If you have unprotected sex during the fertile days of your menstrual cycle, the chances of getting pregnant is high. In case the sperm fertilizes the egg, an embryo is formed. This takes place in the fallopian tube.
The uterus wall will then become thick to protect the embryo. The embryo then travels to the uterus, where it gets implanted into the uterus lining. Once this happens, the pregnancy is considered successful.
Sometimes, when the embryo attaches to the uterus lining, the blood vessels burst, resulting in light bleeding. This is called implantation bleeding, which is an early sign of pregnancy.
Some women may not experience the same or even notice it. But if you are pregnant with twins, the chances of having implantation bleeding is high. Similarly, implantation bleeding is more common in first pregnancy than subsequent ones.
How Can I Tell It’s Implantation Bleeding?
Implantation bleeding occurs typically 10-14 days after conceiving the baby i.e. around the same time as your normal menstrual period. Thus, the bleeding can be confusing.
But implantation bleeding lasts for only 1 or 2 days and stops after that. When compared to normal bleeding, implantation bleeding will be light. It looks like light periods, but in reality, it is not. A pantyliner is enough to soak up the blood from implantation bleeding.
Besides, you will have other signs of pregnancy like
- Tenderness in the breast, especially for those who do not get this feeling during menstruation.
- Morning sickness, where you get a feeling of nausea first thing in the morning.
- Tiredness and dizziness which is not common with normal menstruation.
- Craving or aversion towards certain food items.
- Increased sense of smell especially towards items like garlic and meat.
If you are doubtful whether it is implantation bleeding or your periods, check the time you had sex. Implantation bleeding occurs 6-12 days after fertilisation. If you had sex around that time, then you can suspect the bleeding to be implantation bleeding.
In addition, you can always take a pregnancy test to confirm. This test will measure the level of hCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) in the blood, which is created by the placenta for the growth of the embryo.
What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like?
Implantation bleeding will have the below signs.
- Color: Implantation bleeding have pinkish or brown colour blood. This difference in color from menstrual bleeding is due to the time it takes for the bleeding to start.
- Cramps: Implantation bleeding does not have any signs of cramps that are typical of menstrual bleeding. Even if you develop cramps, they will not be intense as menstrual cramps.
- Bleeding type: Unlike menstrual bleeding that becomes heavier day by day, implantation bleeding will not be heavy. It will be very light on all days that sometimes you even fail to notice it.
- Duration of bleeding: Implantation bleeding will last only for 1-2 days. This is the time it takes for the fertilized egg to get implanted in the uterus wall.
- Consistency: Implantation bleeding does not have blood clots as seen in menstrual bleeding. The blood will consistently maintain the same color.
It is normally easy for you to make out implantation bleeding as you know what your normal menstrual bleeding looks like.
What Treatment Is Recommended For Implantation Bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is harmless and goes on its own within a few hours. Thus, it does not require any treatment.
But if the bleeding persists and becomes heavy, you are menstruating, or there is a medical complication. You can conduct a pregnancy test, and based on the test, you can meet a doctor.
Has Anyone Had Heavy Implantation Bleeding And Still Was Pregnant?
Implantation bleeding will never be heavy. If the bleeding is heavy and not the usual menstrual bleeding, it can be due to an underlying medical condition. Normally any of the below conditions can cause heavy bleeding during pregnancy.
- Ecotopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the embryo implants outside the uterus. In the majority of cases, an ectopic pregnancy occurs in the fallopian tube. When the embryo grows in the fallopian tube, the tube bursts resulting in heavy bleeding.
Apart from heavy bleeding, an ectopic pregnancy will also have pain, diarrhoea or constipation, dizziness or fainting. If you suspect pregnancy and experience any of the above symptoms, you should consult a doctor without delay.
- Pregnancy loss
If you are pregnant and experience heavy bleeding, another cause could be loss of pregnancy. The bleeding will be heavy and might have clots. Stomach pain, lower back pain and change in vaginal discharge are other symptoms of pregnancy loss.
- Cervical infection
If you had unprotected sex, the chances of getting a sexually transmitted disease are high. Sometimes sexually transmitted infections like gonorrhoea or chlamydia can also cause heavy bleeding during the implantation stage.
- Hormone change
If you were on a birth control pill and became pregnant once you stopped it, the hormonal changes in your body can cause heavy bleeding. Also, if you were using an intrauterine device before getting pregnant and had contracted an infection, there is a chance of having heavy bleeding.
- Uterine growth
Uterine growth like polyp and fibroid can also cause bleeding. A polyp is an overgrowth of uterine cells that can cause bleeding. Fibroids are non-cancerous growth that can cause bleeding. A doctor can figure out the growth through a scan.
Sex during the early stages of pregnancy can cause bleeding as the cervix at this time is very tender and sensitive.
Implantation bleeding is common during pregnancy. There is no reason to worry as long as it is light and stops within 1-2 days. But it is always best to inform your doctor about any type of bleeding.
In case you find out about the pregnancy, and the bleeding becomes heavy, you should rush to a doctor without delay. Similarly, if you develop pain or dizziness, then also you should consult a doctor. The doctor will conduct the necessary tests to rule out complications.