Category - Pregnancy Care

How Soon After Implantation Can I Test?

Implantation is the literal attachment of a fertilized egg to the wall of the uterus. This process occurs at the start pf pregnancy, and the famed implantation bleeding may or may not occur – every woman and pregnancy is different.

Eager mothers-to-be always ask the same question: how soon after implantation can I test?

The answer is: it depends.

What kind of test would you like to take?

2 Pregnancy Test Methods

There are two basic forms of pregnancy tests: at-home and blood tests. Women often choose to use the at-home tests because they’re less expensive than going to a doctor, and the accuracy rate for these tests has improved greatly in recent years.

Blood Tests

The blood tests are performed at a doctor’s office or in a clinic. And you’ll need to go to the office and have your blood taken. The blood will be checked for:

  • hCG

Pregnancy causes the “pregnancy hormone,” or hCG to be produced. The placenta causes the hormone production to begin. Tumors can cause this hormone, too, so there is a risk of a pregnancy test being false.

But the doctor will be able to provide a thorough examination and ensure that you’re pregnant.

This is the benefit of a blood test – you’re working with a professional that can ensure you’re in optimal health and guide you through a healthy pregnancy. When you take an at-home test, you’ll need to visit the doctor eventually to be checked.

But since the at-home tests are so cheap, it makes sense to wait for a positive test before paying for a doctor’s visit.

At-Home Tests

cartoon style picture of a woman who's holding a pregnancy testing kit with a smiling face at home At-home pregnancy tests also detect hCG, but the test will detect the hormone in the urine instead of in the blood. This is very important to understand because the hormone is detected in the blood before it’s detected in the urine.

Women often find that blood tests provide faster results. But it’s just a matter of days.

Blood tests can detect hCG as early as 6-8 days after ovulation. At-home tests can take 10+ days to show a positive result.

Every woman’s body is different, so she may not produce hCG as fast as the next woman. If the test is false, it’s recommended that four days’ time passes before testing again for best results.

Implantation: A 3-Step Process

Implantation occurs on the 6th day after an egg is fertilized, and the implantation will successfully finish on the 12th day. Again, this is the average amount of time it takes for implantation to occur.Human anatomy. development of the embryo. From ovulation to implantation. Fertilization, zygote, cleavage, morula, blastocyst

The process may be shorter or longer.

A 3-step process occurs over this six-day period:

  1. Ovum attachment
  2. Implantation of the endometrium
  3. Fixation and healing of the mucous lining

Implantation bleeding occurs during the second step – if it occurs at all. This is when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining.

Hormones dictate the implantation process.

The ovum produces hCG while the placenta is being formed. This allows for the body to prepare for the child.

How Soon After Implantation Can I Test?

If implantation has occurred, hCG levels in the body will increase. These levels are what all pregnancy tests use to test for pregnancy. Each at-home test will rely on the sensitivity of the test and the amount of hCG found in the urine.

Trace amounts of hCG won’t trigger a positive test.

During the first 8 weeks of pregnancy, hCG levels will double every 2 days on average. This allows for levels to be monitored and tested rapidly. And this is why if a test is negative, it’s recommended that you wait an additional 4 days before testing to allow hCG levels to ramp up and increase the accuracy of the test.

In most cases, hCG levels will have a 25mIU/ml level (enough to be detected in the blood) 4 – 5 days after implantation.

This is before your expected period.

But in the urine, it will take 6 – 7 days before hCG levels reach 25mIU/ml.

If you believe implantation has occurred, it’s best to wait a few additional days before taking a pregnancy test. The reason for this is simple:

  • Higher mIU/ml levels are more accurate.

Every at-home test will list how early they can detect pregnancy. A test that can detect pregnancy at 20mIU/ml can be taken very early (in 4 days in most cases), while a 40mIU/ml detection requires 7 – 9 days to pass after implantation to provide accurate results.

If you’re confident that implantation has occurred, wait 7 – 10 days before testing for best results.

Accuracy and Implantation Bleeding

hCG levels rise lower for some pregnancies. A woman that is going through an ectopic pregnancy will have a slower rising hCG level than her counterparts. This causes inaccuracies when testing, and a lot of false negatives.

Negative tests – even if you believe you’ve had implantation bleeding – are possible.pregnancy testing kit showing you what the negative and positive results are like

There’s a few reasons for negative tests:

  • You’re not pregnant
  • You tested too early
  • Tumors
  • Hemolysis
  • Lipidemia

Laboratory errors are possible, too. If you’ve missed your period and an at-home test is negative, wait a few days a retest. If you continue to produce negative tests and your period has yet to present, a visit to the doctor is recommended.

Confirming a Positive Test After Implantation Bleeding

Women often only know that implantation occurs because of bleeding, and just one in three women will produce implantation bleeding. So, there is a chance you didn’t bleed but you’re still pregnant.

There are tell-tale signs of pregnancy that cannot be ignored:12 signs of pregnancy symptoms shown by a woman in different ways

  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Swollen breasts
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • No period

An ultrasound is advised if you need to confirm your pregnancy. This will provide a foulproof method of determining if you’re with child.

The fetal heartbeat will be heard 24 days after fertilization when a woman’s hCG levels have surpassed the 1000 mIU/ml mark.

At this point, all pregnancy tests should be positive.

False Pregnancy Tests: There’s Still Hope

A false pregnancy test can be heartbreaking. You’ve been trying to have a child for months, and a false test means another false hope. Will you ever get pregnant? Is there something wrong with you? Is there something wrong with him?a lady holding a pregnancy testing kit showing negative result

These questions and more will flow through a woman’s mind.

It’s heartbreaking.

But false pregnancy tests do happen.

Surveys show that 62% of women will retest even if the test is positive because they fear that the test is wrong. You should wait 4 days before testing again if the test is positive to allow enough of the pregnancy hormone to accumulate in the body.

And do yourself a favor and test when you wake up first thing in the morning.

The idea is that the pregnancy hormone will accumulate in the bladder overnight. This allows for the highest level of hCG to be present during your first urination of the day. If you test after drinking a gallon of water, you’ll dilute the urine so much that the hormone will be in trace amounts and undetectable.

