Implantation signs are the first thing every woman looks for when trying to conceive. Signs of implantation are vast and can include everything from bleeding to cramps and discharge. The following are typical signs that implantation has occurred.
Table of Contents
- What Is Implantation?
- When Does Implantation Occur?
- 16 Signs of Early Implantation
- 1. Implantation Bleeding
- 2. Implantation Cramping
- 3. Breast Tenderness
- 4. Increased Basal Temperature
- 5. Cervical Mucus Changes
- 6. Missed Period
- 7. Frequent Urination
- 8. Food Cravings and Aversion
- 9. Missed Period
- 10. Headaches
- 11. Bloating
- 12. Fatigue
- 13. Lower Back Aches
- 14. Chest Tightness
- 15. Mood Swings Before Missed Period
- 16. Lightheadedness
- When You Should Go to See A Doctor for Implantation
- When You Should Get a Test After Implantation
The word implantation means “to firmly settle.” This is why that is the term used to mark the beginning of pregnancy. Implantation is a natural process after a successful ovulation; it occurs when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.
This then allows the egg to grow and develop into a beautiful child. The process to achieve implantation is quite complex. It begins when the egg is fertilized by a sperm in the Fallopian tube.
The fertilized egg, which is now called an embryo, then begins to divide and move in the direction of the uterus. The egg reaches the uterus and begins to divide and reproduce. This is when the embryo reaches what we call the blastocyst stage.
The blastocyst then hatches out of its protection, which is called the zona pellucida. Once this happens, implantation takes place. The process of implantation usually completes within 8-10 days after ovulation.
Once implantation occurs, the embryo then starts to produce hCG, which is the hormones that pregnancy tests use to predict pregnancies. In a much simpler way, pregnancy cannot occur without implantation.
During this process, you cannot actually feel or notice any physical symptoms of implantation happening. Since the embryo is half the size of a dust mite, it is impossible to feel this process that is happening in your body at a cellular level.
When Does Implantation Occur?
The question of when implantation occurs promotes many answers. Remember that all human bodies work differently on a daily basis. With that in mind, we can expect this to be true during pregnancies as well.
But speaking on technical terms, implantation usually occurs 7-12 days after ovulation. Let’s say you are one who is sexually active. If you expect your period on July 23 but experience bleeding or spotting on July 16-July 23, that may be a sign.
You see, the whole process of implantation may cause blood vessels to break within your uterus wall. As a result, bleeding may occur and we call it implantation bleeding. Some women have claimed that they got their signs of implantation as early as 3 days after ovulation.
All studies on this topic have been done outside the female body, so there is no scientific proof to confirm or discredit their claims. Once implantation occurs, you can officially say you are pregnant.
1. Implantation Bleeding
Bleeding is one of the most accurate signs of pregnancy, but it is only seen in 1 out of 3 women. In fact, many women won’t even realize that the spotting is implantation bleeding and not the start of their period.
This bleeding is normally not:
- Bright red like period blood
- As consistent as period blood
- Formed in clots
Light pink or even a brownish color may be present when implantation blood is seen. This blood will not have the same amount of flow as a period in most cases. Some women do experience heavy implantation bleeding, and the easiest way to differentiate between implantation and period blood is by its consistency.
Blood from implantation does not clot, and it will be on and off. Women can expect this to last hours, or up to 4 days. Spotting is most common with implantation.
One of the most common implantation symptoms is cramping. These cramps are often more mild than period cramps and should not be so bad that you wince over in pain. Mild in nature, these cramps will only last a short period of time with many women experiencing them for just 5 minutes.
If you feel any severe pain, it’s a smart choice to see a doctor.
3. Breast Tenderness
Immediately after implantation, the body begins to change. These changes occur rapidly and will gradually increase as a woman is expecting. Breast tenderness is a symptom that is common from the fast change in hormones.
Hormones will increase, leading to:
Breasts will begin to be sore just days after conception, with most women experiencing sore breasts within 7 days after their ovulation period.
Note: Tender breasts is common for most women during their menstrual cycle and lasts 1 to 2 days.
Breasts will remain sore throughout the majority of the pregnancy, and the tenderness will not go away within a day or two – it will linger.
Breast tenderness is one of the most common and accurate signs that a woman is pregnant. If the breasts are tender, a pregnancy test can be used to determine the likelihood of being pregnant.
4. Increased Basal Temperature
A high basal body temperature (BBT) is used as a way to determine pregnancy. The temperature must be charted during the course of trying to get pregnant to tell if a sharp rise has been seen.
