Category - Implantation Bleeding

9 Causes of Black Vaginal Discharge And What You Can Do About It

You love your little black dress and your favorite pair of black heels, but when it comes to bodily fluids, black is the last color you want to see. What happens if your normally-clear discharge suddenly shows up black? Should you head straight for the emergency room?

Why Do I Have Black Vaginal Discharge? 9 Causes

For most women, discharge is typically clear or a creamy color. Black or reddish brown vaginal discharge can be especially concerning to see because it’s usually an indication that bleeding has occurred at some point. The darker the color, the older the blood.

What can turn your discharge black?

1. Implantation

Implantation occurs between 6 and 12 days after an egg is fertilized, and for some women, is one of the first signs of pregnancy.

During this time, the egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. As the egg burrows, it can cause some bleeding. In most cases, only small amounts of blood are released, but even a tiny amount of blood can turn discharge black or red.

Spotting is most common after implantation, and the blood is typically pink. But if the blood takes a while to get through the body, it may mix with your discharge and appear black or very dark brown in color.

2. A Foreign Body

a woman's lower body of which the uterus has a large red spot which indicates that something is wrong with that partSometimes, a foreign body is the cause of black discharge – and it’s usually accompanied by a pretty distinct smell.

The most common foreign body doctors find in vaginas is a forgotten tampon. When a tampon has been left in for too long, it can cause black or dark brown discharge. You will also notice a foul odor.

If a tampon has been left in long enough to cause black discharge, it will likely need to be removed by a doctor.

Along with dark discharge, you may also experience fever or toxic shock syndrome, a rare but serious complication.

3. Cervical Cancer

Cervical cancer is slow spreading, but if left undetected, it can metastasize to other organs in the body. Early on, this type of cancer rarely presents any symptoms, but when symptoms do appear, black discharge and a foul smell are possible.

4. End of Period

Towards the end of your period, you may notice some brown blood. Brown blood is old blood that has taken a while to move through the body.

Occasionally, old period blood may linger in the body long enough to mix with your normal discharge and turn it black in color.

If the discharge is appearing shortly after your period, then old menstrual blood may be the cause. But if the dark-colored discharge sticks around for more than a few days, something else is likely the cause.

5. Retained Menses

Although retained menses is not a common condition, it may be the cause of black discharge. Retained menses occurs when menstrual blood is trapped in the uterus and cannot exit the body.

The most common cause of retained menses is a hymen that fully (rather than partially) covers the vagina. When menstruation occurs, the blood cannot exit through the vagina.

6. Cervical Stenosis

In older women, cervical stenosis can cause black discharge. Cervical stenosis is the narrowing of the cervix, which can obstruct or drastically slow the flow of menstrual blood.

Other anatomical abnormalities can cause similar results. Most of these abnormalities are present at birth, and may not be treatable.

7. Miscarriage

a baby-shape picture in the beach is about to be washed away by the waves Blackish discharge may also be the result of a miscarriage, particularly if you’re seeing chunky vaginal discharge.

Miscarriage is a concern for every pregnant woman, but many women don’t even know they’re having a miscarriage because it occurs so early on in the pregnancy. In some cases, the loss of the pregnancy occurs around the same time the next period is expected.

Heavy, clotted bleeding may occur during a miscarriage. If everything goes smoothly, all of the products of conception are ejected from the body. But sometimes, they are retained. When this occurs, it is considered a missed abortion.

Missed abortions occur when dilation does not occur to allow all products of conception to be ejected. Eventually, they are released through a black bleed with a foul odor.

8. PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

If the discharge has a foul odor, PID may be to blame. PID can cause black discharge or bleeding as well as painful urination, painful sex and in some cases, a fever.

PID is most commonly caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia.

The condition is only classified as PID if it moves up into the fallopian tubes, uterus or ovaries.

When to See a Doctor

While black discharge may just be old blood being expelled from the body, there are times when it may be a sign of something more serious.

