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Implantation bleeding: How to differentiate it from your periods

Implantation bleeding is a common occurrence in early days of pregnancy. Know all about it and how it's different from periods.
Implantation bleeding
Implantation bleeding can be common among women in early pregnancy. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 19 Feb 2023, 13:30 pm IST
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From the time we were young girls in school to now, experiencing changes in our menstrual cycle is not a new thing to us. Every woman’s menstrual cycle is unique and entirely dependent on how her body functions; it might be shorter or longer, with heavier or lighter blood flow. However, a typical cycle is thought to have 5-8 day periods every 28 days. While having period problems is quite common, bleeding during pregnancy also may knock on your door. One of them is implantation bleeding. Read on to know more about it.

What is implantation bleeding?

Up to 25 percent of pregnant women may experience this sort of bleeding, which is common. It typically occurs within days of conception when the embryo gets attached to the uterine lining.

HealthShots reached out to Dr Esha Sharma, the Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility East, Siliguri, to understand the causes of implantation bleeding and what you should do if you experience it.

implantation bleeding
Keep a check on your period cycle. Image Courtesy: Freeepik

Dr Sharma says, “Implantation bleeding is a condition experienced by women around 10 to 14 days after conceiving a baby. It is accompanied by light bleeding from the vagina and maybe often misunderstood as a light period.” However, it does not mean that your pregnancy is in trouble. However, it does suggest that you might be pregnant.

Difference between a menstrual cycle and implantation bleeding

It can be difficult for an individual to differentiate between regular period and implantation bleeding because the symptoms are similar enough to be mistaken. To get a proper clarification, listed below are the key differences that one can look out for to identify implantation bleeding:

1. Bleeding days

Menstruation usually lasts between 5-8 days depending on the age and body of an individual whereas implantation bleeding lasts for a shorter period between 24-48 hours.

Also read: Breakthrough bleeding 101: What you must know about it

2. Flow of blood

A regular period is heavier in nature in the initial days but becomes lighter towards the end, whereas in terms of implantation bleeding, the flow is very light.

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implantation bleeding
Know your periods well. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Symptoms

Menstruation is usually accompanied by uterine cramps before the onset of the period while on the other hand, uterine cramps are comparatively milder or even non-existent in terms of implantation bleeding.

4. Blood colour

In terms of colour, one may differentiate implantation bleeding from menstrual bleeding or monthly period. Menstrual bleeding is usually bright or dark red in colour while implantation bleeding has a lighter tone, normally light pink or light rust.

Also read: Heavy bleeding, blood clots and some other period issues that you should NEVER ignore

5. Blood clots

Unlike menstruation, implantation bleeding does not exhibit any blood clots or tissues in the blood.

The process behind implantation bleeding

Implantation bleeding occurs when the egg is fertilized by the sperm. Then the fertilized egg or the zygote travels down the fallopian tube towards the uterus. The zygote then enters the uterine cavity after fertilization and implants itself in the lining of the uterine wall. When the embryo (a combination of the egg and the sperm) attaches itself, its movement in the uterine wall breaks down small blood vessels resulting in implantation bleeding.

implantation bleeding
Implantation bleeding is normal! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Sharma says, “Implantation bleeding doesn’t pose any concerns or risks to the embryo. However, one should consult a doctor if there is heavy bleeding in the early or later stages of pregnancy.”

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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