Back Pain After IUI Is A Good Sign of Success To Be A Parent

The dream of parenthood is something everyone cherishes. But unfortunately, it’s something not everyone can attain. Fertility problems can be devastating to a person who dreams of bearing a child. 

Luckily advancements in medical science now allow these people a chance to make their dreams a reality. But the dream can get a little annoying with back pain after IUI. 

Through Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and Invitro Fertilization (IVF) procedures, one can get pregnant despite having fertility issues.

The weeks after having IUI done can be stressful and filled with anxiety. Every little sign and change in the body seems to be of vital importance. One of the most common of these signs is back pain.

I will discuss all the details about post-IUI back pain in this article for you. 

back pain after IUI can be annoying
Photo by Kindel Media from Pexels

Why does Back Pain after IUI occur?

Back pain is a vague symptom that can manifest for different reasons. But in the case of IUI, it is not commonly seen. 

Factors like stress and fatigue can cause back pain if your doctor has given you any specific exercises. Repeating them without rest can also be a cause of back pain.

Cramping and back pain can be seen as side effects of implantation. This is a good thing, indicating a successful IUI. These cramps are normally in the abdominal and pelvic region. But they can migrate to the back and cause back pain. 

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An overview of IUI

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a relatively non-invasive form of artificial insemination. It is quite simple and inexpensive compared to other methods like IVF (Invitro Fertilization).

In this process, the donor sperm is washed and concentrated. The sperm is then injected directly into the recipient’s uterus. This procedure can increase the chance of fertilization and pregnancy.

Normally, there is no medication required for IUI. The donor supplies the sperm. Then, insemination is done during the natural ovulation of the recipient. But in some cases, ovary stimulating drugs are used to ensure ovulation.

What is the IUI procedure like?

The IUI procedure is simple, but it also requires some coordination and planning.

The first step is to determine the period of ovulation. This is done by visiting the doctor’s office and doing several tests. These tests typically include bloodwork and ultrasound. 

Over a few weeks, the doctor can determine a timeline for ovulation. You may be prescribed medication to help maintain a regular menstrual cycle or for stimulating ovarian response.

Depending on the result of your tests, the doctor will determine your ovulation period. Normally, it takes from 10 to 16 days after starting medication.

On the day of the procedure, your partner will provide a sperm sample, or the donor sample will be thawed. The sperm is then ‘washed.’ All the seminal fluid and other cellular debris are removed, leaving a concentrated and highly active sperm sample. 

During the procedure, you’ll lie on an exam table, and the doctor will use a speculum to guide the catheter through the vagina into the cervix. The doctor will then push the sperm into your uterus. You’ll lie on the table for 10 to 20 minutes following the procedure. 

That’s it, after the procedure you can go about your daily activities. You can take a pregnancy test 14 days later to see if the procedure was successful. And if you get back pain after IUI, that is always a good sign. 

When is IUI recommended?

IUI is usually recommended to those who are having trouble conceiving naturally.  It is less invasive and costly than other methods of artificial fertilization like IVF. 

Patients may be recommended IUI and later be progressed to IVF. IUI may itself be sufficient to produce pregnancy. 

IUI is helpful if either the male or female partner is facing problems regarding conception and reproduction. 

IUI is generally recommended in the following scenarios: 

  • Pregnancy using donor sperm
  • Unexplained infertility
  • Infertility caused by endometriosis
  • Problems of the cervix or cervical mucus
  • Oligospermia
  • Male impotence
  • Problems of ovary and ovulatory-disorders
  • Semen allergy

IUI is not effective in the following cases:

  • Moderate or severe endometriosis
  • Ligation or removal of fallopian tubes
  • Multiple pelvic infections
  • Azoospermia of the male partner

Couples who can’t use IUI are generally recommended for other procedures like IVF. 

There are also other methods like Artificial Insemination using donor sperm or surrogate pregnancy. In such a case, your doctor will help you find the way most suited to you.

What are the risks of IUI?

IUI is a relatively risk-free process. So the probability of any serious complication is rare.

However, there is a possibility of facing some minor problems. These may be the result of the conditions of the procedure or medication.

The risks of IUI include:

Infection

The instruments used for the IUI procedure are sterile. So the risk of infection is very low. But sometimes infections may occur due to various other factors like cleanliness and hygiene.

Spotting

Sometimes after the procedure, there might be slight vaginal bleeding. This can be the result of irritation of the uterus during insertion of the cannula. 

This is not regarded as a serious complication and does not affect the chance of pregnancy.

Multiple Gestations

Suppose medications are used to induce ovulation. There might be a chance of multiple pregnancies. As these drugs increase the chances of ovulation, more than one egg might be released. 

This increases the chance of pregnancy with multiple babies. Your doctor will try to prevent this by adjusting your dosage along with monitoring your bloodwork and ultrasounds.

Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

This is a condition when the ovary over-responds to fertility medications. This results in a large number of eggs being matured and released at the same time. 

This might cause symptoms like an enlarged ovary, ovary pain after IUI, abdominal edema, and cramping. 

There are some warning signs in case of severe complications of IUI. Call your doctor or seek immediate medical care if you experience these symptoms. 

woman suffering from back pain after IUI
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

They are as follows:

  • Severe pain after IUI
  • Headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Severe abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Sudden enlargement of the abdomen

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What are the signs of successful IUI?

The success of IUI procedures varies from couple to couple. This is mainly because of the many different factors that affect the outcome. So, it is difficult to predict its success. 

