Implantation Bleeding: What Is It and When Does It Occur?

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If you’re trying to get pregnant, you’ll want to be looking for early signs that you have conceived. These signs can be very confusing because they are often mistaken menstrual blood, which would be undesirable for a woman trying to get pregnant.

Implantation bleeding, however, is different.

What Is Implantation Bleeding?

Not to be confused with menstrual blood, implantation bleeding occurs when the egg is implanted in the uterus. At this time, the uterine lining may be released or may be disturbed, causing blood to escape.

Most women will not experience this and they will not experience back pain or fatigue. Instead, what a woman will experience is implantation cramping.

When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur?

There is not an exact day where implantation bleeding occurs. Instead, it is often found 10 to 14 days after a woman’s ovulation cycle. This is all dependent on how the egg moves down the fallopian tube and eventually attaches to the woman’s uterus. Since every woman is different, this mai4liwny occur sooner or later than the average 10 – 14 day estimate.

Bleeding may be very little and much lighter than your normal period.

Some women note that they do not notice implantation bleeding at all. It can last for anywhere from a few days, or it can be virtually unnoticeable.

Note: Bleeding is almost always lighter than your normal period. If you experiencebleeding that is more prevalent than your period, it is not implantation blood.

It’s very important to know that only 1/3 of women will experience this type of bleeding. If you do not experience implantation bleeding, it does not mean that you’re not pregnant. It may just mean that you’re in the majority of women that will never have this type of bleeding occur.

The symptoms associated with a woman’s period will not occur at this time. These symptoms include:

  • Back pain
  • Fatigue

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, you may just have a late period and can expect your period to come shortly.

Implantation bleeding typically occurs 6-12 days after ovulation and fertilization of the egg. This is usually the same time that a woman’s period is due, which is why implantation bleeding can be misleading.

It is often confused for a light period, which is considered a sign of not being pregnant. This leaves many couples disappointed.

Women are often upset upon seeing the blood, since they think of it as an unsuccessful attempt to conceive. However, you must be aware that the bleeding could potentially be implantation bleeding.

Similar Symptoms

It can be quite difficult to distinguish between implantation bleeding and your period, since the symptoms are incredibly similar. For both situations, you may experience bloating, cramping, headaches, fatigue and mood swings.

This is because the hormonal level changes during the first few weeks of pregnancy and your menstrual cycle is very similar to that.

Hence, this makes it even more important for you to be more attentive towards changes that are uncharacteristic of your normal menstrual period symptoms.

Implantation bleeding may also sometimes be confused with the bleeding caused by early miscarriage, which also happens during this time frame. However, the bleeding that occurs is slightly different.

For bleeding from a miscarriage, it usually starts with light spotting, which is similar to implantation bleeding. However, the former will progress to a heavier flow and might actually feel painful.

It will also progress from small to large clots of a dark red color, which actually resembles menstrual bleeding. On the other hand, implantation bleeding will appear light in color and the flow would also be light.

Signs of Implantation Bleeding

As mentioned earlier, it can be immensely confusing identifying implantation bleeding from other situations, especially since it coincides with the menstrual cycle. However, there are definitely still methods to differentiate the different bleeding.

Difference in Flow

It is important to remember that implantation bleeding has a lighter flow than periods. The bleeding will actually resemble an extremely light period if anything. The time frame is also much shorter.

In fact, it should only last a few hours or a few days at max. Menstrual blood is different, since it does the opposite – it increases within a day or two.

Difference in Intensity of Cramping

Any cramping that occurs during implantation bleeding should feel less intense compared to periods. Period cramping is usually more painful and extreme.

The cramping that occurs with implantation bleeding is usually caused by the changes that are occurring in the uterus in preparation to accommodate the incoming embryo.

Difference in the Color of the Blood

The color of the blood is different between the two kinds of bleeding. Implantation bleeding is generally of a darker color as compared to normal period bleeding. It usually possesses a brownish or pinkish tinge, since the blood is no longer fresh after traveling from the uterine wall.

On the other hand, period blood is usually of a brighter red color. To check for the color, you may choose to use a white pantyliner to help you determine the shade.

Difference in the Consistency and Quantity

The consistency and quantity of the blood is different as well. Consistency-wise, implantation bleeding is usually thinner and more watery compared to period bleeding.

It does not contain clots and acts more like the spotting you get during periods. It can also resemble discharge as well. Periods usually involve a lot more bleeding that lasts for many more days.

In the case of implantation bleeding, it should decrease as time goes by and should not involve a heavy flow.

How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last?

The length of implantation bleeding varies from woman to woman. Implantation bleeding can vary in length, ranging from a few hours to a couple of days.

