When a couple is not able to conceive a child, then with the help of several assisted reproductive technologies they are able to achieve a successful pregnancy.
One of the methods to conceive a child is a two-step process that involves fertilization of a woman's egg with her partner's sperm in the laboratory, this method is called as In Vitro Fertilization - IVF – then followed by implantation of the resulting embryo in her uterus.
This method is making possible for a lot of couples to experience parenthood which earlier they were not able to experience. IVF treatment and the course which involves implantation are quiet stressful, especially the two week wait period after embryo transfer is done. A frozen embryo transfer is a type of IVF treatment.
What is implantation during pregnancy?
In the entire pregnancy process the Implantation is the unpredictable biological event while conception being the first and unique step after embryo transfer and one may not even notice when implantation is taken place, while some women experience many vague symptoms & sign i.e. period-like cramping and a little spotting.
Implantation refers to the time frame during early pregnancy when a cluster of rapidly dividing cells called a blastocyst, makes its way through the fallopian tube and burrows deep inside endometrial lining of uterus in normal pregnancy but in IVF similar process happens when transfer inside the endometrial cavity directly.
Thereafter, the embryo hatching starts and releasing hormones that prepare uterus and body for baby, tune off period, creating the placenta, and possibly making women feel cramp and tired.
When does Implantation occur?
After embryo reaches the blastocyst stage approximately after six to seven days of fertilization, implantation occurs post 7 – 8 days post fertilization, it can also happen in 6- 12 days after ovulation during natural conception. While in IVF process, the implantation occurs within 72 hours of embryo transfer.
Signs & Symptoms of Implantation?
The first signs of early pregnancy and of successful implantation generally appear about 12 – 14 days after the procedure. You may find yourself noticing various changes in your body. Some of the signs and symptoms of Implantation are as follows:
Spotting: The first and foremost sign of pregnancy you might notice after your IVF embryo transfer process is light bleeding or spotting. About 5 – 45% of the cases experience bleeding in which blood you see will be black or possibly dark brown in colour. If this happens with you as well, then it is a good sign, as it means the embryo has implanted itself into your uterus. Sexual intercourse too may cause slight spotting
Another reason for spotting during this period may be due to vaginal progesterone applicators which touch very sensitive ectocervix leading into minor spotting.
Abdominal Cramping: In many cases most of the women don’t have any symptoms of implantation, but the hormonal shifts can cause cramps called implantation cramps and many women describe this cramping experience with implantation as being similar to what they experience during menstrual cramping.
However, mild to moderate cramps can be a sign of embryo implantation but this process isn’t exactly painful still at very early pregnancy stage no matter how joyful it is afterwards, it can make women feel sick.
Breast Changes: Many women who have an IVF procedure successful have noticed almost immediate breast changes. The breasts may become sore, heavy and tender to the touch, the nipples will probably also become quite sensitive this is due to the raise in hormone levels as pregnancy advances. These symptoms are reported as soon as a week or two after an IVF is performed provided it is successful.
Absence of menstruation: During this time, your period should come approximately 14 days after embryo transfer.
Nausea: It is the typical pregnancy symptom, which is experienced by few women due to the hormonal increasing which takes place within the woman’s body. It is associated with the increase in level of beta-hCG which can occur even in IVF cases.
Tiredness or Fatigue: Feeling tired, fatigued or weak seems to be a normal part of pregnancy from day one to delivery, but you may feel extra sleepy early on when your progesterone levels soar.
Increased need to pee: You may experience late-night trips to the bathroom and an increased need to make more pit stops could be a sign of early pregnancy.
Missed period: If you missed your period then it can be the signal of pregnancy, especially if your cycle runs like clockwork. Being late might indicate that it is time to take a pregnancy test.
No symptoms: While reading all these sign & symbols, you realize that none of these apply to you then don’t worry. Just because you’re not experiencing these specific symptoms, doesn’t mean the embryo transfer wasn’t successful.
In fact, 15 to 20 percent of patients have no symptoms, but still thankfully have a positive pregnancy test. The only way to be 100% sure is pregnancy test.
Implantation Dip: During pregnancy, if may possible that a woman’s basal body temperature increases or decreases about 1 degree at conception and remain higher throughout her pregnancy.
Fall in temperature may reflect that period might be on its way to happen, indicating that implantation didn’t occur.
Predictors of Implantation:
Apart from all the signs and symptoms of implantation which are mentioned above, nowadays there are many ways to predict the process of successful implantation as because of various techniques, assistive reproductive technology and other advanced technologies.
Another confirmation of successful pregnancy is predicting implantation before conception. Currently studies have been done, to predict the implantation of the embryos in IVF.
Takeaway: Implantation is a very crucial event but it can be missed many times. It often causes various problems such as spotting, discomfort to mild pain, swollen breasts, fatigue and tiredness. If any of these symptoms persist and still you are not sure whether or not you are actually pregnant, it is better to perform a home pregnancy test.
It is important to remember that first 2-week after an embryo transfer is often filled with emotional, stressful, and exhausting ups and downs, so, take proper rest and don’t panic.