When you are trying to get pregnant you may read about different signs of pregnancy. Implantation bleeding is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. ‘What is implantation bleeding?’ remains a less understood question. Women find themselves wondering whether they are having their period earlier. There are hairline differences between implantation bleeding and period. If you learn how to identify these small signs then you’ll be able to understand early pregnancy spotting.
Table of Contents
- What is implantation bleeding?
- Signs Of Implantation bleeding
- How long does implantation bleeding last?
- What does implantation bleeding look like?
- When does implantation bleeding Occur?
- Signs of pregnancy during implantation bleeding
- Implantation bleeding or period
- When to see a doctor for implantation bleeding?
- How heavy is implantation bleeding?
- Implantation bleeding after missed period
- No implantation bleeding
- Implantation discharge
What is implantation bleeding?
Implantation is the first step of pregnancy in uterus. The fertilized egg travels down the Fallopian tubes to implant in the uterus. This is for the purpose of nutrition and protection of the growing baby. The placenta forms after implantation occurs. Implantation spotting is the sign that indicates that now pregnancy is surer.
The most important characteristic of implantation bleeding is that it occurs before period. Period flow happens after 14 days from ovulation. Implantation spotting on the other hand occurs earlier than 14th day or two weeks after ovulation. Implantation bleeding is more of a spotting than bleeding.
Another fact is that implantation bleeding won’t occur after weeks from missed period. It has to be before the day of missed period. If a woman soaks more than a pad within an hour she might be having a miscarriage. She needs medical attention and procedures like dilation for removal of all parts of embryo.
If a woman has any light bleeding before missed period after having sex near ovulation she may be pregnant.
Signs Of Implantation bleeding
- Spotting or pink or brown discharge
- Mild cramps
- Early signs of pregnancy before missed period
Most women might think that their period is here. They might even take a pregnancy test and get a false negative. In regret you might move to get a drink or something, while actually it was good news. Implantation bleeding is completely normal and a sign that your pregnancy is going in the right direction. It is important that when you are trying to get pregnant then you must keep track of your due date.
How long does implantation bleeding last?
Implantation bleeding is not a long process. It might last for less than a day or for two days. This is because the process is too quick. During implantation only a mild bleeding might occur. Another thing to mention here is breakout bleeding. It is bleeding on the day of expected period. During pregnancy women don’t get period they may have breakout bleeding instead. There is nothing to worry about in case of pregnancy spotting. But anything other than that needs medical attention if has other symptoms along. If bleeding continues for more than three days then it could be period. A miscarriage bleeding lasts for 10 days. Bleeding more than that is a sign of a severe health complication like Hemorrhage.
What does implantation bleeding look like?
Implantation bleeding is light spotting. The color of implantation spotting is not even red. It can be light or dark brown. Implantation pregnancy bleeding is spotting and lasts for a day or two. Implantation spotting doesn’t have any cramping along. If a woman experiences cramping along with implantation, it will be very mild.
Menstrual bleeding on the other hand is very heavy. Menstrual bleeding lasts from five to six days. Painful cramps accompany period. Implantation or period is mainly distinguished by the amount and associated symptoms. During implantation bleeding some women might not even come to know that they are spotting. Unlike the brown color of implantation bleeding, menstrual blood is deep red. Sometimes you might see clots on your pad. It is the sloughing off vaginal lining. Implantation bleeding doesn’t have clots normally.
When does implantation bleeding Occur?
Spotting after implantation happens before expected period day. The ovulation day is the 14th day of cycle. If a woman has sex three days before to a day after ovulation she may get pregnant. In that case she will have bleeding due to implantation. Sperms can survive in vagina for 5 days. Hence it is not essential that sex on the day of ovulation will cause pregnancy. Sex before and after ovulation can also cause pregnancy.
Bleeding due to implantation can be very light bleeding. This is because the lining of uterus doesn’t break down and stays in place. The process on implantation is rapid and thus doesn’t cause bleeding for long.
Period is the removal of ovum and uterus lining as no pregnancy occurred. Once pregnancy occurs then this line doesn’t shed off. So there can be no heavy bleeding. It is important to note that bleeding from implantation lasts only for a day or two. Anything more than that cannot be implantation bleeding.
Period occurs two weeks after ovulation and implantation spotting has to occur before that. If it takes longer then the lining will come off and implantation will not be successful. Similarly if a woman has very heavy bleeding then she may be having a miscarriage.
A woman who is aware of her menstrual cycle date can detect spotting from implantation. This is because any light spotting before period is implantation bleeding. Others may also come to know by the color and amount of bleeding. But a woman who has a very light spotting she might not come to know about it.
Symptoms like nausea and frequent urge to pee are signs of pregnancy that occur along with implantation. However, if a woman is experiencing difficulty in breathing, headaches and painful cramps then she may be undergoing an early miscarriage. A chemical pregnancy is also a miscarriage.
Signs of pregnancy during implantation bleeding
Implantation spotting or period is also identifiable by the presence of signs of early pregnancy. Signs of early pregnancy before missed period happen at the time of pregnancy implantation bleeding. Feeling nauseated and uneasy are most confusing symptoms. They happen during pregnancy, miscarriage, implantation and PMS. Cause of mood swings again is very difficult to diagnose.
