Implantation Bleeding

What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like and How Long Does It Last

As our bodies grow, they experience certain changes or developments, so to say. Each stage is marked by distinct symptoms and reactions. As women, we have a more complex system and have a range of changes that take place ever since puberty. When you get pregnant, it is an entirely different experience for the body. You notice various changes, emotional as well physical.

One of these new developments is untimely bleeding. This article focuses on “implantation bleeding” and every little detail you need to know about it. We highly recommend that if you are able to relate to this article, you must visit your doctor!

What is Implantation Bleeding?

When a woman gets pregnant, it is a result of the egg being fertilized by the sperm – which ultimately forms the zygote. This zygote attached itself to the interior uterine lining over a period of six to twelve weeks. As this process takes place, the changes made in the reproductive system can sometime lead to slight bleeding. This bleeding is commonly known as the “implantation bleeding”. This does not pose a problem for the baby in your womb.

This spotting, i.e., slight bleeding, is natural and quite common among pregnant women, and doesn’t require special medical attention. However, this kind of bleeding is very similar to a menstrual cycle in terms of timing, hormonal changes, cramps, etc. and should not be confused with each other.

Heavy bleeding, which would be more than your normal cycle, could be a concern and you must see the doctor to ascertain its cause.

Signs of Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding is one of the early signs of pregnancy and is easily identifiable. It will typically begin a few days before your next menstrual cycle. However, it can easily be confused with your periods, therefore, if you experience any bleeding a little before you cycle watch out for these signs –

  • Light cramping (lesser than your normal cycle),
  • Mood swings,
  • Headaches,
  • Nausea,
  • Breast tenderness,
  • Lower backaches.

However, at times these symptoms are common with PMS as well as ovulation, so to be sure, get in touch with a doctor.

What does the Implantation Bleeding look like?

Technically, the implantation bleeding does look different from a normal menstrual cycle of a woman. Although, every woman has different experiences regarding the blood flow and other symptoms in each cycle. Some might have a heavy flow while others get away with slight bleeding and probably fewer side-effects.

Keeping that in mind, here are a few keys differences between implantation bleeding and period blood –

  1. Colour – the blood from a period cycle is usually various shades of red. However, the bleeding due to implantation will vary from light pink to dark brown (rust) colour.
  2. Clotting – some women experience a lot of clotting while others have very less clots in the period blood. The implantation bleeding however does not have any clots.
  3. Time period – a regular period cycle last between five to seven days. Women on birth control pills have a shorter cycle or almost no periods. Your implantation bleeding would last anywhere between a couple of hours up to three days.
  4. Amount – during your menstrual cycle the amount of blood flow is heavy enough to fill in tampons or pads. The implantation bleeding however is very different from the period blood. In this you would experience slight bleeding or only spotting not full flow. The blood would be pink or brown in colour and could be happening in breaks or in one continuous flow.

So, if right before the expected dates of your periods, if you have bleeding which is red-ish in colour, last between five to seven days and has clots, it is unlikely that you are experiencing implantation bleeding.

However, if the bleeding is in a shade of pink or brown and lasts only for a couple of hours or less than three days and no visible clots, then it could be a sign of pregnancy.

When Does The Implantation Bleeding Occur?

Around a week to 10 days after the woman conceives the baby after sexual intercourse the fertilised egg implants itself in the wall of the uterus. When the egg is getting implanted into the walls, there is some breaking down of the tissues which leads to the slight bleeding or spotting. Periods happen around 14 days after the ovulation has taken place and the egg was not fertilised. At times, the symptoms of both the periods as well as the implantation bleeding are so similar that women get confused. Some women think that it is just an early period cycle. You will experience your implantation bleeding about a week prior to your periods.

For example, if you have been sexually active and expect your periods after 25th of January, then upon the egg getting implanted, you will see the bleeding between 18th January to 25th January. It is not possible for implantation bleeding to happen before this time period of each cycle. However, there are chances of the delay or early implantation bleeding if the ovulation as well as the implantation happened later in the cycle or it took place earlier than usual.

Every woman knows very well about her general blood flow during periods. So if you see any changes in the flow, consistency or the colour and it is not caused due to a new birth control, stress, etc., then it could be the implantation bleeding. The signs to look for are a lighter colour and the amount of blood flow.

What is The Usual Duration of The Bleeding?

In most of the cases, implantation bleeding can last anywhere between a few hours and 2 to 3 days. During this time period, you will experience slight bleeding or spotting with cramps or discomfort. The bleeding gets lesser and lesser are time passes and the lining keeps getting thicker.

Concerns of Implantation Bleeding

Usually, the bleeding should not be a concern since it’s a mere sign of pregnancy and does not pose a threat to the developing baby. If you experience bleeding for a couple of days after you missed your last period, it is likely not due to implantation and poses some kind of threat to you or the baby. This post-implantation could be due to –

  • Irritation of the cervix,
  • Irritation or small tears post sexual intercourse,
  • Excessive lifting or heavy exercise,
  • Infections.

