The 9 day wait: how to stay busy while waiting to take your pregnancy test

RMANorCal gives tips on how to stay busy while you wait to take a pregnancy test

For many women undergoing fertility treatment, taking a pregnancy test can be a nerve-wracking experience. You’ve already been through a lot – fertility appointments, ovary stimulating injections, egg retrieval and embryo transfer – and it all comes down to this moment. There’s quite a bit riding on the appearance of that double line – everything, in fact.

Most reproductive endocrinologists will instruct patients to wait nine days after transfer before taking a pregnancy test, which checks for the pregnancy hormone hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin. But for a woman wanting a baby, nine days can feel like a lifetime.

Since we know how excruciating the wait can be, we’ve come up with a list of things you can do to stay busy. Here are a few tips from Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California (RMANorCal) physicians Dr. Scott Morin and Dr. Jonathan Kort.

 Stay off the internet and unplug from your phone.

 Mindlessly surfing the internet is probably the worst thing you can do during the wait. Full of erroneous information, speculation and worst-case scenarios presented by an ever-growing, and often misinformed, group of Dr. Google’s, it’s just not a helpful place to be. So try your best not to give in and go on. In fact, it might be best to unplug from your phone entirely (except when necessary) during the wait so you’re not spending your time endlessly scrolling social media and *accidentally* opening a web browser to search for pregnancy symptoms.

 Take an hour each day to journal.

 Writing about your emotions, physical sensations, thoughts and activities for an hour each day is a great way to stay in the moment and process your daily experiences to pass the time. It also allows you to get your thoughts organized and better understand priorities for the day, which you can execute on after you’re done writing. Remember, this is your journey and having a physical record of your experience through the whole process can be very comforting and therapeutic.

 Make a list of why you’re proud of yourself.

 Choose one day to make a list of all the reasons you love yourself and what you’re proud of. This will help you focus on the positive, cultivate self-compassion and feel better and more relaxed. No matter how many lines your pregnancy test shows after the wait, the words on your list will remain true – and you can go back to them to get grounded anytime you feel off-center.

 Go for a morning and evening walk.

 Exercise has so many benefits, from increasing focus, to fighting disease, to lifting mood, to strengthening your immune system, that one thing you should definitely do during the wait is exercise. This can come in many forms, and if you have a fitness routine – yoga, gym, running outside – then keep doing it. If you don’t, however, consider a 45 minute walk outside twice a day. You will feel refreshed, renewed and less anxious about the rest of the wait. Whether it’s a stroll along Crissy Field, a hike through the Presidio, or a jog in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco offers so many beautiful ways to distract your mind and exercise your body.

Finally tackle that project.

 What better way to distract yourself from the wait than to throw yourself into an entirely different pursuit? Whether you’re into blogging, photography, or knitting a onesie for your dog, there is no better time than now to start your project. You’ll have a lot of energy to expend, so put it to good use doing something that will make you feel productive and satisfied. After all, this is something you can control.


 The first thing you should know is that meditation is not something you have to get ‘right.’ As such, anyone can try it and decide if it’s something they want to continue doing. The principle is simple: to be mindful and still for a certain amount of time in a day. Usually, this happens while you’re sitting down with your eyes closed. Once you’re there, the point is just to focus on your breath and try to bring stillness to yourself. Try five minutes as a start, and if you notice the relaxing effect, you can try for six minutes the next day. Remember: this is not something that can be done wrong – the purpose is just to be present and open to everything going on around you without actually engaging in it. It’s during those moments of stillness that the magic happens.

Reproductive Medicine Associates of Northern California is a leading infertility center focused on science, success and support. Book a consultation at either our San Francisco or Silicon Valley office with Dr. Kort or Dr. Morin today.