Another 60% of women take their pregnancy test an entire week too early, so ensure you’ve waited long enough before testing.

A staggering 65.1% of tests taken 8 days after ovulation were negative, so try and wait until the 10-day mark to test. There’s also the fact that 10% of women don’t go through implantation until after their missed period.

There is a low risk of a woman getting a negative pregnancy test even though she is pregnant – just 5%. Of course, you’ll need to wait until the hormones reach a readable level for this statistic to hold true.

False negatives are very common, and this happens in 9 out of 15 women (so over half of women will have a false negative test).

The shocking statistic is that some women will not have a positive test until 7 – 8 weeks into her pregnancy. hCG levels may not rise quickly, and it can take a long time before a woman realizes she is pregnant.

A good indicator, even if the test is negative, is a missed period.

If you’re weeks past your period date and your test is negative, visit your doctor and have a blood test taken. Not only may you be pregnant, you may also be suffering from a medical condition that’s causing your period issues.

In either case, the right choice is to go to the doctor to get a confirmation on your health and pregnancy status.

Is Clear Discharge Normal? 4 Remedies for Your Discharge Blues

If you thought your period was the only time fluids came out of your vagina, you’re in for a surprise: discharge is a normal part of life in between periods. Clear discharge is perfectly normal, and you may see it a few times during your cycle.

But why do you get clear discharge in the first place? And is there ever a time when discharge is abnormal?

4 Types of Discharge

a pregnant woman without showing her face holding a sanitary napkins with the words vaginal discharge on itThroughout your cycle, you may experience different types of discharge. Some women may also notice that the consistency and color of their discharge changes as they age.

In most cases, discharge is normal, but the color, texture and smell will tell you if something is wrong.

Some of the most common types of normal vaginal discharge you may experience include:

1. Clear Stretchy Discharge

Clear stretchy or clear sticky discharge is typically caused by ovulation. The discharge should have no smell, and resemble egg whites in texture and consistency.

When you approach ovulation, estrogen levels rise and cause your cervix to release more “fertile quality” mucus.

The reason your discharge is clear and stretchy or sticky is because it helps the sperm move up through the vagina to fertilize the egg. Your discharge actually acts as a protective medium for the sperm.

So if your discharge is stretchy, sticky or even a little creamy, there’s a good chance that you’re ovulating. If you’re trying to get pregnant, now is a good time to get busy.

2. Clear Slimy Discharge

Clear slimy discharge may also be a sign of ovulation, but it’s more common to see this type of discharge just after and before your period.

It’s completely normal to see clear discharge before your period. You may also notice that your discharge is white or creamy in color and slimy. This is also normal, and can happen at any time during your cycle.

Some women may see slimy, creamy discharge in the early stages of pregnancy.

3. Clear Gooey Discharge

Clear and gooey discharge may also occur during ovulation, but it may also be a sign of a yeast infection.

The egg-white consistency of ovulation mucus can sometimes appear gooey, but if it’s gooey and looks like cottage cheese, that is abnormal. If your discharge is gooey and lumpy, there’s a good chance a yeast infection is to blame.

A yeast infection will also cause other symptoms in the vaginal area, including:

  • Itching
  • Burning or pain during urination
  • Pain

Not all women experience a clumpy, gooey discharge when they have a yeast infection, but those that do may also notice a yeast-like smell.

In most cases, gooey discharge is just a sign of ovulation. If you’re seeing this type of discharge mid-way through your cycle and don’t have any other symptoms, ovulation is the likely cause.

4. Snot Like Discharge

Snot like discharge can be normal, but it may also be a sign of infection. The color and smell will tell you whether it’s time to see a doctor.

If the discharge is white and just snot-like in appearance, it may just be a sign of ovulation.

But if the discharge is green or yellow and has a foul odor, infection is the likely cause.

There are several reasons why your discharge may turn green, or take on a snotty-like appearance.

1. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by bacteria. If left untreated, the infection can damage your reproductive organs.

Most women experience mild symptoms – or none at all – with chlamydia, but this infection can cause serious complications, including infertility.sexual health

Common symptoms of chlamydia include:

  • Green or yellow, foul-smelling discharge
  • Burning during urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal and/or lower back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Bleeding after sex

If you are sexually active, it’s important to get tested for STIs. Chlamydia is easily cured with antibiotics in the early stages of the infection.

2. Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is another common STI that affects sexually active women and is caused by a parasite. Experts estimate that about 20% of women will develop this infection during their reproductive years.

The most common symptom with this infection is a green, frothy and fishy-smelling discharge. The unpleasant odor is quite strong with this STI, and the discharge may be accompanied by soreness and irritation in the vaginal area.

Some women may also experience:

  • Burning during urination
  • Lesions in the vaginal walls and cervix

Lower abdominal pain is rare, but can happen.

Like with chlamydia and many other STIs, trichomoniasis is easily treated with antibiotics.

3. Bacterial Vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis, or BV, is another common reason for green discharge, and this infection produces a very strong fishy smell.

BV occurs when there’s an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the vagina. You cannot contract this infection from your partner because it is caused by bacteria that is already in your vagina.

The most common symptom with BV is a foul, fishy smell in the vaginal area. The smell may be stronger after having sex or during your period.

Green or gray and watery discharge is also common with BV. Soreness and irritation is not common with BV.

In some cases, BV causes no symptoms. If left untreated, it may develop into pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).

4. Gonorrhea

Another very common STI, gonorrhea can cause abnormal discharge as well as other symptoms. This STI is caused by bacteria that can grow and multiply in warm, moist areas of the reproductive tract.

Gonorrhea can also affect the eyes, throat, mouth and anus.

One of the oldest STIs, gonorhea primarily affects the cervix in women, although it can spread to fallopian tubes and the uterus.

More than half of women experience no symptoms with this STI, especially in the early stages. Those that do have symptoms may experience:human anatomy gonorrhea signs and symptoms in female and male

  • Frequent urination
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Irritation or itching in the vaginal area
  • Green or yellow discharge
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Bleeding in between periods

If you suspect you might have gonorrhea, it’s important to see your doctor to get tested and treated as soon as possible.

