What is implantation bleeding? Is it different from menstrual bleeding? Is bleeding during pregnancy normal and if yes, how long does it last? Read this article to know all about implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding is a vaginal discharge of blood during the early stages of pregnancy, when the fertilized egg implants to the uterus. Implantation is defined as the attachment of the fertilized egg (a cluster of cells called blastocyst) to the lining of the uterus. In general, there is a little amount of slightly brown blood getting discharged during implantation, which is known as implantation bleeding. It is also called implantation spotting and usually occurs between 6 to 12 days after ovulation.
What is Implantation Bleeding?
Bleeding at the time of implantation is not unusual and about 20 – 30% women experience spotting. It normally occurs about 4 weeks from the last menstrual cycle and a few days before the next expected period. Given below are few things one should know about implantation bleeding.
★ Many times, women confuse this bleeding with early periods. However, it is different from menstruation in terms of color, amount and duration of blood discharge. In case of an implantation bleeding, the amount of blood is scanty and the color may be pinkish or brownish, whereas the blood flow of a normal menstrual cycle is usually red and heavy. In addition, the duration may last for a few minutes to a few days, which is comparatively shorter than normal menses.
★ The signs of implantation bleeding may differ from one pregnant woman to another. Another common symptom of pregnancy is cramps, which can be experienced with or without bleeding. It is due to the fact that the fertilized egg, after passing through the fallopian tube, attaches itself to the lining of the womb. The implantation of egg brings about contraction of muscles of the womb that may result in mild to moderate pain. Abdominal cramps related to the same process may last for one to two days.
★ If the amount of blood flow is less and there is no severe cramp or backache, implantation bleeding is considered to be normal. More than 50% cases of women with implantation bleeding have normal conception. However, one should be aware about the normal symptoms of pregnancy and even signs of probable complications. That way, anything that is abnormal can be detected and addressed in the early stages. Some of the symptoms of unusual bleeding include severe cramps on one side, pelvic pain, blood clotting, heavy red blood flow (not like menses) and an episode extending for more than 5 days.
★ For confirmation of pregnancy, one can always go for easy home pregnancy tests, about 10 days following ovulation. In such pregnancy kits, the urine or blood sample of a woman is tested for the hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This glycoprotein hormone is secreted by the developing placenta post implantation. Pregnancy is confirmed, if the result of the test is positive.
★ In order to avoid pregnancy complications, it is better to check the blood type of both the partners before actually planning for conception. If the Rh factor of the partners are not matching; suppose if one has Rh positive and the other has Rh negative, then it is necessary for the woman to have an Rh immune globulin injection within 24 hours of the bleeding.
Consult a gynecologist or a qualified health specialist, if there is heavy discharge of blood or if the duration is longer than the normal expected period. It is to be noted that any vaginal bleeding different from the signs of implantation bleeding can be a threatened miscarriage, which can lead to abortion, if proper care is not taken. Take care!