Implantation bleeding is not a cause for concern; on the contrary, it is usually one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. It is a subtle bleeding that usually serves as a warning sign for women who are trying to conceive a baby, and is usually mistaken for menstruation.
In this publication we present all the aspects you should know about this sign or symptom, so that you can understand much better how your organism works, and avoid worrying unnecessarily.
What is implantation bleeding?
It is a bleeding that may occur during the first weeks of pregnancy, because the uterus is considerably irrigated and it is easy to bleed.
Once the embryo is formed, it seeks to adhere to the inner wall of the uterus, and in doing so it may rupture some small veins or arteries of the endometrium, thus causing bleeding.
It is important to note that the rupture of the veins or arteries is normal, and does not occur because of any problem or irregularity. In fact, it is important that the embryo connects perfectly with the endometrial tissue, so that it can obtain nutrients during the gestation process.
When this connection generates the rupture of the veins, the so-called implantation bleeding occurs, which is slightly different from menstrual bleeding. You should also keep in mind that it is possible that this bleeding is caused by natural causes other than pregnancy.
When does implantation bleeding occur?
Normally this bleeding occurs approximately 10 to 14 days after conception. In addition, it usually occurs close to the date when your menstruation should occur, but with less intensity.
In some cases, women do not experience implantation bleeding and other women do not even notice it. This is why you may not realize that you are pregnant, and think that the blood is due to a light menstrual period. As a result, it is possible that the date of birth may be miscalculated, which can be corrected with a fetal ultrasound.
On the other hand, if you are wondering about the time between implantation and positive bleeding, you should know that it is best to wait a little while for the blood flow to pass before taking a pregnancy test.
If you perform the pregnancy test while you are bleeding, the result will not be completely reliable, because it is too early to detect the presence of the pregnancy hormone, also known as chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
During these days, it is recommended that you pay attention to the signals your body gives off to determine if you are pregnant. Nausea, breast tenderness, tiredness, fatigue, headache or increased basal temperature may also be present.
Once the bleeding has stopped, you can go to your doctor and have a pregnancy test to confirm your status.
How do I know if it is implantation bleeding or menstrual bleeding?
As already mentioned, both bleedings can be easily confused, because the differences are slight. However, you can differentiate between them by paying close attention to certain aspects detailed below:
- Color: in implantation bleeding the tonality is darker with a tendency towards browns, something that is usually easy to visualize.
- Quantity: the flow is much less than what normally occurs with menstruation. In some cases it is only a few drops or a small spot.
- Density: implantation bleeding is thinner or lighter than menstruation.
- Duration: the blood flow commonly lasts between one and three days. Its duration is shorter than that of a normal menstrual period.
Although the time at which both bleedings occur is often one of the most confusing factors, with the help of the aspects already described you can tell the difference between the two.
If you wish to obtain more visual details, you can resort to photos of implantation bleeding that you will surely find on some websites or in specialized books.
Does it pose any risk to pregnancy?
The answer to this question is “No”.
No relationship between bleeding after implantation and a risky or problematic pregnancy has been identified. On the other hand, it is important to note that this type of bleeding cannot be linked to miscarriages, nor to other risks for the baby.
Although it is true that complications during gestation, mainly those related to miscarriages, may present bleeding, these are much more abundant, intense and generally produce pain as well as other characteristic symptoms.
In addition, in many cases miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies occur without any bleeding.
In fact, there are pregnant women who had implantation bleeding and continued with their pregnancy without any inconvenience, and also enjoyed a normal delivery.
What should you do if this bleeding occurs?
Implantation bleeding usually disappears on its own, without the need for any treatment. In other words, you should not take specific measures at all. But if for any reason you think it is necessary to consult your gynecologist, contact him/her immediately.
The medical specialist is the only one who can confirm whether you are experiencing bleeding related to the implantation of the embryo or not. The doctor will indicate the steps you should take and the measures you should implement, in case he/she considers it necessary.
Another reason that should prompt you to contact your primary care physician immediately is if the bleeding lasts for more than four or five days. You should also go to a medical center if you detect that the blood fluid is abundant and you also experience severe abdominal pain.