When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur

Implantation Bleeding: What You Need to Know

Bleeding around that special time of the month is nothing new for a woman. For some lucky ladies, however, what may appear to be an oncoming menstrual cycle may actually be an early sign of pregnancy. When an egg gets fertilized, its first order of business is to make itself at home in the lining of the uterus so that it can begin the growth process. Sometimes, as the egg burrows into the lining, some bleeding occurs, called implantation bleeding. The timing of implantation bleeding is usually around 10 days after ovulation. It can be confusing since it often occurs near the day of your expected period, but knowing what implantation bleeding is like can help you to determine the difference.

How Long It Lasts

pregnancy test and baby boots

How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last?

Learn More

Unlike a regular period, which for most women can last anywhere from four to seven days, implantation bleeding does not last long. Implantation bleeding ranges from light spotting to a mild flow and typically lasts from a few hours to no more than two days, which is considerably shorter than even the shortest menstrual period. If the spotting or bleeding stops after two days, it could be a sign of implantation bleeding, so it is recommended that you wait three days and then take a pregnancy test.

What It Looks and Feels Like

Implantation bleeding differs from menstrual bleeding not only in duration but also in heaviness of flow and appearance. It is lighter than menstrual bleeding and the color of implantation bleeding is typically more pinkish or a dark brown. Additionally, unlike average menstrual bleeding, implantation bleeding will be free of blood clots and will remain the same consistency throughout its duration. Light cramping is possible with implantation but should be milder than your average period cramps and should not increase in intensity. In addition to the light bleeding and cramping, you might also experience mood swings and headaches during implantation.

When to See a Doctor

pregnancy test and baby boots

Causes of Heavy Period During Early Pregnancy

Learn More

Since implantation bleeding is fairly common and occurs in approximately 30 percent of pregnancies, it is generally not something to be concerned about. According to the American Pregnancy Association, light bleeding during early pregnancy is normal. However, if the amount of bleeding increases, includes blood clots or you start experiencing intense cramping, you should consult a doctor for further investigation.