You can consider back pain after IUI as a sign of success. 

On average, women under the age of 35 have a 10-15% chance of successful pregnancy after IUI. Women over the age of 40 have a 2-5% chance.

The factors that can influence the success of IUI are:

  • Age
  • Condition of fertility
  • Use of fertility drugs
  • Other underlying problems

You can confirm the success of an IUI procedure via a pregnancy test. Normally, the doctor will advise you to wait at least two weeks before ordering a pregnancy test. 

Some women may experience the physical signs of pregnancy during this period. Others may experience these symptoms later on.

The symptoms of successful IUI pregnancy are as follows:

Implantation bleeding

Implantation bleeding is one of the first signs of pregnancy. It occurs when the fertilized egg deposits itself in the uterine wall causing a small vaginal discharge. 

During this time, women can experience cramps, abdominal tenderness, or lower back pain.

Amenorrhoea

One of the important presumptive signs of pregnancy is the delay or absence of menstruation. This is called Amenorrhoea. However, there might be some spotting or light bleeding in between this period. 

Tenderness of Breasts

Changes in the breasts are also a sign of pregnancy. Breasts might start to feel heavy, sensitive, or sore. Swelling or tenderness of the breasts is also a sign of pregnancy.

Morning sickness

Nausea and vomiting are also very common signs of pregnancy. This is mainly caused due to high levels of the hormone estrogen and also low blood sugar. 

Morning sickness, despite its name, can occur at any time of the day. Its severity and frequency can also vary from person to person.

Tiredness

During pregnancy, the female reproductive hormones are at very high levels in the body. The high levels of one of these hormones, progesterone, cause the pregnant woman to feel more tired and sleepier than usual. 

For some women, this occurs early in the pregnancy, while it may present in later stages for others. Back pain after IUI can show up to induce tiredness. 

High Body Temperature

During pregnancy, one of the effects of high hormone levels is increased blood flow. Increased blood flow contributes to higher metabolism and more heat production. 

So, the basal body temperature of a pregnant woman can be up to one degree Celsius higher than normal.

Causes of failures in IUI

It is difficult to predict the success rate of IUI. Various factors contribute to the result. Moreover, each couple has a different response to the procedure. 

The causes of failures of IUI are also not easy to pinpoint. Some factors can be individually responsible for the loss or the combined effects of several different factors. 

The typical causes of failures in IUI are as follows:

  • If the eggs have chromosomal anomalies leading to weak embryos
  • If the age of the woman is over 40 years
  • If the quality of sperm provided by the partner is of poor quality
  • If the sperm is not implanted within 12-24 hours of ovulation
  • If there is an irregularity in the endometrial tissue of the uterus, preventing implantation
  • If there are ovulation related problems leading to anovulation
  • If there is a deficiency of progesterone, as it is essential for supporting pregnancy

Tips for Successful Pregnancy after IUI

After an IUI procedure, it is important to ensure the optimal environment for implantation and pregnancy. Taking the wrong steps at this crucial period may cause failure.

Here are the things you should do to ensure a successful pregnancy after IUI:

Avoid heavy exercise

After an IUI procedure, you can typically go back to your daily routine. But you should make sure that you don’t take part in any strenuous activities. 

Take light, low-impact exercises like walking and yoga. Avoid lifting heavy weights and high- cardio exercises.

Get enough rest

It is important to get enough rest after an IUI. Sleep and rest are closely related to your stress levels. If your stress levels are high, it will impact the hormonal balance of the body. This is detrimental to a successful pregnancy. 

So be sure to get enough rest and keep your stress in check. Otherwise, back pain after IUI will show up. 

Eat healthily

Having good nutrition is paramount in ensuring a successful pregnancy. The nutrition of the fetus is directly dependent on the nutrition of the mother. 

Maintaining a healthy diet free also makes the body’s internal environment more suitable for the growing baby. So eat a balanced diet having all the necessary dietary components. 

Avoid processed foods and junk foods. Refrain from drinking and smoking.

Be prepared

The road to fertility can be challenging. The chances of getting pregnant from the first IUI are quite slim. So it is important to be ready both physically and emotionally. 

After three unsuccessful IUI attempts, the chances of success significantly decrease. At this point, it is wise to consider other options, such as IVF.

FAQ

Is back pain normal after IUI?

Back pain is not a common symptom after IUI. Although, it can be caused for other reasons, like implantation cramps.

Why am I bleeding after IUI?

Discharge from the vagina or spotting can occur in some cases after IUI. 

This is due to the irritation of the lining of the uterus during the procedure. Usually, there is no reason for concern.

When should I do a pregnancy test after IUI?

Doctors usually advise taking a pregnancy test after at least two weeks of the IUI procedure. Taking a test before then can lead to inconclusive results.

Conclusion

So to conclude, back pain after IUI is nothing to be worried about. If you are experiencing back pain around 14 days of the procedure, it might be a sign of implantation and successful pregnancy.

Take good care of yourself after an IUI. Eat and sleep well, take light exercise and avoid stress. Follow the tips given in this article to improve your chance of pregnancy.

Muhtasim Munir

As a doctor in the making, I feel fascinated by the advancements and expansion of medical science. This fuels my passion for trying to follow a health-conscious lifestyle. I love writing and sharing thoughts and ideas with the people I care about. If my work can reach out and help people to enjoy a healthy, happy life it will be an honor for me. Muhtasim Munir MBBS (3rd year) Armed Forces Medical College

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