Any time you experience sudden changes to your discharge or period, you should discuss those changes with your doctor right away.

a woman patient who's facing the camara with her back is consulting her woman doctor who's facing the cameraBut if you experience any of the following, you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • The black discharge is excessive
  • The discharge lasts more than a few days
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Back pain
  • Itching or burning in the vaginal area
  • The black discharge occurs after menopause

Typically, if the discharge occurs just before or after your period, it’s simply old blood that is being expelled from the body. But if the discharge appears between periods, it may be a sign of something more serious.

What to Do About Black Discharge

Is there anything you can do about the dark-colored discharge you’re seeing?

Black or very dark-colored discharge is a sign of bleeding. If it doesn’t coincide with your period, it is often a sign that something is wrong.

A doctor will be able to determine what is causing the dark discharge and what you can do about it.

There is no way to “treat” discharge, as this is a normal function of the vagina. But you can take steps to ensure that your reproductive system is healthy.

1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy diet and lifestyle can help keep your reproductive system in tip top shape. Speak to your doctor or a nutritionist about finding a diet that will work for you.

different kinds of healthy food and a woman doing yoga Experts also recommend increasing your magnesium and calcium intake and adding the following foods to your diet:

  • Nuts
  • Sesame seeds
  • Seaweed
  • Avocado
  • Dill
  • Coconut
  • Leafy green vegetables

Along with a healthy diet, you also want to make sure that you stay active. Exercise at least three times per week to keep your body in good shape. Also, make sure you’re spending time outdoors to get enough vitamin D.

2. Get Busy

silhouette of a man and woman having sex No, we’re not talking about exercise here. We’re talking about sex. Having regular orgasms causes the release of healthy hormones, and causes uterine contractions. These contractions not only help the body relax, but also help detoxify the body.

It’s also a great way to relieve stress, and help you get better sleep at night.

Black discharge can be concerning, but in many cases, it is simply the body releasing old blood trapped in the uterus. Talk to your doctor if the discharge is concerning, is excessive or lasts for more than a few days.

Help! My Period Won’t Stop – 9 Reasons Why

For most women, periods last just three to five days. But what happens if your period goes beyond the five-day mark? Should you rush out and see your doctor, or is there no cause for concern?

There are several reasons why your period may be longer than usual.

How Long Do Periods Normally Last?

For most women, their period only lasts three to five days. However, anywhere from two to seven days is considered normal.

7 Causes for a Prolonged Period

Why won’t my period go away? There are many reasons why your period may go on longer than expected. But remember that it’s not uncommon for menstruation to last seven days.

If your period is still going on after the seven-day mark, here’s why:

1. You’ve Just Started Your Perioda mom passing a glass of water and pills to a daughter who's being through her first menstruation

The average cycle is 28 days, although it may be shorter or longer for some women. But in the first few years of menstruation, cycles are typically longer. As you become more regular, your cycle shortens.

Along with a longer cycle, you may also have your period for longer than average.

If you’ve just menstruating, this is likely the cause of your extended period.

2. Menorrhagia

Menorrhagia is a condition that can cause excessively prolonged and heavy periods that are irregular.

Heavy bleeding is a concern for many premenopausal women, but in most cases, the bleeding isn’t heavy enough to be considered menorrhagia. In other words, this condition causes serious blood loss.

Women with menorrhagia lose so much blood and their periods last so long that they cannot maintain their normal a passage explaning what is manorrhagea. some pills. an injectoractivities.

Common symptoms of menorrhagia include:

  • Bleeding for more than seven days.
  • Soaking through at least one tampon or sanitary pad every hour for several hours.
  • Needing to wear two sanitary pads to control your menstrual flow.
  • Anemia (severe fatigue, tiredness, and shortness of breath).
  • Unable to maintain normal activities.
  • Needing to change sanitary pads or tampons in the middle of the night.

3. Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis occurs when the endometrium, or the inner lining of the uterus, starts to break through the wall of the uterus. This condition may be confined to one spot, or it may be located throughout the entire uterus.

While not considered life-threatening, the condition can cause some very uncomfortable symptoms, including:

Adenomyosis is a common condition, and it is typically diagnosed in women who have had children and middle-aged women.

