What is implantation bleeding or spotting?
Implantation bleeding is usually defined as a very small amount of bleeding or spotting that occurs when the embryo implants into the lining of the uterus. Implantation spotting occurs shortly before the time you would expect to have a menstrual period, and it can confuse you into believing that you have a menstrual period. However, implantation bleeding tends to be much lighter than menstrual bleeding.
The blood associated with implantation bleeding is usually not fresh blood so it may not look like regular menstrual bleeding.
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 there is of it being implantation bleeding.
It is important to note that the blood associated with implantation bleeding is usually not fresh blood so it may not look like regular menstrual bleeding. The time it takes for these drops to move out of the body ages the blood and it will usually appear dark brown, or even black by the time the spotting occurs. Occasionally the blood associated with implantation bleeding may be fresh blood and appear redder.
When does implantation bleeding occur?
Implantation occurs on average about 9 days after ovulation (range between 6-12 days), which is about a week to a few days before your period would normally start. 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.
Spotting that occurs around a week after ovulation can be implantation bleeding; whereas spotting that occurs much later and a couple days before your period would normally start may not be. A normal menstrual cycle generally starts off light and then gets heavier.
What you may consider implantation spotting can sometimes be the sign of an early period and that means you are not pregnant. If this is the case, the spotting will progress to heavier bleeding. If you have spotting right around the time your period would normally start, it can be even more confusing. You will need to take the wait and see approach or take a pregnancy test to determine pregnancy.
Some women report having implantation symptoms around that time like implantation cramps, implantation bleeding or implantation cramping.
Is implantation bleeding common?
Implantation bleeding is fairly common with pregnancy and maybe around twenty to thirty percent of women will have spotting at implantation. If you have some light spotting before your period would normally start this is not something to worry about and may be a sign of pregnancy.