Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is an infertility treatment where specially prepared sperm is inserted into the uterus with the help of a catheter. It is not unusual to experience cramping after IUI, especially during ovulation and implantation following the procedure. The pain usually resolves without any medical intervention. However, consult your healthcare provider if you experience any other symptoms such as fever, excruciating pain, or heavy vaginal bleeding after the insemination.
Read this post to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and tips on managing cramps after an IUI procedure.
What To Expect After An IUI Procedure?
You may resume regular activities after IUI In most cases, women can resume intercourse anytime after an IUI procedure. However, doctors may recommend waiting 48 hours before intercourse if a tenaculum forceps is used. As it may cause vaginal bleeding during the procedure.
After IUI, abstain from smoking, alcohol, drugs, and certain medications that could harm embryonic development. Prenatal vitamins, such as folic acid and other supplements prescribed by your doctor, should be taken.
Do home pregnancy test (urine pregnancy test) 14 days after the procedure, as early tests may give false results due to the hormones used for the fertility treatment. Then, contact your doctor to plan further visits (1).
What Are The Causes Of Cramping After IUI?
Some women experience cramping during the IUI procedure due to catheter insertion through the cervix, which may resolve once the catheter is removed. Cramping after IUI can also be caused by the following factors (1):
- Uterine irritation catheter insertion may cause mild cramping after IUI. However, a few women may experience severe cramping.
- The procedure is done in the ovulation period, and ovulation can also cause cramps. Medications are administered to increase the number of ova (eggs), which may cause more pain than usual.
- The fertilized egg’s implantation can cause cramping. It may occur after ovulation, and it can also cause mild spotting in some women.
Some women may also experience menstrual cramps a few days after the IUI procedure if it is not successful. However, not all cases of uterine cramps after IUI are due to the procedure. Hence, look for other symptoms and the onset of cramps to determine the reason.
What Other Symptoms Appear With IUI Cramps?
Most women may not develop other symptoms with cramps after an IUI, while a few experience vaginal spotting or implantation bleeding about six to twelve days later when the ovum gets fertilized and implanted. The other symptoms of implantation are similar for normal pregnancy and pregnancy after IUI.
Waiting for the result can be stressful and emotional for many women. However, it is recommended to stay calm and avoid stress during this stage.
How To Manage Cramps After IUI?
The following remedies used for relieving regular menstrual cramps can also help alleviate cramping after IUI.
- Get enough rest
- Wear comfortable clothes
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers in case of severe cramps. Confirm with your doctor whether the medication is safe for pregnancy.
- Use a warm towel or hot water bottle as a warm compress on the belly. However, avoid hot baths and sitting in saunas or hot tubs since this may increase the body temperature and hinder fetal development.
Although cramps may occur after IUI, most women can do their daily activities without much discomfort. Bed rest is not required after IUI. In fact, experts recommend adequate physical activity to reduce cramps and stress while awaiting the procedure results.
When Should You See A Doctor?
Contact your fertility doctor for any concerns and queries after the procedure. Further, seek medical care if any of the following symptoms develop after the IUI.
- Abnormal vaginal discharge
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
These symptoms can indicate infection; hence, seek prompt medical care to prevent further complications.
Cramping after an IUI procedure may resolve without any treatment, and women can resume their daily activities as tolerated. Although it may indicate ovulation and implantation in most women, pregnancy tests are the only way to determine the procedure’s success.
- Quit smoking, alcohol, drugs, and some medicines after IUI since they can damage embryonic development.
- Cramping after IUI might be caused by uterine irritation, ovulation, or the implantation of fertilized eggs.
- After IUI, some women may have vaginal spotting or implantation bleeding, along with cramping.
- If you get a fever, abdominal pain, excessive vaginal bleeding, along with cramps after IUI, see a doctor.