Implantation: The Beginning of Pregnancy

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Implantation is critical to an embryo's survival and establishes the earliest connection between mother and child.

You feel crampy, achy, and generally not that well. Is it just simple PMS, or could you be newly pregnant? Though the two spell drastically different paths for your future, they are eerily similar in the beginning.

The signs of implantation are often overlooked as PMS symptoms, so if there is any chance you may be pregnant, it's best to confirm with a test.

{ MORE: What Does Pregnancy Implanation Mean? }

The Road to Implantation

Let's have a quick look at how implantation happens. Typically, women ovulate one to two weeks after their periods, which means a follicle in the ovary will release the hormone progesterone to thicken the uterine lining, and an egg will be released into the opening of the fallopian tube.

During intercourse, sperm travel through the cervix and uterus and into the fallopian tubes in hopes of meeting an egg. This part of the process is extremely quick. “Sperm is in the cervix within seconds, in fallopian tubes within minutes,” said Dr. Amber Cooper, assistant professor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Washington University and a specialist in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

{ MORE: What Are the Odds of Getting Pregnant? }

The sperm then burrow into the shell of the egg and one lucky sperm will fertilize it, making it a zygote. Once the winner reaches the center of the egg, all sorts of chemical reactions start taking place, and after much cell division, the zygote separates into two parts, forming the blastocyst and the nourishing trophoblast. It then travels down the fallopian tube and emerges.

Implantation Itself

“Implantation is the attaching and embedding of an embryo into the endometrial lining of a woman's uterus. In general, it takes three to four days for a fertilized egg to travel into the uterus, then two to four more days for implantation to begin,” said Dr. Cooper.

{ MORE: Endometriosis and Conception }

Implantation is critical to an embryo's survival and establishes the earliest connection between mother and child. Many things have to take place before it can happen, such as “hatching” by the blastocyst so it is exposed and no longer constrained, and elevated levels of luteinizing hormone, which prepare the endometrial lining to envelop it. Once bound, the trophoblast helps to embed the blastocyst even further and aids in forming the placenta.

What do you think?

Implantation: The Beginning of Pregnancy

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8 comments

  1. kelly says:

    Ok I would get my period in two days but I took 7 early pregnancy tests and they are all positive. I have cramping and lower backaches my breasts hurt. I just want to know if I am pregnant what do you think? Kelly

    • Megan Klay says:

      Hi Kelly – If you’ve taken that many tests and they’re all positive it’s likely you are! I’d give it five more days to make sure you miss your period, take another test, then call your doctor and let them know. Congrats!

  2. Nicki says:

    I wish you the best while trying to conceive. Home test and blood test confirm I am newly pregnant…so new, because I tracked by simply knowing that my most fertile days was 14 days after the first day of my period; that the Dr. states not time for a sonogram yet. GRR. Not announcing the news without a picture, and confirmation that everything is in the right place. Stressed about Eptopic pregnancy.

  3. Nundinee says:

    Actually I did track my cycle because I’ve been taking my temperature since 2012, and for my first baby it was by tracking the cycle then I got pregnant on my ovulation date. Sure I need to be more patient till 24th december. I just wanted to know if someone is pregnant does there any variation in the temperature as I explained before. For several months my body temperature varied from 36.4deg to 37.2 and normally I ovulate when it is 37.0deg. Thank you for your answer.

  4. Nundinee says:

    Hi, I would like to ask a question because am feeling mixed up with everything. Actually I did an insemination on the 9th of December 2014, that morning I took my basal temperature and it was 37.0 deg. It remained that same temperature till 13th of December then on 14th and 15th it got down to 36.8 deg now from 16th and 17th it comes again to 37.0 deg. I don’t know if by that am I pregnant or not coz I have to do the pregnancy test on the 24th of December. So I don’t know if it happens likewise meaning a drop in the temperature level. Thank you for the answer.

    • Megan Klay says:

      Hi there – You’ll need to track your cycle for a few months before you can view your body temperature’s pattern and determine when you’ve ovulated and/or any changes in the pattern. Try your best to be patient until you can test on 12/24, and best wishes!

  5. Sarai says:

    I am currently 5dpo! I have been experiencing a really bad cold.. It all started with a sore throat two days ago now i have a stuffed nose..I have read stories of women that had cold symptoms that led to a BFP? Is this true? Can this be a symptom or just a cold?

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