Can Implantation Bleeding Look Like Period?


Normal implantation bleeding can never look like menses. About one third women experience implantation bleeding during early pregnancy. Can Implantation Bleeding Look Like Period? If they did there was no way to distinguish them. One is a sign of pregnancy and other is because of failure to conceive. A woman in reproductive age gets period every month. The ovaries release one egg every month and it stays in the tubes for 24 hours. If there are healthy sperms around and anyone of them manages to fertilize the egg, then it leads to pregnancy. In other case the egg loses its viability and the lining along with it come out of vagina as period blood.

Can Implantation Bleeding Look Like Period?
Can Implantation Bleeding Look Like Period?

What is implantation bleeding?

Implantation bleeding is a symptom of the process of implantation. When the egg moves down the tubes and attaches to the lining of uterus, some blood vessels crush. This causes bleeding and it may continue for a day or two. It can even last for few minutes. What is implantation hemorrhage? The embryo divides to form a 64 celled structure that requires space for attaching to the wall of uterus. This causes rupture of walls of endometrial blood capillaries. Implantation hemorrhage is the leaking of blood from these blood vessels.

Implantation bleeding mechanism is simply based on the attack of uterine lining by blastocyst. The layer surrounding the 64 units is sticky and has piercing ends that can digest the walls of blood vessels. When the young embryo travels down the fallopian tubes it keeps on dividing and the layer guides it to the right place for attachment. Later on it attaches to the lining for deriving nourishment and for protection.

Leading signs of Implantation bleeding

How does implantation bleeding look? Implantation bleeding looks like spotting. There are no clots. It may be just a few drops or few milliliters. Implantation bleeding is rarely bright red. Mostly it is like old blood and is of brown or dark red color. The amount of blood is so less that it takes time to come off the uterus. By the time it comes out of vagina it loses all its oxygen. Oxygenated hemoglobin makes blood look red. Period is a continuous flow and so it appears red. Read Can Implantation Bleeding Be Bright Red?

Other signs of implantation bleeding include:

  1. Mild cramping compared to severe menstrual cramps
  2. Nausea and headache
  3. Triphasic basal body temperature
  4. Spotting for a very short period

Menstrual bleeding lasts for 5-6 days.

Why does implantation bleeding resemble your period?

Implantation bleeding might look like period if you have an actively bleeding area in uterus. Under normal circumstances implantation bleeding will not look like menses. One can miscalculate and consider period as implantation bleeding. Most women consider any blood discharge from vagina after sexual intercourse as implantation bleeding. Differentiating the two is difficult and thus most women get it wrong.

Some women might not have regular cycles. In that case if period is early within 14 days from ovulation she might consider it implantation bleeding. When period starts, there is less flow and more cramping on the first day. By the end of first day the bleeding gets heavier. Implantation bleeding may resemble period during first few hours. Later on as the period flow gets heavier they diverge. Implantation spotting is scanty and erratic. Period is a rapid blood flow that continues for long.

Implantation bleeding or period: How to tell them apart?

Differences between period and implantation bleeding are subtle in the beginning. But they soon develop individual characteristics. Period goes on to become a constant flow and implantation bleeding stops. There may be clots in menses but implantation spotting doesn’t have any. TakeĀ Implantation Bleeding Or Period Quiz to know the truth.

Differences between spotting and menstrual cycle: 7 indicators

  1. Timing of bleeding: Implantation signs and symptoms start showing after 6-12 days from ovulation. The time of ovulation and conception differs by few hours. Implantation occurs after 6 days from conception. If the egg doesn’t fertilize then it comes out with vaginal lining as period.
  1. Duration of bleeding: Menses continue for at least 5-6 days. Implantation bleeding lasts for only two days at most. If it continues for more than three days then it is not normal. Implantation spotting is random. Period is a continuous and heavy flow. There are clots and pieces of vaginal lining. There may be black clots of dead lining.
  1. Intensity of bleeding: During implantation the spotting or bleeding occur randomly few drops. Period on the other hand starts gradually leads to heavy flow and then again reduces to very minimal bleeding.
  1. Other pregnancy signs: During implantation you see many other early pregnancy signs. These signs and symptoms include nausea, bloating, constipation and nasal congestion. PMS is more about cramps and mood swings. During period you don’t experience breast tenderness.
  1. Clots in blood: Implantation bleeding normally has no clots. The lining of vagina is intact. So no clots come off. During menses the entire lining breaks down and comes off. These are the clots of blood that you see on your pad.
  1. Color of spotting or bleeding: Implantation bleeding is mostly brown or darker. Menses are like normal blood and are bright red. If your menses are darker then you may be having some deficiency.
  1. Pregnancy Test: You can further test by taking a pregnancy test. If you get a positive pregnancy test then you are having implantation bleeding. In other case it is a period blood flow.

Causes of early pregnancy bleeding other than implantation

  • There are many causes of bleeding such as Ectopic pregnancy. In this case the embryo implants in the tubes and starts dividing there. In severe cases it can lead to bursting of tubes. It may be because of blockages or chromosomal abnormalities.
  • Infections of vagina can also cause bleeding. Inflammatory disease cause bleeding from vagina.
  • In some cancers there is vaginal bleeding. Uterine cancers cause bleeding.
  • Any jolt or heavy slosh can cause bleeding.
  • Hormonal changes cause mid cycle bleeding.
Some women take continuous birth control for months together. They get period only 4 times a year. Yet they can have spotting randomly during the month.


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