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Conception Nov 14, 2019
7 Minutes

Ovulation to implantation to test! The two week wait….

Welcome to the dreaded two week wait. That time between ovulation, a potential implantation and hopefully a positive pregnancy test. We separate fact from fiction and what you can do during the wait: 

Implantation

So, you’ve done everything you ‘should’ do. You know when you’re ovulating, you have been getting jiggy every other day in the lead up to that, and now you have to wait. Watching for any signs/symptoms out of the norm. Noting any twinges of potential implantation. Too early to take a test but what can feel like an eternity to wait….

So what can you do? 

If you can resist the urge to ‘Google’ during this time then do. You can end up going down a real rabbit hole on chat forums/websites and end up feeling more anxious. Frankly when it comes to the internet we have also realised you can find any answer you’re looking for, accurate or not! 

Instead here are our top tips/myth busting to cope with the two week window between ovulation, potential implantation and a hopefully positive pregnancy test: 

Let’s get one thing straight. First and foremost (and hardest to do) is to acknowledge that a lot of this is now broadly out of your hands. Not ideal for the control freaks amongst us (Speaking from personal experience!)

The reality is that even under ‘perfect’ conditions you only have approximately 25% chance of pregnancy each month. The vast majority of the reason that a viable pregnancy doesn’t happen at this stage, is chromosomal ie. genetic abnormality either with the egg/sperm. Not much you can do about that…

You should also know that the vast majority of people without complications will manage to conceive within six months to a year. So, set your expectations in a realistic place and keep the faith. If it doesn’t happen this time there is a decent chance for next time. 

However, if it doesnt work this time and you want to think about giving eggs and sperm a helping hand, particularly when it comes to protecting from cell/DNA damage there are a few things you can consider. Click here for more. 

Will exercising hurt my chances of implantation? 

Unless you are doing something totally extreme you don’t need to worry. In fact moderate exercise can actually be helpful. 

How so? 

Moderate activity and increasing insulin sensitivity ‘may be beneficial to implantation as it reduces the chances of what is known as hyper-insulinemia which impacts key molecules that appear to help adhesion during implantation’. Click here to read the study

Once again, its about moderation (as with all things in life) as on the flip side there is some research that suggests very vigorous activity can lower leptin levels and leptin appears to be important in regulating embryo implantation and endometrial receptivity. Click here for more. 

So: moderation wins again! Shocker! (Sometimes it’s good to have a reminder though…) 

That being said, you should always listen to your body. Did you know that your body actually reacts differently to exercise depending on the point of your cycle? Click here for more.

Here is what happens:

Our hormones naturally fluctuate during our cycle and this can cause our body to react differently to exercise. You may even feel different levels of energy and mood through your cycle. You know that feeling where one day you kill it at the gym and then the next you can barely motivate? That may well be your hormones and your cycle… 

What about for implantation? 

The time between ovulation and menstruation is known as the Luteal phase. This is when implantation can potentially occur. During this phase initially you get a bit of a dip in estrogen which has been on the rise during the follicular phase (estrogen is what gives you lots of energy and a glow before ovulation). It then rises again alongside the hormone progesterone. It is progesterone that can cause a bit of a dip in your mood and energy. 

What to do during this time? 

Our pre and post natal specialist Natalie Ferris advises that now is the time to reduce overall load and use more moderate weights (which is probably what you’ll feel like doing anyway!). Things like resistance training, pilates, yoga, swimming are also good. Click here for more from Natalie the ‘how to’ exercise for conception and fertility. 

What about supplements? 

Ideally you have already been taking a supplement containing folate ahead of time. We prefer folate or methylfolate to Folic Acid (which is the synthetic version in most prenatal vitamins) as some people have a hard time absorbing this. Click here for more. If you haven’t been taking it now is the time to start!  

It is also never a bad idea to ask your doctor for a blood test to work out which levels you are deficient in. Vitamin D is a common one and is crucial for things like healthy hormonal balance. It is also increasingly being linked to helping immunity in developing children and is important during pregnancy. Click here for more. We always recommend getting your levels tested before you start any supplement. 

DHA is another one of our favourites (also known as Omega 3). Great for reducing chronic inflammation and promoting healthy brain development. Click here for more. 

Finally, if you really want to give a helping hand to implantation you may want to consider taking a Lactobacillus supplement. To be very clear, the science is new in this area. However, there is some evidence to suggest that if the reproductive microbiome (ie. the bacteria ‘downstairs’) is as it should be (Lactobacillus dominant) then that is not unhelpful. Click here for much more. 

Eating and drinking, should you start avoiding just in case implantation happens? 

If you have actively been trying to get pregnant it is likely that you will have already cut down on things like alcohol and caffeine. 

Caffeine is an interesting one. Research suggests that in excess it can cause potential complications. Click here for more. The official guidelines for during pregnancy are 2 cups a day (Europe) and up to 3 (US). However, the evidence seems to suggests that to be on the safe side it is best to stick to as low as you can. Particularly in the early stages. 

Cigarettes: are an obvious no at any stage. They are absolutely to blame for increasing cell damage in the body through something known as Oxidative Stress – click here for more. That includes to egg/sperm and are something to avoid. 

Alcohol: if a glass of wine now and again helps you to feel relaxed then that is not a bad thing. However, during the very early stages it is worth avoiding if you can. That being said many people don’t realise they are pregnant in the very earliest days and drink on regardless! However, if your mission is a baby then being as moderate as you can with alcohol is never a bad idea. 

Speaking of relaxation: 

Many of us have a hard time being out of control at the best of times. Especially when it is as important as having a baby. However, during this time perhaps one of the most important things you can do is to try and relax. Easier said that done we know! (How annoying is it when someone tells you to ‘just relax’?! Aaahhh!)

We know how hard this can be in practice, so one of our advisory board members Emmy Brunner has given us her top ten ways to manage anxiety and trust us, they are really helpful! Click here. 

Investing your time, energy and focus into yourself and feeling good is probably the most powerful thing you can do. Whether that is being kind to yourself (not only in what you do physically but the way you speak to yourself), keeping positive, giving yourself permission to relax and loosen control (this bit really isnt in your control now!). They are all really good things to do. Science also shows that meditation can be a really powerful force. Emmy’s guide as to how to do this works on even the most active of minds. Click here for more. 

When to do a pregnancy test? 

A lot of us want to test as early as possible, which technically speaking you can now do with products like First Response. They advertise the ability to test six days before your missed period. However, even they admit on their site that some pregnant women may not have detectable amounts of the pregnancy hormone in their urine on the day they use the test.

It doesn’t take a scientist to work out that the amount of pregnancy hormone increases as the pregnancy progresses. The odds of the test getting it right increase as you get closer to your missed period.

They quote that 76% of women had detectable levels 5 days before but this rises to 99% 3 days before your period is due. So ideally wait at least until then to minimise the risk of an inaccurate result.

So: in a nutshell? Time to relax and let go. You’ve done all you can so now it is just about being sensible. Moderate exercise, prenatal supplements, getting sleep, eating whole, real foods and avoiding too much alcohol and caffeine. Focusing on being kind to yourself is never a bad thing! 

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This article is for informational purposes only. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. The information on this website has been developed following years of personal research and from referenced and sourced medical research. Before making any changes we strongly recommend you consult a healthcare professional before you begin.

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