In the early stages of pregnancy, doctors will do a blood test to confirm pregnancy. A positive blood test report is followed by an ultrasound. The presence of a gestational sac and a fetal pole inside the uterus (endometrium) further confirms that your pregnancy is in the right place.
The journey from implantation to fertilization
From conception, a baby goes through several stages of development, from a fertilized egg to an embryo and then a baby. The journey from fertilization to implantation is not only exciting but also critical. After the end of the menstrual cycle, a woman’s body ovulates every month. This period is also known as the most fertile window of a woman’s body. During ovulation, you may find that the lining of the uterus is more elastic to allow sperm to flow into the uterus.
When sperm enters the cervix, the elasticity of the mucus allows it to swim and enter the uterus for fertilization. It meets the mature egg or ovum through the fallopian tube. Out of millions of sperm, the mature egg released from the ovary allows only one healthy sperm for the fertilization process. The fertilized egg, known as the zygote, moves further down the fallopian tube and into the uterus. If not fertilized, the egg travels alone along the fallopian tube to the uterus and passes through the next menstrual cycle.
It takes about three to five days for the zygote to enter the uterus. The fertilized egg begins to multiply in different cells within 24 hours until it reaches the uterus. When the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus, implantation occurs. During implantation, many women notice slight bleeding or spotting – also known as implantation bleeding. Once the fertilized egg successfully implants in the uterus, the lining thickens and the mucus seals the uterus. After successful implantation, your body begins to secrete a pregnancy hormone called hCG which can be detected by blood and urine pregnancy tests.
[Read : Implantation Bleeding]
Confirming an intrauterine pregnancy
Have you missed your period? Or did you have a light spot instead of a period? Do you think you might be pregnant? Then, here’s how you can confirm your ectopic pregnancy.
After you see two pink lines on your home pregnancy test, it’s important to tell your doctor about the pregnancy. An hCG blood test will be done to officially confirm your pregnancy.
Along with the blood test, an ultrasound scan is also needed to confirm the exact location of the pregnancy. It is possible to detect the presence of a gestational sac between four and five weeks of pregnancy.
Sometimes, the location of the pregnancy will not be specific, which calls for further investigation and testing. Early confirmation of the pregnancy site helps you avoid unnecessary complications that an ectopic pregnancy can cause.
Stages of intrauterine pregnancy
Intrauterine pregnancy has three primary stages – the germinal stage, the embryonic stage and the fetal stage. Let’s discuss each step further.
1. Germinal stage
The germinal stage begins at conception and continues until the sperm meets the egg, fertilizes it, and implants in the uterus. When the cells begin to multiply in the uterus after implantation, one structure forms as the embryo and the others become the placenta. Once implantation is successful and the embryo is formed, you will miss your period.
2. Embryonic stage
The period between the third and eighth weeks of pregnancy is generally called the fetal stage. At this stage, the blastocyst, which is formed when the fertilized egg cells multiply, begins to develop unique characteristics and becomes an embryo. It is during this period that various structures and organs begin to develop and function, including the neural tube, mouth, head, eyes, limbs, and heart. Morning sickness usually starts around this time.
3. Embryonic stage
The fetal stage begins at the ninth week and continues until birth. At this stage, the embryo grows into a healthy fetus. The organs continue to grow and your doctor can determine the gender of the fetus with an ultrasound. As the fetus grows, they will begin to move their limbs. You will be able to feel movement from the 20th week. Significant fetal growth occurs during this stage of pregnancy.
Health and care during intrauterine pregnancy
An intrauterine pregnancy is normal as long as the fertilized egg reaches the uterus and the fetal heart rate is normal. Below are some essential tips that you need to keep in mind for a healthy and safe intrauterine pregnancy.
1. Healthy and balanced diet
The food you eat plays an important role in keeping your pregnancy healthy. Choose to eat more healthy foods and avoid junk as much as possible. Also, try to include antioxidants in your diet. For a sustainable intrauterine pregnancy, you can trust green leafy vegetables.
2. Avoid smoking
Quitting or avoiding smoking is not only healthier during pregnancy, but can also contribute to your general well-being.
3. Prenatal care
You should attend all your prenatal appointments and get yourself checked on time. It helps you keep track of the little one’s health and growth. Any complications can be detected quickly and quickly.
[Read : What Prenatal Tests Are Done in The First Trimester]
Make sure to take the medicines prescribed by the doctor in the correct dosage.
If you have a pre-existing condition or previous pregnancy failure, it is essential to talk to your doctor and take precautions beforehand.
Possible complications and their management
Intrauterine conception is the standard form of conception. But, some possible complications can complicate the pregnancy journey.
1. Chemical pregnancy
A chemical pregnancy condition in which the egg does not implant properly.
2. Blighted eggs
Blighted ovum is a condition in which the fertilized egg stops growing after some time in the uterus.
3. Ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is a condition where the egg implants in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus.
Miscarriage occurs when the fertilized egg does not develop well and leaves the body before 20 weeks of conception.
5. Fixed Birth
Loss of pregnancy after 20 weeks.
[Read : Understanding All About Stillbirth]
Preparation for birth and parenthood
Intrauterine insemination is an ideal way to conceive, and you need to prepare yourself for the process of childbirth and parenthood. While preparing yourself for the new arrival you should keep the following aspects in mind.
- Attend an antenatal class and create a birth plan.
- Pack your hospital bag in advance and talk to your partner about how to support you during labor.
- Make sure to move and exercise daily. A healthy diet will be the best way to prepare your body for childbirth.
- Keep all baby essentials ready until your little one arrives.
- Stock up on essentials for the initial days after delivery.
- If you have a second, make sure you mentally prepare the siblings before the birth.
- Choose the childcare provider you want to have your birth with.
Intrauterine pregnancy is a stage where people are more anxious and tense because it is the first day when it will be challenging to determine and confirm the presence of the sac. However, this is the normal way and form of pregnancy, and there is nothing to worry about. You just need to be more careful during the phase and keep yourself healthy enough to maintain the pregnancy. Intrauterine pregnancy goes through three stages – where you need to keep yourself and your little one healthy for a safe pregnancy. Follow with caution, and happy pregnancy!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is a symptom of intrauterine pregnancy?
No, intrauterine pregnancy is a normal way to get pregnant and is not a sign of pregnancy.
2. What is the difference between intrauterine pregnancy and ectopic pregnancy?
An intrauterine pregnancy is where the fertilized egg travels to the uterus and implants itself. In an ectopic pregnancy, the egg implants in the fallopian tube on its way to the uterus.
3. Is intrauterine pregnancy a normal pregnancy?
Yes. Endometriosis is a typical form of pregnancy, where implantation of the embryo occurs inside the uterus.
Also Read: Blighted Ovum (Early Pregnancy Failure)