Early signs of pregnancy after 5 day blastocyst transfer

8 Early Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy Implantation

November 21, 2017

Untimely bleeding is frustrating, especially when you are planning for pregnancy. But do not get disappointed as this bleeding could indicate something good for you. It could be implantation bleeding, a normal physiological process in any pregnancy, and one of the early symptoms of pregnancy. Read this MomJunction post to know more about implantation, its stages, symptoms and how you can confirm that.

What Is Implantation?

Implantation (of the human embryo) is the attachment of the fertilized egg (the blastocyst) to the lining of the uterus to grow and develop. It is an entirely natural process that happens a week after ovulation and is an early stage of pregnancy.

One-third of women experience implantation bleeding but is mistaken for menstruation as it happens at the same time of your cycle.

When Does Implantation Occur?

In most cases, implantation takes place around nine days after ovulation, but sometimes it can occur as early as seven days or as late as 12 days. So, if ovulation takes place on the 14th day after a period (average 28-day cycle), implantation can occur on the 23rd day.

Implantation Calculator

During ovulation, the ovaries release the eggs. When the sperm enters the fallopian tube, it fertilizes the egg within 12 to 24 hours of ovulation. The fertilized egg, known as a zygote, then travels down the fallopian tube. During this time, the zygote multiplies several times to form a blastocyst, which enters the uterine cavity in five to six days after fertilization. It then implants to the uterus in a day or two. Therefore, the whole process from fertilization to implantation takes six to ten days. This means implantation occurs between the 20th and 24thday of your regular menstrual cycle.

Stages Of Implantation:

The embryo implantation occurs on the sixth or seventh day after ovulation. This process has three stages:

  • In the first stage, the embryo attaches to the uterine wall (the lining is endometrium). This initial phase of the implantation process is called adplantation. During this stage, the embryo is about five to six days oldВ [1].
  • In the second stage, the fertilized egg penetrates the uterine wall so that it is secure in the uterus. This process is adhesion of the blastocyst to the endometrium.
  • In the third stage, the embryo finally embeds deep inside the uterine wall. At this point, the ovum is located in the endometrial cavity, and as the endometrium grows, the cavity is wrapped better.

Common Signs And Symptoms Of Pregnancy Implantation:

Every pregnancy is different, and so are the implantation symptoms. They may also differ from the first pregnancy to the subsequent ones. Some women do not notice any symptoms associated with implantation. Listed below are the possible implantation signs that would help in confirming your pregnancy.

В 1. Implantation bleeding or spotting:

It is one of the primary symptoms of implantation, and probably an accurate sign of gestation. This happens when the embryo embeds into the uterine wall. So, if you notice light bleeding or spotting before the onset of your period, you do not have to worry.

But what does implantation bleeding look like? It is pinkish, scanty and not as red and heavy as the period bleeding. It is not consistent and does not form clots. The bleeding may be on and off and lasts from a few hours to two days.

2. Implantation cramping:

The second common symptom after spotting is implantation cramping, which is similar to period cramping. However, these cramps are milder and are less painful. So, where does implantation cramping occur? You will experience them in your back and lower abdomen and last for a couple of days. They are sometimes associated with continuous contractions in the uterine wall. If the cramping is severe and unbearable for a long time, it is advisable to see your healthcare provider.

3. Breast changes:

Soon after implantation, your body begins to change. Breasts undergo changes such as tenderness, soreness, and swelling. It is due to the changing female hormone levels after conception. In some cases, these changes are visible during ovulation as well as a week after ovulation.

4. Increased basal body temperature:

The basal body temperature (BBT) is high during implantation and can be a way to determine pregnancy. You may not necessarily track your body temperature unless you are trying to get pregnant. Therefore, you must chart your daily temperature, and see if it is increasing. The BBT rises at the time of ovulation due to increasing progesterone hormone and remains elevated when implantation occurs.

5. Frequent urination:

The urge to urinate increases within a week of implantation. Your body undergoes massive changes to make room for the baby. Increased blood supply to the pelvic area puts pressure on your bladder. This pressure increases your urge to urinate.

6. Food cravings/aversion:

This is another prominent sign of implantation. The hormones produced as a result of implantation tend to alter the woman’s likes and dislikes for food. You may crave for foods you have not tasted before or dislike foods you once loved. However, any cravings or aversions for food within seven days of ovulation cannot be considered an implantation symptom.

