If you are considering undergoing Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), you most likely have been trying to get pregnant for awhile now. So, it is understandable that you are ready to get this process going and want to know for sure that your baby is on the way.
In 2014, around 1.5% of the 4 million babies born that year were conceived through intrauterine insemination or in vitro fertilization. It is becoming more and more common for women to turn to these methods. Though more people are becoming aware of this process, as a result, the details of it all are not necessarily common knowledge. A good way to understand intrauterine insemination is to first know that this procedure is designed to copy the natural conception process as much as possible.
During natural conception, implantation is dependent on the woman’s menstrual cycle. A typical cycle lasts 28 days, and if one conceives during their ovulation time, she can expect the egg to be implanted anywhere from 6-11 days after conception. Therefore, with IUI, the woman’s menstrual cycle is closely monitored so the fertilization process can be lined up accurately with her ovulation. The implantation will then, hopefully, follow suit.
Ovulation usually occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle. A regular cycle lasts for between 21 and 35 days and ovulation should happen between the 12th and 17th day. If you have an irregular cycle, ovulation could go a week longer or stop a week earlier than what is normally expected. there is also always the possibility of getting pregnant on one of the other days of your cycle, it’s just not nearly as common.
Each woman is an individual and her body works in its own unique way. There are different types of methods available that are used to detect a woman’s ovulation such as:
- measuring basal body temperature
- ovulation tests
- monitoring of cervical mucus
Fertilization has to occur between 12 and 24 hours of ovulation because the ovum will not survive for longer than a day. This is why it is can be extremely difficult for even the healthiest of couples to achieve conception. Therefore it is very important that your cycles are closely monitored and you are aware of even the slightest changes in your body in order to make it easier to detect your most fertile period.
Your doctor also may have started you on ovulation drugs and will then follow by closely monitoring your ultrasound and blood test results. This will assist them in finding the optimal timing for conception.
In order to know when embryo implantation happens, you have to know the ovulation date. About 40% of all women have conceived on the 9th day after their ovulation. Once the egg is fertilized, it travels through the fallopian tubes and into the uterine cavity. It takes around 6-7 days for the egg to make the journey transforming from zygote, to morula, and then finally to blastocyst. It then takes 2-3 days to move into the uterine cavity and get prepared for implantation.
Possible Symptoms of Implantation
Implantation after IUI can be a process that lasts for hours, even sometimes days. Most of the time you will experience no symptoms at all. However, on occasion a person might experience indicators such as:
- Implantation Spotting: Some women get a light colored discharge that consists of a few droplets of blood within cervical mucus.
- Changes in Progesterone Levels: The placenta will start to make a much higher amount of progesterone which will significantly heat up the woman’s body temperature. Progesterone levels after IUI can be checked with a blood test.
- Implantation Cramping: It is possible one might experience cramps in the lower abdomen. If so, they are very subtle.
- Pregnancy Toxicosis: “Condition of pregnant women, resulting from poisoning by harmful substances that are formed in the mother during fetal development, is characterized by multiple symptoms, most of which are permanent and severe dysfunction of the central nervous system, cardiovascular disorders, and metabolic disorders.”
If you don’t experience any signs, that is very normal and in no way a reason to worry. Often doctors tell women to expect implantation to occur around 5 days after the procedure. Once the implantation has taken place a women is officially considered pregnant.
After about a week following the procedure, your doctor may want to check your progesterone levels and your uterine lining with an ultrasound. This can give them some clue about whether the procedure was a success.
It is highly encouraged to consult your doctor further about healthy lifestyle changes and habits you can adopt in order to increase your chance of pregnancy. Remember not to worry or compare yourself too much to others. Everyone’s experience is different, and your body will respond to this process in it’s own way.