It’s common knowledge that with the onset of pregnancy, menstruation bleeding stops. But another kind of bleeding happens in women in between the second and third weeks of pregnancy. This can cause some confusion to those who have already had confirmation of pregnancy using their pregnancy test kits. They might start thinking that the test might have been wrong and they aren’t actually pregnant as their menstruation has resumed. But this is actually something known as implantation bleeding (1). The bleeding from implantation is usually lighter compared to menstrual bleeding, and this can be used to differentiate between them. Let’s learn more about implantation bleeding in this article:
What Is Implantation Bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is light bleeding that pregnant women can get anywhere from the second week to about the eighth week of pregnancy (1). The reason behind implantation bleeding is the fertilized egg attaching to the uterine walls causing small ruptures. Implantation bleeding is a totally natural and normal phenomenon for pregnant women and there is no cause for concern or need for any medical intervention.
What Are The Causes Of Implantation Bleeding?
After conception, the combined cells multiply and move down the fallopian tubes to attach themselves to the uterus. This mass of rapidly developing cells called blastocyst begins to dig into the uterus lining (endometrium). The blastocyst has an outer layer that becomes the placenta while the inner cluster of cells will form the embryo (2). As more blood vessels develop in the uterus lining upon implantation, the cervix may bleed (3). Implantation bleeding may also be caused by reasons like tears from intercourse, heavy physical activity, or infection in your nether regions.
When Does Implantation Bleeding Take Place?
You should typically notice implantation bleeding around the time you expect your period. It is common during early pregnancy and can start around 10 to 15 days after a woman conceives (4). However, not every woman will experience it. For some, the bleeding might be so little that they don’t even notice it at all. In some cases, it is mistaken for menstruation and when this happens there is confusion regarding the pregnancy. It often creates confusion while estimating the delivery due date.
Is Implantation Bleeding Dangerous?
Implantation bleeding will not happen to each and every pregnant woman. However, this doesn’t mean that those who do get it are abnormal in any way. It’s a totally normal occurrence and happens for one in every three pregnancies (5). However, if the bleeding continues till the third trimester of pregnancy and the amount of bleeding is higher than usual, consult your doctor as soon as possible.
What Are The Signs That Implantation Has Occurred?
The possible signs of implantation that you may notice after you ovulate are as follows:
- Bleeding: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists say that about 25 percent of women will experience spotting or bleeding in the first trimester. Light bleeding or spotting can be visible one to two weeks after fertilization of the egg (3).
- Cervical Mucus Discharge: One may also notice some mucus discharge from implantation. The cervical mucus production will be relatively high in cases where implantation has occurred. This discharge will usually be clear, stretchy, and mostly cloudy or white (6).
- Cramping: As implantation happens, it’s a trigger for the hormonal levels. Cramping prepares your body to accommodate the growing embryo. So, as the uterus stretches, the muscles and ligaments that support it also expand, leading to a mild pulling sensation in the abdomen.
Other common signs that one should observe around the time of implantation are sore and tender breasts, nausea (morning sickness), and headaches. Call the rising hormones a culprit behind this. As the levels of hCG, estrogen, and progesterone escalate, these symptoms are likely to be noticeable in the early stages of pregnancy.
How Is Implantation Bleeding Different From Menstruation?
Bleeding during your periods is different from the one during implantation. However, bear in mind that women will experience their flows differently. Here are three major differences between implantation bleeding and menstruation:
- Implantation bleeding, whether (heavy or light), is lighter in color than period blood. Implantation bleeding is pink to brown colored, whereas menstrual bleeding can range from bright to darker shades of red.
- Clots do not accompany implantation. However, there can be a great deal of clotting when women menstruate.
- Implantation bleeding will not be heavy, whereas on your periods you’ll fill up tampons and pads. The flow during implantation is usually intermittent or just consistently light-colored flow, just enough to use a pantyliner.
What Is The Implantation Dip?
During implantation bleeding, there could be an accompanying drop in the basal body temperature (BBT). It is a decrease in the body’s basal metabolic rate that happens 7-10 days after ovulation. Before ovulation, a woman’s body temperature is low. It slowly increases and then dips again right before your periods. Once pregnancy happens, your body temperature will continue running high. In the event of implantation dip, your body temperature will weirdly drop for a day and rise again (7).
What Should You Do When Implantation Bleeding Happens?
Implantation bleeding is painless, light, and generally stops after a few times. For the usual cases, implantation bleeding won’t need any medication or other intervention to get cured. Take plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Avoid activities like heavy lifting that puts undue pressure on the already stressed body. Limit your physical activity and take advice from your doctor to gain clarity on pregnancy exercises permissible for you.
Your body does some amazing things to prepare you for motherhood. Consult your doctor when the discomfort increases as there could be underlying issues that call for attention. The next time you miss your period and you notice light spotting, it could signify pregnancy. Take a home pregnancy test or visit your OB-GYN to confirm your pregnancy. Worry not. Many women go through implantation bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy and still have a healthy pregnancy journey. Did you experience implantation bleeding after you conceived? Do share your story with us in the comments section below!
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- Cervical Mucus And Early Pregnancy
- Basal Body Temperature For Natural Family Planning