Embryo Transfer

What to Expect During the Two Week Wait After Embryo Transfer


4 min read

 What is “The Two Week Wait”?

The two-week wait or TWW refers to the period following an embryo transfer in fertility treatments, leading up to the blood pregnancy test. It's a time marked by heightened emotional and physical awareness, where most people are keenly observing their body for any signs of pregnancy. 

During this period, as you notice various changes, it’s important to remember that distinguishing early pregnancy signs from post-transfer symptoms can be challenging. Keep a balanced perspective as you monitor your body. To navigate this emotional time, engaging in self-care practices along with staying informed about potential symptoms can provide some comfort and ease. Show yourself kindness and patience, and remember, your experience is as unique as you are.

Symptoms to Expect During “The Two Week Wait”

After an embryo transfer, you may notice various potential symptoms which include: light vaginal bleeding, abdominal discomfort, cramping, constipation, fatigue, changes in breast sensitivity, and a missed period. These symptoms can be due to the embryo settling into the uterine lining or effects of the progesterone medications used to support the body after the embryo transfer. 

While it's important to monitor your symptoms, try to avoid over interpreting them because early pregnancy symptoms and treatment side effects can be similar.  The most important thing to remember during the two week wait is to be sure to continue to take all medications as prescribed during this time. Keep open communication with your clinical team for advice and reassurance. Your understanding and vigilance during this period are crucial for navigating it effectively, ensuring both your comfort and the best care possible. 

If you experience heavy bleeding like a menstrual period, severe abdominal pain or cramping, fever, or any other symptoms that you are concerned about you should contact your clinic right away for instructions. 

Self-care Practices and Suggestions to Navigate “The Two Week Wait”

The two-week wait is a great opportunity for self-care. Treat yourself with kindness and indulge in activities that soothe and comfort you. Lean onto loved ones for emotional support and enjoy quality time with friends. Embrace rest and relaxation and partake in stress-relieving practices like yoga and mindfulness. Maintain a nutritious and balanced diet and prioritize ample sleep. While practicing relaxation is helpful during this stressful time, it is also just as important to remain active. Most clinics no longer recommend bed rest after embryo transfers. Your clinic will provide you with personalized instructions regarding activity, but it is typically recommended to perform light activity for the first few days post embryo transfer, such as walking and swimming, and you can resume your normal exercise and activity routine after that. If you would like to check if a specific activity is safe, contact your clinic beforehand.


Most fertility specialists and OBGYNs advise against starting new forms of exercise during embryo transfers and pregnancy, but recommend continuing your current routine. So, if your body is used to an intense workout like weight lifting or running, typically you can continue those types of workouts. Of course, always discontinue or modify any workout routines that cause discomfort.

What to Avoid After an Embryo Transfer

Each clinic has its own guidelines as to what exercises to avoid after an embryo transfer and it is best to consult with your clinical team for guidance. It is also important to ask your clinic their recommendations regarding sex after your transfer. Many clinics recommend pelvic rest at least until the blood pregnancy test. Your clinic will advise against hot yoga, hot tubs, hot baths, and saunas post embryo transfer as they raise the body’s temperature, which can make the body less hospitable to a potential pregnancy. 

After the embryo transfer, you want to treat your body as if you are pregnant. Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid alcohol, tobacco, raw meat and fish, deli meat, unpasteurized cheese and to limit your caffeine intake. 

Lastly, we know it's hard, but it is recommended to avoid early at-home pregnancy testing because the results are harder to interpret and can cause unnecessary stress. The most accurate and meaningful results come from the blood pregnancy test at the end of the two week wait.  

Your wellbeing is paramount during this hopeful yet challenging time and approaching it with positivity and self-compassion is essential. Try to remember that you are on a path towards parenthood, stay gentle with yourself and remain hopeful. Sending positive vibes and baby dust, you’ve got this!