What Is Implantation Bleeding Like? This Is How To Identify This Pregnancy Sign
While it is bleeding and bleeding can be alarming, implantation bleeding is a welcome development if you've been trying for a baby.
What is Implantation Bleeding Like?
Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy. It happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus in order to begin growing. It is completely normal and does not need any medical treatment. It’s thought about one third of women experience implantation bleeding. The difficulty is that it happens at a similar time in your cycle to menstruation, so it’s often confused with having an early period.
What are the signs and symptoms of implantation bleeding?
- A pink or brownish discharge or spotting
- Light or faint stomach cramping
- Mood Swings
The tricky thing is that most of these symptoms can also be early signs of pregnancy. It’s possible that you’ve been checking your boobs for tenderness and scrutinizing your undies since about day 18 of your cycle, so how do you know if this is implantation bleeding or the start of your period?
What is the difference between implantation and your period?
There are several key differences between implantation bleeding and menstruation which can help you work out whether you’ve conceived or not.
- Colour: for implantation bleeding the discharge or spotting will usually be pinkish or dark brown, whereas period blood tends to be bright, vibrant red.
- Duration: as implantation bleeding only happens while the egg is fixing itself to the uterus, it may last as little as a few hours or up to 1-2 days. It will remain light and possibly stop and start during this time. There are normally no clots. If bleeding starts off light, but gets heavier, has a constant flow and lasts 4-7 days it is almost certainly your period.
- Timing: implantation bleeding usually happens about 10 days after ovulation, while menstruation normally occurs after 14. So pinkish spotting on day 22-25 is more likely to be implantation bleeding than first signs of menstruation (usually around day 26-27).
- Cramping: it is possible to experience light cramping when the egg is attaching itself to the womb, but it would be very faint and not increase in strength. That’s compared to cramps caused by menstruation which are usually more intense and get stronger.
Should I be worried about this bleeding?
This very early sign of pregnancy is not usually a reason to be concerned; it is perfectly normal and no risk to the developing baby. However, if you are also experiencing symptoms such as, lower abdominal pain, nausea, dizziness or vomiting, you should see your doctor as it may be an indication of an ectopic pregnancy.
Still not sure?
As with a lot of early signs of pregnancy, the only real proof that you’re on the path to parenthood is that all-important line on the pregnancy test. If you think you’ve experienced implantation, the advice is that you need to wait at least 3 days before taking a home pregnancy test. Before that, there’s unlikely to be enough of the pregnancy hormone hCG to give a positive result. If you can bear to wait 5 days, there’s even more chance it will be accurate. In the meantime keep looking out for other early signs.
Examine the timeline below to help you easily identify the bleeding
- 1st Day: first day of menstrual period
- 14th to 16th Day: ovulation occurs
- 18th to 20th Day: fertilization occurs
- 24th to 26th Day: implantation happens and implantation bleeding occurs for about 2 to 7 days
Every pregnant woman has a 15 to 20 percent chance of having a miscarriage. When the bleeding starts to look like a heavy period with blood clots and severe menstrual-like cramping, then it’s time to be concerned. You might be experiencing a miscarriage. If heavy bleeding and cramping is associated with tiredness or dizziness, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider,He'll perform a pelvic ultrasound, blood count, and beta HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) to make the correct diagnosis.
Also read: Your Period After Pregnancy: What To Expect