Debunking Two Week Wait Symptoms

23 May


Howdy new visitor! This post seems to be very popular on the google machines. If you found your way here because you’re suffering through the two week wait- hi! I feel your pain.

Before you read on please note that I am not a doctor. The post below was written with a tone of snark. Feel free to read it, though it’s just my opinion and nothing more. You’re even more welcome to click around the blog. I’m sure you’ll find my other posts way more enlightening than this, and some even kind of funny (and others debilitatingly sad, but such is life). Happy reading!

I think one thing that you get from being pregnant as often as I have is that you realize that what “they” say is true. Each pregnancy is different.

As much as we all like to obsessively seek out symptoms during the dreaded window between ovulation and AF, the fact is that most of it is useless self-torture.

Yep – I said it. TWW symptoms are total BS.

Oh yes Dramatic Chipmunk. I totally went there.

For the sake of argument, let’s break down the process, shall we?

A spike of a hormone called LH triggers ovulation. At that point the progesterone levels rise.

If after two weeks there is no pregnancy, the corpus luteum (basically the remains of your follicle on your ovary)  collapses, causing a sharp drop in progesterone and estrogen and triggering AF.

If a fertilized egg starts nestling in your ute, then it produces a hormone called HCG (AKA the dreaded/eagerly awaited Beta), which causes the corpus luteum to continue to produce the necessary hormones to sustain a pregnancy until the placenta is fully formed.

So science sez that up until HCG is introduced into the body, the hormone levels in the body are identical, whether egg met sperm or not. More importantly – all that HCG does in early pregnancy is just to tell the corpus luteum to keep producing progesterone. Which it was doing pre-implantation anyway.

So that’s the science of it.

The plain old logic of it is that progesterone spikes whether you’re knocked up or not. And progesterone is what is the known cause of early pregnancy symptoms.

So that nausea you’re feeling? Yep – could just be progesterone. Or something you had for dinner.

Swollen bre.asts? Progesterone.

Food cravings? Think back – how many times just before AF showed did you just NEED to have that bacon cheeseburger?

Mmmmmm…. Bacon cheeseburger…. *Drool*

So really? The first sign of pregnancy that is for sure a sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Period.

If two week wait symptoms were truly a “thing,” then they would be consistent with each pregnancy and with each woman, wouldn’t they?

There ya go.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop obsessing. After all how else will you keep your brain occupied once you ovulate?

I also pretty much know that despite going to all of this trouble to debunk this, I probably will too.


25 Responses to “Debunking Two Week Wait Symptoms”

  1. eighteenyears May 23, 2012 at 22:54 #

    That blog should go in the blogging hall of fame. Seriously.

  2. Trisha May 23, 2012 at 22:55 #

    But…but…but…my boobies hurt! I’m only around 8 dpo but they hurt! Surely I’m pregnant! Even thought I know we totally didn’t have sex anywhere near the time I ovulated…but the boobies! They hurt!

  3. airforcemum May 23, 2012 at 23:33 #

    thanks for the laugh and keeping it in prospective TWW ing can send you mental.

  4. hapahopes May 23, 2012 at 23:39 #

    Amen, sister! Amen!

  5. Esperanza May 24, 2012 at 00:20 #

    As you can imagine I’ve been putting a lot of thought into symptoms and the 2WW. Breast soreness is a big one for me as acute breast soreness is what prompted me to test “early” (@DPO11) during my second pregnancy. Of course I couldn’t remember when that started and who knows, maybe it was just a coincide that I even had that symptom. I’ve poked and prodded my poor tatas so much this week they are probably just sore from me man handling them at this point (and they aren’t even that sore anyway). But I was looking into the mechanics of the 2WW and coming to the same conclusions you did- it’s all just some bull honkey. And even if I find out I’m pregnant that doesn’t mean I’ll stay pregnant. None of it can assure me of an outcome so I’d do well to just leave it be. Of course I can’t and I don’t and I drive myself crazy but at least in my mind I know I’m being crazy. That helps. A little. Good luck making it through the 2WW. It
    is brutal.

  6. cw May 24, 2012 at 00:40 #

    ok will try this again!

    I personally think TWW symptoms are shite. Anything I have ever felt has been because of the drugs!

    Love ya xx

  7. Erin May 24, 2012 at 01:02 #

    Heh … so true. Now if I could just stop obsessing over it once I’ve crept up to Day 25 or so…

  8. SRB May 24, 2012 at 02:08 #

    Whoa…back up now. What is this “OV-U-LAY-SHUN” you speak of? I’ve never heard of it. Frankly, it sounds made up.