Women who have had uterine surgery may also be at higher risk of developing this condition.

4. Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding

When uterine bleeding is abnormal, a condition called dysfunctional uterine bleeding may be the cause. As its name suggests, this condition occurs when there’s a disruption to the normal cyclic pattern of the endometrial lining.

Common symptoms include:

  • Unpredictable bleeding
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Prolonged periods

Approximately 1-2% of women who do not seek treatment for this condition will develop endometrial cancer.

5. Endometrial Hyperplasia

Endometrial hyperplasia occurs when the uterine lining is too thick. In most cases, excess estrogen and too little progesterone is what causes this condition.

When ovulation does not occur, the body does not make progesterone, and the lining of the uterus does not shed. As a result, the uterine lining continues to grow. The cells that make up the lining may cluster together and eventually become abnormal.

Common symptoms of this condition include:

  • Heavy and/or prolonged menstrual bleeding.
  • Shorter menstrual cycles (less than 21 days).
  • Bleeding after menopause.

Endometrial hyperplasia can be treated with progestin, or synthetic progestogen.

6. Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are common among women of reproductive age. This condition occurs when benign tumors begin growing in the womb.

Depending on the severity of the condition, you may or may not experience any symptoms. Those that do have human anatomy of uterine fibroids. types of uterine fibroidssymptoms will often experience:

  • Constipation and frequent urination
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • Pain in the back and legs
  • Pressure in the pelvis

Hormonal therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of this condition and shrink the fibroid tumors.

7. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome

Hormonal imbalance can lead to polycystic ovarian syndrome, better known as PCOS. Over time, the imbalance can lead to a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Heavy, prolonged menstrual bleeding
  • Difficulty getting pregnant
  • Amenorrhea (absence of period)
  • Acne
  • Excessive hair growth on the face, chest, back and stomach

With PCOS, testosterone levels are higher than normal, which can lead to issues with fertility and a host of other symptoms.

PCOS can be managed, so speak to your doctor about your treatment options.

8. Thyroid Issues

Certain thyroid conditions can also cause your period to last longer than normal. The thyroid is responsible for regulating metabolism.

Periods that are longer, heavier and more painful than normal may be a sign of hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid.thyroid issue

Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include:

  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • Constipation
  • Brittle nails
  • Weight gain
  • Irregular periods
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Sexual dysfunction

Thyroid conditions can be treated or managed through medication or surgery. If you have any of the above symptoms, see your doctor right away to discuss treatment options.

9. Ectopic Pregnancy

If you are bleeding for more than a week, your period may not be to blame. Ectopic pregnancy can cause similar symptoms, and treatment must be sought right away.

A pregnancy test can confirm whether the bleeding is caused by an ectopic pregnancy.

When to See a Doctor

If your period is lasting longer than seven days, see your doctor right away. Bleeding for more than a week is abnormal.

Seek medical attention if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pain
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Pressure in the pelvis
  • Fever
  • Symptoms that prevent you from carrying out your normal activities

Prolonged periods are often a sign of abnormality in the growth and shedding of the uterine lining. Hormonal imbalance is often to blame, but your doctor will provide you with a proper diagnosis and a proper treatment plan.

How to Stop a Long (Prolonged) Period

If your period lasts for more than seven days, you may be searching for ways to stop the bleeding right away. Provided the bleeding isn’t too severe, you may have to wait for your body to naturally stop bleeding.

Photo by Stephanie

Once your period stops, your doctor can recommend treatment to help prevent excessive bleeding in the future.

Other treatments for prolonged periods include:

  • NSAIDS, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.
  • Hysteroscopy, a procedure that removes fibroids and other growths in the uterus.
  • Hysterectomy, a procedure that removes the cervix and uterus.
  • Endometrial resection, a procedure that removes the internal lining of the uterus.
  • Tranexamic acid, a treatment that can reduce blood loss.

Discuss your treatment options with your doctor.

Restoring your body’s natural hormonal balance can help alleviate symptoms and prevent abnormal cycles in the future. There are both natural and conventional treatment options to correct hormonal imbalances. Your doctor can help you choose the right treatment path for you.

