Implantation is the process during which the fetal egg is attached to the walls of the uterus. Because of this, you can see small blood clots, which clearly indicate a successful conception. The process has a number of differences from menstruation, so you can determine it by specific signs.

In pregnancy, implantation bleeding is a bloody discharge. They become noticeable in the early stages of pregnancy. They are caused by the attachment of the fetal egg to the lining of the uterus. As the egg moves, the vessels of the uterine walls may burst. This causes their formation. This phenomenon is completely natural and somewhat reminiscent of menstruation.

Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

What is it

It is the implantation bleeding that acts as the main sign that it was possible to conceive a baby. It happens because the fertilized egg makes its way to the walls of the uterus. During the passage of the egg, the microvessels are damaged. The blood enters the cervix and then exits into the vagina.

When this happens, you should not panic. It is better to learn more about implantation bleeding to understand what happens to a woman’s body after conception:

  1. After fertilization, the egg begins to move toward the uterus;;
  2. The egg then implants into the endometrium;
  3. When the egg attaches to the mucous membrane, its integrity is violated;
  4. Then there is minor damage to the small vessels;
  5. Implantation bleeding usually occurs 6-12 days after sexual intercourse.
Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

Many people wonder exactly on what day of the cycle implantation begins. It happens differently for each woman. It should be taken into consideration that quite often this process goes unnoticed. This is due to the fact that the symptoms are completely absent or they coincide with the first day of menstruation. Quite often it occurs in the absence of pregnancy planning.

The main symptoms

Very many people are interested in how to recognize implantation and not confuse it simply with the beginning of the cycle. One of the most common causes of confusion is that implantation begins two weeks after conception, just when your period usually begins. This timing is purely arbitrary.

So, implantation bleeding can start at any time during the first trimester. Its duration is from 1 to 3 days. In this case, the volume of blood is much less than during your period, but the color is darker. The color may vary.

Fresh clots are mostly bright red in color. If they are pink or orange, however, it means that other vaginal discharge is also present. Old blood will have a brown color due to oxidation – in this case it will also be thicker.

Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

Determining on your own deviations from the norm is quite difficult. You can exclude or confirm conception with an hCG test. If blood clots are associated with the beginning of the cycle and menstruation, they will have characteristic signs. If there are additionally other symptoms, including general malaise, the best option is to be reassured and see a doctor.

The main difference from menstruation and other nuances

Many people confuse implantation with menstruation, especially if it started on day 11-14 of the cycle or after conception. Every woman’s menstruation has its own differences: some have more abundant discharge, some have scanty. But when there are deviations from the norm, it is impossible not to notice them. Even with an irregular cycle, the type, volume and duration of your period will be completely different. It is by these signs that implantation bleeding is determined . Among them:

  • Volume of discharge. Implantation involves a light, bloody discharge. Therefore, with heavy periods, they are quite easy to distinguish from each other;
  • Duration. As a rule, the period lasts no more than seven days, and the duration of implantation lasts from a few hours to two days. With a first pregnancy, the duration may be a little longer;
  • Color. Implantation bleeding is very rarely intense, so the spots may be either pink or bright brown;
  • Consistency. During menstruation, dense clots may occasionally come out, but this is not characteristic of implantation. In this case, the blood always has the same consistency.
Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

If in addition there are other early signs of pregnancy, this once again confirms the occurrence of the discharge. To be sure of this, you should buy a test that reacts to hCG and do it at home. Or make an appointment with a gynecologist.

If implantation bleeding occurs, it is likely that only a couple of drops of blood will be visible on your underwear. In the early term, you cannot be absolutely sure that any form of discharge is harmless, so seeing a doctor will be a normal option.

Implantation bleeding in pregnancy does not have an unpleasant odor. The intensity is brief, so you can not even notice the onset. There are no special sensations. Only in very rare cases of successful conception, the expectant mother feels tearfulness, irritability, a metallic taste in the mouth and mild nausea in the morning.

How to tell

As a rule, implantation bleeding is manifested by a spot or not very profuse discharge. They are usually not very heavy and do not have clots like in a normal cycle. Unless there are other reasons to suspect conception, it is highly probable that this type of discharge, which most likely indicates the beginning of the cycle.

This process occurs only a third of the time. Therefore, there is a chance that it will not occur. But, if the discharge is related specifically to pregnancy, there will be other signs:

  • Morning sickness. It can begin as 4 weeks after conception, and after 6 weeks. The malaise is temporary, so by 16-20 weeks it will cease to be perceptible.
  • High sensitivity to smells and tastes. This is a very bright sign of conception, associated directly with hormonal changes;
  • Increased frequency of urination. This is also a sign of pregnancy, associated with hormonal fluctuations;
  • Soreness of the mammary glands. This is associated with increased blood flow and fluid retention in the mammary glands against the background of a sharp increase in sex hormones.
  • Stomach cramps. They can occur by themselves, or they can be accompanied by implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

If, in addition to blood spots, at least one of these signs is also present, then it is highly probable to talk about successful conception. In turn, in some girls, such symptoms indicate the beginning of a normal monthly cycle. Therefore, it is necessary to be guided by the individual condition.

What it looks like

Many women confuse implantation bleeding with their periods. Distinguishing one from the other is quite simple. So, the main difference is that in the first case, the discharge begins before menstruation. The easiest way to find the differences will be those women who have planned a pregnancy. As part of the planning of the future child, it is small clots of blood that will be a sign of conception.