5. Lichen Sclerosus

In some cases, green discharge may be the result of Lichen Sclerosus, a disorder that causes skin changes in the vulva.

The disorder starts off with the appearance of small white patches on the skin. These patches later grown and change in texture to become thin and wrinkled. As the patches thin, they are easily torn. Purple and red bruises are common.

6. Foreign Object

Green, snotty discharge may also be caused by a foreign object in the vagina, commonly tampons. A forgotten tampon may be left in the vagina for days, or bits of a broken condom may get stuck in the vaginal canal.

woman's lower body with just an white underwear and her hands putting on the vaginal and uterus If a foreign object is causing the discharge, you may also experience:

  • Bleeding or spotting
  • Itching
  • A foul odor
  • Discomfort during urination
  • Pelvic pain
  • Swelling of the vagina
  • Skin redness
  • A rash in the vaginal area

If your green discharge is accompanied by any of the symptoms above, see your doctor right away to have the object removed.

2 Causes for Vaginal Discharge

Now that you know what types of discharge there are, you may be wondering why you get it in the first place.

What causes discharge, and what is its purpose?

What is Discharge?

Just to clear things up: discharge is the vagina’s way of cleaning itself and keeping itself healthy.

Changes to vaginal mucus are caused by hormone production in the body, which is why discharge increases and changes texture during ovulation.

But mucus can also change during arousal. When you’re sexually aroused, blood flow increases to the vulva, vagina and clitoris. This increased blood flow creates swelling, which is called vasocongestion.

Vasocongestion causes a “sweating” reaction, which lubricates the walls of the vagina. The lubrication and mucus combine to create female sexual secretions. These secretions may contain amino acids, carbohydrates, protein and acids produced by lactobacillus, a type of bacteria.

Reasons for Vaginal Discharge

There are several reasons why your vagina releases discharge, and we’ve already covered quite a few of them:

  • Ovulation, which can cause:
    • Mucus like discharge
    • Thick clear discharge
  • Yeast infection
  • STIs

But there are other reasons the vagina secretes discharge.

1. Vulvovaginitis

Vulvovaginitis is a condition that causes an infection or inflammation in the vagina or vulva. A very common condition, vulvovaginitis will affect about 30% of women in their lifetime.

There are several things that can trigger this condition, but the most common cause is bacteria. Other causes include:black and white human anatomy vagina

  • Parasites
  • Viruses
  • Yeast
  • STIs
  • Environment
  • Chemical irritants
  • Allergens

Symptoms may vary and will depend on the cause of the infection. General symptoms can include:

  • Itching
  • Irritation in the vaginal area
  • Painful urination
  • Inflammation in the labia
  • Increased, foul-smelling discharge.

2. Pregnancy

Pregnancy is another cause for discharge, and women typically secrete more mucus than normal during this exciting time.

Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy lead to an increase of discharge, and it may change in color or appearance.

Because yeast infections are common during pregnancy, it’s important to keep a close eye on the texture, smell and color of the discharge.

4 Things to Do if You Have Discharge

Discharge will typically disappear on its own, but there are things you can do to lessen the amount of mucus you see.

Please note that if your discharge is abnormal, you need to see a doctor right away.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help restore your vagina’s natural pH levels, which can help normalize your discharge. Its antiseptic and acidic properties also help restore the good bacteria in the vagina, which reduces odors and helps prevent infection.a pot of apple cider vinegar and several apples on the wooden desk

There are two simple ways to use ACV to treat discharge:

  • Drink it. Mix one or two tablespoons of raw ACV into a glass of water, and enjoy.
  • Mix equal amounts of ACV and distilled water. Use the solution as a vaginal wash once or twice per day. Do not douche with the mixture.

Douching is not recommended – with ACV, plain water or any other product. In fact, douching can disrupt the natural bacterial balance in the vagina.

2. Indian Gooseberry

indian gooseberry in a bamboo basket on the wooden tableAlso known as amla, Indian gooseberry is extremely beneficial for the vagina thanks to its antibacterial properties. This berry is also high in immune-boosting vitamin C.

Indian gooseberry is commonly found in health food stores in powder form. To use the powder as a remedy for discharge:

  • Mix two teaspoons with enough honey to form a thick paste. Take the mixture twice a day for a week.
  • Add one teaspoon to a cup of boiling water. Add a teaspoon of honey, and drink the mixture on an empty stomach.

3. Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek is a spice that has been used for centuries to help treat feminine issues. The seeds of the plant have saponins, which stimulate the release of certain hormones from the pituitary gland.

The pituitary gland is called the “master gland” because it supports the thyroid, adrenal glands, ovaries and testes. It’s for this reason that the seeds are believed to affect estrogen levels in the body.

They also work as a potent immune booster.

The easiest way to take advantage of the benefits of fenugreek seeds is to drink it in tea form. But you can also create a vaginal wash.

  • Boil two teaspoons in four cups of water for half an hour. Strain the liquid, and allow it to cool. Use the mixture as a vaginal wash a few times per day.
  • Soak a teaspoon of the seeds in water, and allow the mixture to sit overnight. Strain the water the next morning, and add honey to taste. Drink the tea on an empty stomach.

4. See Your Doctor

If your vaginal discharge is caused by pregnancy or an infection, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible to get treatment. Your doctor will be able to prescribe medication to clear up the infection. If you’re pregnant, your doctor will help ensure that you and the baby are healthy.

5 Types of Cervical Mucus and What Cervical Mucus After Ovulation Can Tell You

Cervical mucus is a fluid that’s produced by your cervix. The cervix will expel mucus as a response to estrogen level increases, but you can check your own mucus, too. Don’t worry, we’ll discuss how to check and examine your cervical mucus at the end of this article.

When you check your cervical mucus, you’ll be able to determine where you’re at in your menstrual cycle.

Women who want to get pregnant will learn what cervical mucus after ovulation looks like, so that they know they’re at a point in their cycle where they have a lower chance of pregnancy. The mucus also changes after pregnancy, so a woman will check her cervical mucus to determine if pregnancy has occurred. And the types of cervical mucus are a proven way to determine the precise point in your cycle.

