Implantation Bleeding or Period: How to Know the Difference

Implantation Bleeding or Period: How to Know the Difference

Are you stressed out, thinking you once again failed to get pregnant because you have started bleeding? Relax, because believe it or not, sometimes, this bleeding is an indication of a positive pregnancy. Read on to discover how to distinguish between implantation bleeding and normal menstruation.

The conception of every child is a miracle. The sheer chance of a sperm fertilizing an egg is literally one in a million. Those who are planning for a family are hyper-aware of every tiny symptom that might indicate a positive pregnancy. For women who have had difficulty in conceiving, or have suffered miscarriages, this is a particularly stressful time. With the possibility of pregnancy occurring being so near the normal menstruation period, many women are quite confused as to whether they are experiencingimplantation bleeding or period. Here, we try to dispel some of your confusions by helping you spot the difference betweenimplantation bleeding or period symptoms.

First of all, let’s discuss what exactly is implantation.

Once sperm has successfully fertilized an egg inside the fallopian tube, the cell multiplies quickly and moves into the uterus. Here, it further matures and becomes a ‘blastocyst’ which then embeds itself into the uterine tissue. This is known as ‘implantation’ and is an indication of a positive pregnancy. Successful implantation usually occurs near the time you would expect your menstruation to start.

Symptoms of implantation are very similar to that of periods, therefore, it is of no wonder that women are confused over it. In fact, if you happen to experience irregular periods (for instance, because you suffer from PCOS), the confusion is more rampant. But despite the similarity, you can distinguish betweenimplantation bleeding or periods.

Symptoms of Successful Implantation & How it Differs from Periods:

1. Cramps

Implantation Bleeding or Period: How to Know the Difference

Image: iStock

A successful implantation might result in some cramps as the blastocyst implants itself in the uterine tissue. Although similar to pre-period cramps, implantation cramps usually do not last longer than a day or two at most, whereas pre-period cramps can last as long as the menstruation flow continues. It has to be kept in mind that every woman’s experience is unique. So, there is no need to go into a panic if you do not experience any cramps or if your cramps last for longer than a couple of days. It is more important to pay attention to what feels out-of-the-ordinary to your body.

2. Spotting

implantation bleeding or period

One of the main reasons that women confuse implantation bleeding with periods is ‘spotting’. Some women experience light bleeding 10 to 14 days after successful implantation. This is, again, completely normal and not an indication of miscarriage. Implantation bleeding is usually much lighter in colour than ordinary menstruation. Sometimes, it will only appear as slight discolouration on the edges of your panties. On the other hand, some women have been known to experience implantation bleeding as heavy as their usual menstruation. Spotting occurs for only a couple of days; sometimes, it can occur on-and-off for a couple of days. Menstruation bleeding starts out light but progressively gets heavier and can last up to 7 days. Also, implantation bleeding is usually a pale pink or dark brown colour whereas menstruation bleeding is dark red. Another major difference between implantation bleeding and periods is that implantation bleeding does not contain any clots.

3. Fatigue and nausea

Implantation Bleeding or Period: How to Know the Difference

Other common symptoms of successful implantation are nausea and fatigue. Nausea can occur at any time of the day, and not just early in the morning. Food smells are a common cause of nausea. You will also experience fatigue during the early days of your pregnancy. Again, both these symptoms are also experienced by some women during menstruation. You need to pay careful attention to your body, in order to distinguish between implantation nausea and period troubles. During the early weeks of your pregnancy, your breasts might feel swollen and tender, and you might also suffer from constipation and mood swings.

Implantation Bleeding or Period: How to Know the Difference

Ultimately, a pregnancy test is the only sure way to know for certain whether you are pregnant or not. Regardless of whether you are trying for a baby or not, it is always better to consult your ob-gyn if you experience unusual bleeding around the time of your regular periods.

ALSO READ: Symptoms Of Successful Implantation: How To Know If You’re Pregnant

Implantation Bleeding or Period: How to Know the Difference


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Written by

Zu Ying

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