Are you anxiously waiting for that positive pregnancy test, but just can’t seem to get it month after month? The process of getting pregnant is not always easy for some and it may take the right steps to make implantation successful.
You are not alone in your journey and the more you learn about the process of getting pregnant, the more you’ll be able to plan out the optimal baby making days.
A progressing pregnancy starts with successful implantation. You may not be able to force implantation to increase your chances of pregnancy, but you can support your body in the process!
Doing this and watching out for vital signs can help you.
What is implantation, and why is it important?
Fertilization occurs when the female egg meets the male sperm in the fallopian tube.
After fertilization, the next big step is implantation.
Once the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube it will find a place to settle in the womb.
Think of implantation as the union between your egg and your womb. This fertilized egg, also known as the blastocyst, breaks the lining of your uterus and sticks tightly for the rest of your pregnancy.
This process is called implantation and it begins approximately six days post ovulation. During this period after ovulation, your progesterone levels start rising to show that you have ovulated.
When your implantation happens at the right place and the right time, you can be sure that you have conceived. For this, pregnancy hormones must be sufficient.
The implantation window is the only time in the cycle when the blastocyst can stick to your uterus.
Once you miss the window of opportunity, your implantation may fail and you won’t be able to get pregnant.
Take note that if this happens repeatedly, you might be infertile and may require treatment.
The journey of the egg from the fertilization point to your womb is about four days. Unfortunately, if it takes longer, your cells may fail to implant, and you could lose your pregnancy.
Hormones in implantation
When it comes to ovulation and implantation, hormone levels are key. Not just that, carrying a baby to full-term depends on the release of several hormones.
What does this mean?
Tracking your hormones can let you know the exact time you will ovulate. It also ensures that you have sex at the best time to increase your chances of getting pregnant!
Tracking offers a whooping two fold benefit. You can identify the time of ovulation plus check if your symptoms match with pregnancy hormonal changes!
Progesterone is the most significant hormone in the initial stages of pregnancy. It ensures that the uterus is well prepared to receive the blastocyst and support the embryo throughout pregnancy.
Originally, the corpus luteum releases progesterone. The corpus luteum is formed from the ruptured follicle in the ovary after ovulation. Afterward, the placenta takes over.
What affects implantation
- Development of the endometrium
In the days preceding potential implantation, your body helps nourish the uterus. This causes thickening of the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium.
Eventually, the blastocyst will settle into this layer and start growing.
- Levels of estrogen and progesterone
Hormone levels are central to the entire pregnancy process. Every step from the release of the egg to delivering the baby depends on hormones. Estrogen is dominant during the first half of your menstrual cycle for developing the uterine lining and preparing for the release of the egg. Progesterone is key to nourishing the uterine lining and creating a warm bed for the fertilized egg to come settle into. Abnormal levels of either of these hormones results in improper formation of the uterine lining.
- Abnormalities in the uterine structure
These may be congenital (for example, septae) or acquired (for example, polyps).
The blastocyst might not be able to navigate and reach the correct site for implantation. Implanting in a part of the uterus that is too thin might result in pregnancy loss.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
Contrary to what the name suggests, PCOS manifests as a lot more than the presence of cysts on your ovaries.
PCOS occurs mainly because of hormonal imbalance. As we have seen before, too much or too little of hormones interferes with implantation.
- Obesity or high body mass index
Let us clear the air first. Being overweight does not mean you cannot get pregnant.
Building a healthy lifestyle is what ultimately determines your ability to carry a pregnancy. But obesity is often linked to imbalance in hormonal levels and thus can affect implantation.
- Cigarette smoking
The toxic effects of smoke to health are well known. These toxins also affect implantation. Sadly, these effects also extend to secondhand exposure. If you have anyone near you who smokes regularly, it might reduce the scope of implantation.
Key requirements for successful implantation
Successful implantation needs sufficient preparation of the womb and the combination of receptors and growth factors secreted by the blastocyst.
Therefore the three main requirements are:
- A healthy blastocyst
The fertilized egg needs to be in a good condition to settle into the uterine lining successfully.
- A receptive uterus
The womb needs to be ready for implantation and taking care of the growing baby. This process occurs in the secretory phase, where progesterone is the primary hormone.
- Time of implantation
Implantation only occurs if the fertilized egg reaches the womb at the right time. The implantation window is usually about six to ten days after ovulation.
How to improve chances of implantation
- Lifestyle changes
Your baby needs a healthy environment to grow, which is why you need a healthy lifestyle. Smoking and extreme stress may be responsible for difficulties in conceiving.
Improve your diet and include a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and protein. You can even try to eat more fermented foods such as miso, tempeh, kimchi, or kombucha. Do not forget to be properly hydrated.
There are some foods you can try to avoid as well. Caffeine is a no-no if you want to get pregnant. If you must, try to limit yourself to one cup a day. Also, don’t eat raw or undercooked meat.
- Pay attention to pregnancy signs
Your body will always give subtle signs when implantation is successful. Although it is too early to perform a pregnancy test and be certain, paying attention to these signs can help you predict if you might be pregnant.
The Inito Fertility Monitor helps you understand the best days to have sex with your partner. It boosts your chances of conception by 89%!
The hormone levels you can measure with the monitor are progesterone, estrogen, and LH. Using a combination of these hormones, you can track the different phases of your cycle.
Signs of successful implantation
- Implantation bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- Breast tenderness
- Fluctuations in basal body temperature
Why might implantation fail?
- Late implantation
The period from six to ten days post ovulation marks the implantation window.
If your implantation comes at the end of this period, after day eight, it is late.
While this can’t rule out your chances of successfully getting pregnant, it may cause other complications.
- Ectopic pregnancy
If implantation begins too early, the pregnancy might occur outside the uterus, known as an ectopic pregnancy.
The most common symptom of an ectopic pregnancy is bleeding.
- Implantation failure
Suppose you get the timing and the site right; can implantation still fail? Sadly, yes.
Implantation depends on the health of your womb. In case of complications like polyps or endometriosis, implantation may not be possible.
It also depends on several lifestyle factors such as smoking and stress.
Pregnancy testing at the time of implantation
It is important to note that successful implantation does not mean that you will immediately get a positive pregnancy test.
A positive pregnancy test requires the release of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. This hCG hormone is what is detected by pregnancy tests. A positive pregnancy test requires a sustained rise for a few days.
The earliest you can get a positive pregnancy test is about eight to nine days after ovulation.
This time corresponds to about two to four days after implantation.
Doctors recommend testing a little later to ensure that you have a healthy, viable pregnancy at the time of a positive test.
Fun fact – hCG is also responsible for maintaining higher levels of progesterone. This increase is what causes the initial symptoms of early pregnancy after implantation.
Put it all together
- Implantation is a crucial step in successful conception.
- The uterus requires the right kind of support to ready itself for implantation. Only when the uterine wall is well developed, implantation occurs.
- Several factors can affect implantation. You can manage some of these with appropriate testing and treatment.
- Hormone tracking is the easiest way to pick the most appropriate time in your cycle for conception. It can also help you track your symptoms and correlate them with the phase of the menstrual cycle.
- Inito Fertility Monitor uses a combination of hormones to help you analyze levels and plan intercourse.