The 5 Types of Cervical Mucus

Cervical mucus (not discharge) is an indicator of hormonal changes in the body. Hormone levels result in thicker mucus, or thinner mucus. Even the color may change from a translucent color to a creamy white.

11 different traits of different types of cervical mucus which is shown by a hand with real cervical mucus in it

Photo by Stephanie

There are five main types of cervical mucus:

  1. Dry and Sticky: This is cervical mucus after menstruation.
  2. White, Creamy Color and Sticky: This is the mucus that comes during pre-ovulation.
  3. Watery and Wet: Another pre-ovulation change that indicates ovulation is on the way. This is the time when a woman wants to increase her sexual intercourse in hopes of getting pregnant.
  4. Egg White and Stretchy: Cervical mucus during ovulation is egg white in color, and it stretches between the fingers, too. This is cervical mucus before a period.
  5. Dry and Sticky: This is the cervical mucus after ovulation and before your period begins. The amount of mucus decreases during this phase and becomes sticky.

These are the five main changes a woman will experience during her cycle. If you’re trying to judge when you’re going to have your period, you’ll want to look at the cervical mucus after ovulation. The mucus should go from egg white in color and stretchy to sticky and dry with a noticeable decrease in the amount of mucus.

All five types of mucus can be used as indicators that can help you get pregnant.

Cervical Mucus During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is gradual, and just as there are three trimesters, the body will undergo numerous changes or phases where the cervical mucus changes in consistency. But before we discuss these changes in detail, it’s important to know the purpose of cervical mucus, and why it’s vital to your reproductive system.

Cervical mucus stops bacteria from entering the reproductive system.

Mucus is the barrier, and this is essential to the health of your reproductive system. If bacteria are allowed to enter, you’ll have:a pregnant woman showing her uterus with his hands on top and bottom

  • Infections
  • Higher risk of STDs

And some STDs will alter the mucus, making it easier to get these infections.

When the mucus becomes egg white in color and sticky, this is the mucus providing a healthy environment to get pregnant. The mucus changes to protect a male’s sperm and provide an environment that allows the sperm to swim with ease.

Estrogen plays a role in the mucus changes in the body, and when pregnant, estrogen levels will fluctuate.

When pregnant, the cervix moves to a lower position than you’re used to normally. This is to protect the fetus, and it’s a sign that pregnancy is moving along as it should be. Cervical mucus will thicken when you become pregnant to protect the baby from any outside bacteria that can caused harm.

In fact, the mucus will become so thick that it forms an eventual mucus plug.

The mucus plug is the ultimate protector of the fetus, and women often use the plug’s coming out to know that labor is on the way.

During early pregnancy, the cervical mucus will be:

  • White
  • Creamy
  • Odorless

If you’re newly pregnant, you may notice a tinge of pink or brown in your mucus, too. This color difference is a result of implantation blood in some cases, or it can be the reproductive system ridding itself of the last remaining dried blood left over from your past menstrual cycles.

Cervical mucus increases during pregnancy until the plug forms.

Mucus increases to help increase the vagina’s blood flow. Cervical mucus during early pregnancy is not a cause for alarm. Cervical mucus during pregnancy is perfectly normal and healthy, too.

If you have no discharge before a period, this may be a sign of early pregnancy.

Remember, the discharge will be drier and stickier after ovulation if you’re not pregnant. But if you’re pregnant, you’ll have no discharge (in some cases) which can be an indicator that you’ve successfully conceived.

4 Tips to Check Cervical Mucus

If you’re intrigued and want to check your cervical mucus, it’s a simple process. Anytime you plan to insert anything into the vagina, you’ll want to make sure everything is clean. This brings us to our first tip:6 steps to show you how to wash your hands

  1. Clean Your Hands Well

You’ll be inserting your pointer and middle finger into your vagina. This is required to view the mucus up close, and your hands are chock-full of bad bacteria. You’ve touched your dog, door knobs (filled with bacteria) and numerous other things that have left bacteria on your hands.

Clean your hands well before proceeding.

Tip: Check your mucus after taking a shower to ensure your entire body is clean. This will lower the risks of an infection or bacteria entering the cervix.

  1. Insert Your Finger(s) and Check the Mucus

You’ll need to insert your fingers into the vagina to examine the mucus. If you remove your finger(s) and don’t notice any mucus, you’ll need to insert deeper. This is a difficult process to judge, so it might take a few tries before knowing how deep to insert your fingers.

a gesture with fore finger and middle finger up when inserting into vagina

Photo by Stephanie

But don’t worry – you won’t be doing yourself any harm.

Just take it slow. You may also want to:

  • Trim your nails (ouch)
  • Remove rings or hand jewelry

You don’t want to use a lubricant because this may alter the appearance of texture of the cervical mucus.

  1. Adjust Your Positioning to Your Preference

You need to find a comfortable position to insert your fingers into your vagina. If you don’t find a comfortable position, you’ll cause pain and discomfort, or you’ll stop trying to check your cervical mucus altogether.

A few positions that seem to work best for most women, and feel free to try any you prefer, include:

  • Squatting– When in a squat, it’s easier to insert your fingers deeper into the vagina. You’ll want to do this in your bedroom or bathroom, but most certainly do this in a private place.
  • Leg Up – If you’re in the bathroom or close to a chair, lift one leg up and place it on the toilet or other surface. This position gives you ample room to insert your fingers and allows for deeper penetration.

These are the two go-to positions, and you can also try positions while laying down to find what works best for you.

Again, any position that allows for deep insertion and easy entry is great.

  1. Spread Your Fingers Afterwards

If you want to see what your cervical mucus after ovulations looks like, you’ll need to first see what mucus looks like during ovulation. A prime characteristic of mucus during ovulation is that it’s stretchy.

Inserting your pointer and middle finger into your vagina allows you to judge this stickiness accordingly.

human anatomy showing how to insert fingers into vagina to check out the cervical mucus

Photo by Stephanie

 

When you remove your fingers:

  • Spread them apart
  • Note the length the mucus spreads
  • Note the stickiness of the mucus

If the cervical mucus spreads an inch or more, this is a sign of ovulation. This is the time when you’ll want to ramp up your sex life if you’re trying to get pregnant.

