Implantation bleeding: How to differentiate it from your periods

Implantation bleeding is common in the early days of pregnancy. Know all about it and how it differs from periods.

Ever since we were young girls at school, experiencing changes in our menstrual cycle is nothing new to us. Every woman’s menstrual cycle is unique and entirely dependent on how her body works; it may be shorter or longer, with more or less blood flow. However, a typical cycle is believed to have 5-8 day periods every 28 days. While menstrual cramps are quite common, bleeding during pregnancy can also be knocking on your door. One of them is implantation bleeding. Read on to learn more about it.

What is implantation bleeding?

Up to 25 percent of pregnant women can experience this type of bleeding, which is common. It typically occurs within days of conception as the embryo attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.

HealthShots turned to Dr. Esha Sharma, the Fertility Advisor at Nova IVF Fertility East, Siliguri, to understand the causes of implantation bleeding and what to do when it occurs.

Keep track of your period cycle. Image courtesy: Freeepic

dr Sharma says: “Implantation bleeding is a condition that occurs in women around 10 to 14 days after conception. It is accompanied by light vaginal bleeding and may often be mistaken for a light period.” However, that doesn’t mean your pregnancy is in trouble. However, it does suggest that you might be pregnant.

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Difference between menstrual cycle and implantation bleeding

It can be difficult for a person to distinguish between regular menstrual bleeding and implantation bleeding because the symptoms are similar enough to be confused. For proper clarification, the following are the key differences to look for in order to identify implantation bleeding:

1. Bleeding days

Menstrual periods usually last between 5 and 8 days, depending on a person’s age and body, while implantation bleeding is shorter, between 24 and 48 hours.

Also read: Breakthrough Bleeding 101: What you need to know about it

2. blood flow

A regular period is heavier in the first few days but becomes lighter towards the end, while implantation bleeding has a very low flow.

Know your period well. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Symptoms

Menstruation is usually accompanied by uterine cramps before the period begins, while uterine cramps, on the other hand, are comparatively milder or, in the sense of implantation bleeding, are not present at all.

4. Blood color

Implantation bleeding can be distinguished from menstrual bleeding or menstrual bleeding by color. Menstrual bleeding is usually light or dark red in color, while implantation bleeding is a lighter shade, usually light pink or slightly rusty.

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

5. Blood clots

Unlike menstruation, implantation bleeding does not have 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 zygote travels down the fallopian tube toward 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 egg and sperm) attaches, its movement in the uterine wall ruptures small blood vessels, leading to implantation bleeding.

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Implantation bleeding is normal! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

dr Sharma says, “Implantation bleeding does not pose a concern or risk to the embryo. However, if you bleed heavily in early or late pregnancy, you should see a doctor.”

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