What is Implantation Bleeding?
Implantation spotting or bleeding occurs 7-10 days after a successful fertilisation. The fertilised egg starts to divide into multiple calls and travels through the fallopian tube into the uterus.
It then digs and burrow through the uterine lining(endometrium) to develop and grow.
When the egg attaches or buries itself to the lining of the womb, it causes a slight bleeding or spotting known as also known as implantation spotting
How Long Can Implantation Bleeding Last and How Heavy Can it be?
For a lot of women, bleeding during implantation usually last for 24-48 hours. But for a few women, it can also last for 3-5 days. And this is why some women mistaken implantation spotting for their period.
To differentiate implantation spotting from your period, lets take a look at some signs and symptoms.
Light bleeding usually occurs around a few days when you would expect to see your next menstrual period.
Because it occurs around the same time as your next period. It can often be confused with a period starting.
Here are the ways you can different it from a period.
1. Pink discharge or brownish discharge
The color is lighter than your normal period. The spots or bleeding is usually scanty and not as heavy as your normal menstrual flow.
But in other cases, it could be darker than your menstrual period. In this cases you get a dark brown or dark red discharge.
2. Lighter Than Normal Period
One of the ways to know if you are having implantation bleeding or your period is that bleeding caused by implantation is usually lighter and last for just 1-2 days.
The bleeding is usually off and on for one or two days. This is different from your normal menstrual flow which usually last 3-7 days.
3. Light Cramping
Accompanied with embryo implantation is usually cramping. Both period and implantation causes cramping. But the cramping caused by implantation is mild. This is why most women do not notice when they have implantation cramps.
The process when the embryo implants itself to the lining of the uterus is usually not painful for most women.
Some women may develop, secondary cramping during implantation that is similar to menstrual cramps.
Don't be alarmed if you have slight blood spotting but no cramps. You may still be pregnant.
4. Mood Swings
Accompanied with light brown spotting after fertilisation is other early pregnancy symptoms. Due to rising level of hormones in your body, you may start to have mood swing.
The rising level of progesterone hormone and estrogen hormone makes early pregnancy symptoms to be similar to Pre menstrual symptoms(PMS)
For some women they start to experience headaches after conception has occurred. Although headache is not really considered as an early sign of pregnancy. This is because headaches may occur due to dehydration, PMS, Stress, Allergies.
6. Breast Changes
This is one of the early signs of pregnancy before a missed period.
After fertilisation, you may notice that your breast appears tender and fuller.
Also your areola starts to get darker as early as a week after conception. A tingling feeling around your areola is also a sign that you are pregnant.
7. Feeling Bloated
Your level of oestrogen and progesterone hormone, continues to increase to sustain pregnancy.
This can sometimes may you feel bloated or gassy in early pregnancy.
How Long Does Implantation Take to complete
Implantation happens around 6-7 days after fertilisation. Although this can differ from woman to woman. For some women implantation could happen as early for 7 days after conception or as late as 12 days after.
The implantation process itself could last for 2 hours but it could last for 1-3 days for others.
Stages of implantation
Let us examine the implantation process
Ovulation and fertilisation must occur for pregnancy to be possible.
At ovulation a matured egg is released from one of the ovaries. This could be accompanied by ovulation cramps.
If the released egg gets fertilised by a sperm. The fertilised egg is known as zygote. If no fertilisation occurs the egg disintegrates in the next 48 hours.
The fertilised egg continues to divide into cluster of cells known as blastocyst.
The blastocysts continues to make a journey that takes about 4 -5 days through the fallopian tube into the uterus.
On around Day 6 to Day 7 the blastocyst will arrive in the womb or uterus. It then starts to burrow (dig deep) through the lining of the uterus or womb to attach itself until birth. This process is known as the implantation process.
The entrance of the cervix at this point is blocked with a mucus plug to prevent blood from coming through.
It is important to know that only 33 % of women get bleeding or spotting during implantation. You may still be pregnant and not have symptoms of implantation such as cramping and bleeding.
The best way to test for pregnancy is to take a pregnancy test about a week after your missed period.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Does Implantation Occur
Implantations occurs around 7-12 days after conception. But in many cases 7-10 days post conception.
Only one sperm out of a million is allowed to fertilise the egg. Once fertilised, the egg starts to divided into multiple cells.
It also moves slowly in the fallopian tube. And it arrive in the uterus on 6-7 days after it has been fertilised.
The embryo may wait in the uterus for a few more days before implanting itself to the lining of the womb.
How Long Does Implantation Cramping last?
Implantation cramping can last for 5 minutes or for a few days. It usually happens in the lower abdomen or sometimes also has a back pain.
What Do Implantation Cramps Feel Like?
Implantation cramps are sharp or mild twinges felt in the lower abdomen around a week after ovulation.
The can be mistaken for a period which is about to start. Some women recall the pain as a pulling or prickling pain in the abdominal area.
What Does Spotting Look Like?
Spotting is very light pink or bright red or light brown in color. It is not as heavy as your normal period.
And it does not contain blood clots. It commonly occurs during ovulation and in early pregnancy.
Spotting during pregnancy could be a sign that something is wrong. Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage is a common cause of bleeding in pregnancy.
How Long does Spotting Last on Birth Control
One of the side effects of using birth control pills is irregular bleeding or breakthrough bleeding.
Irregular bleeding or breakthrough bleeding is any bleeding from the uterus that happens at any other time aside from mensuration.
Irregular bleeding or spotting can occur for first three to 4 months after you start taking the pill.
You should be fine after your body has adjusted to the birth control pill.
How long does spotting last if not pregnant
implantation spotting is usually an early sign of pregnancy. If spotting and not pregnant, you may be worried as to why this is happening.
Abnormal vaginal bleeding or spotting can last for hours or for months. It depends on the cause of the spotting.
If you have vaginal bleeding or spotting that resembles you normal period but you are not on your period, you should see your doctor.
Spotting between periods could be caused by a variety of female health related problems.
Can Bleeding Last A week or 5 Days
It can last for 2 hours for some women while for others it can last for 5 days or a week. The bleeding or spotting is lighter than your normal period. And it is pinkish or brownish in color. It is also scanty and not heavy menstrual flow.
How many days before your period does it occur.
Vaginal bleeding or spotting usually happen 3-7 days before your period. And around 6-7 days past ovulation. It is often common for women to mistaken implantation spotting for their period starting because they both happen around the same time.
Also PMS and early pregnancy symptoms are very similar.
In conclusion, Implantation is usually accompanied by a very light bleeding and slight cramping. Also remember that not all women get spotting, bleeding or cramps as an early pregnancy sign. The best was is to wait till you have missed your period to test for pregnancy.
When is the Best Time to take a Pregnancy Test
The best time to take a pregnancy test is a week after you have missed your period.
Testing too early may result in a negative or false test result. Most pregnancy test strips are built to test for atleast HCG level of 25mIU/ml.
If your HCG level is too low, it will not be detected by most pregnancy kits.
Wait a few more days if you have pregnancy symptoms. You can also go to see the doctor, who will carry out a blood test.