But if you remove your finger and it’s dry and sticky, you’ll be looking at mucus after ovulation.

The only benefit of being able to examine and properly note your mucus at this time is:

  • You’ll know when your period is close

If you’ve been trying to get pregnant, you can use this mucus to determine if pregnancy occurred. This should be done with something along the lines of charting your basal temperature, and of course, you’ll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm your findings.

Never announce to your family that you’re pregnant based off your cervical mucus alone – it’s a recipe for disaster.

Cervical mucus is an indicator of which stage of your menstrual cycle you’re actively in at any given moment during your cycle.

What Does Implantation Feel Like? 4 Remedies for Implantation Pain

Implantation is one of the first stages of pregnancy, and one of the first signs if you’re lucky enough to feel it happening. Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or your suspected pregnancy is unplanned, you may be wondering what implantation feels like, and what you can do about the pain.

What Is Implantation?

Implantation occurs when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterus. As one of the first stages of pregnancy, implantation typically occurs 6-12 days after the egg is fertilized.

When ovulation occurs, an egg is released from the ovary. Sperm have about 24 hours to fertilize the egg after it’s released.

A newly fertilized egg is called a “zygote.” The zygote travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Along the way, the egg multiples into two, then four, and then eight more cells.

Once the egg reaches the uterus about five to six days later, it becomes a “blastocyst” and is about the size of a pin head. The blastocyst burrows itself into the lining of the uterus within one to two days.

Because the blastocyst is so tiny, women rarely experience any symptoms when implantation occurs. But some women do experience symptoms.

a girl's head with several question marks and the words symptoms of implantation above her head

Photo by Stephanie

Symptoms of Implantation

Cramping and pain are typically mild, but every pregnancy and woman is different. Some women experience more intense cramping or pain than others.

What Causes Implantation Pain?

a woman lying on the bed with a painful expression on her face

Photo by Stephanie

Most women experience no symptoms when implantation occurs, but those that do typically experience pain and/or cramping.

The pain is typically mild, and the cramping is often described as being similar to what you’d experience during your period. Some women feel a slight twinge, and then nothing at all. Others will experience cramping for a few hours or a day, and may think they’re getting their period.

But why do some women experience pain or cramping, and others don’t? What causes the pain?

Implantation pain and cramping occurs because the egg is burrowing itself into the lining of the uterus. That burrowing action is what causes discomfort, and is also what makes many women believe they’re getting their period when implantation occurs. After all, the uterus sheds its lining during menstruation, which causes similar sensations.

Is It Implantation, Or Something Else?

You’re experiencing cramping and some light spotting. Is it implantation, or something else? It’s hard to know for sure because it’s still too early to take a pregnancy test. Other conditions can cause similar symptoms, including:

a woman's belly with a large red spot on it and the words what is endometriosis above it

Photo by Stephanie

Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue migrates and grows outside of the womb, and then breaks down each month during your period.

About five million women have this condition, which can cause:

  • Severe cramps that radiate throughout the lower body.

Cramping typically occurs at the same time as your period, which can cause very severe pain.

Doctors diagnose this condition using a laparoscopy to perform biopsies and examine the tissue.

Hormone therapy and birth control can be used to shrink endometrial tissues. In some cases, surgery may be performed to remove the growths. In severe cases of endometriosis, a hysterectomy is the only real treatment option.

a woman lying on the ground with the words two simple and effective pelvic floor exercises above her

Photo by Stephanie

Pelvic Floor Tension Myalgia

Pelvic floor tension myalgia occurs when tension builds up in the pelvic floor muscles, which support the pelvic organs. This condition can lead to:

  • Itching, burning and pain in the vagina
  • Achiness or heaviness in the pelvis

A physical exam is performed to diagnose the condition. The most effective treatment options include pelvic floor physical therapy to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.

Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

a woman's belly with her hands on it indicating that she is suffering a pain in the uterus

Photo by Stephanie

Pelvic congestion syndrome is caused by varicose veins in the pelvis. When these veins become weak and do not close properly, the blood pools and causes pressure or pain in the pelvis.

About seven million women have this condition, which can cause:

  • An aching, dull, or throbbing pain in the pelvis (many women describe it as a “heavy” feeling).
  • Pain that starts out mild, but gets progressively worse throughout the day.
  • Pain that improves when you apply heat or lay down.

Doctors use a transcervical venogram to measure the size of the vein and its blood flow rate. The condition can be treated using a progestin hormone, which has been shown to shrink the veins and decrease pain. If hormone therapy does not work, embolization can be performed, which closes off the veins. The most effective treatment is a hysterectomy, which is a good option for women who do not plan to get pregnant.

Expanding Ligaments

In some cases, pain and cramping can be caused by expanding ligaments during early pregnancy.

The ligaments around the uterus expand to house the developing fetus, which can cause discomfort.

Miscarriage

If the pain and cramping is severe, a miscarriage may be the cause. Implantation can cause light spotting, but with a miscarriage, the bleeding will be heavier and more severe, depending on how far along you were in the pregnancy.

If your cramps and pain get increasingly worse throughout the course of the day, and the bleeding gets heavier, there’s a chance you may be experiencing a miscarriage. Or, you may just be getting your period.

Natural Remedies for Implantation Cramps

For most women, implantation cramps and pain last no more than a few minutes. But for some women, the discomfort can last for a few hours or a day. There are things you can do to alleviate the pain and cramping.

1. Relax – Let Go of Stress

a gils sitting in the couch with a blanket on her knees and snack in her hand Stress and fear are two normal reactions when experiencing unexplained pain or cramping in the pelvis. But stress can cause tension, which leads to even more discomfort.

Take a moment to sit down, relax, and be in the moment. Listen to a guided meditation to help quiet your mind. Take deep breaths, and allow your fear and tension to dissipate.

Stress will only make the cramping and pain worse, so make it a priority to relax and unwind.