7. Hot flashes:

They are less common signs of implantation and last for about 15 minutes at the time of implantation. During implantation, the hormone levels rapidly fluctuate causing hot flashes. Though it is an inconsistent sign, you may still consider it in association with the other symptoms.

8. Cervical mucus:

An increase in the progesterone levels after implantation triggers the cervix to swell and increases the blood flow to it. Additionally, the glands enlarge and the hormones stimulate the glands to produce more cervical mucus. The mucus thus contains some blood, which is why cervical mucus after implantation looks pinkish or brownish in color.

While the above signs could determine your pregnancy, you cannot be sure until you take a test. Moreover, remember that not every woman has these signs.

How To Confirm If Your Implantation Is Successful?

The only way to confirm your pregnancy is through a pregnancy test. If you notice any spotting, i.e., implantation bleeding, wait for about three days and take a home pregnancy test. The later you take the test, the more are the chances of getting an accurate result as your hCG levels increase.

Another way of confirming implantation is going for a sonogram to know if the embryo is attached to the uterine wall. After three to four weeks of implantation, you can see the fetus in the uterus. However, sonogram could have an adverse effect on the sensitive process of implantation and fetal development.

Experiencing signs, but got a negative test result?

You may be having the signs of a successful implantation, but may end up with negative test results. This may be because of insufficient hCG hormone. In some cases, it will take up to ten days post implantation to have enough hCG in the body to give positive results. Therefore, be optimistic and be patient.

How To Increase Your Chances Of Implantation?

The two weeks after a menstrual cycle are stressful if you are planning to get pregnant. The elevated stress levels prevent conception by disrupting the hormone levels. Therefore, you need to know ways to improve the chances of successful implantation.

The following are the practical ways to make your two weeks wait enjoyable:

1. Balanced diet for healthy hormonal levels and uterine lining:

  • Fiber-rich foods promote healthy estrogen levels, metabolism, and digestion. Eat dark leafy greens such as collard, kale or beet greens, ground flax seeds, soaked seeds and nuts, and whole grains. Have about 28 grams of fiber every day.
  • Super foods support healthy hormonal levels. Include coconut oil, cod liver oil, goji berries (Arctium lappa) and maca (Lepidium meyenii) in your diet.
  • Support the healthy growth of uterine lining by taking pregnancy-safe herbs and blood nourishing foods. Consume herbs such as hibiscus, nettle, red raspberry leaf and yellow dock infusions or extracts. Blood nourishing foods include salmon, grass fed meats, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, spirulina and quinoa.
  • Include foods that increase your body temperature. When progesterone levels raise the body’s temperature also raises. Therefore, a warm womb is an ideal environment to support a new life. Try taking stews and soups with some warming herbs such as cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne.

2. Generate good feelings:

You may have high expectations during the two weeks of wait for the good news. You are overwhelmed with anticipation and anxiety. This could release stress hormones which prevent your body from conceiving.

Keep your cool during this period. Dream about getting pregnant but do not make it your obsession. Keep yourself busy and take up the tasks that you love to do. This will keep your emotions under check.

3. Rethink about natural therapies, herbs and supplements you are already taking:

Certain natural therapies will affect the uterus and thus prevent implantation. Avoid practices such as castor oil packs, self-fertility massage, Maya abdominal massage and Radiant Womb therapeutic oil. All of these therapies are fine before ovulation but not at the time of implantation.

You can continue with acupuncture and herbal programs and prenatal vitamin supplements.

4. Take enough rest and nurture yourself:

While waiting for your pregnancy news, you might often observe yourself clenching your jaw, tummy or holding your shoulder high, which are all signs of stress. Try to avoid the thoughts and jobs that make you feel stressful. Have a healthy environment at home and work.

  • Go to sleep early, and take naps in the day.
  • If you are into running or heavy exercises, shift to brisk walking or fertility yoga.
  • Nest your womb, which means make it a safe environment for inviting the baby.
  • Get a massage, get around with your dear ones, plan for a calm outing.

5. Believe in yourself:

You may not get pregnant if you doubt your abilities to give birth to a baby. Change your thought pattern, and believe in yourself. Negative thoughts could alter hormonal balance, thus affecting your chances of healthy ovulation, implantation, and pregnancy.

Positive affirmations, counseling, and meditation will help you to think positive about your body and inner self. However, it is not going to happen overnight. So, be gentle while you shift to a positive approach.

Why Does Abnormal Implantation Occur?