Due to progesterone increasing in the body, the BBT will rise and remain high until the progesterone levels decrease.
BBT temperatures may rise to 37.4C – 37.5C during pregnancy.
5. Cervical Mucus Changes
Cervical mucus is one of the immediate signs of implantation. The mucus will change in consistency, color and flow when a woman is pregnant. A few indicators are:
- Mucus that is consistently white.
- Heavier mucus levels.
- Extremely slippery mucus.
Mucus increases due to an increased blood flow to the vagina. Pregnant women will have this mucus level increase to the point that their underwear is often wet as a result. Women will need to examine their cervical mucus by using a finger or the tissue method. Mucus levels will increase during early pregnancy before lessening as the pregnancy persists.
Confused? Keep reading Cervical Mucus 101,or Why use mucus to predict early pregnancy?
One of the most accurate signs that major changes have occurred in the body is a missed period. There are various reasons why a period can be missed aside from pregnancy, but if you have any of the symptoms listed and a missed period, there is a good chance that you’re pregnant.
Missed periods are often close to conception within a week or two from the time when women are most fertile.
It’s very important that if a period is missed, a test is taken so that you can take the necessary steps to have a healthy and safe pregnancy. Professionals recommend waiting until the day after your missed pregnancy to take a pregnancy test. This is the time when the test will be most accurate.
If a test is negative, wait a week before taking another test.
In the event that you missed your period and one or many of the other symptoms are present, make an appointment to see a physician. This will allow you to have a thorough medical exam, ensure that you don’t have an underlying medical issue, and also verify the pregnancy test.
7. Frequent Urination
Within the first weeks to a month of being pregnant, frequent urination will occur. This isn’t much of an early pregnancy indicator, but it is an indicator that a woman may be pregnant. The body is undergoing massive internal changes and making room for the baby to grow inside of the body.
As the baby forms – even when it is the size of a pea – it will start to put pressure on a woman’s bladder. This pressure means that a woman will start urinating more frequently.
When the baby develops more, fluids are retained and flushed out of the body quickly, resulting in frequent urination. The bladder will also have less room to expand in the body, causing urination to occur faster because the bladder will get full faster.
8. Food Cravings and Aversion
Implantation signs include food aversion. This occurs because a woman’s body will produce excess hormones when implantation takes effect. These hormones will alter a woman’s taste-buds, often resulting in her liking foods she didn’t like before, or disliking certain foods that she used to prefer.
Food cravings and aversions do not happen immediately.
For this implantation symptom to be valid, it must occur 7 days or more after a woman’s ovulation cycle has come to an end. If a woman is still ovulating, do not expect food tastes to change at this time.
There are numerous implantation symptoms and signs, but some women won’t experience any noticeable changes. Every woman is different, so signs should be considered valid only after a pregnancy test has confirmed the pregnancy.
9. Missed Period
This is the most common symptom of early implantation or pregnancy. This is especially true of women who have regular menstrual cycles.
However, it is important to note that other than pregnancy, losing or gaining a lot of weight as well as hormonal problems or stress can also affect your menstrual cycle.
But if you miss your period and you also observe another sign or signs of implantation, you should probably check if you are pregnant with a pregnancy test.
Headaches are often a sign of a more serious problem. In this case, it is also an early symptom of implantation or pregnancy. This might happen before you miss a period. Hormonal changes are the reason behind the increase of headaches during early pregnancy.
These symptoms can often start as early as the first few weeks of pregnancy. However, it all depends on each woman. If you are really pregnant and you have frequent headaches, you need to make sure that you have enough nutrients in your diet to help prevent the headaches.
You can also try using cold or hot compresses on your head to help naturally relieve the headaches. Essential oils can also potentially help you with your headache. However, if you are pregnant, you should discuss this with your doctor to see if this is suitable for you.
When your body begins going through changes, especially in the abdominal area, bloating occurs. With implantation, you can definitely expect to experience bloating sooner or later. In fact, pregnant women often feel bloated before their period.
Because of the timing, many women mistake this bloating feeling for premenstrual bloating, but in this case, no period ends up coming.
Soon after implantation occurs, you start to feel increasingly fatigued. As with many other symptoms, the change in hormone levels take a toll on your body, which leaves you more tired than you usually feel.
This symptom appears very quickly, often occurring a week or more before you expect your next period.