Prolonged periods can be concerning, especially if the change is sudden. If you’re bleeding for more than seven days, see your doctor as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms and find the right treatment option for you. While uncomfortable, most of the conditions that cause extensive menstrual bleeding are treatable with medication or surgery.

Period Symptoms, But Period – 10 Causes and 6 Solutions

You’re feeling crampy, moody and tired. These all-too-familiar feelings come every month with Aunt Flow. But what happens if you have these symptoms without your period? Should you be worried, or is there a simple explanation for what you’re experiencing?

We’re going to share the reasons why you have period symptoms, what to do about it, and when you should see a doctor.

Common Period Symptoms

Some women are lucky enough to experience no symptoms during their periods, but for those that do, the condition is called PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome).

Most women have PMS symptoms at least once in their lives.

Common PMS symptoms include:period symptoms

  • Bloating
  • Cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Lower back pain
  • Aching joints and muscles
  • Headaches
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Cravings for sweet or salty foods
  • Low libido
  • Breast tenderness
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Acne

Some women experience severe PMS symptoms, which includes severe mood swings, anxiety and pain.

Doctors are still unsure of what causes PMS, or why some women get it and others don’t. In many cases, PMS runs in the family.

Lifestyle and diet habits may also affect your chances of getting PMS. A lack of calcium, vitamin B6 and magnesium can contribute to the symptoms. Stress, excess caffeine and lack of exercise can also increase your risk of getting PMS.

10 Reasons You Have Period Symptoms, But No Period

You have all the classic PMS symptoms, but there’s no sign of your period in sight. What’s going on?

There are many reasons why you might have period symptoms with no period.

1. Pregnancy

As strange as it sounds, early signs of pregnancy are similar to PMS symptoms:pregnancy signs a woman may experience in her early pregnancy

  • Slight cramping
  • Breast tenderness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Food aversions
  • Nausea
  • Mood swings

These are just a few of the many symptoms you may experience in early pregnancy, and most (if not all) are similar to period symptoms.

If you’re expecting your period, experiencing some symptoms and Aunt Flow is MIA, pregnancy may be the cause.

2. Anxiety and Stress

a woman with a stressed out look on her face. sorrounded by the words stressAre you feeling stressed out, or anxious? Stress, anxiety and tension can alter your body’s hormonal balance, which can lead to a delayed or missed period.

It can also cause “phantom” PMS symptoms around the time you would normally get your period.

If you’ve been stressed out, that may be the cause of your delayed period.

Doctors still don’t know why stress causes late or missed periods. What they do know is that stress suppresses the function of the hypothalamus, which controls the function of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland controls the ovaries, adrenal glands and thyroid, which all work together to manage your body’s hormone levels.

Cortisol, the stress hormone, also plays a role in how much progesterone and estrogen your body produces.

3. Sudden Lifestyle or Diet Changes

a girl's head with a question mark on it between a light bulb filled with junk food and a light bulb filled with vegetablesMaking drastic changes to your diet or lifestyle can cause a delayed or missed period, so you might experience PMS symptoms without menstruating.

An inappropriate diet can mess with your cycle, especially if your diet has led to nutritional deficiencies. These deficiencies can disrupt the body’s natural hormone balance.

Losing or gaining a lot of weight in a short period of time can also throw your cycle off by affecting your body’s natural hormonal functional.

Strenuous exercise can also affect your period by impacting hormone levels in the body.

4. Illness and Medication

a woman without showing her face holding a glass of water and several pills in her handIf you’re suffering from an illness or taking certain medications, your normal cycle may be disrupted.

Certain chronic illnesses, like diabetes, affects hormonal functions. Anemia, which causes a decrease in red blood cells, may cause light menstrual bleeding.

Polycystic ovarian disease can also cause you to experience PMS symptoms without your period. This condition causes multiple cysts to develop on the ovaries, which can disrupt their normal function.

Certain medications, including hypoglycemic drugs for diabetes and antihypertensive drugs for high blood pressure also affect the body’s hormone function.