Most of the women who experience implantation bleeding have a normal pregnancy without any complications or concerns. Bleeding which goes on for more than 2 to 3 days can be a sign of something more serious, especially as the pregnancy progresses. One of the many serious concerns are miscarriage and molar pregnancy. Whenever you visit your doctor make sure that you inform them of your recent bleeding and other symptoms in proper detail.

For some women, who experience a sharp pain on either side of the abdomen accompanied by other symptoms like dizziness, nausea, abdominal pains – it is a possibility that you have an ectopic pregnancy. In such cases, you should talk to your doctor immediately.

Cramps are a normal occurrence during pregnancy. However, if the severity of the cramps goes up, so does the danger. You should contact your doctor for help or assistance.

Home Remedies for Implantation Bleeding

  1. Exercise – it is always recommended that while you are pregnant, you must do some regular form of exercise. It goes without saying that, exercise keeps you agile and has all those muscles or ligaments stretched.
  2. Hydrate – this is very important. If you know, if your body lacks water, it contributes to the cramps you are already experiencing. Water keeps your body going and is the best medicine.
  3. Aromatherapy – the most comfortable way to get rid of cramps is to opt for a luxurious aromatherapy at home. This therapy uses various essential oils to calm the body and muscles. Few oils that you can easily get are –  Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Rose, Vetiver, Chamomile, Bergamot, Lemon, Frankincense, Geranium, Marjoram and Rosewood.
  4. Sleep – when it comes to looking for the best remedy, sleeping should top the list. It is the most effective way to get rid of stress. Once you wake up after a good nap, your body feels relaxed and rejuvenated.
  5. Diet – make sure your diet is inclusive of fresh fruits, vegetables and all thenecessary vitamins and minerals.

When should you see a Doctor?

If you haven’t been able to figure out the cause of bleeding, it is best to wait till the bleeding stops. Once the bleeding has stopped, you can do a pregnancy test for confirmation. At times, taking a pregnancy test right after a missed period or during implantation bleeding is too soon to try since the hormones are not at their peak. If you want proper results, it is recommended to wait till the bleeding has stopped or at least 5 days after the missed period.

If this period has passed, and you are still experiencing bleeding or spotting, you should call up your doctor and fix an appointment. The bleeding could be due to a different cause or related to some pregnancy complications. It is better to not speculate or rely on non-qualified sources.

The other causes of such bleeding could be –


  1. Intercourse – sometimes during or post a sexual intercourse you spot blood. This may have happened due to any tear or lesion inside the body. This isn’t usually a thing to worry about. However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop in a bit, then you should see a doctor.
  2. Ectopic pregnancy – in such cases the fertilized egg gets implanted outside he uterus. It can result into a life-threatening condition for the child as well as the mother. This can also cause cramps and bleeding.
  3. Miscarriage – when the fertilised egg is expelled from the womb post-implantation due to whatever the reason might be, the woman may experience pain, cramps, discomfort and bleeding. The bleeding is heavy and has tissues in the discharge.
  4. Endometriosis – when there is an overgrowth of the endometrial tissue on the uterus.
    This tissue sheds every month with the lining inside the uterus.
  5. Pelvic Floor Tension Myalgia – in this condition, the muscles which support the
    reproductive organs get tensed due to inflammation or infections.
  6. Pelvic Congestion Syndrome – when varicose veins develop inside the pelvic region,
    due to the pressure, these veins burst leading to internal bleeding.
  7. Expanding Ligaments – when a woman is pregnant, her body expands. Along with
    this, there is an expansion of ligaments and muscles causing cramping and pain.
  8. Periods – another reason why you are experiencing the bleeding could be your period cycle just at an odd time. Not every cycle has to be similar in colour, flow, consistency, discharge, etc.

Tips for women experiencing bleeding

  • Be sure to let doctor or medical examiner know about any spotting or bleeding in your first trimester.
  • If you experience any blood in your second or third trimester, contact your doctor immediately.
  • If you experience heavy bleeding at any time during your pregnancy, it is a major concern and must be attended to as soon as possible.
  • Do not over exert yourself while exercising. A 30 minute session 4 to 5 times a week should suffice.
  • Do not take over the counter medicines regularly as they have adverse effects on the baby in your womb.
  • During your pregnancy, follow a proper diet. You must include all vitamins and nutrients required for proper development. Keep a check on your junk intake.
  • Do not consume alcohol, smoke or indulge in drugs or narcotics.
  • For those who want to keep their hormones in check, Evening Primrose Oil capsules are recommended. They keep the hormones balanced as well as keep your skin healthy.
  • If you are experiencing swelling of feet or any other body part, see a doctor immediately, it could be because of High Blood Pressure or Hypertension.
  • You should avoid anything which has a lot of spices or food colouring or preservatives for better health of your child.



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