  9. Pussy Parent May 24, 2012 at 03:25 #

    I totally agree with this! I’ve only confirmed ovulation once and I drove myself crazy trying to turn every single burp into something pregnancy related. I have learned my lesson though. Just wait it out crazy women. 🙂

  10. Jay May 24, 2012 at 03:46 #

    Hahaha, true. But from a sciency perspective: what HCG does is it has a feedback mechanism- it actually increases progesterone. So a cycle with an embryo bouncing around is going to have significantly higher levels of progesterone (and estrogen) than the cycles where the egg and sperm did not hook up, so to speak.

    While I totally agree that 2ww symptoms have to be taken with a giant helping of salt, some of them (like unusual egg-white CM in your luteal phase) or sore boobs if you have *never* had them in your luteal phase before, are promising. And of course, the implantation cramps, if you never normally get cramping at say, day 7-11 of your cycle, then getting them at this point may be very telling.

    To asses your symptoms when you think may be pregnant,IMO, you actually have to take careful notes in the luteal phase where you have no chance of pregnancy, and then compare the two and pray that your mind and body are not playing tricks on you. Yeah, I’m a supernerd, I’ve started doing this in preparation for my next 2ww.

    And , I should add, the hormonal signs can be considered only if you are not on progesterone/estrogen suppositories…if thats the case then yeah, just have to wait to test to have ANY idea of what is going on. Oh, for some temporary memory loss drugs during the 2ww, so you can just get the hell on with your effin life!

  11. Lise May 24, 2012 at 10:56 #

    So true! After two pregnancies (and zero babies) I can only say that the only symptoms I had was LACK of symptoms. During my(failed) ivf cycle last month I had tonnes of symptoms and no BFP. And my boobs hurt every month so that could never count for me. From now on I will ignore any symptom I think I have, it’s just baby crazy hallucinations…

  12. Rebecca Pallack (@RPallack) May 24, 2012 at 17:17 #

    Love this post. So cute on the explanations with the animals. Love the cats. Oh and its so true about the progesterone. I usually write my symptoms off when I get them to the progesterone.

  13. Kristin May 24, 2012 at 18:52 #

    Love this…so true and so funny.

  14. TheStorkWhisperer May 24, 2012 at 23:36 #

    So very true! I’ve had every one of these symptoms duing my period, during ovulation and after!

  15. missohkay May 24, 2012 at 23:57 #

    Magic moment of implantation ESP is demonstrably true, though 🙂

  16. libbylogic May 25, 2012 at 00:53 #

    I used to think light spotting was the sure sign. Until it turned into a flood…

  17. Emily @ablanket2keep May 25, 2012 at 08:48 #

    I had absolutely no symptoms till I was on meds and my body was finally working correctly. It sucked to have new feelings and think I was pregnant. Thanks for the laugh.

  18. pjsarecomfyn May 29, 2012 at 23:46 #

    LOL, I thought about this a few weeks ago when I took advantage of the first EWCM (eeeewwww, that term still grosses me out) in 2 years. I spent the next two weeks realizing I felt nothing…..granted then AF showed up so I was like ‘of course I felt nothing!’. But I think I will see my next TWW a little differently than I used to before Jack.

  19. Rachel May 30, 2012 at 20:39 #

    So totally true. And I think bacon cheeseburgers are, at the very least, a weekly necessity for sanity. 😀 The more bacon, the better. 😀

  20. Chanel May 31, 2012 at 01:09 #

    Love this post! So true! Thank you for the laugh.

  21. Ashley June 9, 2012 at 20:23 #

    Actually I totally DISAGREE 🙂 ever hear of Early Pregnancy Factor or EPF? Well it is a chemical reaction that occures in the body once the egg is fertilized and is realeased even before implantation. This in itself can cause “symptoms”. EPF will signal the body to lessen it’s immune responses so that the new baby isn’t rejected. This could cause the nasty cold that some women come down with before a BFP. I knew I was pregnant with both of my girls when I had a 6-8dpo sore throat 😉 Look into it!

  22. Elizabeth July 16, 2012 at 19:08 #

    Hi there!! I am catching up on your blog today after not reading much of anything IF related for a while. I’m in TWW Zone right now and much needed to read this post. I did also read your blog to see how you were doing and to confirm that I am not only crazy person out there. No offense please, I do appreciate your candidness and it’s refreshing to read things in plain terms. Anyhow, thanks for this much needed post that is truly speaking to me right now. The temptation to test early is getting the best of me.

  23. Christie August 9, 2012 at 00:20 #

    OMG!!!!!! Your too cute!!!!’

  24. Sarah September 4, 2012 at 17:17 #

    You are so completely and utterly right. I guess most women just want to cling to the hope, otherwise they go crazy with worry. Like think, I would know if I was pregnant. But in actuality, you can’t tell.

  25. Jacki September 1, 2015 at 04:44 #

    I know this post is old, but I just found it (during my 2WW) and it provided much needed levity. STEP AWAY FROM THE 2WW SITES THAT LIST SYMPTOMS BY DPO. I was starting to obsess!

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