Heightened sense of smell, constipation and faint positive pregnancy test are early pregnancy symptoms. They help to detect pregnancy implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding or period
The most important doubt every woman has before confirmation of her pregnancy. After this it could be miscarriage or brown discharge! Women always have doubts, it’s in our genes. Implantation bleeding or period as already discussed can be easily distinguished. The color of bleeding and duration are most noticeable indicators of menses and bleeding after implantation. Similarly pregnancy symptoms along with bleeding also signify implantation.
Here is a list of things to check when distinguishing period from implantation bleeding:
- Color of spotting: Implantation spotting is of brown color. This blood is not a fresh flow. Some of it might be coming late. It earlier got trapped in the vagina. Later on it moves out as brown blood. It can be pink but it will not be bright red. Period blood on the other hand will be bright red and keep changing in intensity. This is because constant reactions and contractions push the layers of blood walls out.
- Time of bleeding: Period occurs at least two weeks after ovulation. So if you know when ovulation occurs then you can calculate your due date. This is because after ovulation the luteal phase takes another 9 – 12 days for the formation of uterine lining. After the process of implantation this lining doesn’t disintegrate. Fertilization occurs within a day after ovulation. It takes another week or so for implantation. The timing of implantation bleeding can be earlier than 14th day after ovulation on any day. However, it takes at least 6 days after fertilization for the egg to travel down the tubes.
- Amount of blood flow: Period is a heavy blood flow during the initial days. Later on as the period week is about to finish, amount of blood flow reduces. Early pregnancy bleeding on the other hand is mild spotting for few hours or a day. The blood flow is so light that it can go unnoticed. There is no gradation in amount of blood flow during implantation.
- Cramps and other symptoms: Cramps during period are extremely painful and pulsating. Implantation cramps are not pulsating and very mild. Another point about implantation cramps is that they are local. But along with implantation cramps you experience all early pregnancy symptoms. These are the early symptoms of pregnancy before missed period.
- Duration of bleeding: Implantation bleeding lasts for a day. Anything more than two days cannot be implantation bleeding. Period bleeding can last for anything between 3-5 days. This is because every woman has a different length of menstrual cycle. If a woman has a shorter menstrual cycle she might bleed for lesser days. But a period generally lasts for about 3 days.
If you are still not sure whether it is implantation bleeding or period then wait for few days after it. Taking a pregnancy test is best way to find out whether you had implantation bleeding or not. The test line on pregnancy test shows that you are pregnant. Some women might stock up ovulation kits after seeing implantation bleeding but it is better to wait for few days. Pregnancy test after implantation should not be before 5 days from missed period. Even the early pregnancy tests don’t have enough accuracy to detect pregnancy at that stage. It is best to wait for the day of missed period before taking a pregnancy test.
When to see a doctor for implantation bleeding?
If the symptoms along with implantation bleeding get worse then you must consult a doctor. If you experience pain and cramping in lower vaginal area then you might be having molar pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy also has similar symptoms. If there is heavy implantation bleeding then you could be undergoing a chemical pregnancy.
How heavy is implantation bleeding?
A heavy bleeding is not due to implantation. This is because implantation is a quick process. Any heavy bleeding cannot be implantation bleeding. At most you will soak a liner in an entire day. After that you’ll be free from any kind of bleeding. If the bleeding is heavy then it is an indication that something is wrong. A heavy bleeding is sign of miscarriage or Ectopic pregnancy. Chemical pregnancy and Molar pregnancy also cause heavy bleeding. Whereas implantation will not cause heavy bleeding.
Implantation bleeding after missed period
Implantation bleeding after missed period may be because of miscalculation. It could be that you expected your period before due date. Period dates keep fluctuating. So there is no need to worry even if you have implantation bleeding after missed period. Spotting during pregnancy is also a similar looking phenomenon. You could be having brown discharge during pregnancy. It also looks like implantation bleeding. There may be the case that you did not have implantation bleeding and now are assuming that this is implantation bleeding.
If you have cramping along with implantation bleeding after missed period then it could be a miscarriage.
No implantation bleeding
Some women might not have implantation bleeding at all. This is also nothing to worry about. Implantation bleeding doesn’t occur continuously. It may come and go. Spotting erratically is implantation bleeding. Sometimes it may only be a change in consistency of vaginal discharge. It is not necessary that you see bleeding after implantation. Only 1/3 women have implantation bleeding. Rests don’t have it and yet go on to have normal pregnancy. Implantation bleeding is not an abnormal thing but not even a necessary evil. If you don’t have any symptoms of implantation or early pregnancy then you may not be pregnant. Otherwise take a pregnancy test after two weeks from ovulation. Waiting from ovulation day to missed period is miserable. But it is best to wait until three weeks before taking a pregnancy test as final.
During implantation some women may only experience a change in vaginal discharge consistency. You may wonder whether it is brown discharge or implantation bleeding. Cervical mucus during pregnancy changes along the course. Thick white discharge is a sign of early pregnancy but also indicates ovulation. Similarly brown discharge is also a sign of pregnancy. Brown discharge could be because of implantation bleeding. The changes in cervical mucus are overlapping and similar. Implantation discharge is the cervical mucus.