2. Take a Warm Bath

a girl taking a warm bath in a large wooden bucketIf you’re having a hard time relaxing, consider taking a warm bath. The heat from the water can help alleviate tension, and melt stress away.

A warm bath will also help relieve cramping by relaxing the ligaments and muscles of your uterus.

Alternatively, you can place a hot compress on your back or pelvis to alleviate the cramping.

3. Over-the-Counter Pain Medication

pills of different colorA mild over-the-counter pain medicine, like ibuprofen or an NSAID, can help alleviate pain and cramping. While the pain is often mild, a pain reliever can help alleviate any discomfort you may be feeling.

Follow the dosage instructions listed on the bottle. In most cases, women need no more than just one or two doses before the pain disappears on its own.

4. Aromatherapy

Another great way to relax – and relieve pain/cramping – is aromatherapy. When certain essential oils are diffused into the air, it can have a calming effect on the body.

different kinds of herbs which can turn into essential oilThe best essential oils for relaxation and stress alleviation include:

  • Lavender
  • Ylang ylang
  • Rose
  • Vetiver
  • Chamomile
  • Bergamot
  • Frankincense
  • Lemon
  • Geranium
  • Marjoram
  • Rosewood

5. Sleep

If you’re experiencing uncomfortable cramping and pain, sleeping can help alleviate discomfort. Taking a nap will give your body time to rest and recover, while giving you a break from the pain and cramps.

Many women find that the pain is gone when they wake up from a much-needed rest.

6. Exercise and Hydrate

Dehydration can make cramping and pain even worse. A little activity can also get the blood moving, and help alleviate the pain.

If your symptoms are causing discomfort, make sure that you stay hydrated to keep the pain and cramping from getting worse.

Going for a brisk walk or engaging in a light workout (or yoga) can also help relieve your symptoms. Try not to overdo it, though. The goal is to get the blood flowing to help alleviate tension.

When to See a Doctor

If you’re experiencing pain and spotting, your first reaction may be to call the doctor, especially if you are not expecting your period.

Mild pain and spotting is normal when implantation occurs, and even during the early stages of pregnancy. But if your symptoms become concerning, then you should see a doctor.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, get medical attention right away:

  • Heavy bleeding with severe cramps
  • Bleeding for more than three or four days
  • Gray or pink tissue in the discharge
  • Tenderness in the abdomen
  • Severe pain

For most women, implantation occurs without them even realizing it. For those that do experience symptoms, light bleeding and cramping (like the cramps you get during your period) are the most common occurrences. While you may be tempted to run out and get a pregnancy test, you’ll need to wait until after your missed period to get accurate results.

4 Causes of Watery Discharge and 5 Methods for Relief

The vagina is the entry to your reproductive system. Your body produces pH to create an acidic environment that prevents bacteria from passing through the cervix. This process ensures that your reproductive system is protected from infection.

Vaginal discharge is normal, and the discharge is the body’s way to cleanse the vagina of bacteria.

Clear, watery discharge is normal in most cases. The clarity of the discharge indicates that the body is doing its job. Your vagina’s pH levels are balanced, and the yeast and healthy bacteria are in good balance when the discharge is watery.

But your discharge will change during your cycle, too. Women can have creamy discharge, little discharge and discharge that is egg-like (ovulation). The good news is that all these discharge levels are normal, and they’re normally not a cause for concern.

Types of Watery Discharge

Watery discharge is standard. Since every woman will produce different volumes of discharge, there is no normal type. If the discharge is simply watery, you can sleep well at night knowing that there’s no cause for concern.

But if other symptoms occur or you have different color discharge, you should be concerned.

If you have the following discharge, you’ll want to seek the help of a doctor:alt

  • Yellow (pale or dark): The presence of yellow discharge is an indicator of gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis. This discharge often smells fishy, and it is accompanied by itching of the vagina and pain when urinating or having intercourse.
  • Cheesy: A woman that has cheesy discharge will note a foul odor, too. This discharge is often a cloudy white that resembles cottage cheese. Yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis are two conditions that may cause cheesy discharge.
  • Green: Discharge that’s green is an indicator of chlamydia or trichomoniasis. This discharge will have a fishy, sour smell and is often accompanied by redness and pelvic pain.
  • Gray: If you’re suffering from gray discharge, this may be a sign of bacterial vaginosis. This condition will cause the discharge to have a strong odor, and it will cause itching and swelling of the vagina.

If the watery discharge has an odor or it’s more white than it is clear, this may be a sign of an infection or something else going on in the body. When we say “watery,” we mean water-like discharge that is clear in color and not white or a faint gray color.

4 Causes of Clear, Watery Discharge

Wet vaginal discharge is normal. Your menstrual cycle will cause a variety of discharge changes, and watery discharge is simply one of those changes. If you’re suffering from other symptoms, a trip to the doctor is recommended.

Women will find that there are four main causes or times when they’ll experience this clear discharge:

1. Ovulation

Ovulation provides the ideal environment to get pregnant. If you want to get pregnant, ovulation provides you with the highest chance of pregnancy. The cervical mucus provides a stretchy, watery environment that allows sperm to swim through the cervix while being protected.alt

Remember, the mucus normally protects against bacteria and infection, but it also helps enhance your chances of pregnancy.

Estrogen levels in the body ramp up during ovulation, and this leads to vaginal discharge. This happens over a period of days, and the body produces 30 times the mucus it normally does during ovulation.

The increase in discharge results in a woman:

  • Experiencing wet panties
  • Noticing discharge trickles

There is an apparent “wetness” that occurs during ovulation. The discharge during ovulation is:

  • Clear
  • Watery
  • Odorless

And it will be followed by a period of dryness, and then your period.

2. During Pregnancy

Are you trying to conceive? If so, you may be pregnant. Some women will notice this watery discharge before taking a pregnancy test and confirming their belief that they’re pregnant. This discharge happens because of hormonal changes as the body prepares for pregnancy. Your hormones will be all over the place.alt

Estrogen levels in the body rise almost immediately after fertilization. These hormones prepare the body for pregnancy, and this will eventually cause a major uptick in cervical mucus. The mucus will become so heavy that it will cause what’s called a “mucus plug.” This plug keeps bacteria from entering the vagina to help protect the fetus until near labor.