Another sign of early implantation may be lower back aches. You may also refer to them as cramps. The strain that your body has to go through once implantation begins can really take a toll on your lower back.
Hence, you find that lower back pain can start very early in the pregnancy and actually ends up continuing for the full term. You may choose to use heat or cold treatment to relieve your pain, but you may also choose to take hot baths with Epsom salts.
This can reduce the swelling of muscle tension. You can also consider doing some gentle back exercises to help you get rid of your lower back pain.
These exercises will not only relieve some pain, but they will also help you strengthen your back muscles. Doing so will make it a lot easier to carry the incoming, growing baby.
If you feel some tightness in your breasts, it may be a sign that implantation has taken place. This is caused by hormonal changes in your body, especially in the breasts, since all this occurs to prepare the body for pregnancy.
The soreness and sensations that you feel in your breasts should feel slightly different than the soreness that happens during your usual menstrual cycles.
15. Mood Swings Before Missed Period
Usually, you tend to feel moody during your period. However, in this case of early implantation, you may start to experience mood swings before your missed period. This sign is easy to miss, since it is easily confused as a symptom of premenstrual syndrome.
These mood swings are also a result of hormonal fluctuations; they cause havoc with your mood and feelings of well-being. Hence, you are increasingly emotional in the days before your incoming period.
If this happens, you should make sure that you get enough nutrients and vitamins in your daily meals. This is because these can boost your mood and will be very important if you are actually pregnant.
As with many symptoms mentioned above, lightheadedness is another symptom that is caused by the fluctuation in hormones caused by pregnancy. During early pregnancy, a shift in blood circulation occurs and this restricts the amount of oxygen that goes to your brain.
This ends up causing dizziness. This symptom usually starts early in the pregnancy, but can also last into the second to third trimester.
When You Should Go to See A Doctor for Implantation
Some symptoms of implantation and early pregnancy are normal. These include light spotting, mild cramping and changes within your breasts. However, if you are rather sure that you are pregnant and/or you have confirmed with a pregnancy home test, you should visit your doctor.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends that you visit your healthcare provider about eight weeks after your last menstrual period.
This is so that your doctor can help you arrange proper prenatal care, discuss any questions you may have about your pregnancy in general as well as birth options.
If you want to check if you are pregnant, there are two options. You can either take a blood test, or a home-based pregnancy test. Blood tests can only be administered in clinics where you can get blood samples taken to be tested.
The blood test works by detecting the HCG hormone in your blood. Similarly, the home-based pregnancy test also detects the HCG hormone to determine the pregnancy, but it detects it within urine instead.
The difference is that home-based pregnancy tests require you to wait longer compared to blood tests, since the HCG hormone takes more time to travel to your urine, as opposed to your blood.
Once implantation occurs, the level of HCG hormone just keeps increasing. Every 48 hours, the level of HCG hormone doubles. For both blood tests and home-based pregnancy tests, the HCG hormone must reach a certain amount before it can be detected in the blood or urine.
In fact, the exact amount is 25 mIU/ml. If it is lower than that standard, you may end up testing negative, even if you are actually pregnant.
Typically, the HCG hormone would have reached detectable levels by the fourth or fifth day after implantation bleeding for blood tests and six to seven days for home-based pregnancy tests.
Even if you test negative, you should wait for another 4 to 7 days before you take the test again to double-check. This is especially so if you are rather sure you are pregnant or if you are exemplifying symptoms of early implantation.
You should also take note when you are shopping for home-based pregnancy tests. Some packages do indicate that they have a sensitivity of 20 mIU/ml, which means that the test is suitable for detection of early pregnancy.
Conversely, some tests only have a sensitivity of 40 mIU/ml, which means that it can probably only detect pregnancy after seven to nine days after implantation bleeding. Studies have shown that 65% of tests that are carried out 6 days after implantation often test negative.
They have also shown that false negative tests are a common occurrence and can happen to 9 out of 15 women. False positive tests can be caused by hemolysis (the destruction of blood cells) or Lipidemia (high content of fats in the blood).
Additionally, if you test negative after implantation bleeding, it may also be because your pregnancy is ectopic. If it is an ectopic pregnancy, the HCG hormone increases less intensively, which makes it very hard to be detected.
However, if you find that you have already missed several periods and you are already weeks past the date your implantation bleeding occurred, you may want to visit your doctor if you haven’t already.
This is so that they can conduct blood tests which are more accurate or help you with medical examinations that can check if you are pregnant and if you are in good health.