If you’ve just gone through intrauterine insemination (IUI) and are waiting to find out whether or not it worked, you’re probably excited, scared, and nervous all at the same time. This is totally normal, and it’s also totally normal for you to spend time wondering whether or not every little thing could be a symptom of early pregnancy. While it’s impossible to say exactly how a pregnancy will manifest itself if you are, indeed, pregnant, knowing some of the IUI symptoms of early pregnancy and some of the things that you need to watch for when you’ve undergone IUI can help you calm down and enjoy the ride.
Remember that not every woman has the same pregnancy symptoms. It’s a little like PMS. You probably have some girlfriends or sisters whose PMS symptoms are similar to your own, but you probably know people whose symptoms are totally different from yours. Add that to the fact that your own symptoms probably vary from month to month, and things get a little unpredictable.
The same thing can happen with pregnancy. Even if you know what your mother’s, sister’s, or girlfriend’s early pregnancy symptoms were like, that doesn’t mean yours will match up. Plus, if this isn’t your first pregnancy, your symptoms this time around might be totally different than they were any other time. So, again, it helps to have a comprehensive list of symptoms so that you know what to look out for, but the biggest thing you need to do is just to know your own body so that you’ll be capable of seeing any actual changes that do occur.
Some Common Early Signs of Pregnancy with Intrauterine Insemination
Unfortunately for women who undergo IUI, some of the most common early pregnancy symptoms are actually similar to symptoms of impending menstruation. If you’re starting to feel like you’re going to start your period, don’t totally freak out. It might just be that you’re pregnant! Here are a few symptoms that might mimic your PMS symptoms or, at least, PMS symptoms of other women you know:
Light Bleeding: While it’s never good to bleed heavily during a pregnancy, some light bleeding soon after the time of IUI might signal that your egg has implanted. If you bleed lightly for a day or two, don’t worry about it too much, but wait and see what happens next.
Light Cramping: Again, this can be a symptom of implantation, but it is also something that many women experience from the IUI procedure itself. If your cramps become heavier than you’re used to with even your periods, you might want to call your fertility clinic, but otherwise, just wait it out.
Breast Tenderness: Your breasts may be one of the first areas to react to your new pregnancy hormones, and often the first pregnancy symptom women notice is tender, swollen breasts.
Fatigue and Tiredness: Again, this is one that many women experience during PMS, and it’s also a common early pregnancy symptom. You have to remember than any time your hormones make major fluctuations, as they do just before menstruation as well as when you are first pregnant, tiredness can just happen. If you’re starting to feel exhausted right after IUI, take it easy for a few days, and, again, just wait and see what happens.
Backaches and Headaches: Aches and pains are common to women who are pregnant, and lower backaches that are very common late in pregnancy might even set in during the first couple of weeks. Headaches, too, are common because of hormonal changes and fatigue.
Not all early symptoms of pregnancy are similar to PMS symptoms. Some women have totally off-the-wall symptoms when they get pregnant, and others have a few of these other normal symptoms that are seen in many women:
Morning Sickness: Morning sickness is really a misnomer, since lots of women experience nausea and vomiting throughout the day or whenever they eat. This can start almost as soon as you get pregnant. It’s normal for women in their first trimester or so to be unable to hold down meals at certain times of the day, but if you can’t keep anything down at all, it’s time to see a doctor.
Frequent Urination: This is a classic pregnancy symptom that many women experience even before they have a five-pound baby sitting on their bladders. If you have to go to the restroom way more than is normal for you, it could mean that you’re pregnant.
Delay in Menstruation: This is probably the signal that women look for the most. At the end of your two week wait, if you haven’t started on time, it’s time to pull out that pregnancy test. Don’t, though, get too disappointed if the first one comes back negative, but wait two or three days before taking another test. Sometimes there simply isn’t enough HcG in your system for you to test positive on the first or second day of a missed period.
Darker Areolas: This is another odd symptom that many women aren’t aware of. When you’re first pregnant, hormonal changes can cause the area around your nipples to darken. Pay attention, though, because sometimes they were already that color because of a previous pregnancy.
Food Cravings: When we think of pregnant women, we often think of food cravings. If you start craving weird things at odd times of the day and night, that might signal pregnancy. It could, though, also mean that you aren’t eating very nutritiously, in which case it’s important that you start getting a more balanced diet, especially if you’re still trying to get pregnant.
A Note about IUI Pregnancies
IUI pregnancies will have pretty much the same symptoms as their natural, IVF, or drug-induced counterparts. One thing, though, to keep in mind is that sometimes the hormones that you take before IUI can induce a positive pregnancy test even if you aren’t pregnant. This is why it’s important to listen to your doctor about how long you should wait to take a pregnancy test.
For more information about IUI and tips for increasing your chances of success, please sign up for our email mini-course.