What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like on a Pad?

When you are trying to get pregnant, every symptom that you experience can give you false hope. For many women, one of the first signs of pregnancy is implantation bleeding. Only about one out of three women actually experiences implantation bleeding, but this sign is the first one that can possibly occur. Since it can be similar to a menstrual cycle in some ways, it is important to learn how to tell the difference between implantation bleeding and a normal menstrual cycle.

What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like on a Pad?

There are a few ways that you can tell if you are experiencing implantation bleeding. While every woman is different, implantation bleeding will generally be very, very light. It will be like having spotting or a very light period. The blood should not be heavy or dark. If you are experiencing heavy bleeding or clots, you are most likely experiencing your normal period and not implantation bleeding.

To see if you are having implantation bleeding, consider the following factors:

Color: Brown blood occurs when the blood has been in the body for longer before reaching the outside air. Pink blood is when red blood mixes with cervical mucus to appear lighter. In general, implantation bleeding will cause light pink or brown blood.

Flow: The blood flow is the main difference between a period and implantation bleeding. The blood show should be extremely light. There should be any times when the blood flow is heavy or filled with clots. If it is heavy at any point in time, you are just having an early period. The blood flow for implantation bleeding will be light and should only last a few hours or days.

Regularity: When you are undergoing implantation, the blood flow will most likely be off-and-on. It will last for a maximum of two days. If you only have blood flow for a few hours, then you may be experiencing implantation bleeding.

When Can You Expect Implantation Bleeding to Happen?

A number of people who comment on our site ask if they can have implantation bleeding immediately after sexual intercourse. The answer to this question, of course, is no. Implantation happens 6 to 12 days after conception. If you experience bleeding immediately after intercourse, it is from another cause. In addition, you are more likely to get pregnant and not have implantation bleeding because two out of three women do not experience implantation bleeding at all.

If you are experiencing implantation bleeding, it will happen a bit before your period was supposed to start. It will also be 6 to 12 days after you conceived. If you have bleeding that occurs outside of this timeline, then you should go to the doctor. You are either having your normal period, or another medical condition could be causing the bleeding. Reproductive problems like PCOS or vaginal infections can both cause bleeding outside of your normal menstrual cycle. It is important that you get medical help for any of these causes for your own health and the health of any future pregnancy.

Can You Take a Pregnancy Test After Having Implantation Bleeding?

Technically, you can take a pregnancy test any time you want to. It won’t show any results though if your hCG levels are too low. Your hCG levels do not start to increase until after implantation has occurred. You will not have pregnancy symptoms or pregnancy hormones until after implantation. After implantation, wait at least 7 to 10 days before taking a pregnancy test. Otherwise, you may get a false negative because there may not be enough hCG in your body for the test to pick up. HCG levels double every few days in early pregnancy, so you will not have a long time to wait.

When to See a Doctor

Many women experience light implantation bleeding at the start of their pregnancy. While this is a normal symptom, be careful to spot for some of the indications that the bleeding is more than just implantation. Any prolonged, heavy or unusually bright red bleeding is a sign that you may have a threatened miscarriage. If you experience any symptoms that are out of the ordinary, it is important to go to your doctor right away to make sure that your pregnancy is healthy.

96 COMMENTS

  1. I am currently 3 weeks pregnant with my second child. I started light brown bleeding on Saturday and it has continued on and off through out the week. The discharge is either brown or light pink and not very heavy. However I do need to wear a thin liner to protect my underwater from getting spotted. Is this normal?

    • Your bleeding may be related to your pregnancy. It is possible that this is implantation bleeding. You will want to speak with a medical professional about your symptoms. They will be able to diagnose and treat any condition you may have. Best of luck, Rebecca!

  2. i was having my last period on 10 january and then had sex on 27 january.i had taken an i-pill within 72 hours. after that i’m having period on 8 february. i’m feeling nausea and headache. is it implantation bleeding or period?????

    • You may be experiencing pregnancy symptoms. It is possible that you are experiencing your period. Since it is possible that you are pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test at this time. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Continue to monitor your symptoms so you may better address any questions that your doctor may have for you in the future. Best of luck, Riya!

  3. My periods are pretty irregular
    August 24th
    September 16
    October 19th

    We had dry humping without clothes in the first week of November (he didn’t cum)

    And then i had bleeding on Nov 11th
    Note- i am confused whether that bleeding was Implantation bleeding or periods 🙁

    It was bright red, continued for 4 days, and spotting at last 2 days.
    It was less heavier than my periods, and it had clots. Most of the blood came out only when i urinated. Had severe cramps the first two days.

    I do not have any symptoms of pregnancy, like breast tenderness, nausea, vomitings.
    I am totally fine.
    Only that my belly region has started increasing in size and it scares me.

    Im on my 34th day of my cycle and i still didn’t get my periods. I’m having continuous white discharge, and no signs of periods.

    I have done 7 pregnancy test and all were NEGATIVE.

    Can it be that i am pregnant, and not having any symptoms, or is my hcg not dectable on the tester.
    Is my periods late?
    Also my cervix is wet with non sticky lotion discharge. It is high too.

    • You have taken seven pregnancy tests. You are still uncertain about the status of your symptoms. This means that you should speak with a medical professional. Make an appointment at this time. They will be able to give you the tests to make a final determination. Best of luck, Naaz!

  4. I believe my last period was Oct 20th and i was firtial round Oct 30th thru Nov 5th had unprotected sex Nov 1st thru Nov 5th I experienced a lil spotting Nov 12th then it instantly stoped tgis was during unprotected sex then no bleeding till nov 16th was pinkish redish brownish I’ve been using pads just in case i go heavy between Nov 16th and 17th I filled like 3 pads or more only half a pad each time im having slight cramps in my lower stomach I’ve tooken my last test Nov 16th that morning was a negative should I wait till I stop bleeding to take another I’m experiencing clear Stretchy discharge mixed with pink and red and blackish brown blood could i be experiencing implantation bleeding or an early unusual period i recently had a miscarriage back in July and completely misscarried August 10th so is my body even ready for another pregnancy or what would much appreciate an awnser on this hopefully a possitive awnser we are really trying for another baby…Thank you

    • It is possible that you are pregnant, as you has unprotected sex. You may be experiencing implantation bleeding. It is possible that you miscarried. Take a pregnancy test at this time. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Best of luck, Shaylynn!

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