//google typekit fonts snippet Implantation Bleeding vs. Your Period: Decoding this Early Pregnancy Sign
implantation bleeding

Implantation Bleeding vs. Your Period: Decoding this Early Sign of Pregnancy

If you’re trying to get pregnant, the two weeks between ovulation and your scheduled period can be excruciating. If and when your period arrives, you know you have to start all over again. But did you know that blood in your underwear could actually mean you conceived? Instead of Aunt Flow it could be her pregnancy-related cousin: implantation bleeding.

What Is Implantation Bleeding?

Most women ovulate halfway through their menstrual cycle, and if you don’t get pregnant then, you’ll get your period about two weeks after that. If a sperm does successfully fertilize the egg you released at ovulation, you have conceived. This newly created embryo will then travel to your uterus and burrow itself into the lining, if all goes according to plan. When this occurs, the embryo may agitate the blood cells in your lining and cause blood to be released from your body. The apparent release of that blood is known as implantation bleeding and it is an early pregnancy symptom.  

How Common Is Implantation Bleeding?

As many as one in four pregnant women may experience implantation bleeding. In its run down of pregnancy symptoms, the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development cites research that shows 25 percent of pregnant women experience some spotting that is lighter in color than normal menstrual blood and which occurs about six to 12 days after conception. You can’t say for certain that each instance of early bleeding is caused by implantation, but it is a common explanation.

As many as one in four pregnant women may experience implantation bleeding.

Typically, this type of early bleeding is not something to worry about. I spoke to Dr. Emily Harville and Dr. Allen Wilcox, co-authors of a paper on vaginal bleeding in very early pregnancy. In their study, nine percent of women with clinical pregnancies reported bleeding in the first eight weeks of pregnancy. And about 85 percent of these pregnancies continued to a live birth. “These data suggest that a few days of bleeding in early pregnancy is not a rare event, and furthermore that such bleeding has little relevance to the ultimate success of the pregnancy,” they concluded.

As far as the exact timing of this pregnancy symptom, the study found that bleeding tended to occur around the time when women would expect their periods, although rarely on the day of implantation. Dr. Harville, who researches reproductive questions at Tulane University, told me: “We had very specific information on when implantation was occurring, and ‘implantation bleeding’ did not usually occur on the actual day of implantation.” This finding suggests that there may be a delay between implantation and when the bleeding appears, which makes sense since the blood would have to travel through your body. It could also indicate that other causes can explain bleeding in very early pregnancy.

Implantation Bleeding Vs. My Period: How to Tell the Difference

The best way to know whether you’re pregnant or not is to wait a few days and take a pregnancy test. Some symptoms might offer hints that you could be experiencing implantation bleeding.

There are a few ways you can distinguish implantation bleeding from your period:

  • Timing: Implantation bleeding happens six to 14 days after conception. It typically happens before your period would normally arrive.
  • Color: Implantation bleeding is often pink or brown, instead of bright red.
  • Amount of blood: Implantation bleeding produces spotting, not a heavy flow. It usually lasts one to three days. That’s because the embryo has displaced only a small portion of your uterine lining. When you get your period, on the other hand, you shed the whole thing.

Other Causes of Bleeding in Early Pregnancy

Besides your period or implantation bleeding, there may be other explanations for bleeding in early pregnancy.  The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explains that the cervix may bleed more easily during pregnancy because more blood vessels are developing in this area. Sexual intercourse or a pelvic exam could also trigger harmless light bleeding. A subchorionic hemorrhage, or blood clot on the wall of the uterus, may also be to blame. Such blood clots typically resolve themselves.

Finally, complications like an ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg implants outside of the uterus) or threatened miscarriage due to chromosomal problems can also lead to early bleeding. If you see blood and suspect you might be pregnant, it’s always a good idea to contact your doctor. Now you know: don’t just assume it’s your period.

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21 Responses to “Implantation Bleeding vs. Your Period: Decoding this Early Sign of Pregnancy”

Why am I Spotting Before, After, and in Between My Period?

October 01, 2018 9:46 am

[…] start growing a baby. While your egg gets cozy in your uterus, you may experience what is known as implantation bleeding. This is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy but is not one that all women experience. If you […]

Reply

Ifra Abdhillahi Kenya

February 26, 2020 10:59 pm

Hi am new here and am loving it all the way thru

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nadene

March 31, 2020 6:01 am

light flow of blood on the pad but nothhing when i wipe

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Tiara

April 01, 2020 8:50 am

Light flow, I normally have a heavy flow pad is full in an hour or 2. Flow is really light and a week early with no clots. Really nervous and trying not to think about it

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Sabrina

April 02, 2020 6:25 pm

Light flow usually have heavy flow a week early with a light flow

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Hope Nosbisch

April 10, 2020 1:24 pm

I believe I may be pregnant I was ovulating the first two weeks of March an had unprotected sex with my partner my period was scheduled for March 19 an well I believe implantation bleeding has accured I only bleed the 19 an 20 of March an didn’t have the rest of my period …. I took a test but it was to early at the time to test ….

