Intrauterine Pregnancy – Everything You Need to Know

7 min read

Written by Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

Gayathri Lakshminarayanan

intrauterine pregnancy positive happy couple

When you are expecting a little one, you may come across various situations like a missed period, a positive pregnancy test, and a few telltale signs that indicate conception. In such early stages of pregnancy, it is natural to be anxious about the baby’s growth and development, especially if you have been expecting one for a long time. The only way to learn about your intrauterine pregnancy at this early stage is an HCG blood test and an ultrasound. 

Here is everything you need to know about the early stages of pregnancy to understand more about how your little one grows within you. This article discusses more about the journey of growing a fetus, the stages of pregnancy, and the health care tips you may need to follow to keep yourself healthy and avoid possible complications. Let us get started.

In This Article

What is Intrauterine Pregnancy?

Intrauterine pregnancy is normal pregnancy, where the fertilized egg or an embryo travels through the fallopian tube, implants itself into the wall of the uterus (endometrium), and then grows into a baby. When the egg implants and grows in the uterus – the right place – it is an Intrauterine pregnancy. An ultrasound will help check if the implantation had occurred outside the uterus, other than endometrium – also known as ectopic pregnancy.

During the early stages of pregnancy, doctors will perform a blood test to confirm the conception. An ultrasound follows after the positive blood test report. The presence of a gestational sac and a fetal pole inside the uterus (intrauterine) further confirms that your pregnancy is in the right place.

The Journey of Fertilization to Implantation

egg and sperm

From conception, a baby goes through various stages of development, from a fertilized egg into an embryo and then into a baby. The journey from fertilization to implantation is not only exciting but also critical. A woman’s body undergoes ovulation every month after the end of the menstrual cycle. This period is also known as the most fertile window of a woman’s body. During ovulation, you can find that the mucus in the cervix is more elastic to allow the flow of sperm into the uterus.

1. Fertilization

When sperm gets into the cervix, the elasticity of the mucus allows it to swim through and enter the uterus for fertilization. It moves through the fallopian tube to meet the matured ovum or egg. Among millions of sperm, the matured egg released from the ovaries allows only one healthy sperm for the process of fertilization. The fertilized egg is known as Zygote, which further moves into the fallopian tube and enters the uterus. If fertilization does not happen, the egg alone moves along the fallopian tube into the uterus and passes through the next menstrual cycle.

2. Implantation

It takes approximately three to five days for the Zygote to get into the uterus. The fertilized egg begins to multiply into several cells within 24 hours until it reaches the uterus. When the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine lining, implantation occurs. At the time of implantation, many women notice slight bleeding or spotting – also known as implantation bleeding. Once the fertilized egg successfully implants in the uterus, the lining becomes thicker, and mucus seals the cervix. After the successful implantation, your body begins to secrete a pregnancy hormone called hCG which can be detectable through blood and urine pregnancy tests.

[Read : Implantation Bleeding]

Confirming an Intrauterine Pregnancy

Have you missed your period? Or did you have a light spotting instead of a period? Do you think you might be pregnant? Then, here is how you can confirm your intrauterine pregnancy.

After you get to see the two pink lines on your home pregnancy test, it is important to let your doctor know about the conception. An hCG blood test will be carried out to confirm your pregnancy officially. 

Along with the blood test, an Ultrasound scan is also required to confirm the exact location or site of the pregnancy. It is possible to identify the presence of a gestational sac within four to five weeks of conception.

Sometimes, the site of the pregnancy will not be precise, which calls for further investigations and tests to be conducted. An early confirmation of the pregnancy site helps you avoid unnecessary complications that an ectopic pregnancy can cause. 

Stages of Intrauterine Pregnancy

intrauterine pregnancy stages

There are three primary stages in intrauterine pregnancy – Germinal Stage, Embryonic Stage, and Fetal Stage. Let us discuss more about each of the stages.

1. Germinal Stage

Germinal Stage begins at the time of conception and continues until the sperm meets the egg, fertilizes, and implants itself in the uterus. When the cells start multiplying in the uterus after implantation, one structure is formed as an embryo, and others become the placenta. Once the implantation is successful and the embryo has been formed, you will miss your menstrual period.

2. Embryonic Stage

The period between the third to eighth week of pregnancy is commonly known as the Embryonic Stage. During this phase, the blastocyst, which is formed when the fertilized egg cells multiply, begins to develop unique traits and becomes an embryo. It is during this period that the various structures and organs, including the neural tube, mouth, head, eyes, limbs, and heart, begin to develop and function. Morning sickness usually kicks in at this point.

