What Is Implantation Bleeding? All The Facts

All About Implantation Bleeding

If you notice blood in early pregnancy, there is no need to panic. You may have what is called implantation bleeding. This happens when the fertilised egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. It’s perfectly normal, and it is not risky for your pregnancy. Although this spotting may look similar to your period, there are a few differences between implantation bleeding and your period. When does implantation bleeding occur and are there any risks? Read on to learn more.

Is It Implantation Bleeding or My Period?

At first, you might mistake implantation bleeding for a light period, especially because it takes place around seven days after fertilisation, which is usually around the time you’d be expecting your period. Although every woman’s period is different — some have heavier flows, others have lighter ones — you can still notice the difference. So what does implantation bleeding look like? Keep an eye out for anything out of place, because even if your periods are irregular, you will likely notice a change in the type of spotting, such as colour, flow, or duration.

These are the main signs to look out for to know if you have implantation bleeding:

  • How heavy the bleeding is. Implantation bleeding can be like light spotting, but sometimes it can also be quite heavy.
  • The colour. Implantation bleeding is generally bright red, but short lasting. It usually occurs about 8 to 12 days after fertilisation, so is often mistaken for a period.
  • Consistency. You may experience thicker clotting while menstruating, but you will not get this with implantation bleeding which should be very light.

Noticing any other early signs of pregnancy will also help you confirm that it’s implantation bleeding and not your period. If in doubt, take a pregnancy test to see if your body is producing hCG, the main pregnancy hormone that indicates you’re pregnant, or consult your GP or midwife if you know you’re pregnant and notice any bleeding.

How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last?

The length of the bleeding is also a clue, because most women will menstruate for about four to seven days, while implantation bleeding will settle within three or four days.

What Are the Risks of Implantation Bleeding?

Implantation bleeding is not unusual and poses no risk to your or your baby. Even beyond implantation bleeding, light bleeding during pregnancy can occur for various reasons such as cervical erosion caused by hormonal influences, when bleeding occurs after sex. However, any bleeding during pregnancy must be investigated just to be sure everything is OK. You shouldn’t bleed after 4 weeks of pregnancy, so if you notice any blood, book an appointment with your GP or midwife to get it checked out right away.
If you are bleeding heavily, you’ve been bleeding for a long period of time, or there are any other symptoms like pain, call an ambulance.

One of the most common issues with implantation bleeding is that you may not realise you’re pregnant yet, especially if you assume the bleeding is just a light period. This might make it harder to calculate your due date, but your midwife will give you a more accurate estimate during an appointment.

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