In rare cases, some women could experience abnormal implantation that leads to pregnancy loss. Those rare circumstances include:

1. Ectopic pregnancy:

When the fertilized egg implants outside the cervix, it is called ectopic pregnancy. Usually, the implantation occurs in the fallopian tube when the embryo fails to descend to the cervix. In the process, it can, sometimes, attach to the ovary or the abdomen. This type of pregnancy has to be terminated medically, and this can lead to heavy implantation bleeding and rupture. It, therefore, reduces the chances of conception in the future.

2. Hydatidiform mole:

This occurs when the rapidly dividing blastocyst implants itself to the uterine wall but does not develop into a full-fledged embryo. Instead of an embryo, the blastocyst turns into a tumor. You may experience all the signs of pregnancy and may even get confirmed pregnancy test results due to the production of hCG by the tumor cells. Only an ultrasound can determine the presence of hydatidiform mole.

3. Problems with the placenta:

Abnormalities related to the placenta are dependent on where the implantation takes place. If the function of the placenta is adversely affected, the pregnancy will not continue. Placental problems lead to pregnancy loss, and an early loss is called a miscarriage. If placental abnormalities occur later in the pregnancy, they result in pre-term birth, causing complications for the mother and the baby.

Implantation is the first step of pregnancy. It could be so subtle that you may not even realize that it has happened inside your body. But when your urge to get pregnant is high, you tend to relate every minor change in your body to pregnancy. The key is not to get anxious for the result or disappointed if the result is negative. The next menstrual period is just around the corner!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long does implantation bleeding last?

Implantation bleeding lasts for a few hours to two days. In rare cases, it may continue for more than two days. The length usually depends on the amount of blood that is released in the process of embryo implantation, and the time it takes for the body to get rid of it.

How long does implantation cramping last?

Implantation cramping lasts for five minutes. In some cases, the cramps will last for less than five minutes or up to two days.

What do implantation cramps feel like?

They are like a light pricking or pulling pain in the lower abdomen, and start about a week before your period is due. Some women may experience only a single episode of it, while some others will have occasional cramping.

Have any questions to ask or experiences to share? Do write them in the comment section below.

Human Embryo Transfer

Embryo transfer is considered the final step of IVF treatment. This procedure involves inserting embryos created in the laboratory into the womb of the recipient woman. When you arrive for your transfer you will be taken to the same IVF suite where your egg retrieval process was done. Your partner can accompany you, but both of you will need to wear sterile gowns because it is a sterile area.

When Are Embryos Transferred?

Embryos can be transferred anytime between day 1 and day 6 after egg retrieval. A day 3 embryo transfer is more common, although day 5 embryo transfer is also possible (it is called a blastocyst transfer).

What Happens In The Procedure?

Anesthesia is not used, although a sedative like valium may be given to help you relax and prevent cramping. Studies show that reducing cramps to the point where you can’t feel them improves your chance of pregnancy by 50 percent. You will be asked to lie on a bed that tilts. You may be slightly uncomfortable because your doctor will have instructed you not to empty your bladder. A full bladder makes it easier to spot your womb (uterus) with ultrasound scan. An ultrasound probe will be placed on your tummy so that the uterus can be seen. The doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina and wash your cervix removing any mucus. The speculum is left in place and the embryologist is told you are ready. Your doctor will insert a long thin tube called a catheter through your cervix. The ultrasonographer will let the doctor know when the tube is near the top of the uterus. Once in place, the embryos are slowly injected through the catheter. The catheter is removed slowly and handed back to the embryologist who checks it under a microscope to make sure no embryos are stuck to it.

No, although you may experience some mild cramping. You will remain awake throughout the procedure.

What Is A Mock Transfer?

If a transfer is traumatic in any way (for example if there is bleeding or severe cramping), your chance of pregnancy decreases. For this reason, a mock transfer may be carried out before the real procedure. This is where a soft catheter is inserted into the uterus and the depth of the womb and angle required to get to it is recorded (mapped). Mapping your cervical canal makes it easier to see the curves of your canal, and this information is used to ease the passage of the catheter during the actual transfer.

What Happens After?

You may need to stay on the table with your legs tilted up for about half an hour. When you return home you will be recommended 2 or 3 days complete bed rest. This gives your embryos a better chance of implanting. Activity diverts blood to other organs in the body, whereas lying down allows it to flow to the womb. Don’t worry, you cannot dislodge your embryos by having a bowel movement, urinating, coughing or sneezing.