This means that you could potentially only see it once when you wipe yourself after using the restroom, or you may see it a few times while using a pantyliner. In fact, you may even see it appear like a light flow period for 1-3 days.

If you are a first-time mother, do note that your implantation bleeding will last longer than mothers who have already had children. This is because their bodies are “used to” implanting after they have already had children before.

It is important to observe for any abnormal changes. If the bleeding becomes uncomfortable or it becomes painful, you should see a doctor as soon as possible to make sure that you are alright.

What Can I Do to Prevent Implantation Bleeding from Occurring?

Simply speaking, unless you are in pain or the bleeding is heavy and continuous, there is really nothing you can do about this. There is no supplement or special diet that can prevent this phenomenon from occurring.

It is just a normal occurrence of pregnancy. Implantation bleeding is a sign that fertilization has taken place and that your pregnancy is progressing in the right direction. However, it is merely an early sign, since it is simply too early and you cannot confirm your pregnancy yet at that time.

It is important to note that while it may make you feel slightly uncomfortable, it is not dangerous or bad for your body unless it lasts for too long or the bleeding is severe.

What to Do When Implantation Bleeding Occurs?

The first and most important thing to do is to stay calm and not be anxious. Remember that this is simply a natural occurrence that is a part of the whole process. You should monitor the bleeding and take note of the amount of blood you see.

You should seek help from your healthcare professional if you end up experiencing severe pain, heavy or excessive bleeding, or any other abnormal symptoms. For most women, implantation bleeding should generally stop within a day or two and not return after that first time.

The bleeding will vary but it should not be too intense. Hence, you can use a pantyliner instead of a pad to be on the safe side and prevent yourself from soiling your underwear.

If you still feel worried, you can always consult a healthcare professional who can help you get an ultrasound to check if the pregnancy sac and fetus are developing in good condition.

This can also help you check if the bleeding is indeed due to embryo implantation, rather than a possible miscarriage. Ultimately, an ultrasound will provide you with answers if you are feeling particularly worried.

Why Am I Bleeding If It’s Too Early for Implantation?

Based on a general pregnancy timeline, you’ll find that a fertilized egg is incapable of implanting until at least after the fifth day after fertilization. The egg just isn’t developed enough in the stages before the fifth day.

Hence, this means that any early bleeding within 4-5 days after intercourse is probably from a different origin. There are various reasons why this could occur:

Spotting

Some women can experience mid-cycle spotting, where a woman starts to experience spotting prior to ovulation due to unusually high estrogen levels. Conversely, the unexplained spotting could also be blood that was left over from your last period that was knocked out during sex.

After a failed ovulation attempt, women can experience a hormonal withdrawal bleed. This is usually caused by a confirmed ovarian cyst rupture. The unexplained spotting could also be a result of cervical irritation from a pelvic exam or from sex.

Breastfeeding or Irregular Postpartum Cycles

Another reason why this could occur is because of breastfeeding or irregular postpartum cycles. These two situations often result in a pinkish discharge.

What Is Implantation Cramping?

Implantation Cramping

Mild to moderate cramping may be experienced when implantation occurs. This is the sensation of the actual egg while it is attaching to your uterine wall. It is common and it will happen a week or so earlier than your expected period. This is why it’s so important to chart your period if you’re trying to get pregnant.

Many women experience these cramps and believe it is their period.

Cramps may or may not be accompanied by implantation bleeding. It’s important to note that this cramping may occur well past your estimated period time. This is due to the uterus actually beginning to stretch, causing the discomfort and cramping.

Implantation Bleeding: an Early Sign of Pregnancy 

Implantation bleeding is merely a sign that you may be pregnant. Since there are a low number of women that experience this bleeding, it is not a 100% positive indicator of pregnancy. One common mistake that is made is that a woman will try and confirm pregnancy with a pregnancy test as soon as bleeding occurs.

 

The issue is that implantation can occur 6 to 12 days after ovulation, which is too early to be positively tested for pregnancy with over-the-counter tests.

The levels of hCG in the body (the pregnancy hormone) are not high enough the moment implantation occurs. In fact, the levels are likely non-existent at this time. The placenta needs to form for the hormone to start being produced.

If you’re tracking your menstrual cycle, you’ll want to wait until a day after your missed period to take a pregnancy test. Otherwise, you will receive a negative test result that is inaccurate despite the implantation bleeding that occurred.

Women who experience bleeding after they have confirmed that they are pregnant will want to consult with their doctor immediately. Bleeding occurs in 20 – 30 percent of all women when pregnant and is not an issue. The only time that you may need to be concerned is when the bleeding is very dark and red.

