If you’ve been trying to conceive, then you’ve probably visited your fair share of pregnancy websites and are familiar with the two-week wait, or 2WW (as well as many other pregnancy terms and acronyms). The 2WW refers to the period of time between ovulation, your pregnancy attempt and the day you find out whether or not you’re pregnant. Every woman must go through the two-week wait, whether from a natural try at home or a medically assisted attempt at a fertility center.
Why is there a two-week wait?
While it is possible for a woman to get pregnant on the same day she ovulates, most pregnancy tests are not sensitive enough to detect HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), also known as the pregnancy hormone, until the embryo has attached to the uterine lining. Implantation can occur in as early as seven or as late as 12 days after ovulation.
Most over-the-counter pregnancy tests recommend waiting until one day after your first missed period to ensure you’re getting the most accurate result possible. Though the best way to confirm pregnancy is with a blood test at your doctor’s office. An OB/GYN or reproductive endocrinologist will be able to confirm pregnancy between 7 and 12 days following ovulation or your fertility procedure (e.g., intrauterine insemination or egg transfer).
What is HCG?
HCG is a hormone made by cells formed in the placenta. These hormones support the egg after it has been fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall. The pregnancy hormone is a key measurement in early pregnancy, particularly for women who have gone through IVF or other fertility treatments.
For these women, reproductive specialists closely monitor HCG levels throughout the first trimester to confirm the pregnancy is progressing as expected. In a healthy pregnancy, a woman’s HCG levels should double every 72 hours and reaches its peak between 8-11 weeks of pregnancy.
As tempting as it is, fertility patients should avoid home pregnancy tests. During fertility treatments, HCG levels are medically manipulated to trigger ovulation and may remain in the blood or urine for some time—this can cause in false positives and false negatives.
Whether you’re pregnant or in need of fertility services, our board-certified obstetrics specialists are dedicated to providing excellent pregnancy services in McKinney and Prosper, Texas. Call Adriatica Women’s Health at 972-542-8884 to schedule your initial consultation.