Is there anything you can do during the two-week wait to prevent implantation? We looked into some of the most common things that women worry about during very early pregnancy and reveal whether there is any genuine cause for concern.
Can Exercise Prevent Implantation?
Some women worry that exercising during the two-week wait might somehow jostle the egg around. It’s totally fine to continue an exercise routine that you’re already accustomed to, or even to start a new one as long as you ramp up slowly (which is a good idea whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not). Exercise is healthy, can reduce stress, and is generally a good idea for most people!
There is one exception. Very intense exercise is perceived by your body as a form of physiological stress—even if it feels like it’s actually reducing stress. A lot of stress can reduce your progesterone, which in turn can shorten your luteal phase. If you do a lot of intense exercise or you’ve recently started a new exercise routine, and you notice that your luteal phase is getting shorter or it is less than 10 days, you may want to back off—especially during the two-week wait.
Verdict: In most cases, exercise cannot prevent implantation.
Can Caffeine Prevent Implantation?
Multiple studies have shown that the risk of miscarriage increases with caffeine intake. Women consuming greater than 200mg (the amount in one cup of coffee) had twice the miscarriage rate (25.5 percent) as compared to non-users (12.5 percent). Another study showed that women who drank more than 200mg of caffeine per day were half as likely to become pregnant per cycle as women who consumed less.
It’s not totally clear why large amounts of caffeine appear to have a negative impact on fertility, but preliminary studies in mice and monkeys suggest that caffeine inhibits egg maturation. An immature egg may not be fertilized and therefore cannot produce a pregnancy.
Verdict: One cup of coffee is fine for most women.
Can Straining While Going to the Bathroom Prevent Implantation?
Progesterone is elevated during the luteal phase, and this can lead to things being a little backed up in the poop department. You wouldn’t be the first woman who wondered, while straining over the toilet, whether it’s possible to dislodge a nascent embryo from the uterine lining.
Good news: This is not going to happen.If constipation could prevent implantation, there wouldn’t be very many successful pregnancies, since it’s so common to be constipated during the two week wait! Before pregnancy, the uterus is completely closed, with all the walls touching each other. That makes for a very safe, secure environment for a newly implanted egg, and it would be almost impossible to physically shake it out of place.
Can Sex Prevent Implantation?
The two-week wait is stressful, and what better way to relieve stress than sex? When an orgasm sends those dramatic contractions throughout your pelvis, all thoughts of when to test go out the window. But wait a second…can those contractions send anything else out the window? Don’t worry, you’re not the first person to worry about this. There haven’t been very many studies looking into it. One study did find that sex at the time of implantation confers slightly lower chances of conception, though it did not take orgasm rates into account. But another study found that intercourse during an IVF cycle could actually improve pregnancy rates, since exposure to semen is thought to promote embryo development and implantation in animals.
Lots of women get pregnant after copious amounts of sex during the two-week wait, so unless you are having a hard time getting pregnant and want to try something different, or until more studies are done, you probably don’t need to change your current habits.
Bottom line: unclear
Can Falling or Getting Injured Prevent Implantation?
You fell off your bike/down the stairs/tripped on a banana peel during the two-week wait. Can that somehow shake the egg out of the uterine lining? Unless it was a very traumatic injury, you’re probably fine. Remember, the uterus is an extremely tight and enclosed space at this stage, and it would be very difficult for anything to fall out of it.
Bottom line: probably not.
Can a Hot Tub, Sauna, or Bath Prevent Implantation?
You wanted to get your mind off the two-week wait, and when your friend invited you to a spa day, it seemed like the perfect thing. You happily frolicked between the sauna, the hot tub, and the steam room until suddenly it hit you: can increased body temperature prevent implantation?
There aren’t any studies specifically looking at the impacts of these things on pregnancy rates, but if you want to be on the safe side, you can follow the same advice that pregnant women follow: keep the heat moderate (below 103 degrees Fahrenheit), try not to sit near the inlet that provides newly heated hot water, and take breaks every 10 minutes or so. And a warm bath is definitely okay!
Bottom line: It’s fine to be in a moderately heated environment for a short amount of time.