As always, contacting your doctor to discuss the bleeding is recommended even when bleeding is light.

Now that you know when implantation bleeding occurs and what it is, you’ll be able to use this early pregnancy sign to see if you’ve conceived yet.

Quick Facts About Implantation Bleeding

Is There a Possibility that Implantation Bleeding Could Be Heavy or Red?

In short, no. The amount of blood from implantation bleeding should always be small. It should not require a pad change at all and it should not be red either. If it is red or heavy, it means that your bleeding is caused by something else.

In the case of heavy bleeding along with nausea and/or vomiting, it may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, which is a medical emergency. At that point, you should contact a medical professional immediately.

When Should You Consult a Gynecologist?

There are two cases where you should consult your gynecologist. Firstly, if you find that there is heavy bleeding that is followed by fever or vomiting, you should consult your gynecologist.

These symptoms often signal that the embryo has been placed outside the uterus and requires medical assistance. In the second case, if you tested positive in a pregnancy test, you should also visit your gynecologist.

What If You Don’t Experience Implantation Bleeding? What Does that Mean?

It is important to note that not every implantation is associated with bleeding. While implantation bleeding is fairly common, around two-thirds of women actually do not experience it.

Without implantation bleeding, it just means that you must look out for other tell-tale signs of pregnancy to confirm. With every pregnancy, hormonal fluctuations will occur with or without implantation bleeding.

It will naturally bring physical symptoms like nausea, swollen breasts and fatigue. These other symptoms will help you identify if you are pregnant.

What Is a Suitable Time to Take a Pregnancy Test?

After you have confirmed the implantation bleeding, you are probably excited to check if you are actually pregnant. However, you must actually be patient about taking the pregnancy test.

Pregnancy tests predict pregnancies by detecting the hCG hormone, which is secreted by the fetus. However, this hormone actually takes a while before it can reach the bloodstream and urine.

Hence, if you do a pregnancy test too early on, you may actually get a false-negative, which can lead to misleading disappointments.

To test for your pregnancy, the quickest way to confirm it would be to use a blood test. This is because the hCG hormone reaches your bloodstream much faster than your urine. To ensure more accurate results, you should take the pregnancy test after waiting for at least 10 days.

If you choose to use a pregnancy test with urine, you should be careful not to drink too much water before you go, as it may actually dilute the hCG content. You should also try to take the pregnancy test early in the morning, as it is the time where your hCG content is likely to be high.

What Should You Do If Your Implantation Bleeding Occurs after A Missed Period?

As mentioned in earlier sections, implantation bleeding and periods are easily confused because both situations include bleeding. However, various qualities about the bleeding vary.

In this case, it is possible to get implantation bleeding with a period, which makes it all the more important to learn the differences between the two kinds of bleeding. This is so that you can better identify what you are dealing with.

You can also use a pregnancy test to check if you are actually experiencing implantation bleeding because you are pregnant.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Hi
    My self hemlata, I am pregnant for five weeks but suddenly I am facing heavy bleeding problem in fifth of week and that heavy bleeding only for few hours after that only brown colour discharging and before that I did my blood test and strip test both is positive.

    I have only only one question this symptoms is what ?

    I need your support to answer this problem.

    Kindly reply me asap.

    Thanking you.

    Regards

    • Hey
      I hope that you are ok now and that bleeding has stopped.
      2 yrs ago my partner had the same symptoms at your same stage,…and 2 weeks later she was having an ovary removed because baby was ectopic.
      I can only hope that all is well in your case.
      Cheers

  2. I was on the pill for 4 days before my bf and I had unprotected sex. Four days later and I spotted but just once. I dont know if this implanting or not.

    • Hai,am also having same problem.i had unprotected sex after four days spotted very light two days only.have you conform pregnant

  3. Hi, my period was supposed to come on the 2nd of September but today is September 7 and I have yet to see my period. But today at work i started bleeding. Me thinking that it was my normal schedule period it wasn’t my blood is pink and it stoped then It started back but it’s still pink. I’m having cramps. Lately I have been sleeping alot. The question is am I pregnant

  4. I had unprotected sex 3 days ago. Yesterday I stearted feeling really bad cramps. I just havent been feeling right. My stomach feels kind of bloated and hurts so much. My stomach pain feels like a acidity ,Ive been extremely tired no matter how much sleep i get and it feels like i have to pee like every half hour. Could i be pregnet? Can pregnancy symptoms even start after having unpretected sex after only 3 days? Please help!

  5. Hi mam my periods are regular every i got last month 12 and this month yesterday i got my period is very light and in brown colour my periods every time its red can i be pregnant help me plz

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