5. Menopause

As you enter menopause, a decline in hormones can lead to delayed or missed periods. It can also cause you to feel like your period is coming, even though it’s not.

If you’re under the age of 40, premature ovarian failure (or premature menopause) may be to blame. In this case, the ovaries stop functioning before you’re old enough to enter menopause.9 signs of premenopause

Common symptoms of premature menopause include:

  • Night sweats
  • Hot flashes
  • Fertility issues
  • Irregular or missed periods
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Low libido

6. Ectopic Pregnancy

This form of pregnancy can make you feel like you’re getting your period when you’re not. It occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterus.

In many ways, an ectopic pregnancy feels just like a normal pregnancy. Common symptoms include:

  • Missed periodhuman anatomy. Ectopic pregnancies
  • Nausea
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Tenderness in the breasts
  • Frequent urination

Ectopic pregnancies can also present their own unique symptoms, including:

  • Abdominal or pelvic pain
  • Painful sex
  • Severe or heavy bleeding
  • Dizziness
  • Shoulder pain

7. Birth Control

Contraceptive pills can also conflict with your normal cycle, especially if you’ve just started taking them.

Birth control pills alter the body’s hormones to prevent ovulation. These pills contain both estrogen and progesterone, and they prevent estrogen levels from peaking mid-cycle.

Without that essential estrogen boost, the pituitary gland won’t release the other hormones that would otherwise cause the ovaries to release an egg.

The synthetic estrogen in these pills also support the endometrium (or uterine lining), which prevents mid-cycle bleeding.

Birth control can cause you to feel like you’re having your period, but without the bleeding. You’re far more likely to experience PMS symptoms early on when you first start taking the pills. Eventually, the body adapts, and the symptoms disappear.

8. Past Procedures

Past procedures, such as caesarean or abortion, or inflammation in the uterus can cause scarring. If scarring appears on the uterine lining, it becomes an inhospitable environment for a pregnancy.

The end result is a period without any bleeding.

9. Ovulation

If you’re experiencing period symptoms mid-cycle, ovulation may be the cause. When the egg is released from the fallopian tube, estrogen levels rise.

Higher estrogen levels can cause nausea, breast tenderness, anxiety, headache, depression, cramping and other period-like symptoms.

10. Obesity

back of a obese lady holding a glass of juice in her handYour weight may affect the regularity of your menstrual cycle. The female body naturally produces estrogen to create a comfortable environment for the fetus. But if you’re obese or severely overweight, your body may start accumulating fat cells that secrete estrone, a form estrogen.

Estrone mimics pregnancy, and prevents the ovaries from releasing an egg. Even though you’re not ovulating, blood continues to accumulate in the uterine wall. You may also experience period symptoms even though you’re not bleeding.

Because the blood continues to build, periods (when you finally get them) are exceptionally heavy and may go on for a week or more.

Other potential causes for cramping include:

  • Appendicitis (requires immediate medical attention)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Endometriosis
  • Miscarriage
  • PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

These causes require medical attention. A doctor will prescribe a treatment to alleviate your symptoms and tackle the problem at the root cause.

6 Things to Do to Alleviate Period Symptoms

Now that you know the potential causes of your period symptoms, you may be wondering what you can do about them.

1. Over-the-Counter Pain Meds

If you’re experiencing cramping, headaches and/or pain in your lower back, over-the-counter pain medications can help give you some relief.

OTC pain meds include:

  • Ibuprofen: Advil, Motrin, or a generic option.
  • Aspirin: Tylenol, or a generic option.
  • Naproxen Sodium: Aleve, or a generic option.

Be sure to follow the dosage directions on the bottle when taking pain medications. Some OTC pain relievers may interact with certain drugs, so check with your doctor before taking pain meds if you’re on medication for another medical condition.

2. Take a Pregnancy Test

If you suspect that pregnancy is the cause of your symptoms, consider taking a pregnancy test. Keep in mind, however, that pregnancy tests are only accurate after your missed period. If you’re expecting your period and it doesn’t arrive, an at-home test can confirm your pregnancy.

