear instructions from your clinic on which medications to take and which medications to discontinue during pregnancy. 


  • Don’t Google everything. It’s hard not to obsess over every possible little pregnancy symptom, like bloating, fatigue, and nausea. Try not to go down any internet rabbit holes. Keep in mind that pregnancy symptoms and side effects of progesterone medications are very similar.  Sometimes the research can make things even more confusing. It's best to rely on your medical team to answer any questions that you may have.

  • Don’t test early. After your IUI, all you want to know is whether or not you are pregnant. It’s very tempting to pull out that at-home pregnancy test earlier than instructed, but sometimes those early results can be difficult to read. Testing early can give you a false result because the pregnancy hormones aren’t yet at a high enough level to be detected. (We know you may have a moment of weakness with this one!)  

  • Don’t go in hot tubs or hot baths, saunas, or steam rooms. Raising your core body temperature can make your body inhospitable to an embryo. It’s important to avoid these very hot environments during the two week wait as well as during pregnancy. 

  • Don’t drink alcohol or eat non pregnancy-safe foods. During the two week wait, eat and drink like you already are pregnant. Be sure to avoid alcohol, deli meats, unpasteurized cheeses, sushi, and raw or undercooked meat and eggs. Consult your doctor if there are any specific questions or concerns that you have about dietary restrictions. 

  • Don’t take medications without checking that they are safe for pregnancy. Some common medications aren’t safe during pregnancy, like ibuprofen or retinol. Make sure to read the label or ask your doctor about any existing medications that you take to determine if you can safely continue or should find an alternative.

What Happens Next?

At the end of the two week wait is the big finale: pregnancy test day. Most clinics will have you start by taking an at-home urine pregnancy test and calling them with the results. Oftentimes, when the test is positive, you’ll be instructed to go into your clinic to have a beta hCG blood draw (frequently just referred to as a beta). 

After the first beta is drawn and the positive pregnancy test is confirmed, your clinic will give you instructions for next steps. This may involve more blood testing, the continuation of your progesterone supplements if you’re taking them, and an ultrasound to check on the development of the pregnancy a few weeks later.

If your at-home test is negative, you’ll be instructed to discontinue progesterone if you’re taking it and to expect your period to start within the next few days. You can chat with your doctor about next steps for if and how you would like to proceed with further treatment. 

Last, but certainly not least, take a deep breath. These two weeks will be over before you know it. Fingers crossed for a positive pregnancy test!