implantation bleeding

Implantation bleeding: How to tell?

Implantation bleeding is quite common: one out of three women experience this type of bleeding between the first and second week of pregnancy. In fact, for many, it can be the ultimate sign of pregnancy.

However, it can also be confused with bleeding at the beginning of a woman’s menstrual period. This is why uncertainty and anxiety often arise when a woman in search of pregnancy is faced with this symptom.

To avoid panic, it is important to be able to tell the difference between these two types of bleeding and interpret what each one means.

What is implantation bleeding?

During the first weeks of pregnancy, the uterus is richly blood irrigated, which means that it bleeds more easily. When the embryo adheres to the endometrium, it can burst some of the blood vessels, resulting in light vaginal bleeding.

It should be noted that not all pregnant women experience implantation bleeding and, if it occurs once, it is not expected to occur in future pregnancies

Implantation bleeding is not a sign that the process has been problematic or traumatic. It simply shows that the embryo has perfectly attached to the endometrial tissue to ensure the necessary exchange of nutrients during gestation.

When does implantation bleeding occur?

Within 5 to 6 days after fertilisation, the embryo reaches the uterus with the mission of implanting itself in the endometrium, so that pregnancy can occur. 

This process takes place approximately between day 7 and 12 after fertilisation. This is why this minor bleeding can be confused with the first signs of a monthly period.

How to tell the difference between implantation bleeding and menstrual bleeding?

Although it is hard to distinguish implantation bleeding and period bleeding, there are some features that vary between them, which can help us to identify each one.

The following table shows the differences between implantation bleeding and period bleeding.

implantation or period bleeding
implantation or period bleeding

Furthermore, we cannot ignore the fact that implantation bleeding implies the existence of pregnancy. Thus, if you experience, during the days following the bleeding, symptoms such as breast soreness, nausea at certain hours, or tiredness, it can be inferred the bleeding corresponds to the embryo implantation.

How to confirm your pregnancy?

If you have bleeding that you cannot identify, stay calm and allow a few days to pass to clear things up. If you are pregnant, time will allow symptoms of pregnancy to show. However, you can also take a urine pregnancy test, which is less likely to give you a false negative because you have allowed a certain amount of time to pass.

Finally, a parameter that allows you to know for sure is the level of the hCG hormone, also known as Beta-hCG, secreted by the embryo when it implants in the uterus. To analyse the levels of this hormone, a blood test is required.

What should I do?

Although you should not get upset or take special precautions, if you have any doubts about vaginal bleeding, the best thing to do is to visit your gynaecologist. He or she will be able to answer your questions better than anyone else and give you the right steps to take. 

For more information, do not hesitate to contact our team: we are at your disposal for whatever you may need.