Your discharge may even have streaks of blood.

If you have a watery, blood-streaked discharge, this can be a sign of implantation bleeding. Some women will notice spotting, but there are other women that have more of a slight watery discharge with small amounts of blood.

Vaginal discharge will persist during pregnancy, and this is normal unless it’s heavy and red.

If you have bleeding or continual deep red discharge, you’ll want to consult with a doctor to ensure that your baby is developing in a healthy manner.

3. After Intercourse

If you’ve just had sex or notice watery discharge during sex, this is caused by sexual arousal. A woman that’s sexually aroused, as she will be during intercourse, will find that the discharge isn’t from the vagina.alt

There are two glands above the vagina that cause the discharge to occur.

Your body produces this discharge to lubricate the vagina to help make penetration easier. Sometimes, women will notice that they have watery discharge for hours after sex. This is a sign that the glands haven’t stopped producing the discharge.

This is a normal occurrence and will stop on its own.

4. Watery Discharge During Period

Water can’t exit the vagina unless it’s forced into the vagina. This is an abnormal occurrence, and some women will experience this discharge without any clear reason. Many OBGYNs don’t understand why the watery discharge occurs during a period.alt

There’s a risk that you may have:

  • Fibroids
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • An STD
  • Polyps

Many women complain of their panties being soaked with this discharge during their period, and no one seems to have a clear understanding of why this happens.

You’ll want to consult with your physician and undergo testing.

Treatment for Watery Discharge

There’s really no treatment for watery discharge, so if you have clear liquid discharge, you’ll want to go the natural route to help alleviate the condition. If you do have an STD that’s causing the discharge, this will require medication for the condition to crease.

5 Ways to Ease Watery Discharge Discomfort

Methods of helping to calm the discharge are common sense, but many women will fail to do them. If the discharge is causing discomfort, consult your doctor. Otherwise, you can try the following to help ease:

  1. Use Baby Wipesalt

Make use of your purse. Baby wipes are a great way to help clean the vagina and keep the area bacteria-free. These wipes shouldn’t be inserted in the vagina. Simply clean the outside of the vagina to alleviate any smells or wetness that’s causing discomfort.

If possible, choose an unscented baby wipe.

The fewer chemicals, the better.

  1. Use Pads

I don’t recommend keeping a tampon in to solve watery discharge. But you can use pads to ensure that your undies stay dry. Always offers very thin pads that are comfortable and work to absorb any liquid that may be expelled.

These pads don’t come with wings, and they absorb within seconds.

This is a great way to stop the wet feeling that leaves you feeling self-conscious and uncomfortable throughout the day.

  1. Change Your Underwear Oftenalt

If your underwear is getting wet fast, you’ll want to keep a fresh pair in your purse. This allows you to change your underwear as it gets wet to avoid any discomfort. You’ll also want to change your underwear to ensure that no bacteria buildup occurs.

It’s not uncommon for the moist and wet environment to cause bacteria growth in the panties.

And this bacterium can lead to infection, which is not fun.

  1. Increase the “Air”

If you can, sleep naked at night without pants or underwear. Place a towel down on the bed to ensure that the bed doesn’t get wet. This airing out allows you to decrease the risk of infection and reduces irritation.

An issue of bacteria imbalance will benefit from airing out.

The body will sort out the bacteria imbalance on its own in most cases.

  1. Boost Your Immune System With Natural Herbs

Watery discharge isn’t an indicator of healthy issues, but there’s a small risk that the discharge will transition into an infection. This happens when other symptoms are present, and the discharge will often change colors instead of staying clear.alt

A few natural herbs and products that can help you boost your immune system to fight off potential infection are:

  • Vitamin C
  • D-Mannose
  • Saraca ashoka
  • Cimicifuga Racemosa

You can also try to cleanse the urinary tract with cranberry juice to stop an infection before it progresses.

Again, this may be overkill, but it’s never a bad idea to help boost your immune system and clean out the reproductive system.

Watery discharge is common, and there often isn’t a cause for concern. Since clear discharge is part of the normal menstrual cycle, it often occurs monthly without concern. If you notice a gush of discharge that can soak a tampon, consult with your doctor. If any symptoms accompany this discharge, proper medical care is recommended.

9 Causes of Bloody Discharge & 3 Remedies to Try

Whether you just started your period or are approaching perimenopause, you know that discharge is just a normal part of your cycle. Think of it as your body’s way of cleaning up. But what happens if your discharge is bloody? Should you be worried?

The good news? Bloody discharge is usually nothing to worry about, but there are times when it’s a sign that something is wrong.

What Does Normal Discharge Look Like?

whether your discharge is normal or not

Photo by Stephanie

 

It’s perfectly normal to get some discharge throughout your monthly cycle. But what constitutes as normal? Every woman is different, but the texture and color of normal discharge is typically the same from woman to woman.

Generally, normal discharge will have the following properties:

  • Color: Clear or white in color, and may look yellow when dried.
  • Odor: Mild, or none at all.
  • Volume: Can vary from a little to a lot. You may see more discharge when you’re sexually aroused or during ovulation.
  • Texture: Varies from paste-like consistency to sticky and stretchy.

It’s perfectly normal to get some heavier discharge from time to time, especially if you’ve just started hormonal birth control pills or become pregnant.

As you can see, red vaginal discharge isn’t exactly normal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something seriously wrong (although there might be).

【Read more about Implantation Bleeding Color】

9 Causes of Bloody Discharge

There are many reasons you might be getting blood tinged vaginal discharge – some harmless, and others serious.

1. Implantation

If you’ve recently had unprotected sex, implantation may be the reason for your bloody discharge.

During ovulation, an egg is released from the ovaries. If you have sex around this time, sperm from your partner may fertilize the egg.

About 9 days after fertilization, the egg will reach the uterus, and implant itself into its walls. Implantation can sometimes cause bleeding, which can mix with your normal discharge to make it appear bloody.

If you’re seeing watery bloody discharge, implantation may be the cause.

