When you believe you may be pregnant, particularly if you’ve been trying to become pregnant for a long time, you may wish for a bold and easily recognizable answer. The issue here is that the early pregnancy symptoms aren’t usually that clear.
You may develop cramping, fatigue and other common signs of PMS. You may experience implantation bleeding. This is a clearer sign of pregnancy. However, you may believe yourself to be having an episode of implantation bleeding even when it’s actually an early period or the first period day.
A concrete way of finding out the true cause is based on understanding the length of time implantation bleeding typically lasts, so that you can compare that with the duration of your typical period.
What is Meant by Implantation Bleeding?
During your monthly cycle, the uterus forms a blood and tissue lining, preparing to receive a fertilized egg. When ovulation occurs, the egg travels through the fallopian tube and into your uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, it will be discharged, along with the thickened lining of the uterus, in your period.
If the egg, however, does become fertilized, it will burrow into the prepared lining of the uterus and makes a home there. As the egg implants itself, part of the lining can shed, to allow room for the egg. The egg is quite small, so you will only lose a small amount of blood and tissue. Only 25-30% of women experience implantation bleeding, so you may not ever notice it.
If you do see implantation-related blood, it will be coffee ground color, or sometimes light pink. The colors are typical of older blood, since it takes time for your body to discharge it. You may experience brown clots in implantation bleeding, too.
How Long will Implantation Bleeding Last?
It’s important to know how long your implantation bleeding can last. If you’re pregnant and experiencing excessive bleeding, this could indicate an issue with your baby, and you’ll want to contact your physician.
Keep in mind, before you start worrying a lot, that even women with healthy pregnancies experience spotting now and then. It’s most common during the early part of the conception stage. Noticing a few spots of blood when you wipe with toilet paper or a panty liner doesn’t mean there is necessarily something wrong. You do want to keep your eye on it, though.
Each woman has a different length of time in which they experience implantation bleeding, if they experience it at all. If you notice blood while in the implantation phase, you may only see it once or twice.
The reason for light spotting is not difficult to understand. When you experience implantation, the blood you will eventually see won’t have come out quickly. It will leak slowly from the cervix to the vagina, and then out where you may notice it. Most women pass all of their implantation bleeding in a few hours. In rarer cases, the spotting may last for one to two days. It’s rare for implantation bleeding to last longer than that.
If you believe that you might be pregnant, and you think that the spotting you are experiencing is indeed implantation bleeding, speak with your physician to make sure nothing else is going on. Although implantation bleeding is said to be an early healthy pregnancy sign, bleeding for over two days or heavy bleeding are not normal.
How will you Know if it’s Implantation Bleeding?
Even if you are experiencing spotting, this doesn’t mean that implantation has necessarily happened. The bleeding could be your first period day, or related to another medical issue.
Know how your body works before implantation occurs. Track your regular cycles and pay close attention to the way they start. You may start your periods with a heavy flow, or just spot the first day. You may have cramping before your period, or not until after it starts. If you have unprotected sex and the bleeding is unlike your normal menstrual cycle, pay attention not just to how heavy of your spotting is, but to how long it lasts, as well.
If you feel you are having implantation bleeding, but don’t wish to wait til your period starts – or doesn’t start – to be certain, use an OTC home pregnancy test. If it’s very early in the cycle, you may get a negative because there is not enough HCG in the urine yet to trigger a positive result.
Once you know that the blood you see is actually implantation bleeding, rather than your period, keep an eye out for signs of trouble. If this bleeding lasts longer than is usual – several hours up to two days – or you experience an increased bloody discharge and pain, contact your physician. You may be experiencing an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage, and you’ll want to see your physician soon.
Keep close track of your monthly cycle if you want to conceive, or if you note spotting during a time that isn’t close to menstruation. Understanding how long implantation bleeding lasts will help you to know sooner when you are pregnant, and then you can take the proper steps to keep you and your baby healthy.