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Nicole

April 14, 2020 6:57 am

I started spotting on the 3th of this month for a couple hours. My period was suppose to come on the 15th When it did come it was a light flow I’m usually heavy and it’s started on the 10th. What should I do?????

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Tecla

April 20, 2020 6:35 am

usually, I hv 32 to 34 days cycle, usually my period starts on the 6th or 8th of every month, I missed my period on February, I thought it was pregnancy, but on the 6th of March, it came out, it was supposed to start on d 6th of this month, but it didnt come, through out that period I was having serious cramps, nipple pain that changed to heaviness in d breast, now 46 days later, my period started today 20th April, plz I need advise on what to do and help.

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Lex

April 20, 2020 11:35 am

I am a week early on my period and I am very worried.. I have been doing so much research because I am having so many pregnancy symptoms until now. At first I was just spotting but it’s very heavy now, and my period is very regular so if anyone knows anything I would love the advice..

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Hanna

April 24, 2020 9:02 am

I was supposed to have my period on the 21st of this Month but it did not come. From the 21st until now it was light pink bleeding. Then today i was bleeding like i was having a period.

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Tay

April 26, 2020 8:41 am

I am 3days late for my periods, I had implantation bleeding a few days ago,I usually get my periods twice a month due to the implant. I took a pregnancy test and it showed negative. What should or can I do to find out what’s happening

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Judith

April 29, 2020 3:50 pm

My period ended 7 days ago but I am spotting with no symptoms

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Chrissy

May 01, 2020 9:00 am

I had my period February 28 it ended March 2 I had no period for March April 1st i was spotting/bleeding for 7 days straight it was very light then here it is April 29 I was bleeding then it stopped then i had brown discharge April 30 then may 1st its brown discharge with dark red bleeding stomach hurts I took pregnancy test March 24 they came back positive

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Kat

May 10, 2020 9:51 pm

THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.
This article has eased my mind. You have no idea. I have been reading online for WEEKS and this is only the second place I have found that said implantation bleeding CAN happen around the time of your period. Everything I have read says implantation bleeding MUST occurs BEFORE your approaching period date.
The information in this article is direct, thorough, and backed up by legitimate research. Again, THANK YOU.

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Lindsey

May 20, 2020 1:25 pm

My periods are regular && I had my last period on the 17th of April now that it’s May I’m 3 days late but on the 4th day I started bleeding with lil mild cramps can I be implantation bleeding please help I need answers

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Mary guerra

May 23, 2020 6:20 pm

On the 11th of this month i started spotting , two days after on the 13th of may my expected period started. The flow came much lighter than it usually does . It lasted 7 days stop an started back the next day , with just stopping on and off till the 10th day . On the 11th day it started back heavy a dark red blood flow an my nipples are giving me milk when i squeeze , more than i usually get during a period … please help . I am never had a period this long an its frustrating

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Quaiesha

May 24, 2020 6:28 am

I was suppose to come on my period a few days ago but when I woke up this morning I went to the bathroom and noticed a very light spot on tissue it was very light pink but very like creamy

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Mumsy

May 27, 2020 7:21 pm

I last had my last period on 28 April and I’ve been experiencing spotting and cramping since yesterday (27 may). Can it be possible that I’m pregnant?

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Faustina Amakye

May 30, 2020 5:18 pm

Had my period on 19 April and it’s came again on 30th May ..It’s was 40 days long..I don’t know if am pregnant cus I had unprotected sex during my ovulation..Today am bleeding and it’s brownish..help me somebody am confused

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Ruhia Alhassan

June 02, 2020 8:36 pm

I had my period last on 21th April and it was supposed to come on 21th may but it didn’t so I took a home pregnancy test and it positive.Yesterday I notice light blood when I went to the bathroom and on a wipe I used I am confused.am I really pregnant?

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April Morrison

July 08, 2020 5:05 am

My love and I have been trying to get pregnant. For 3 weeks I have had pregnancy symptoms. My period was supposed to come on 07-06 but came on 07-05 a day early and was very light I only had to use 1 pad a day or night which is not normal I typically flow like a river and use 5 or 6 a day. Then on the 3rd day it turned light pink and then dark brown and went away and it normally lasts a week. I think I had implantation bleeding but my test this morning said not pregnant. Is it just too soon to take a test?

Reply

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