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Implantation Bleeding and Spotting Symptoms: The First Pregnancy Sign

  • pregnant-woman-standing

Implantation bleeding is usually defined as a very small amount of bleeding or spotting that occurs because the embryo implants into the lining of the uterus about 6-12 days after conception. Implantation spotting or bleeding occurs shortly before the time you would expect to have a menstrual period, and it can confuse some women into believing that they have a menstrual period. However, implantation bleeding is lighter than menstrual bleeding.

Some women don't experience implantation bleeding and others don't notice it. It's also possible to mistake implantation bleeding for a light period. If this happens, you might not realize that you're pregnant — which can lead to mistakes when determining a baby's due date.

Implantation bleeding is light, stops on its own and doesn't require treatment. If you're concerned about any vaginal bleeding or vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, contact your health care provider.

When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur?

Implantation bleeding and spotting is among the very first of the typical pregnancy symptoms and pregnancy signs. It is thought to happen when the fertilized egg attached to the lining of the uterus. Some women experience bleeding upon implantation while others never do. Having bleeding can also be confused with having menstrual bleeding or your period. This form of bleeding when you are pregnant is normal and requires no specific treatment but you can have a normal pregnancy without it.

On Which Day Does Implantation Happen?

The attachement of the embryo to the uterine wall usually happens within 1-2 days after the embryo has arrived in the uterus, about 5-7 days after ovulation and fertilization, on average, 9 days after ovulation and fertilization, with a range between 6 and 12 days.

Is It Implantation Bleeding or a Menstrual Cycle?

Pregnancy related bleeding usually presents about a week before your menstrual cycle is due to begin (or a week after ovulation). Many women refer to this as spotting or do not even notice the bleeding at all.

It is important to understand that the blood associated with implantation bleeding is not going to be fresh blood. The time it takes for these drops to move out of the body ages the blood. It will appear dark brown, even black by the time the spotting occurs.

Is Implantation Bleeding Common?

The bleeding or spotting is a result of the egg implanting in the endometrial lining of the uterus. It happens in most pregnancies, but not every woman notices the blood. Between 20 and 30% of women have spotting associated with the early changes of pregnancy but this spotting is not the same as pregnancy bleeding in most cases.

There is no complete agreement among experts whether it can be felt or not. Some women claim they can feel implantation while many pregnant women did not have any symptoms at that time.

Difference Between Implantation Bleeding and Menstrual Bleeding aka Your Period

There are four characteristics of the bleeding or spotting that can differentiate between a period or implantation symptoms. You can identify whether the bleeding is associated with implantation or a menstrual period by the following characteristics:

  1. TIMING: Implantation bleeding happens about 6-12 days after ovulation while a menstrual period happens 14 days after ovulation
  2. CHARACTER: Implantation bleeding is just a couple of drops while a menstrual period is much more
  3. COLOR: A menstrual period is usually bright red while implantation is more brownish
  4. DURATION:Bleeding associated with implantation lasts up to one day while a menstrual period lasts 3-5 days