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Implantation Bleeding or Period? Know the Difference

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Implantation bleeding usually presents about a week before your menstrual period is due to begin (or 9 days after ovulation). Many women refer to this as spotting or do not even notice the bleeding at all. The closer to the day when the menstrual cycle is supposed to begin that the bleeding is noticed, the less chance of it being implantation bleeding.

It is important to understand that the blood associated with implantation bleeding is usually not going to be fresh blood. The time it takes for these drops to move out of the body ages the blood and it will usually appear dark brown, even black by the time the spotting occurs. However, occasionally the blood associated with implantation bleeding may be fresh blood and thus may appear more red, more like a menstrual period.

Take the Implantation/Spotting Quiz and find out what it could be

If what the woman feels is implantation bleeding is followed by a lighter flow or normal menstrual cycle, the blood was probably not associated with the implantation of the egg.

When the egg is released from the ovary, it travels down the fallopian tube toward the uterus. If the egg meets up with a viable sperm during the trip and the egg is fertilized, it will attempt to implant in the lining of the uterus. Implantation happens on average about 9 days after ovulation/fertilization and is required for the fetus to continue to grow. If implantation is not successful, the egg will flush out of the body with the normal menstrual flow.

The lining of the uterus is rich in blood and nutrients. When the fertilized egg enters the uterus, the egg "sticks" the this lining, referred to as the endometrial lining. The endometrial lining is the same lining that sheds every month during the menstrual cycle if a fertilized egg does not implant. Implantation occurs between 6 to 12 days after the egg is fertilized.

Due to the blood rich nature of the endometrial lining, a few drops of blood could move through the cervix and down the vagina. This blood is referred to as implantation bleeding and is a common sign of pregnancy. The blood will not appear red, but rather a darker brown or black due to the time it takes to move from the uterus out of the body.

Implantation is the attachment of the fertilized egg (called a blastocyst, a cluster of tiny cells, smaller than the head of a pin) when it has completed its travel through the fallopian tube and attaches to the lining of the uterus.  Ensuring a healthy endometrium (uterus) lining may help to improve the chances of a positive pregnancy. The amino acid L-arginine has been shown to help facilitate these endometrial secretions, learn more about the potential benefits of l-arginine here

Implantation bleeding and spotting is vaginal discharge that usually contains small amount of pinkish or brownish blood. Only about a third of all pregnant women experience this implantation bleeding. Some women report some bleeding or spotting around the time of implantation, the so called "implantation bleeding."

Implantation bleeding, also called implantation spotting, does not look like a regular menstrual period. Implantation bleeding is scanty and usually pink or brownish discharge. Implantation bleeding is often brown in color though some mention it to be more reddish.