When you are trying to get pregnant and it seems you have already seen the sign of pregnancy, but implantation bleeding suddenly occurred, you want to ask when does implantation bleeding occur?
When you are actively trying to get pregnant, the 2 weeks between your ovulation and positive home pregnancy test or period can really seem longer. If you are like most women, you will spend those 2 weeks hyper-aware of every twinge and ache, wondering whether it is an early sign of pregnancy.
Bleeding is one of the most important pregnancy symptoms you might be looking for if you are looking to get pregnant. If you have some light spotting, what does it means? Well, it is hard to tell but a lot of women who go on to have healthy and normal pregnancies have implantation bleeding during the time their embryo lodges into the side of their uterus.
What is implantation bleeding?
As an early sign of pregnancy, implantation bleeding happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus to start growing. Implantation bleeding is normal and doesn’t need medical treatment. About one-third of women experience it.
After ovulation and the successful fertilization of an egg by a sperm, the embryo will begin to divide and grow, sending signals to the woman’s body to get set for pregnancy. The walls of the uterus (endometrium) will start changing so that they can grow and mature to nourish and protect the embryo for 9 months.
Between six and twelve days after fertilization, the embryo will move down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. When the embryo is making its way into the uterus, implantation bleeding may occur as a result of a burst of little blood vessels.
The difficulty here is that implantation bleeding occurs at a similar time in your cycle to menstruation, which is why it is often confused with having an early period.
When does implantation bleeding occur?
When the embryo implants in the uterus’s lining, it can disturb the tiny blood vessels in the part it burrows into. But this will not cause any problem. However, some women will experience light bleeding from red or pink to brown discharge. The implantation bleeding will likely come earlier than your normal monthly period (usually between 5 and 10 days after you’ve conceived).
What does implantation bleeding look like?
The implantation bleeding looks like blood, which appears on wiping otherwise known as spotting. It may even appear as the consistent, light flow of blood that needs a panty liner or a light pad. The blood may look pink or orange or brown.
In early pregnancy state implantation bleeding, no clots are usually present. It may last between a few hours and three days. A woman who is pregnant for the first time is likely to have pregnancy implantation bleeding for more time compared to women who already had multiple pregnancies.
Signs of implantation bleeding include:
- Tenderness in breasts
- Light or faint cramping (not as often as during normal period)
- Mood swings
- Abdominal bloating
- Pain in the lower back
It is important to note down the color, frequency and consistency of the bleeding during early pregnancy and implantation bleeding symptoms and signs because you may need to give the details to your doctor for a diagnosis.
How do I know whether it’s implantation bleeding or period?
Knowing whether it is implantation bleeding or period is not easy because implantation bleeding often occurs before being tested positive for a pregnancy test. Unfortunately, there is no conclusive means to know whether the light bleeding is normal spotting leading to period or an early sign of pregnancy.
The best way to know whether it is implantation bleeding or period is to wait a few more days and take a pregnancy test. You could also know based on the time you last had sex. If it’s more than two weeks, it is likely the spotting is for the period.
Some women see darker blood compared with normal period blood, while other women bleedings are not different in any way to period’s blood.
How long does implantation bleeding last?
Implantation bleeding is generally short and light, just a few days’ worth. It usually lasts for between 10 and 14 days after conception, or around the time you missed your period. But there have been reports of vaginal bleeding in the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.
How heavy can implantation bleeding be?
As stated before, implantation bleeding in early pregnancy is generally only spotting of blood that shows on wiping. It may also come in the form of the light flow of blood, but it will not be as heavy as the real period flow of blood.
Typically, implantation bleeding in pregnancy’s early stage is brown or pink colored discharge that appears on wiping. It may flow consistently and appear on a pad or panty liner.
Should I be worried about implantation bleeding?
As an early sign of pregnancy, you don’t have any cause for concern. It is normal and not a risk to the developing baby. But if you are experiencing symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness or lower abdominal pain, you should see a doctor because it may be an indication of an ectopic pregnancy.
A pregnancy test is the only way to prove you are on the path to parenthood. If you think you experience implantation bleeding, wait for at least three days before you take a home pregnancy test. You have to wait three days because, before that, it is unlikely that you will have enough pregnancy hormones (hCG) to give you a positive result.
Other possible causes of bleeding in early pregnancy
Bleeding during early pregnancy may not be caused by only implantation bleeding, but can be caused by other things. If you’re having heavy bleeding during early pregnancy with or without pain or cramping, visit a physician.
Here are other things that can cause bleeding during early pregnancy:
- Ectopic pregnancy: This may cause bleeding during the early stage of pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which the embryo implants and develops outside the uterus such as abdominal cavity, cervix, ovaries or fallopian tubes. You may experience vaginal bleeding along with nausea, vomiting, dizziness, pain or cramps (particularly one-sided). Ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening issue and needs emergency medical aid.
- Sex: Your cervix is sensitive and very tender at this stage, so sex may cause bleeding.
- A complete miscarriage: Studies showed that miscarriages occur in 10 to 25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies. So, in early pregnancy of 4 weeks, a miscarriage can cause bleeding. Apart from vaginal bleeding, symptoms of miscarriage could also include pain in the abdomen or lower back and passage of fluid or tissue from vaginal. If you suffer from these symptoms, see a doctor.
- Threatened abortion: This may be the cause of bleeding during the early stage of the pregnancy. With this condition, you still have a fetus inside your uterus but the final outcome of pregnancy is in question. It may be due to certain medicines you used, infection or physical trauma. See your doctor.
- Cervical problem: This includes abnormal growth, cervical infection and inflammation of the cervix. The cervical issue could cause bleeding too.
- Infections: Any infection that affects cervix or vaginal or sexually transmitted disease (STD) like gonorrhea, Chlamydia or herpes could cause bleeding during early pregnancy.
- Molar pregnancy: This is a rare pregnancy complication in which abnormal mass of cells is developed inside the uterine cavity rather than a baby. It may cause bleeding during the early stage of pregnancy. Apart from dark to bright colored vaginal bleeding, it may also cause symptoms of severe nausea and vomiting, pelvic pain or pressure or a passage of cyst (grapelike) from the vagina. If you suspect any of these symptoms, visit your doctor.
When should you see a doctor?
Whether you feel you are pregnant or have abnormal bleeding, it is imperative to see your doctor. Although you don’t have to worry about implantation bleeding, you still need to see a doctor.
If your home pregnancy test results are positive, you need to see your doctor to confirm the results. The doctor may also discuss choice for family planning or parental care with you.
Also, you need to see a doctor if you experience heavy bleeding in your early pregnancy as it may be caused by something else.
The bottom line
Implantation bleeding is the small bleeding you see 12 days after the intercourse. You see it when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall. Implantation bleeding usually occurs around the time you are expecting your menses but is lighter than the menstrual period.
It is pink to light brown in color and last for just a few hours or 3 days. Other things including threatened abortion, cervical problem, ectopic pregnancy, complete miscarriage, etc. can cause bleeding during early pregnancy.
The most important thing you need to do when you spot bleeding that is not your normal monthly period is to see your doctor.