Implantation bleeding or spotting in layman’s term, is the event wherein there is a small amount of blood coming out of the vagina and can serve as a probable sign of pregnancy. Although implantation bleeding does not necessarily confirm pregnancy as it can also be attributed to your regular period, here are some things that you need to know about said phenomenon during gestation.
What is implantation bleeding?
Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg has found its way out of the fallopian tube and begins to adhere itself along the lining of your uterus. Normally, implantation bleeding happens a few weeks after conception, typically ranging between the sixth until twelfth day after fertilization takes place.
Is implantation bleeding different to that of spotting?
Not necessarily. Implantation bleeding and spotting are terms that are being used interchangeably. Both terms refer to a small amount of bloody discharge from the vagina with colors ranging from pink to red brown. Sometimes, women mistake this as their first day of menstrual period as implantation bleeding resembles the former in most ways. Most of the time, when the blood is very minimal, women do not even notice that they are currently experiencing spotting.
What is the difference between implantation bleeding and bleeding per se?
You have to understand that implantation bleeding is not associated to having a fresh, bloody, discharge as in contrast to bleeding. Rather, implantation bleeding’s discharge is typically ranging from a very minimal amount of light pink to red-brown colored blood. It is important to know the difference between implantation bleeding and bleeding so that you will be aware when to call the doctor immediately or when a situation calls for an immediate medical attention.
How can I tell if it is implantation bleeding?
In order to make sure that what you are currently experiencing or what you have experienced is implantation bleeding, you might want to take note of the following signs and symptoms. This is to help you distinguish whether what you are experiencing is implantation bleeding or simply your menstrual period.
1. Assess the color of the discharge. If the blood appears to be brownish or something similar to the color of a dried-up blood, then the chances that you are experiencing spotting is high. However, should the blood appear bright red and fresh, it is possible that you are currently experiencing your menstrual period. Although, keep in mind that it is possible to produce bright red and fresh blood even if you are pregnant. If you are suspecting that you are pregnant and you are bleeding, do call your obstetrician or midwife immediately.
2. Implantation bleeding usually lasts only for up to two days, any longer than that can be considered as your normal menstrual flow or something more serious. Again, if you are suspecting pregnancy and you are bleeding fresh, bright red blood, seek professional help immediately.
3. If you are regular on your menstrual cycle and planning to conceive, keep track of the pattern of your flow so you will have an idea whether it is implantation bleeding or menstruation. Remember, implantation bleeding happens between the sixth to twelfth day after fertilization and menstruation occurs after the fourteenth day of your suspected date of conception.
4. Both implantation bleeding and menstrual period can trigger cramping, especially when the fertilized egg has started attaching itself to the lining of the uterus. Although cramping in implantation bleeding does not increase in intensity in contrast to menstrual cramps. Menstrual cramps tend to last longer and the pain can range from moderate to severe.
Should I be worried when I noticed some spotting?
Normally, spotting or implantation bleeding should not cause any unnecessary stress and worry to you. However, witnessing or seeing some specks or tinge of blood coming out of your vagina can be unnerving. If you feel like you need to hear some assurance, it is okay to go ahead and ask the opinion of your obstetrician.
When should I see my doctor?
As mentioned, light bleeding during pregnancy is normal, but still it is your prerogative if you should see your doctor or not. On the other hand, excessive bleeding and presence of other abnormal signs and symptoms such as pain radiating to the shoulders, bright red blood, dizziness, and nausea after a positive pregnancy test, this could warrant an emergency case and you should seek help immediately. Other causes of pregnancy bleeding apart from implantation are molar pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, and an impending miscarriage. Should there be any extreme symptoms that you should not be experiencing during pregnancy, call a doctor or go to the emergency room right away.
To conclude this article, keep in mind the essentials and important things to remember regarding implantation bleeding. It should not last for more than two days and the discharge should look like an old tinge of blood. Any more abnormal signs and symptoms call for an immediate medical intervention or management.
Author: Patricia Magno RN