One of the very early signs of pregnancy is implantation. Whether through natural sexual intercourse or through artificial insemination like IVF.
What Is Implantation?
This is a process in which the fertilised egg attaches itself to the lining of the womb or uterus by releasing some enzymes that dissolves the thickened lining of the womb.
The lining of the womb nourishes the embedded embryo as it grows and develops.
A successful Implantation usually happens around week 3 of pregnancy that is a week after ovulation.
What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like?
Implantation bleeding is a light and scanty blood stains. It is light pink or bright red or light brown in color.
It is not as heavy as your normal period and it usually last for few hours or 48 hours.
When Does Implantation Occur?
Implantation occurs around a week after ovulation and around a week to your next expected period date. It happen on week 3 of your monthly cycle.
An egg or ovum is released during ovulation. The released egg stays in the fallopian tube waiting to be fertilised.
If the egg is fertilised, it starts to divide rapidly into balls of cells. At the point of fertilisation the genetic makeup of the unborn child has been determined.
Signs Of Implantation
1. Bleeding or Spotting
Very light spotting before your expected period, is a sign of implantation taking place. If you see stains of blood on your pants or toilet paper that disappears within a few hours or days. You may be experiencing embryo implantation.
Not all women have this sign so you may still be pregnant even if you do not.
2. Implantation Cramping
The process may be accompanied by some mild or slight cramps. The digging or burrowing of the embryo into the thick uterus wall causes this mild pain in the abdomen.
Some women may also have lower back pain which may last for a few hours or days.
3. Changes in Vaginal secretions
Excessive white discharge a few days before period is a sign of both pregnancy or PMS. But in pregnancy the discharge continues through out the pregnancy period.
4. Lower Abdominal Pain
Your body is working harder and supply so much blood to the uterus so that the growing baby can grow and develop.
Also the increasing size of the uterus puts pressure on pelvic organs causing a slight pain.
As the pregnancy progresses, you may find it increasingly difficult to walk a long distance. Especially in the third trimester.
5. Mood Swings
After implantation, the level of estrogen and progesterone hormone increases rapidly. To keep the uterine lining thick and to support the foetus.
This increasing levels of hormones may lead to mood swings like those experienced before a period. If you have PMS.
This is the most obvious sign of pregnancy, especially if you have a regular menstrual cycle.
An unusual light spotting can also be a sign of pregnancy. About a week after fertilisation, the newly fertilised egg implants itself in the lining of the womb.
This can sometimes cause spotting of Blood. But make sure you tell your doctor or midwife if you notice any form blood while pregnant.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting is also known as morning sickness. the term morning sickness does not do this word a justice.
Nausea and vomiting can happen in any time of the day. Some women feel less nauseous after the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
While other women continue to feel sick through out pregnancy.
You may have swollen and tender breasts, as before a period or even a tingling sensation around your nipples.
Also the veins of your breast may also become more obvious. Your areola also starts to get darker than normal
All these changes are caused by the increasing level of pregnancy hormone. This is a very early sign of pregnancy.
Food Craving and Aversion
In early pregnancy, a lot of women are put of by the smell or sight of foods and drinks that they once love. The feeling is often linked to nausea.
And some pregnant women start craving a certain type of food. Craving is caused by the increasing levels of hormones.
Fatigue and Tiredness
You may feeling tired and needing to catch more sleep. This is because your body is working harder to support the growing foetus. More blood is being pumped to the uterus to meet the needs of the baby.
Also an increasing level of the progesterone hormone also causes you to feel more tired.
Increased Vaginal Secretion
An increase in white milky discharge called leukorrhea is an early pregnancy discharge. It is caused due to the increase in level of estrogen and progesterone hormone.
Positive Pregnancy Test
If you suspect you are pregnant, the best way to confirm is by taking a pregnancy test.
You can grab a home pregnancy test kit from your local store or online.
Most pregnancy test kits work by detecting the level pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in the woman's urine.
It is best to test for pregnancy around a week or a few days after you have missed your period. But preferably a week after a late period.
By this time the level of HCG in your urine would be high enough to be detected by the home test kits.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does Implantation Cramping Feel Like?
Implantation cramping feels like a prickling pain in the lower abdomen either on the right or left side. This depends on which ovary released the egg.
Cramps during implantation are very mild and not as painful as your period cramp.
Some women have likened the pain to a dull ache in their abdominal region similar to where they experience menstrual cramps.
Because not all women have a pain during the process, don't be worried if you don't have one too.