The journey of trying to get pregnant can be intimidating as well as exciting. It is a truly nerve-wracking affair to wait those 2 weeks after ovulation, before a Home Pregnancy test can be done. As impatient as one may be, it can also be also the time of immense hope and caution. During this period, a slight bleeding or spotting, may come as an unwelcome surprise, and it may seem like the start of menstruation. But worry not, because this may just be Implantation Bleeding, a normal process that follows after a successful implantation. It can be the answers to one’s prayers, and a sign of hope.
In this article, we shall discuss in detail about Implantation bleeding, and every other query that one might have regarding it.
- What is Implantation Bleeding?
- Why does Implantation Bleeding happen?
- When does Implantation Bleeding occur?
- How long does Implantation Bleeding last?
- What are the symptoms of Implantation Bleeding?
- What are the differences between Implantation Bleeding and Menstruation?
- When should one seek the doctor’s help regarding Implantation Bleeding?
1. What is Implantation Bleeding?
Implantation Bleeding is the light bleeding or spotting that occurs when the fertilized zygote attaches itself (implants) into the lining of the mother’s uterus, often a sign of successful pregnancy.
Although it may seem abnormal, one can be assured that it is a completely natural phenomenon, and nothing but a normal physiological process.
2. Why does Implantation Bleeding happen?
The uterine lining keeps thickening throughout the menstrual cycle, in anticipation of successful fertilization. When the fertilized ovum (zygote) moves down the fallopian tube to get implanted into this uterine lining, it can disrupt some small blood vessels in the spot it implants into.
This causes a minor bleeding into the uterine cavity, and may show up as a small amount of blood, similar to menstruation.
3. When does Implantation Bleeding occur?
Implantation Bleeding typically occurs between 6-14 days after conception.
The timeline of fertilization and implantation is as follows:
- After sexual intercourse, fertilization takes place inside the Fallopian Tube, to form the Zygote.
- The zygote multiplies and increases in number of cells over the next few days, and becomes a “Blastocyst”.
- At this stage, it migrates down the fallopian tube, into the uterine cavity.
- Apposition/Adplantation: the blastocyst contacts the implantation site of the endometrium.
- Adhesion: trophoblast cells of the blastocyst attach to the receptive endometrial epithelium
- Implantation: invasive trophoblast cells cross the endometrial epithelial basement membrane and invade the endometrial stroma
- Some small blood vessels are ruptured in this process, and slight bleeding occurs (Implantation Bleeding).
4. How long does Implantation Bleeding last?
Implantation Bleeding typically only lasts around 1-2 days (24-48 hours) and does not last as long as menstruation. However, it is important to keep in mind that each woman’s body is different, and slight variations are plausible.
5. What are the symptoms of Implantation Bleeding?
Implantation Bleeding is usually a slight amount of bleeding or spotting from the vagina. The blood appears to be pinkish, brown or black.
It may be associated with the following symptoms:
- Mild cramps
- Swollen or tender breasts
- An unsteady or “hazy” feeling.
6. What are the differences between Implantation Bleeding and Menstruation?
|COLOUR||Darker in colour (brown, pinkish or black)||Usually bright and red at least on the initial days.|
|FLOW||Very light flow, or just spotting||Moderate to heavy flow, especially during the initial days|
|DURATION||Lasts only for 1-2 days||May last for about 3-7 days|
|PATTERN||Slight bleeding or a few drops of blood, ends abruptly.||Bleeding is quite heavy during the initial days and tapers towards the end.|
|CRAMPING||Mild or no cramping.||Moderate or severe cramping, may start a few days before the onset of period and lasts till a few days after|
|TIMING||May start 2-3 days before the expected date of menstruation||Starts around the expected date of menstruation.|
7. When should one seek the doctor’s help regarding Implantation Bleeding?
Slight bleeding or spotting before testing positive for pregnancy, can be considered normal and is often not a cause of worry. However it is necessary to contact the doctor in case of the following circumstances:
- Bleeding occurs after testing positive for pregnancy.
- Bleeding lasts longer than 2-3 days.
- Heavy bleeding followed by cramping or vomiting.
- The colour of the blood is bright red blood or it is associated with clots.
- Bleeding takes place in the middle of the night, and is persistent.