Implantation of the fertilized egg to the endometrium happens within a day or two of fertilization. The zygote attaches itself to the walls of the uterus which can cause little bleeding or spotting with cramps. Tiny place of the uterus lining sheds off to give room for the fertilized egg. The zygote would get all the essential nutrient supply from the uterine wall. Zygote at this stage would be in the form of few cells which would multiply rapidly.
Implantation bleeding is the spotting that happens after the fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. Many women can confuse this with normal menstrual bleeding. And you will know about the bleeding when you wipe inside. There is clear difference between implantation bleeding and menstrual bleeding. Though both are brown or red in color, still in the implantation bleeding only few spots can be seen.
1. Timing – Implantation occurs after the ovulation which happens 14-16 days of the menstrual period. During the process of ovulation, eggs are released from the fallopian tubes to get fertilized with a sperm. After the eggs are released, they move towards the uterus, wherein it meets the sperm, to get fertilized. It might take anywhere from 7-10 days for this movement. You need to remember that you have already got conceived before your next period date.
For a woman with menstrual cycle of 28 days, the ovulation would happen anywhere from 14th to 16th day. The ovulation process lasts for about 12-48 hours during which the environment is highly suitable for fertilization. But even seven days after ovulation a woman is potentially fertile. So, if you have spots and mild cramps well in advance (before 7-10 days) of your regular period, it can be implantation bleeding.
Read More On Cramping After Ovulation
2. Flow – Implantation bleeding is very weak and light and hence it differs from normal menstrual bleeding. Moreover, it does not include blood clots (shedding of uterine wall). The color of blood would be dark brown or pink and it would last only for a day or two. Menstrual bleeding starts lightly but grows heavy in the second day whereas implantation bleeding is always light.
3. Bleeding Is Occasional – Unlike menstrual bleeding which is regular and exists throughout the day, implantation bleeding is occasional. This occurs due to the process of implantation and hence it lasts for a day or maximum two. It will not be continuous but it may come and go. Implantation bleeding can be described as spotting and for many women it goes unnoticed. Normal menstrual cycle bleeding lasts from 2-6 days. Few spots on the panties can be seen and at the maximum it can occur for 1 or 2 days.
4. Cramps – Stomach pain is more severe for menstrual bleeding than implantation bleeding. Here the cramps are mild and the pain would not become intense and growing.
Early Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Soon after implantation pregnancy occurs, early symptoms of pregnancy like nausea, dizziness, fatigue, tenderness of breasts, increased body temperature and mood swings can occur. If you have any of these signs you can opt for home test of pregnancy.
Why Implantation Bleeding Occurs ?
After the fertilization or fusion with the mate, the egg cell moves towards the uterus to attach itself to the endometrium. On this process it breaks open the wall of the uterus, to find some space. Uterine wall has a thick covering of blood and essential nutrients and hence few drops of blood can leak through the vagina when the fertilized egg finds its way into the uterine wall.
To summarize, implantation bleeding is clearly distinguishable from regular menstrual bleeding.
- Odor : The smell of leaking blood due to implantation bleeding is different from that of vaginal bleeding of monthly periods.
- Color : Implantation bleeding is very dark brownish or reddish since it has to travel a long way from the uterine wall through the vagina.
- Texture : Menstrual bleeding is light during the first day and on subsequent days it would get heavy and the flow would be there for 3-5 days. However in the case of implantation rarely bleeding occurs. Only few spots of blood can be observed.
Implantation bleeding can be considered as a sign of early pregnancy. But many women would experience other early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, morning sickness, sore breasts, mild cramps and dizziness after implantation bleeding occurs.
How Can You Confirm ?
You can do a home test for pregnancy if you observe spotting along with the above said signs. The levels of hCG can tell you whether you are pregnant or not.
Though the test can be done at home couple of days after you have missed your period, still the results cannot be taken concrete. You can wait for another 7 days to get accurate picture of what is going on inside the uterus. By then, you would have other early pregnancy symptoms like nausea, fatigue, dizziness and bloated feeling. Exact results can be obtained after 40 days of previous menstrual period.
Suppose your due date for monthly period falls on 7th of each month, you can wait till 16th and check for pregnancy on 17th to get the correct result.