Implantation Bleeding: The Mild Bleeding During Early Pregnancy

Is This Implantation Bleeding?

Implantation bleeding or implantation spotting is an episode of mild bleeding
during very early pregnancy.

It could be mistaken for menses and could be a subtle  very early pregnancy sign if you catch it right!

What Is  Implantation Spotting Or Bleeding?

This is mild uterine bleeding that occurs when the fertilized egg burrows( or implants) into the uterine lining after fertilization. This process creates  the slight bleeding that might be observed during implantation.

When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur?

The spotting from implantation  occurs at the end of the implantation process.This
is usually about  10 to 14 days after fertilization(about the time of ovulation), depending on the length of
your cycle. The duration of  bleeding is usually about one day.

Symptoms

Many times, women do not know the characteristics of spotting during implantation and therefore end up asking themselves  if they are dealing with bleeding from implantation or not. The bleeding is usually mild vaginal bleeding or spotting, which  pinkish
or brownish in color. However,bleeding is only one possible symptom of
the process of implantation, besides others like implantation cramps. See more on  symptoms of implantation.

Implantation  Spotting or Periods?

Implantation spotting and periods could be  confusing because they can occur about the same time. However, both are  so different that there need not be any confusion if you know the characteristics of your periods and  the bleeding from implantation. They can be easily distinguished by the  volume of the bleed, the duration, the timing of occurrence and the color. Read more on “implantation or period bleeding?”

You may also want to review the causes of abnormal uterine bleeding in other not to mislabel one of these as due to  implantation.

Implantation Spotting or Abnormal Early Pregnancy?

Implantation spotting is not a disease and is considered a normal or physiologic process.  That means it does not affect the pregnancy in any way afterward.

It is important you know that bleeding during implantation  should be entertained only after more serious causes have been excluded. Three important very early pregnancy complications you should be aware of are:

  1. Ectopic pregnancy, which is abnormal pregnancy site
  2. Miscarriage
  3. Molar pregnancy
    , in which the  developing embryo
    dies and the premature placenta or trophoblast grows and fills the
    uterus.

If the bleeding you are experiencing is occurring earlier than you  expected period, it may be one of these causes of spotting before period.

Heavy Bleeding During Implantation

Bleeding during Implantation  is mild bleeding and   not  heavy. If you have  heavy bleeding and thinking  it is due to implantation, then that bleeding episode  is likely not implantation  spotting or bleeding in the first place. See Heavy Implantation spotting or bleeding.

A related question   is implantation spotting blood clots, which is also not a feature of normal implantation.

What Should I Do?

If you suspect you are having implantation spotting, then do the following

  1.  Ensure that what you are experiencing  is “truly” bleeding due to implantation. If you are unsure, review the symptoms of bleeding during implantation again.
  2. Confirm  the pregnancy with a home pregnancy test. See very early pregnancy signs.
  3. If the bleeding makes you concerned that something might be wrong, then it is very likely not implantation bleeding. Please see  a doctor for proper and timely medical evaluation.


References

Harville EW, Wilcox AJ, Baird DD, Weinberg CR. Vaginal bleeding in very early pregnancy. Hum Reprod 2003; 18:1944.

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