【Read more about implantation bleeding】

2. Menstruation

If you’re seeing red or bloody discharge just before your period is expected to start, it may just be some menstrual blood mixing in with your normal discharge.

You may also see blood-tinged discharge at the end of your period. Typically, the blood is brown or very dark red in color. There’s little cause for concern if the discharge is showing up just before your period.

【Read more about Implantation Bleeding,or Period?】

3. Rough Sex

In the heat of passion, it’s easy to get a little overzealous and have rougher sex than usual. All that heated action can cause minor bleeding, which may exit the body through your normal discharge and turn it red or pink in color.

If rough sex is the cause for your bloody discharge, there’s little to worry about. But you may want to take it easy to prevent it from happening again – or causing a more serious injury.

【Read more about Pink Discharge】

4. Birth Control

If you’ve recently started taking birth control pills, this may be the cause of your bloody discharge.

Birth control alters hormone levels in the body, particularly estrogen levels, so you may see some abnormal cartoon style pictures of birth control pills condoms and other stuff uesd as contraception discharge or even spotting in between periods for the first few months.

You may also experience blood in your discharge if you:

  • Switch birth controls
  • Stop using birth control after using for an extended period of time
  • Forget to take your pill, take the pill incorrectly, or fail to take them at the same time every day

Bloody discharge or spotting can also occur when using Depo-Provera injections, implants and IUDs.

5. Gonorrhea

A common sexually transmitted infection (STI), gonorrhea can sometimes cause bloody discharge. If you’ve been sexually active with multiple partners or your partner has been unfaithful, you may have contracted this infection.

If caught early on, gonorrhea can easily be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, it can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID, which can cause some serious reproductive issues. PID is one of the most common causes of infertility in women.

Some women experience no symptoms, but those that do may experience:

  • Heavy bleeding during menstruation
  • Burning during urination
  • Painful sex
  • Spotting in between periods
  • Yellow, or bloody discharge with a foul odor

6. Hormonal Imbalance

Even if you’re not on birth control, a hormonal imbalance may still be to blame for your symptoms. Thyroid issues, hormone replacement therapy and menopause can all cause an imbalance.

Your doctor will be able to determine whether your hormones are to blame for your bloody discharge.

7. Cancer

While rare, endometrial and cervical cancers can also cause bloody discharge. These cancers are typically caused by the Human Papilloma Virus, better known as HPV.

Other symptoms of endometrial cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding (occurs in 90% of patients)
  • Pelvic pain
  • Unexplained weight loss

cartoon style pictures of a woman who shows different stages of cervical cancer symptoms with different pictureOther symptoms of cervical cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Swelling or pain in the legs
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Bone fractures

Because bloody discharge can be an early sign of these cancers, it’s important to see a doctor to have your discharge investigated.

8. Irritation or Infection

cartoon style picture of a woman's lower body with just an underwear and her hands putting on each thighIf you’re sexually active, infection or irritation may be to blame for your symptoms. If you have an infection, you may also experience:

  • Pain
  • Itching
  • Burning when urinating
  • Fever

Infections are cause for concern and warrant a visit with your doctor.

Irritation can be caused by a variety of things, including:

  • Deodorant sprays
  • Douching
  • Allergies
  • Perfumed soaps
  • Fluctuating hormone levels
  • Sex

If irritation is causing the bloody discharge, your symptoms should be short-lived. If they persist for more than a few days, schedule a visit with your doctor.

9. Foreign Objects

Sometimes, foreign objects in the vagina can cause abnormal bleeding or bloody discharge. In most cases, a forgotten tampon is to blame. Depending on how long the object has been in the vagina, a doctor may be required for removal.

3 Ways to Treat Bloody Discharge

If you’re seeing bloody discharge, it’s important to schedule a visit with your doctor to make sure an underlying medical issue isn’t to blame. If your doctor rules out anything serious, there are some things you can do at home to help stop the discharge or prevent it from returning in the future.

1. Change Your Hygiene Routine

A bloody vagina can sometimes be caused by perfumed or harsh hygiene products, like soaps or lotions. A simple change to your personal care products may stop the discharge and prevent it from coming back in the future.

The vagina is an especially sensitive part of the body, and any disruptions to the normal pH or bacterial balance can lead to infections, irritation and other serious issues.

Opt for unscented, gentle soaps and lotions. Many experts recommend avoiding using soap altogether on the vaginal area. Rinsing with water is often more than enough to keep the area clean without disrupting the pH and bacterial balances.

2. Change Your Birth Control

If your birth control pills are to blame for the blood in your discharge, consult with your doctor. Switching to a different birth control may help stop the issue and prevent it in the future.

Birth control implants, rings and injections may also cause bloody discharge or spotting. If your symptoms do not disappear in a few months, your doctor may recommend a different type of birth control to prevent abnormal bleeding.

3. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

cartoon style picture of different kinds of healthy food and sports equipmentHormonal imbalances can be caused by thyroid issues (which requires medical attention), or it may be caused by your lifestyle. Unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and stress can lead to hormonal imbalances that can throw your period out of whack.

Here are some tips to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a healthy diet with plenty of healthy fats
  • Get enough sleep
  • Meditate or practice yoga to de-stress

A nutritionist can help you create a meal plan that works for you, and helps you maintain your body’s natural hormonal balance.

Nutrition plays a key role in keeping your hormones in check. Healthy fats, a balanced intake of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and probiotics can help keep your gut and body healthy.

different kinds of herbs with their names below Adaptogen herbs can also help, such as ashwagandha, maca, rhodiola and holy basil. Adaptogen herbs can:

  • Maintain hormonal balance
  • Reduce depression and anxiety
  • Boost thyroid function
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Support your adrenal gland
  • Stabilize insulin and blood sugar levels
  • Minimize brain cell degeneration

Most of these herbs can be purchased online or in health food stores.

Bloody discharge isn’t always a cause for concern, but if it’s abnormal for you, it’s best to consult with your doctor to see what’s causing the issue. If there are no serious underlying medical conditions, the tips above can help you stop or prevent the discharge in the future.