Implantation bleeding or spotting is one of the very early signs of pregnancy. But only 1 in 3 women experience it. In case you are here wondering what implantation bleeding symptoms are and how to differentiate it from a normal period, don't worry we break it all down in this post.
What is implantation bleeding?
Implantation bleeding occurs when a fertilised egg implants(buries) itself in the lining of the walls of the uterus 6 to 12 days after conception.
It takes 6 to 7 days for the fertilised egg to travel from the fallopian tube to its new home the uterus.
When it arrives in its new home, the embryo has the task of digging or burrowing through the uterus lining in a process called implantation.
For some women, implantation occurs immediately the blastocyst reaches the womb. While for others implantation doesn't start until after a few days.
The lining of the walls of the uterus is known as endometrium.
It is the same lining of the uterus(womb) that is shed as blood during your menstruation monthly.
Before you can get a positive pregnancy test, implantation must have been completed.
Let me briefly explain what happens during implantation that causes light spots pink or brown blood to be shed.
During the process of implantation, the fertilised egg also known as the embryo dissolves or digs a hole in the uterine lining to bury itself.
The endometrium(uterus lining) can be likened to a fertile soil in which you plant a seed.
A few spots of blood maybe shed when the embryo digs through the endometrium.
These blood finds its way to the vagina and it is seen as spots of blood on your panties or toilet paper.
Even if you decide to use a pad implantation spotting is never a flow of blood and it shouldn't be heavy like a period.
After implantation, the implanted embryo starts to develop, nourish and grow in its new comfortable home.
"Are there any signs that would help me identify implantation bleeding?" this is a common question often asked by women like you.
Yes there are and we have listed them below.
Signs and Symptoms
Implantation bleeding happens around 3-7 days before your next period is expected to start.
The difference between implantation spotting and your period is in the color, timing, flow and how long it lasts for.
It is possible to be unsure if you are pregnant or not. Here are the common signs and symptoms that accompanies it:
- Implantation cramping: When the embryo digs through the lining of the walls of the uterus. It can cause a mild pain or cramp.
- Light bleeding: Although not all women experience this, but spotting a few days before period is a sign of pregnancy
- Breast tenderness: This is caused by a rise in the level of hormones estrogen and progesterone after conception
Bleeding during implantation usually last for 2-48 hours and it is notting to worry about as long as the bleeding is light and doesn't cause any form of severe cramping.
But incase you experience abnormal heavy bleeding and you suspect you are pregnant, see a doctor immediately.
Ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages are a common cause of bleeding in early pregnancy.
When to take a Pregnancy Test
Even though spotting and cramping before period is a sign of pregnancy.
The best way to find out if pregnant is to take a pregnancy test at home.
Take the test only a few days or up to a week after you have a missed period.
By this time the level of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone in your urine is high enough to be determined by home pregnancy kits.