Pregnancy following "artificial insemination"
Are you pregnant following an "artificial insemination"? If so, you must, naturally, be ecstatic! Regardless of whether a pregnancy has occurred after an IVF treatment, after ICSI or even after insemination – for the patients of our fertility clinic, the hope and the wait following the fertility treatment turned out to have been worthwhile. Now you can concentrate fully on your pregnancy. Maybe you can even feel the first signs of pregnancy already?
The Pregnancy Begins
In the hours and days following the positive news about the pregnancy, many couples wanting to have children are simply full of joy (and anticipation). Although, of course, they know that many things can happen before the birth. That's why it is now all the more important for women to look after themselves and their bodies. After successful embryo transfer and subsequent pregnancy, you should therefore avoid stress and other physical strain so as not to impair the success of the artificial insemination. Many couples wanting children, for example, report that in the first weeks of the long-awaited pregnancy, they are always accompanied by the fear that a miscarriage could occur.
After all, couples wanting children and, of course, the woman and the unborn child, especially, still have a lot ahead of them. Before pregnancy is fully confirmed:
- the hCG value must be stable when taking blood.
- one (or two) amniotic sac(s) should be able to be detected at the start of week 5.
- the embryo must have a recognisable heart beat at the end ofweek 6 or at the start of week 7.
Once pregnancy is confirmed: from the Fertility Clinic to the Gynecologist As soon as the blood values are stable, for patients of our fertility clinic, it is back to their registered gynaecologist. The pregnancy is now confirmed and can be further monitored by the attending gynaecologist.
Ultrasound examinations in the first weeks of pregnancy
If fertility treatment using IVF or ICSI is successful, many women subsequently take care to undergo very close ultrasound monitoring at their gynaecologist. After the first ultrasound examination performed to determine the pregnancy (in the fertility clinic or at the woman's gynaecologist), many fertility patients also take advantage of the so-called first trimester screening examination at a prenatal physician.
Miscarriage following artificial insemination
About 20% of all IVF and ICSI pregnancies end up in an early miscarriage. The reason for this, time and again, is that in this phase of pregnancy, the embryo does not fully implant in the uterus and/or cannot develop a heart beat.
This means, of course, that for an embryo with a detectable heart beat, the risk of a possible miscarriage decreases significantly. But, understandably, many couples desiring to have children still fear that something could happen. This feeling often persists after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The Course of Pregnancy
Pregnancy is calculated from the first day of a complete cycle onwards. Since ovulation takes place in the middle of the cycle, roughly after the first two weeks of the cycle, from a purely mathematical point of view, pregnancy therefore begins with the third week of pregnancy. The first signs following "artificial insemination" are the same as in a natural pregnancy.
The First Trimester – Weeks of Pregnancy 1–12
Typical features in the first trimester of pregnancy:
- Constant fatigue, irritability, mood swings caused by the strong hormonal change
- Constipation: the increase in the corpus luteum hormone, progesterone, slows the metabolism, so many women at this point suffer from constipation in some circumstances.
- Nausea: morning sickness is due to the increased level of hCG in the blood, which usually occurs in the fifth or sixth week of pregnancy.
- In addition, dizziness may arise due to increased blood production in the woman's body to supply the embryo and placenta.
- Sensitivity to certain odours
Development in the first 12 weeks
The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are considered to be the critical time, as all the baby's organs and its complete nervous system are being formed during these first three months. As early as between the fourth and the eighth weeks of pregnancy, the embryo's neck, head and limbs develop, and the structures of the internal organs, the brain and the nervous system emerge. By the end of the first trimester, eyes, fingers, toes, nose and ears are fully formed. In addition, the muscles and the nervous system have developed to such an extent that the embryo can already move quite deliberately in the womb.
The Second Trimester – Weeks of Pregnancy 13–26
Typical features during the second trimester of pregnancy:
- The abdomen becomes round, and the breasts grow significantly
- The child's first movements are usually felt between weeks 16 and 18
- Shortness of breath due to increased blood volume
- Heartburn, as the growing uterus restricts the stomach
- Increased urination, as the growing uterus presses against the bladder
- Production of so-called colostrum, triggered by an increased level of prolactin
The unpleasant signs of nausea often subside starting from the fourth month of pregnancy. The foetus is now physically fully formed, so it is now time for other fine developments: in addition to the sucking and swallowing reflex, the embryo's metabolic cycle develops, as well as its respiratory movements. The baby is now very active in the womb. In most cases, the sex of the baby is also detectable in an ultrasound at the end of the fifth month of pregnancy. In addition, the heart sounds can be clearly heard in the subsequent examinations. In these weeks 13–26, the concretisation phase begins, in which the foetus's movements and sensory perception continue to develop.
The Third Trimester – Weeks of Pregnancy 27–40 +
Typical features during the third trimester of pregnancy:
- The abdomen and breasts continue to grow substantially
- Pregnant women often perceive numbness or tingling in the feet when the child is in a supine position and pressing against the vena cava
- Intensified back pain can be experienced, due to the extra weight
- Sleep Disorders
- The first false labour pains set in
As early as in the seventh month of pregnancy, the foetus opens its eyes and nostrils. In addition, the bronchial system and the immune system of the unborn child begin to work independently. If a premature birth were to occur, the child would already have good chances of survival thanks to modern medicine. From the eighth month of pregnancy, the foetus continues to increase in weight – about 200–250 g per week. As it gets increasingly tight in the uterus, the baby now takes on the typical foetal position with arms folded in front of the body.
Healthy Throughout the Pregnancy
Nutrition in Pregnancy
Particular emphasis should be placed on a healthy diet throughout pregnancy. The need for some vitamins, minerals and trace elements changes during pregnancy. Many habits can be continued as before, however (possibly with minor changes); for example, sport is not a problem if you do not overtax yourself and switch to gentler sporting activities. You can find even more tips on this topic under Healthy Lifestyle.
Sport During Pregnancy
Do something good for your well-being during pregnancy, with a clear conscience. Because when you are well, your baby also feels good in your belly. In addition to sauna visits, in moderation, massages or wellness and beauty treatments, you can also play light sports. Many women also discover yoga for themselves.