Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a method of overcoming infertility. Many women wonder how soon they can take a pregnancy test after IUI. There are several factors that will influence your decision, but most doctors recommend a wait of at least two weeks.
During IUI, washed sperm is inserted through the cervix into the uterus via a catheter. It is typically performed when there is a problem with the man's sperm or the woman's cervical mucus. Introducing the sperm directly into the uterus bypasses both of these problems. IUI is also used when single women want to have children using donor sperm.
The recommendation is to wait at least 14 days before taking a pregnancy test after IUI. This is how long it will take most women to build up enough of the pregnancy hormone in their system to test positive. It is sometimes possible, however, to get a positive result sooner. Sensitive tests may be able to detect the hormone as early as nine days after IUI. Women testing that early should keep in mind that they may get a false negative result.
For some IUI cycles, a trigger shot of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is used. This helps trigger ovulation in order to time it right for the IUI procedure. Since hCG is also the hormone that makes a pregnancy test positive, women who have had the trigger shot should wait longer before taking a pregnancy test after IUI. It usually takes eight to ten days for this to happen, but can take up to 14 days or longer. Some women take an inexpensive pregnancy test every day until it is negative, which means the hCG from the shot is gone and future tests will be accurate.
If you take a pregnancy test after IUI before the 14 day mark, you may get a false negative. This happens when you are pregnant but there is not enough hCG built up in your system to turn a test positive. Different tests have different levels of sensitivity. Those that say you can test before your period are the most sensitive, but you can still get a false negative. If you have gotten a negative pregnancy test after IUI but still have not gotten your menstrual period, wait a few days and test again.
For the most accurate results, pregnancy tests should be taken using the first urine elimination of the day, but if you forget you should hold your urine for at least four hours before testing again. If you have waited at least 14 days after IUI to test and you get a negative result but still have not gotten your menstrual period, make an appointment with your doctor. He or she will probably do a pregnancy test using a blood sample, which detects lower levels than urine testing.
What Happens After IUI Day by Day?
Intrauterine insemination works to bypass some of the issues preventing conception. The entire visit should take less than a half-hour in your doctor's office. IUI only takes a few minutes and does not need any sedatives or pain killers.
IUI starts similarly to a pelvic exam. The doctor or nurse will have you lie back and guide you through the procedure, which includes:
- The donor sperm is loaded into a flexible catheter.
- The cervix is located by the use of a speculum.
- The catheter is inserted through the cervical opening.
- The sperm is injected into the uterus.
- The tube and speculum are removed.
- The patient stays lying down for about 15 minutes.
Day 1-3 After IUI
It is possible that the procedure, though safe, can irritate the cervix or vaginal lining. Some spotting may occur for the first three days but isn't necessarily indicative of implantation. If there is a success, it usually takes a week to 10 days before any implantation bleeding happens. If any bleeding persists after the first three days, or if cramping or pain happens, then contact your doctor.
Day 6 After IUI
The sixth day is the soonest that implantation may occur. Now it is time to pay attention to the symptoms that indicate whether or not implantation happened successfully. These can vary but include:
- fluctuations in basal body temperature
- changes in mood
- water retention
- sore breasts
Day 11 After IUI
Every woman is different and implantation often happens at different rates. Some women experience implantation at 11 or more days after the insemination procedure. Therefore, it is possible that no pregnancy will be registered by symptoms or tests until two weeks after IUI.
Two Weeks After IUI
If you are pregnant, then your body needs enough time for your Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) to rise to detectable levels. This is why your doctor will schedule a follow-up pregnancy test at least 14 days after your initial visit. If it is going to occur, implantation will have typically happened after 12 days, and, even then, your natural HCG buildup takes some time for a pregnancy test to be effective. Testing too soon may otherwise mean false results.
What to Do After IUI to Increase Chances?
There are several things that can be done to improve your chances of getting pregnant with IUI.
Sperm washing means that the strongest, most viable sperm will be used for the sample. Studies have also shown that the sperm donor should avoid ejaculation for three or four days before giving a sample for IUI. This will result in a higher sperm count and improve your chances of pregnancy. Since sperm have a lifespan of about five days, it is advised to wait no longer than four before producing the sample.
The best approach is to behave as if you are already pregnant. Consider your daily habits. Practice healthy diet choices and maintain adequate exercise levels. Consider any medications you take that may affect your fertility. Don't drink any alcohol, take illegal drugs or smoke.
Fertility specialists may suggest special hormone injections that increase the likelihood of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation. These treatments, used with IUI, can dramatically increase the chances of conception.
Anxiety and mood have been shown to affect fertility and insemination results. Listen to the doctor to properly set your expectations on the outcome of the procedure. Maintain a routine free of anxiety. Keep maintaining a healthy focus on the other aspects of your life aside from the IUI.
When Does Period Start After Failed IUI?
If the insemination was not successful, you will know for certain once you have your next period. This usually happens between 9 and 14 days, depending.
Attempts at artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, and intrauterine insemination all use hormones and medications to help improve the chances of pregnancy. These can also change your usual reproductive cycle. It may move when you ovulate. Be aware that the result of an IUI that did not succeed can still mean changing when you get your period.
Remember, if you do have your period after IUI, then you aren't pregnant. But the procedure can be attempted multiple times. Reproductive doctors typically wait a minimum of one month in between attempts at insemination. This will allow a return to regular, healthy hormone cycles as well as starting a new cycle of any treatments or medications before attempting IUI again.