Recognising implantation bleeding

Summary: The very first sign of a pregnancy is implantation bleeding. Some women mistake it to be another period but it is important to recognise the difference. Implantation bleeding is scanty and can last from a few hours to a day. It rarely extends into the second day.


Implantation bleeding is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. Usually it happens around the same time that your next menstrual cycle is due and rather than invoking happiness it can result in unhappiness.

You’ve been trying and trying for a baby. Doing everything by the book, but it is still not working. Now you have your period once again. Or wait… is it really a period or is there something wrong? Something seems amiss, your period is not normal. You don’t have the time or energy for this. You are already depressed at the fact that this ovulation cycle is over with no pregnancy success

A strange kind of abnormal bleeding for a short while and then it is over. It can be quite unnerving when you are not sure what it is. Most women fear reproductive problems and the hassle of having to visit a gynaecologist and go through the rigmarole of the treatment or medication and doctor’s visits.

Quite often women mistake implantation bleeding as another menstrual cycle. This is especially true for women who are not specifically trying to get pregnant. Some couples do not exactly plan their pregnancy but let nature take its course. Implantation bleeding in this case can be mistaken as a strange period occurrence or a gynaecological problem.

Understanding implantation bleeding

After the egg is fertilised in the fallopian tubes it moves to the uterus. The embryo then attaches itself to the inner wall of the uterus to begin its growth process. The movement of the egg and the process of the embryo attaching itself to the uterine lining can produce some light bleeding. This is a completely normal process and you do not need to visit a doctor. Some light abdominal cramps and mood swings is also common during this time period. Implantation bleeding usually happens a few days before your period due date and can be mistaken for an early period at first.

Pregnancy success

In the case of an IVF procedure, implantation bleeding confirms that the procedure was successful and the embryo has hatched and implanted. When implantation bleeding occurs it is a very joyful moment for the couple. Their long wait of trying to get pregnant is finally over. What they have waited for so long has finally happened. They are going to have the baby that they have dreamed about all this time.

Many eager women also mistake the onset of a period as implantation bleeding only to find that it is only a regular period and not good tidings of a pregnancy.

What makes implantation bleeding different from a normal menstrual cycle?

The bleeding is brownish or a light pink in colour and very scanty, unlike the regular menstrual flow which is bright red in colour.

How long does implantation bleeding last?

It can last from a few hours to a day or two but not longer

When does implantation bleeding happen?

When the embryo implants itself to the uterine wall you may experience implantation bleeding.

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