Intrauterine insemination (IUI) pregnancy is a type of pregnancy in which the sperm is placed into the uterus by a fertility specialist. This procedure is mainly used when a couple cannot conceive on their own. In this process, the sperm is given a headstart to travel its course and fertilize the egg in the fallopian tubeiXA hollow tube-like structure that connects ovaries to the uterus. . This is done by increasing the mobility of the sperms and by also increasing the sperm count to further increase the chances of fertilization leading to pregnancy. However, this process entails certain risks as well. Learn more about IUI, the procedure, benefits, and possible risks in this post.
What Is IUI Pregnancy?
For women who face challenges conceiving in a natural way, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) has proven to be one of the most effective procedures in recent times (1). It is a method of artificial insemination sometimes used along with ovulation induction that helps in getting pregnant faster with a fair ovarian reserve.
During an IUI, the sperm is inserted after a semen analysis and placed in the uterus with a fine catheter for further fertilization of the egg and conception (2). A semen analysis is the one of the vital parameters for couples going for IUI to determine sperm count, and sperm motility as sperm morphology has a direct connection with the process. IUI involves placing the sperm quite close to the vicinity of the egg so that the chances of interaction between the both are higher. This process is also performed through sperm donation offered to couples with male factor infertility problems. IUI is still done with human interference using procedure-related instruments. Hence it is usual to develop certain symptoms post the event.
Sometimes fertility medications like gonadotropins injections containing follicle-stimulating-hormone are used either alone or combined with luteinizing hormone which directly works on the ovaries to produce multiple follicles. Also, Clomid or Clomiphene medication is used for ovulation induction which works the same as estrogen to treat infertility.
Research shows that the pregnancy success rate of IUI treatment increases with each cycle. However, the rate appears to plateau from the 8th IUI cycle (7).
Cumulative live birth/ ongoing pregnancy rate through IUISource: Kim L. Thornton, Nina Resetkova; Pursuit of pregnancy by lesbian women: an opportunity to create best practice; F&S Reports, Volume 2, Issue 3, September 2021, Pages 263-264
Symptoms Of IUI Pregnancy
If you are planning to opt for an IUI method of conception, it is good to understand these symptoms well in advance so that you are well prepared and there are no sudden surprises (3).
Here are some pregnancy symptoms after IUI procedure that usually develop as close as two weeks:
1. Implantation bleeding
Implantation bleeding occurs while the embryo itself gets into the walls of the uterus.
- This implantation causes bleeding that looks exactly like spotting before menstruating.
- Implantation bleeding may or may not occur in all cases.
- You are likely to see the bleeding after two weeks of the procedure.
- This is completely normal as the process is working to get your pregnant.
- You may experience similar bleeding after 6 to 12 days of conception.
- There could also be a minor cramping felt.
2. Menstrual delay
Just like in a normal pregnancy, your menstrual cycle can get delayed as stress and several hormonal changes take a toll on your body.
- If you do not have your regular periods for the month, it is likely that you may have conceived.
- Consult your doctor regarding the same.
- You may continue to experience spotting and cramping even after getting pregnant.
- However normal this is, discuss the same with your gynecologist.
3. Tenderness in breasts
Your breasts tend to feel sensitive, tender and sore after the procedure.
- If the feeling continues after a delayed period cycle, you should take a pregnancy test to check the status.
- Sore breasts are a symptom that is experienced even during normal menstrual periods.
4. Weakness and fatigue
You have just undergone an artificial insemination, and your body may react differently or not react at all.
- It is but quite natural for you to feel stressed out, weak and fatigued as there is a great amount of anxiety involved from your side as time unfolds.
- There are also hormonal changes added to the pre-existing fears that spur the feeling.
- High levels of progesteroneiXA steroid hormone that plays an important role in the regulation of the menstrual cycle and early stages of pregnancy. are likely to make you feel sleepy and tired all the time.
- There is also a lot of energy used up to increase the blood production in your body.
You are likely to experience the same kind of nausea that you would encounter with the morning sickness period of a normal pregnancy.
