Implantation Bleeding


Implantation bleeding or spotting is a light vaginal bleed when an embryo tries to penetrate the wall of uterus during implantation. Learn more about when implantation bleeding occurs and its signs.


What is implantation?

After sex, one of your partner’s sperms fertilizes your egg. Fertilization happens in the fallopian tube where the fertilized egg continues to multiply. In a week’s time, the fertilized egg rolls down the fallopian tube into the uterus. On arriving at the uterus, the egg penetrates the wall of the uterus in order to get attached or ‘implanted’ on to the uterine wall. This process called, implantation, connects the growing embryo with the blood vessels on the mother’s uterus, thus making way to supply oxygen and nutrients to the womb through blood.

When does implantation occur?

Implantation occurs approximately 7 days after conception. But, when exactly conception happens cannot be accurately predicted. 

Your conception window, that is, the potential dates for pregnancy, begins 10 to 14 days after the first day of your last period. The dates within the fertility window favor conception though fertilization cannot happen until ovulation. If you are sure about your cycle length, you can check with a conception calculator to know the exact ovulation date. Conception is most likely to happen within a day after ovulation because an egg can remain viable for only a few hours to 24 hours while a sperm can survive in the female reproductive tract for around 5 days. 

Said that, even if you have had sex on, say 15th January, and your ovulation was to be on 18th January, conception would not have occurred before the 18th. Hence, the date you conceived depends on your ovulation day rather than the day you had sex. And, when implantation occurs, in turn, depends on when conception happens. 

What is implantation bleeding?

Implantation bleeding is most likely to happen a week before the expected period date. As menstrual cycles and conception dates cannot be accurately predicted, implantation bleeding can happen anytime a week before or a week after the next period. 

When does implantation bleeding occur?

Implantation bleeding is most likely to happen a week before the expected period date. As menstrual cycles and conception dates cannot be accurately predicted, implantation bleeding can happen anytime a week before or a week after the next period. 

What are the signs of implantation?

Common implantation symptoms are mild spotting of light brownish or pinkish discharge on the panty liner, around the time of the expected period. It lasts for a few hours or show-up up to two days. In some women, it is accompanied by abdominal cramping. 

How to differentiate between implantation bleeding and period?

Since implantation bleeding occurs close to the period time, it can be confusing whether you are pregnant or not. Closely look for the following differences between the two:

  • Implantation bleeding is light brownish or pinkish in color in contrast to period blood which is reddish in color.
  • Implantation bleeding occurs about a day to a week earlier than the expected period date.
  • Bleeding caused by implantation is light and mild unlike that of the period which is denser with clots.
  • Implantation bleeding occurs in spots for a few hours or sometimes can last for 1-2- days whereas you can identify your period by the length and flow characteristics unique to you.
  • Not all pregnant women experience and observe implantation bleeding because it is usually so mild. However, a normal period is easily identifiable by all women. 

When is implantation bleeding a concern?

A mild vaginal discharge which lasts for a day or two should not be a concern. However, a heavy blood flow accompanied by prolonged abdominal cramping, dizziness or nausea is to be immediately reported to a doctor. 


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