How Long Does It Take Embryos To Implant?

It depends how ‘old’ the embryos were that you transferred. At the blastocyst stage (5 day embryos), they start to break out of their shell in the following 48 hours. Only then can they implant. If your embryos are 3 days old when they are transferred, it will take a few days longer to implant. The following is a more detailed timeline:

Early signs of pregnancy after 5 day blastocyst transfer

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In Vitro Fertilization with Blastocyst Culture and Day 5 Transfer

What is Blastocyst?

An embryo that has developed for five to seven days after fertilization and has developed 2 distinct cell types and a central cavity filled with fluid (blastocoel cavity). The cleavage stage (prior to day 4) human embryo undergoes compaction and develops to the compacting morula stage by about day 4. Usually by 24 hours after compacting into the morula, the embryo begins to develop a fluid filled cavity. The embryo then fits the definition of an early blastocyst.

The blastocyst culture and day 5 embryo transfer procedure for in vitro fertilization facilitates selection of the best quality embryos for transfer to the uterus of the mother. The concept of embryo quality is a very important one for couples experiencing infertility. With blastocyst embryo transfer, we can transfer fewer embryos – reducing risks for multiple pregnancy – while keeping overall pregnancy rates high.

The cells in a blastocyst have just started to differentiate. This differentiation can not be seen with the microscope in the early blastocyst with a small cavity but is well visualized in an expanded blastocyst. The surface cells that surround the cavity (just under the outer shell) are called the trophectoderm and will later develop into the placenta. The more centrally located group of cells are called the inner cell mass and will become the fetus.

A healthy blastocyst should begin hatching from its outer shell, called the zona pellucida by the end of the sixth day after fertilization. Within 24 hours after hatching, embryo implantation after IVF (or in a “natural” pregnancy) begins as the embryo invades into the endometrial lining of the mother’s uterus. The blastocyst releases HCG hormone (the pregnancy test hormone) which is picked up by the mother’s blood circulation as the embryo implants in the uterine lining.

The ultimate goal of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and embryo culture is to provide high quality embryos which are capable of continued normal development and result in live births. However, under standard IVF culture conditions, only about 25-60% of human embryos will progress to the blastocyst stage after 5 days of culture. This low rate of embryo development is the result of a less than optimal culture environment for the embryos. For this reason, embryos have traditionally been transferred into the uterus after only 2 or 3 days of culture.

Advantages of Blastocyst Transfer for IVF

One problem with this is that 2 to 3-day-old embryos are normally found in the fallopian tubes, not in the uterus. The embryo first moves into the uterus at about 80 hours after ovulation. The embryo implantation process begins about 3 days later – after blastocyst formation and hatching out of the embryonic shell (called the zona pellucida) have occurred. Therefore, if in vitro culture conditions are maximized so that healthy blastocysts form at a high rate, then blastocyst embryo transfer can be done on day 5 – at a more “natural” time for the embryos to be in the uterus, and very shortly before actual invasion and embryo implantation. The uterine lining at day 5 blastocyst transfer should be ideal and receptive to the arriving embryo – this is the same timing as occurs in a “natural” pregnancy situation.

Transferring blastocysts following IVF also provides another potential benefit – reduction of the possibility of multiple pregnancy. Some 2 or 3-day-old embryos do not have the capacity to become high quality blastocysts and a viable pregnancy. However, on day two or three of culture we do not have reliable methods to determine which embryos will be viable long-term, and which ones will arrest their development within a day or 2. By culturing embryos out to the blastocyst stage we will find that some of them have not become blastocysts – allowing us an opportunity to choose the most competent embryos for transfer. We can then transfer fewer embryos and still obtain high pregnancy success rates – with little or no risk for high order (triplets or higher) multiple pregnancy.

Disadvantages of Blastocyst Transfer

If the IVF clinic is proficient at blastocyst culture and has excellent quality control in the laboratory, there should really not be any disadvantages to day 5 blastocyst transfer. However, if the culture environment is suboptimal, delayed embryo development and even embryonic arrest will occur – at least in some cases. Therefore, if the culture system and quality control in an IVF lab are inconsistent – good results will not be obtained with extended culture to day 5. Such programs will do better with day 3 embryo transfers – putting back the embryos earlier, before they are “stressed” too much in the weak culture environment. Another possible disadvantage is that some IVF clinics charge an extra fee for day 5 culture and transfer.

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