- Nausea is caused due to the increasing levels of estrogeniXA hormone crucial for the growth of long bones and the development of female sex traits. hormone which drains your stomach.
- You will feel nausea any time of the day, with foul smells and odors making you want to throw up.
- On the flip side, you may not have nausea at all.
6. Food cravings and aversions
Just like in normal pregnancy, you will develop strange aversions or cravings for certain kinds of food.
- This is also attributed to the shifting hormones.
- Often certain smells and appearance of foods can make you want to puke.
- A sudden fondness for select foods will also be on the rise.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are IUI babies normal?
Yes, you can deliver healthy babies following an IUI pregnancy. However, the procedure’s success rate depends on many factors, including maternal age, medications, health status (underlying medical conditions), and quality of the sperm (4).
2. Does IUI cause twins?
Yes, taking fertility medicines while on an IUI procedure might increase the chances of twin or multiple pregnancies (5).
3. What are the side effects of IUI?
Some women may have a few side effects from the injections or oral medications, including pressure in the pelvic region, lightheadedness, breast soreness, mood changes, and hot flashes (6).
4. Is IUI successful on the first try?
Small-scale research showed that, in healthy couples, where women were between the age group of 20 and 49, 17.3% of women got pregnant in the first cycle of IUI (8).
Judy Saril-Marcaida, a blogger, had an unsuccessful IUI procedure. Reflecting on her experience, she says, “Honestly, it was the toughest cycle yet for me to receive a negative because our hopes were super high! As far as I know, we did what we needed to do. We followed the doctor’s advice. I did an HSG to make sure my tubes were not blocked, and we bought all the supplements needed for this cycle to be successful. But still, it did not work (i).”
5. How many times can IUI be done?
Up to three cycles of IUI are acceptable. Those above 40 years may have lower chances of conceiving via IUI and therefore most specialists may recommend them to move to IVF after a single unsuccessful cycle of IUI (9).
6. How should I sleep after IUI?
Women need sufficient rest after the IUI procedure to relieve stress from the body and feel fresh. Also, you do not need to prefer or avoid any particular sleep position after IUI. Instead, sleep in a position that makes you feel comfortable.
IUI is a boon to couples who suffer from unexplained infertility, cervical mucus problems, endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, or ovarian cysts. IUI pregnancy symptoms are similar to that of a normal pregnancy though all may not experience the same symptoms. The common symptoms include implantation bleeding, breast tenderness, fatigue, and nausea. If you are planning to undergo the IUI process, it would be helpful to understand the symptoms to know what to expect. However, if you notice any unusual symptoms, consult your doctor to avoid any further pregnancy complications.
Infographic: Symptoms Of IUI Pregnancy
IUI procedure is a type of artificial insemination aimed at helping women conceive. Although its success depends on several factors, most women with a successful IUI pregnancy may experience symptoms similar to a normal pregnancy, as detailed in the below infographic.
- IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) is an artificial insemination method that increases the likelihood of conception by placing sperm directly into the uterus.
- The success rate of IUI is dependent on several factors, including the age and health of the mother and medication use.
- Early symptoms of pregnancy after IUI can include fatigue, nausea, breast tenderness, and a missed period.
- To confirm pregnancy after an IUI procedure, a doctor’s visit and a pregnancy test are necessary.
Watch as an expert sheds light on common questions concerning the visibility of pregnancy symptoms after the process of IUI
Personal Experience: Source
i. My battle with infertility: First failed IUI.
- Ben Cohlen et al.; 2018; IUI: review and systemic assessment of the evidence that supports global recommendations.
- IUI Basics.
- Symptoms of IUI pregnancy.
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
- Intrauterine Insemination: IUI.
- Ovulation Induction and Intrauterine Insemination
- Jasmyn K.Johal et al.; (2021); Pregnancy success rates for lesbian women undergoing intrauterine insemination.
- Babita Panda et al.; (2014); Success in Pregnancy Through Intrauterine Insemination at First Cycle in 300 Infertile Couples: An Analysis.
- IUI (Intrauterine Insemination).