What Is Implantation Bleeding? All The Facts

All About Implantation Bleeding

If you notice a spot of blood in early pregnancy, there is no need to panic. You may have what is called implantation bleeding. This happens when the fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. As the egg moves, some of the blood vessels in the uterine wall may break, causing some slight bleeding or spotting. It’s perfectly normal, and it is not risky for your pregnancy. Although this spotting may look similar to your period, there are a few differences between implantation bleeding and your period.

Is It Implantation Bleeding or My Period?

At first, you might mistake implantation bleeding for a light period, especially because it takes place around 10 to 14 days after conception, which is usually around the time you’d be expecting your period. Although every woman’s period is different — some have heavier flows, others have lighter ones — you can still notice the difference. Keep an eye out for anything out of place, because even if your periods are irregular, you will likely notice a change in the type of spotting, such as color, flow, or duration.

These are the main signs to look out for to know if you have implantation bleeding:

  • How heavy the bleeding is. Implantation bleeding is more like light spotting, so you if you’re used to heavier periods, the two should be easy to tell apart.

  • The color. Implantation bleeding is very light, so you'll see more of a pinkish or dark brown color, rather than the brighter red you may see during your period.

  • Consistency. You may experience thicker clotting while menstruating, but you will not get this with implantation bleeding, which will have the same consistency at all times.

Noticing any other early signs of pregnancy will also help you confirm that it’s implantation bleeding and not your period. If in doubt, take a pregnancy test to see if your body is producing hCG, the main pregnancy hormone that indicates you’re pregnant, or consult your healthcare provider.

How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last?

The length of the bleeding is also a clue, because most women will menstruate for about four to seven days, while implantation bleeding can last from a few hours to two days. If this is your first pregnancy, you may bleed a little longer than a woman who has already been pregnant. Because implantation bleeding will stop on its own, there is no need to look for treatment.

What Are the Risks of Implantation Bleeding?

You might have lots of questions and concerns during the early stages of pregnancy, but implantation bleeding is nothing to worry about. Even beyond implantation bleeding, light bleeding during pregnancy can occur for various reasons, such as an irritation of the cervix following examinations or a light infection. As a precaution, report any bleeding to your healthcare provider.

If you notice any extended or heavy bleeding, see your provider to get it checked out. Note any other symptoms you might have and discuss them with your medical practitioner if you have any concerns.

One of the most common issues with implantation bleeding is that you may not realize you’re pregnant yet, especially if you assume the bleeding is just a light period. This might make it harder to calculate your due date, but your healthcare provider will give you a more accurate estimate during a prenatal checkup.

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