To determine the origin of the discharge with maximum accuracy, you should pay attention to the following factors: color, amount, structure and duration. The consistency of clots after implantation should be similar to chicken protein. There may also be streaks or small drops of blood. There is no unpleasant smell at all. Implantation bleeding during pregnancy does not last more than a day. Most often, this process goes almost imperceptibly.

Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

If blood clots occur during menstruation, it is usually an alarming sign. It indicates various gynecological diseases, so there is a reason to consult a gynecologist.

Blood after ovulation

As a rule, implantation bleeding occurs from 7 to 12 days after ovulation. In some women, the discharge appears just before the period. Therefore, few people think about a possible pregnancy. It should be taken into account that the process of conception takes place directly in the tubes, and then the fetus moves to the uterus.

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Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

Many girls are also interested in how long implantation lasts. It appears in the form of scanty smeary discharge for not more than a few days. Timing of formation is close to the usual periods, but also have certain differences. Depending on whether the process occurred after ovulation or after conception, the methods of its diagnosis differ.

After ovulation

Every girl’s menstrual cycle varies within certain limits. However, it remains stable if a woman does not have any serious gynecological diseases. So, if her menstrual cycle is 31 days, then implantation bleeding may occur on the 23-27 days of the cycle. But it will occur only if conception has occurred and the fertilized egg has attached to the mucous membranes of the uterus.

After conception

Implantation blood clots can also appear after conception. Typically, this occurs 6-14 days after the egg has been fertilized. This is how long it takes for the egg to reach the corresponding tubes and mucous membranes of the uterus.

Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

Is there a risk

In the early stages of pregnancy, questions may arise as to whether implantation bleeding is dangerous. Throughout the course of a pregnancy, discharge can occur for a variety of reasons. It can be cervical irritation as well as a mild infection. Therefore, regardless of the type of discharge, and on what day of the menstrual cycle it began, the best option is to see a doctor.

One common problem is that with implantation bleeding, it is difficult to determine if it is a pregnancy or a period. This can create some difficulty in calculating your due date. Not every woman experiences implantation in early pregnancy. Statistics show that it occurs only in 15-25% of cases. Therefore, if it does not happen, there is no need to worry.

There is no need to worry about normal implantation bleeding during pregnancy. Whether or not this physiological process occurs depends on the attachment of the fertilized egg. What matters is how quickly it does so and in what location.

In order to identify implantation bleeding and distinguish it from menstruation or other processes, you need to know its main signs. The first thing to consider is that it cannot be as profuse as a period. Also, implantation is not accompanied by general malaise or headaches.

Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

Even, if the abdomen hurts, there are other distinctive signs. For example, the color and duration. The appearance of blood may not always be a sign of implantation bleeding. Sometimes it can be confused with more dangerous pathologies. Among them may be an ectopic pregnancy. In this case, you should immediately consult a doctor.

It is also possible the occurrence of various infections that are sexually transmitted. Quite often during intercourse the epithelium is damaged – because of this, blood will start either during or immediately after sex. There is also a risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy, but then the pain will be very severe. Blood may not appear after ovulation. There is nothing wrong with that.

Does implantation happen during IVF

Regardless of the method of conception, every pregnant woman can experience implantation bleeding. With IVF, this phenomenon occurs on average in one-third of women. It usually occurs on the 9th to 12th day after the embryo has been successfully transferred. This means that it is already fixed in the uterus. In addition to the discharge of implantation bleeding in pregnancy will tell the following signs:

  • decreased basal temperature – if it was previously monitored, there will be noticeable significant changes in the readings;
  • discomfort in the lower abdomen;
  • Mild dizziness, which is accompanied by nausea.

Implantation lasts only a few days, so real signs of pregnancy will soon become noticeable instead of smeary discharge. It should be kept in mind that IVF is performed in several stages. Because of this, the implanted embryo needs some time to adapt to the new environment. Because of this, many women become anxious about how long it will take for implantation to start and whether it will start at all.

The sensations of implantation and therefore of carrying a child are identical to those of conventional conception. There are no particular differences in implantation bleeding either. It also occurs in the form of a small spotting and lasts only a few days without any adverse effect on the body.

Implantation bleeding: what it is and how it happens

Does it always happen

Implantation bleeding does not happen in all cases. Because of the scant volume, many women don’t notice it at all. If this process is absent, it is not a sign of pathology. It is just a feature of the body. The probability of implantation increases several times if the pregnancy is multiple.

If the discharge began immediately after conception and you are sure of their nature, there is no need to run to the doctor. You can continue to lead a normal life. Also, you do not need to start taking blood thinners. The only recommendation is to take folic acid to strengthen the uterine walls.

Particular attention should be paid to diet and lifestyle, the emotional state. Doctors do not need to interfere in the detection of discharge. If there are any serious concerns, it is better to immediately consult a doctor. Blood clots after ovulation are not necessarily negative.

More often than not, it is a sign that conception is occurring properly. When signs of implantation are detected, you should be reassured. After one or two days, it will stop and will not resume. If you do go to the doctor, he can do an ultrasound to make sure the fetus is developing properly. Sometimes the presence of blood outside your period is even useful, because it proves that the embryo is attached to the walls of the uterus.

It also happens that blood clots are followed by normal menstruation. In this case, it is advisable to see a doctor for a more detailed consultation and proper tests.


Implantation bleeding acts as a natural process and does not pose any threat to the expectant mother or her baby. It is very important for women to be able to distinguish implantation from the discharge that occurs at the beginning of the menstrual cycle. To do this, you need to pay attention to a number of signs: color, duration, consistency, smell. If you have any questions about pregnancy, you should definitely consult a doctor.

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