Implantation Bleeding – Everything That You Need To Know!

So you recently found out that you’re pregnant after missing your period and jump around with joy! Then after a week or two, you notice slight bleeding and freak out wondering if it is normal? Well, the light spotting/bleeding that you see could just be “implantation bleeding”.

What is implantation bleeding?

Implantation bleeding is considered to be an early sign of pregnancy. It occurs when a fertilised egg (sperm fuses with the ovum/egg) attaches to the lining of the uterus to form the growing baby.

It generally occurs 6-12 days after ovulation and is seen in 1/3rd of all pregnancies in women. The reason some women fail to interpret that they are pregnant in the first month or so is because they confuse implantation bleeding to a regular period.

Well, then what are the signs and symptoms of implantation bleeding?

In some instances, the bleeding may go unnoticed. But in most instances, the common signs and symptoms of implantation bleeding are:

  • Pink/brownish discharge (blood tinged) aka spotting
  • In rare cases light bleeding (Note: Bleeding of any kind should be informed to your doctor immediately)
  • Faint stomach cramping
  • Headaches and/or mood swings

How can you differentiate implantation bleeding and a period?

This perhaps is the most common query new moms-to-be have! This is even more nerve-wracking for couples who have been trying to conceive. Nonetheless, there are key differences that help you differentiate an implantation bleeding over a regular period. These include:

  1. Timing: Implantation bleeding usually occurs 6-10 days after ovulation, while menstruation/period normally occurs after 14 – 22 (depending on your cycle).
  2. Colour: Implantation bleeding the discharge/spotting is pinkish or dark brown indicating old blood, whereas period blood is bright and vibrant red indicating fresh blood.
  3. Duration: Implantation bleeding is seen egg is fixing itself to the uterus and lasts a few hours to 1-2 days. Whereas depending on your cycle, your period lasts 4-7 days.
  4. Type: Implantation bleeding will remain light with no clots and possibly stop and start in a short duration. In case of your period, the bleeding starts off light, but gets heavier and has a constant flow with clots.
  5. Cramping: Implantation bleeding is accompanied by light cramping (the egg attaches itself to the womb), which is faint and does not increase in strength. Whereas your period/menstruation pain is usually more intense and gets stronger.

Should you be worried about your implantation bleeding?

In most instances, implantation bleeding is nothing to worry about and is a normal occurrence. However, if the bleeding increases or if there is a presence of lower abdominal pain, dizziness or vomiting this could indicate an underlying chance of either a:

  • miscarriage
  • ectopic pregnancy

It should be known that some women have a light period when they are pregnant in the first trimester. This can some pregnant women apprehensive of a miscarriage, but rest assured, a good number of pregnant women who have had some type of light bleeding ended up delivering a healthy baby! We just advise you to take more care in such cases and speak to your doctor and put your mind at ease.



Dr. Aishwarya Rajeev has completed her MDS degree and is currently pursuing her PhD. She is an avid reader and loves to teach and write!

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