Is this regular spotting or implantation bleeding? Find out!

It can be tricky to know the difference between implantation bleeding or the typical spotting often noticed between periods, or even a regular period itself. Implantation bleeding 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. To help alleviate the confusion, Dr. Amos Grunebaum, MD created this implantation bleeding quiz to help identify the difference from menstrual bleeding. It will also help you find out if it's time to take a pregnancy test.

Use our implantation calculator to find out when implantation bleeding may occur.

When does implantation bleeding happen?

Implantation bleeding usually presents about a week before your menstrual period is due to begin (or 9 days after ovulation). Many women 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.

Could it be your period?

Implantation bleeding occurs about a few days or a week before the scheduled time of a woman’s menstrual period. Even if only spotting occurs, its occurrence after a week of ovulation may indicate it to be implantation bleeding. However, if spotting occurs just before the usual time when a period is supposed to occur, it will most likely be just a menstrual period.

The normal pattern of menstrual bleeding is that it will start off slowly and gradually increase to heavier bleeding. Menstrual bleeding will also last for several days while implantation bleeding lasts for less than a whole day and is usually much less bleeding.

However, spotting just prior to the expected menstrual period may not always indicate implantation bleeding, and may just mean the period is starting ahead of time. If it actually is menstrual bleeding, it will lead to a greater amount of bleeding, whereas implantation bleeding may only last as spotting and will end swiftly afterward. The most effective method to differentiate whether it is implantation bleeding or a menstrual period is to wait and see what happens next. 

Does every pregnant woman have implantation bleeding?

It's likely that most women who do become pregnant do not experience implantation bleeding. Since the amount of blood is small, it may go unnoticed.

What does implantation bleeding look like?

Most women report this bleeding to be brown in color though some mention it to be more reddish. Most women report at most a few drops of blood — may be one to two small red or brown spots in the panties, though others report a more substantial amount yet rarely, if ever, does it approach the appearance of menstrual bleeding.

If your bleeding is similar to a menstrual period, chances are that it's not implantation bleeding. If you experience bleeding regularly after ovulation and you are not pregnant then you may want to discuss with your doctor whether some tests can be done to make sure everything is OK.

Is implantation bleeding normal?

Not all pregnant women will have typical implantation bleeding. In fact, most pregnant women will not have any bleeding at implantation, while others bleed for days. Implantation bleeding is different from one woman to the other and can be just some drops or more substantial bleeding.

Read More:
How Common Is Implantation Bleeding?
Online Pregnancy Test

Think you might be having implantation bleeding? Take this quiz!