Female panties with red beads on Implantation

Everything You Need to Know About Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding can be a great sign of pregnancy! If you notice spotting before your expected period, then you may have successfully conceived.

When you are sexually active and trying to get pregnant, the time between ovulation and taking a pregnancy test is not as easy as it may sound. During the effort to conceive, you are most likely to spend your time wondering and noticing every sign of pregnancy your body is giving you.

If you are noticing a mild spotting on your panty line between 6 to 12 days of your menstrual cycle then the chances are there you might be having an implantation bleeding.

Implantation bleeding is a common early pregnancy symptom but not every woman experiences it. It might be difficult for some of you to differentiate between period bleeding and implantation bleeding, and you may mix up the two. 

What is implantation bleeding?

After ovulation, when a sperm meets an egg in the fallopian tube, it fertilizes the egg. This fertilized egg is then referred as an embryo and starts traveling down the uterus.

The embryo journeys down to the uterus then attaches to the lining of the uterus. There you have it, you have successfully conceived. Usually, implantation bleeding occurs between 6 to 12 days of conception. It is a common thing associated with pregnancy, and you don’t need to worry about it.

Symptoms of Implantation Bleeding

The following are some symptoms and signs that you have successfully conceived and having implantation bleeding:

– Mild cramping

– Tenderness or soreness on breasts or nipples

– Mood swings

– Headache

– Fatigue

– Spotting (dark brown or black)

– Strange food aversions

– Bloating

– Constipation ^([2])

What does implantation bleeding look like?

Implantation bleeding is nothing like your regular bleeding. The following description of the texture and color of implantation bleeding might help you to clear some doubts about it.

– Amount of bleeding:

Implantation bleeding is not bleeding. It is just spotting or a light flow of blood that is not more than a few drops, you may witness on your panty liner or when you wipe your vagina with a tissue paper. If you are filling your pads or tampons than it is your usual menstrual blood. ^([5])

Every human body and its functions are different from each other. However, all women are aware of the color of menstrual bleeding. As far as implantation bleeding is concerned, it is usually dark brown, black, or sometimes pinkish white. ^([5])

– Clotting:

Implantation bleeding doesn’t contain clots. It might be thick and stringy, but if you see clots in your blood, you might be having a normal period. ^([5])clots

implantation bleeding spotting blood picture

How long does implantation bleeding last?

Implantation bleeding doesn’t last for more than two days. You may see the spotting for a couple of hours to two full days. If the bleeding is bright red, lasts for more than three days, and you have to keep a pad or tampon to lock the flow then you are having a regular period.

If you are having first pregnancy, you are more likely to bleed during implantation. However, if you are used to egg attachment, you might not experience implantation bleeding or implantation cramps.

If the menstrual bleeding doesn’t last for more than three days, shows a change in color, or results in slight cramping than usual, there is a chance that you are having implantation bleeding and you can have a pregnancy test after a few days. ^([5])

The difference between a period and implantation bleeding

You may confuse the implantation bleeding with the period bleeding because mostly it looks similar to the period blood and occurs near the time when you are expecting your period.

It is not easy to differentiate between the period bleeding and implantation bleeding because the symptoms of both, menstrual bleeding and implantation bleeding are quite similar. The following are some of the differences between the two, which you can look for:

– It doesn’t last longer:

Normally, menstrual bleeding lasts for 3 to 7 days. However, implantation bleeding doesn’t last long, it only occurs for 24 to 48 hours. This is the amount of time a fertilized egg takes to be implanted into the lining of the uterus. ^([1])

– Implantation bleeding is not more than a few drops:

The period of bleeding starts with a heavy flow and then lightens ups. It is usually bright or dark red. However, the blood flow in implantation bleeding is light; you may have a little spotting or not more than a few drops. The color of the blood in implantation bleeding is dark brown or black, which means it is the older blood. ^([1])

– Cramping

You may have experienced intense cramps a few days before you are expecting your period. Implantation cramps are typically mild and don’t last long. 

When to call a doctor?

During pregnancy, women often experience light bleeding, even other than implantation bleeding. It is considered to be normal. If you are dealing with the same situation, you might also experience irritation of the cervix, difficulty in sex, and infection of the vagina. ([3])

Sometimes, the heavy bleeding in pregnancy can be a symptom you are having ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

Ectopic pregnancy is the complication some women have in pregnancy, during which the embryo attaches to the outside of the uterus. Intense abdominal pain or cramps, fever (with or without chills), and vaginal bleeding are some signs of ectopic pregnancy. 

In similar cases, a woman should consult her health care provider as soon as possible. If you are still not sure that you are having implantation bleeding or regular menstrual bleeding then it is best to wait for the bleeding to stop. Once it is stops, you can take a pregnancy test after three to five days.

You must remember that taking a pregnancy test before you miss your period or have implantation bleeding can be too soon. Health care providers recommend waiting for at least a week after spotting or missed period.