If the result is positive, make an appointment to see your doctor right away.

Even if the test is negative, consult with your doctor if you do not get your period. Your physician will help determine the underlying cause of your missed period.

3. Relax and De-stress

Stress, anxiety and tension can delay your period, or cause you to miss it altogether. It can also cause you to feel some PMS symptoms even though your period has not come yet. Taking steps to relax, unwind and de-stress can help normalize your cycle.

How can you relax and de-stress?silhluette of a lady facing sunset doing yoga at the seaside

  • Practice yoga. Yoga has been shown to reduce stress and tension after just a few sessions.
  • Meditate: Meditation has also been shown to reduce stress and anxiety while helping you adopt a more positive mindset.
  • Epsom Salt Bath: Soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salt can help melt away stress and anxiety. The magnesium sulfate in the salt has been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety.
  • Massage: A soothing massage may be all that you need to get rid of the stress you’ve been carrying around. Whether you choose a full-body massage, or just use a neck and shoulder massager, you’ll feel the anxiety and tension disappear after your session.

If stress and anxiety is causing your PMS symptoms and delaying your period, make it a point to de-stress every day.

4. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

The food you eat and your lifestyle will affect your cycle. A poor diet rich in processed foods and a sedentary lifestyle can cause your cycle to be irregular. Irregularity can also cause you to experience PMS symptoms even though your period hasn’t arrived.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and weight can help normalize your cycle. While it may not bring you immediate relief, it’s a long-term solution that will help prevent symptoms in the future.

A healthy diet includes:all kinds of vegetables and healthy meat on a wooden table

  • Healthy fats
  • Plenty of fiber
  • Lots of green vegetables
  • Some fruits
  • Fresh fish
  • Lean meats

Some things to avoid when eating healthy include:

  • Caffeine
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Foods you are allergic or sensitive to
  • Trans fats or hydrogenated fats

If you’re not sure how to change your diet or what to eat, consult with your physician or a nutritionist for help.

5. Progesterone Cream

If estrogen dominance or menopause is causing you to have period symptoms without your period, progesterone cream may be able to help.

There are natural progesterone creams on the market that can help normalize your cycle or ease your menopause symptoms. Many women prefer natural progesterone, as they have fewer side effects.

Progesterone creams are applied from the day after ovulation until the day before menstruation.

Typically, progesterone creams contain:

  • USP Progesterone
  • Wild yam extract
  • Moisturizing oils

Opt for creams that are paraben- and BPA-free, as these both interfere with hormone production.

If you see USP progesterone listed as an ingredient, it simply means that the progesterone was clinically tested by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). Creams with this type of progesterone tend to be the most effective because they contain high quality ingredients.

6. Essential Oils

Essential oils are another great way to help regulate your cycle and relax.

Which essential oils can help?

  • Clary sage: Clary sage is believed to naturally balance hormone levels. Apply two drops to the lower abdomen, and then apply a warm compress for five minutes.
  • Cypress: Cypress essential oil has been shown to improve circulation, which can help relieve cramps.
  • Lavender: The scent of lavender is renowned for its relaxation properties. Apply to the lower abdomen or neck, or diffuse in a diffuser.

When to See a Doctor

If you experience any of the following symptoms, see your doctor right away:

  • Severe cramping that continues for more than a day
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

It’s also important to see your doctor if your period is late or you miss it altogether. Your doctor will help you determine whether it’s pregnancy or an underlying condition that’s causing your symptoms.

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.

What Is Implantation Bleeding? (5 Ways to Distinguish Period From Spotting)

If you are planning and actively trying to get pregnant, then you are probably watching and waiting for every sign of early pregnancy that you have researched online or read in a book. This means that you might have read that the presence of implantation bleeding and the absence of your period is a good sign that you may be pregnant. But what exactly should you expect to look for when it comes to implantation bleeding and how would you differentiate between this very early sign of pregnancy and the onset of your next period?

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When a woman has breakthrough bleeding, she’ll get worried that something is wrong with her baby. Thankfully, breakthrough bleeding is nothing to be concerned about and it can happen to any woman.

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