Implantation bleeding occurs at a stage where you don’t realize the need for going to a doctor. You may even ignore it as random spotting during the month due to rough sex. After the time passes and your period is late then you need a doctor who can go back in time to help you. It’s only you who can now diagnose whether you had implantation bleeding or spotting before ovulation.
Ovulation spotting is also a possibility of causing bleeding if you had late ovulation.
Table of Contents
How to self-diagnose implantation bleeding?
For self-diagnose of implantation bleeding, you need to know when does implantation occur.
The symptoms are not very elaborate during implantation because the process lasts for only 48 hours and the blood released is very less.
It doesn’t come out immediately and instead stays inside the uterus for long. It makes the spotting brown and scanty.
Can implantation bleeding be bright red? No, it will never be bright red like menses. The time of implantation bleeding is about a week before period.
What is implantation bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is the result of attachment of egg to the womb. The trophoblast layer of blastocyst attacks the lining of the uterus. The blood capillaries make space for the blastocyst and thus bleed.
But the amount of blood coming out is so less that it doesn’t flow out. Spotting because of implantation occurs only in the case of 1/3rd pregnancies.
How to recognize implantation bleeding?
There are two ways of recognizing implantation bleeding. The first method is to rely on implantation symptoms, and the other one is tracking events.
Events after fertilization include cleavage and implantation. Implantation leads to pregnancy. So there are not many symptoms to distinguish implantation bleeding and period. A better way is to track down your ovulation and conception time.
1) Check Period Calendar
Every woman has a particular due date for the period. Menses can be a few days earlier or after that but mostly will be near it.
Even if bleeding due to menses get delayed, the PMS cramps and signs start in the particular week.
Calculating two weeks before that gives you ovulation date. It is the time when your ovary releases an egg. The act of fertilization happens within 24 hours after this menstrual cycle event. Taking this as day one you can expect to have implantation bleeding after seven days.
When implantation occurs before seven days, it is early egg embedment.
Implantation between 7-12 days in normal conditions and after that day is late egg embedment.
Once you decide that you want to get pregnant, you should start maintaining a diary to note all menstrual events. It will prevent the memory game one has to play after time passes. A period calendar will help you be sure about whether you had implantation bleeding or period.
Women with irregular period might find it hard to find ovulation. They cannot even make a rough estimate when their period will start. The lining keeps shedding and causes bleeding.
Though some experts don’t agree but it is a fact that implantation and basal body temperature have a link. It cannot be merely a coincidence that pregnancy BBT charts have a dip in BBT more commonly.
During implantation, you see a triphasic pattern on BBT. Ovulation causes an elevation of basal body temperature. After this, there is an implantation dip in BBT which later allows normal BBT to restore back. It forms a triphasic pattern during early pregnancy stage of implantation.
You need to chart your BBT from a month before you think of getting pregnant. Most women do it for months before they finally conceive. All you need to do is take a thermometer every morning and record your body temperature.
Keep everything on your bedside. Do not get up before recording the basal body temperature otherwise, it will not be basal body temperature.
BBT is the lowest temperature when all metabolic activities are at a basal level.
3) Home pregnancy test
After implantation, the hCG levels increase because the placenta formation begins. The placenta forms hCG hormone that in turn regulates other hormones. A home pregnancy test can help detect pregnancy using your urine.
Early pregnancy tests require using an early morning urine sample. It is because the levels of hCG take time to rise. They do so by doubling after every 48-72 hours.
Some pregnancy tests like Clearblue Advanced pregnancy test can detect pregnancy before missed period. So you can take a home pregnancy test to confirm whether you had implantation bleeding or irregular spotting.
Look at your pad and see the kind of spotting you have. If there are no clots and the color of spotting is brown, then you are undergoing implantation. Similarly, you don’t get clots in blood during implantation. A period is a heavy flow, and so you soak more than one pad a day.
During implantation, there is no soaking of the pad, and there is no possibility of heavy flow. Implantation spotting cannot be bright red or look like menses.
If there are clots in the blood you see on your pad, then you have a period. It is because the lining from uterus wall comes off during a period. It is for making the space available for a new lining for the next round of ovulation.
During implantation, you don’t have any pain or cramping that is unbearable. You might feel tingling sensations or downward pull. PMS cramps start as mild cramps long before period and worsen as the day of aunt’s flow comes near.
During the period you have twisting and wringing pain in your womb. The vaginal wall contracts to push the menstrual blood out. Cramps during a period are painful and long-lasting. Implantation cramping doesn’t happen for more than few hours. It subsides even without coming to notice of the woman.
How do doctors diagnose implantation bleeding?
Doctors have advanced methods available to diagnose implantation. They can detect pregnancy as early as two days after sex. The early pregnancy factor releases after 48 hours after fertilization. It is present in the serum of pregnant woman’s blood.
There are many methods available for diagnosing implantation bleeding.
Using Ultrasound waves doctor can see the inside of your womb. You will be made to drink a lot of water. It stretches the wall of the urinary bladder and makes things visible through it. During pregnancy as your uterus grows in size, you don’t need fluids intake during Ultrasound.
Transvaginal Ultrasound can see things through the vaginal path. A doctor can determine the stage of the menstrual cycle by looking at the shape and size of the ovary.
If your period is near then, the anatomy of the reproductive organs is different from that during early pregnancy. So by looking at these structures, doctors can even make out whether you had implantation bleeding.
2) Pelvic examination
After implantation, the egg cyst produces more progesterone. Progesterone is the pregnancy hormone that maintains pregnancy. It is also responsible for preventing menstrual flow. The amount of cervical mucus increases during implantation to form a mucus plug. It is for protection of pregnancy.
A pelvic examination and vaginal smear test can detect implantation. If the cervical mucus increases in amount during the expected period days, then it is early pregnancy. Period days are normally dry days or when the cervical mucus is thick and non-stringy.
3) hCG levels test
While the home pregnancy tests are qualitative, doctors can do the blood pregnancy test. It determines the level of hCG in blood. Serum hCG levels are higher than urine hCG levels. The level of hCG increases in blood before it rises in urine.
A hospital pregnancy test is more accurate and early than a home pregnancy test. Doctors can determine the rise in hCG at a very early stage. This will confirm that you had implantation.
They can detect whether your IUD came off the vagina during the ultrasound procedure. The chances of diagnosing implantation bleeding are higher when a doctor does a checkup.