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Hi, I have only just started trying to conceive through artificial insemination, and I am confused about my symptoms. After getting a positive LH test I inseminated with fresh donor sperm. The next day I was having ovulation pains/feeling, which I usual for me, however it lasted the entire day, not an hour or so. During the next week I didnt really have any symptoms. During the second week I had the same cramps that I get pre-period, before I was taking the pill it was this feeling that I knew I had to take some pain killers or I would have period pain the next two-three days. This feeling stayed the same for 3days, during this time I had a sharp stabbing pain which felt like a hot knife stabbed into my vagina (not pleasant), after the three days, I started bleeding. I am still assuming it is my period (day 3). These symptoms are all unusual for me, and a friend that i have been sharing with, has said she experienced these symptoms also- but ended up pregnant. These symptoms for her, coincided with positive pregnancy tests, and 3 healthy pregnancies, and telling me to keep testing just in case, because she also bled for a few weeks in the first trimester. So what I am wanting to know is: has my body been trying to conceive? I have had not positive pregnancy tests. Do some people need to go through a few tries to conceive, like practice to get it right, and make the conditions optimal? Why have I been getting these symptoms, and will I get the same/similar stmptoms each time I try to conceive, and are they symptoms that should be ignored as pregnancy signs?
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Answer
Hello Belinda from Australia,

First, I can't tell you what the symptoms are.  They could be just the onset of your menses, like you have experienced, but sometimes they can coincide with pregnancy as well.  There's no way to know.  Only a blood pregnancy test will reveal the truth.  If you are not pregnant, then it's probably the onset of your menses.

As to IUI, keep in mind that IUI is basically just trying naturally.  You are just substituting injected sperm for intercourse.  The chances of pregnancy are a little higher if done correctly by a competent Physician.  So, just like you would have to try multiple months (on average 8 months) when trying naturally, it can take several tries to get pregnant by IUI.  However, if done using an aggressive protocol, most patients will be pregnant by four attempts.  If you don't get pregnant by then, it means there is probably some other problem preventing the pregnancy.

Good Luck,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
www.montereybayivf.com
info@montereybayivf.com

Monterey, California, U.S.A.

for additional information check out my blog at http://womenshealthandfertility.blogspot.com check me out on twitter with me at @montereybayivf and facebook @montereybayivf.  Skype and internet comprehensive consultations now available via my website for those who want a more extensive evaluation that this site can accommodate.  I also now provide an Email Concierge Advisory Service with a 1 year subscription for patients that want easy access to me to answer questions along their journey (women's health, infertility, pregnancy).  Contact me at ejrmd@montereybayivf.com if you are interested in continuous access to me.

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Edward Joseph Ramirez, MD, FACOG

Expertise

I am a specialist in infertility and advanced gynecological care. I can answer questions about infertility, gynecology related ills, menopause...virtually anything that affects women's health. PLEASE tell me where you are writing from as I am always interested.

Experience

I have been practicing as an Ob/Gyn and Infertility Specialist for over 23 years. Gynecology, advanced laparoscopic surgery, basic infertility, IUI's, IVF, reproductive surgery, and ovulation induction are all areas of my expertise. I am Board Certified. I have been doing In Vitro Fertilization in my clinic for 19 years.

Organizations
American College of OB/GYN, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, Fellow of The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists,Resolve-National Chapter, Open Path - Northern California, Board of Directors Monterey Medical Society

Publications
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wall Street Journal, Monterey Herald, SERMO, Women's Health and Fertility Blog

Education/Credentials
Medical Degree from Stanford University, Residency at Tripler Army Medical Center, Reproductive Training at Pacific Fertility Center, San Francisco

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