What Is Implantation Bleeding?
What you need to know about implantation or spot bleeding – what it is when it happens, and whether you need to get advice about your pregnancy.
Implantation bleeding, also called spotting or spot bleeding, can be an early sign of pregnancy. It occurs when the embryo implants or embeds into the endometrium lining of the uterus. Some women can even mistake it for regular periods because it can look similar and can occur relatively close to your expected menses.
Implantation bleeding is often a result of the embryo trying to embed itself into the uterine lining. Within the time the embryo takes to reach the uterus, the endometrial mining of the uterus is very well developed and contains a rich network of capillaries and blood vessels. When the embryo gets implanted, a few of these vessels and capillaries can be destroyed, resulting in bleeding- this is implantation bleeding.
When does implantation bleeding occur?
Implantation bleeding usually occurs about 6 to 12 days after you conceive, ie. If the sperm fertilizes the egg, the formed zygote will continue its journey down the fallopian tube to the uterus. After the fertilization has happened, it takes the egg about three days to travel through the fallopian tube to the ampulla part, where fertilization occurs.
The zygote keeps on undergoing cell division throughout its way to the uterus and now is called an embryo. The embryo reaches the uterus in about six days. Hence you can say that the spot bleeding will occur approximately 6-12 days after ovulation as well, before your next menstrual bleeding, assuming that you have a regular 28-day cycle.
As you can see, implantation bleeding happens quite close to your menstrual period, and hence many women might get confused regarding this type of bleeding. However, there is a significant difference between implantation bleeding and your regular periods.
Firstly, your period usually lasts for about 3-5 days and starts heavy and gets lighter as the days progress. Blood from implantation bleeding is generally older and hance darker in colour- brown or almost black. Spot bleeding is also not that heavy compared to your regular periods. Here are some differences between implantation bleeding and your regular periods:
- It lasts for 3-5 days
- Bleeding is heavy during the first couple of days and then becomes lighter
- Uterine cramping is more severe
- Usually lasts only for 24 to 48 hours
- Bleeding is very light and brown to black
- Almost non-existent uterine cramping
How common is Implantation bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is believed in only one-third of pregnant women. In many cases, this bleeding can be the earliest sign that you are pregnant. In this study, only (9%) recorded at least one day of vaginal bleeding during the first eight weeks of pregnancy. Some women might even feel that it is their regular time of the month, and they are just having a shorter period that month.
It takes about two days for the egg to get implanted in the uterine wall. Hence, implantation bleeding can last for up to two days. The blood resulting from implantation bleeding is much darker than your regular period blood as it is much older and has already been oxidized by the time it comes out.
Should I take a pregnancy test after spot bleeding?
Yes. Implantation bleeding has no bearing on a pregnancy test. Fertility2Family early detection pregnancy tests are designed to be sensitive and accurate to help you detect that you are pregnant as soon as there is some Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) released in your body.
The level of hCG in your body will continue to rise as you progress through the various stages of your early pregnancy. Hence, if you take a pregnancy test after you spot bleeding, it is perfectly fine and reliable. If your first pregnancy test result is negative even after experiencing Implantation bleeding, wait for a couple of days and try again. Sometimes, it might take 24-48 hours for the levels of hCG to become detectable.
What are the signs of implantation bleeding?
Here are some indications that might suggest that you are having Implantation bleeding and not your regular periods:
- If you see spots of blood a few to several days before your scheduled period
- If the colour of the blood is not as bright red as it is during your periods but much darker, almost black.
- If you monitor your basal body temperature (BBT), you might see a rise in your BBT around 6-10 days post ovulation, indicating that you might have conceived. Use only a highly sensitive BBT thermometer like the one in the Fertility2family product catalogue to be able to identify this rise in your BBT
- The bleeding will stop within a couple of days.
When should I be worried about spot bleeding?
Bleeding during pregnancy is considered abnormal, and your doctor will take any bleeding quite seriously. That said, experiencing implantation bleeding is deemed to be normal. However, a few scenarios warrant a medical opinion, especially if you have confirmed that you are pregnant using a pregnancy test strip. Some of these situations are –
- If you are experiencing heavier flow than normal before your scheduled period and the blood is bright red, you should consult a doctor.
- If the bleeding happens in the middle of the night and seems very persistent
- Every pregnant woman has about a 25% chance of miscarrying. If the bleeding starts to look like your regular period with clots and cramp in your abdomen, seek immediate medical help. The doctor might perform an ultrasound or lab tests to determine your hCG levels.