Implantation Bleed Or A Period?

Implantation Bleeding Or A Period?

Many women who are trying to get pregnant find themselves really focusing on every sensation in their abdomen during the two weeks after ovulation. And no wonder! It’s often these sensations that let us know if a period is coming or whether we might possibly, finally, be pregnant. But what about the dreaded bleeding? It could be a period coming early or it could just be an egg implantation bleed. If it’s after the period is due it could be a miscarriage. So what do we need to know to make this all a little more clear?

What is implantation bleeding and when does it occur?

About a third of women will experience some bleeding as an egg completes the process of implanting into the uterine lining. This can happen anytime between 6 and 12 days after ovulation and around the week before your period is due. It’s caused by small blood vessels breaking in the lining during the implantation process.

How to tell the difference between an implantation bleed and a period.

It’s not an exact science but there are a few clues to help you tell the difference between these bleeds.

  • An implantation bleed is typically lighter than a period
  • Lasts 1-3 days, whereas most periods are 4-7 days
  • Is usually in the week before your period is due
  • Often painless or with mild cramping whereas periods have slightly more cramping
  • No clots or tissue passed whereas this is normal in a period
  • Colour is light brown or pink and stays the same whereas a period can start brown or pink and then change to bright red as it goes into full flow.

Is it an implantation bleed or a miscarriage?

As we’ve previously covered, the timing is a big factor here. If the bleeding has occurred before your period would normally be due, there is a bigger chance this is an implantation bleed. Implantation bleeds after a period is due can happen but are rare. It’s really hard to distinguish between a period and a miscarriage, so it’s important to listen to your body and consult your doctor if you are experiencing bleeding or low abdominal pain outside of your usual monthly cycle. 


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