3. Fetal Stage

The fetal stage begins during the ninth week and continues until birth. During this stage, the embryo grows into a healthy fetus. The organs continue to grow, and your doctor can determine the sex of the fetus through an ultrasound. As the fetus grows, they will start moving their limbs. You will be able to feel the movements from the 20th week. Significant fetal growth occurs during this stage of pregnancy.

Health and Care During Intrauterine Pregnancy

pregnant woman healthy diet

Intrauterine pregnancy is a normal one as far as the fertilized egg reaches the uterus and the fetus gets a normal heartbeat. The following are some of the essential tips you need to remember to have a healthy and safe Intrauterine pregnancy.

1. Healthy and Balanced Diet

The food that you eat plays a significant role in keeping your pregnancy healthy. Choose to eat more healthy food and avoid junk as much as possible. Also, try to include antioxidants in your diet. For a sustainable intrauterine pregnancy, you can trust on the green leafy vegetables.

2. Avoid Smoking

Quitting or avoiding smoking is healthy not only during pregnancy but also can contribute to your general well-being.

3. Prenatal care

You need to attend all your prenatal appointments and get yourself checked at the right time. It helps you to keep track of the health and growth of the little one. Any complications can be identified early and quickly.

[Read : What Prenatal Tests Are Done in The First Trimester]

4. Medications

Make sure to take the medications prescribed by the doctor at the proper dosages.

If you have any pre-existing conditions or have a failed pregnancy earlier, it is essential to talk to your doctor and take precautions well ahead.

Possible Complications and Their Management

Intrauterine pregnancies are the standard form of getting conceived. But, certain possible complications might complicate the journey of pregnancy.

1. Chemical Pregnancy

A chemical pregnancy condition where the egg does not implant properly.

2. Blighted Ovum

Blighted ovum is a condition where the fertilized egg stops growing after a point of time in the uterus

3. Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is a condition where the egg implants itself in the fallopian tube and not in the uterus.

4. Miscarriage

Miscarriage occurs when the fertilized egg does not grow well and expels from the body before 20 weeks of gestation.

5. Stillbirth

Loss of pregnancy after crossing 20 weeks.

[Read : Understanding All About Stillbirth]

Preparing for Birth and Parenthood

birth plan

Intrauterine pregnancy is a standard way to conceive, and you need to prepare yourself for the birthing and parenthood process. You need to keep in mind the following aspects while you prepare yourself for the new arrival.

  • Attend a childbirth class and create a birth plan.
  • Pack your hospital bag in advance and talk to your partner about how to support you during the birthing process.
  • Ensure to keep moving and exercising every day. A healthy diet would be the best way to prepare your body for birthing.
  • Keep all the baby essentials ready by the time your little one arrives.
  • Stock up the necessities that you would require in the initial days after the delivery.
  • If you are having a second one, make sure you prepare the siblings emotionally before the birthing.
  • Choose the baby care provider that you would like to have your birthing with.

Intrauterine pregnancy is a phase where people get more anxious and tense because it is the earliest days when the presence of the sac will be challenging to determine and confirm. But, it is just the usual way and form of pregnancy, and there is nothing to be worried about. You just need to be more careful during the phase and keep yourself healthy enough to sustain the pregnancy. The intrauterine pregnancy runs through three phases – where you need to keep yourself and your little one healthy to have a safe pregnancy. Follow the precautions, and Happy Pregnancy!


1. Is Intrauterine Pregnancy a Symptom?

No, Intrauterine pregnancy is a standard way to get pregnant and not a symptom of pregnancy.

2. What is the Difference Between Intrauterine Pregnancy and Ectopic Pregnancy?

Intrauterine pregnancy is where the fertilized egg travels to the uterus and implants itself. In an Ectopic pregnancy, the egg implants in the fallopian tube on the way to the uterus.

3. Is Intrauterine Pregnancy Normal Pregnancy?

Yes. Intrauterine is a standard form of pregnancy, where the embryo implantation occurs inside the uterus. 

Read Also: Blighted Ovum (Early Pregnancy Failure)

Gayathri Lakshminarayanan,CA, B.Com

Gayathri’s passion for writing had its foundation at the very early stages of her life when she was on her college editorial board and also won several awards for writing events and book review competitions. She combines her corporate experience with her writing skills and her experience as a homemaker makes her an empathetic contributor in the parenting domain . Her shift from full-time accounting professional to a homemaker gave her career a new direction.Read more.

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