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.

64 COMMENTS

  1. My periods last 5 days.
    My cycle is 28 days.

    Previous periods:
    9th of may
    6th of June
    4th of July
    So I expected this months period on the 1st of August right?

    I had my last period on the 4th of July to the 9th of July.
    I had sex with my boyfriend on the night/early morning of the 11th/12th of July.

    On the 16th I started to get bloated & other symptoms such as tender breast,slight abdominal fluttering/cramps, milky runny discharge,I couldn’t lay on my front but they began to become more obvious around the 18th I think I was just ovulating though.

    Began feeling normal again around the 20th to 31st of July except my breast were still feeling heavy & abdominal flutters.

    As I said before I expected my period on the 1st of August but it never came & I didn’t have cramps or anything. On the 2nd it never came but I saw light pink discharge when I wiped then later saw brown. the 3rd of August early morning I started to bleed bright red blood but only lightly when I wiped by the end of the day I ended up using a panty liner which is small but filled it but I still never had any cramps.

    On the 4th I woke up the bleed was still light but I used a pad as I was going out just in case. By the afternoon I started to get cramps in my lower area & I started to bleed fresh bright red blood that was watery & heavy,the whole pad was filled. I took two test that night. One didn’t show a control line so it didn’t work & the digital one said not pregnant.

    I got home & the pain got worse,pain from the cramps & back pain I couldn’t stand properly,The bleeding continued to be heavy fresh blood but I started to see dots of tissue in the blood & even bigger stringly looking pieces.

    No clots or stringy thick blood that i usually get on my period. I usually get period cramps on the first day of every period I have.

    could anyone advise me what’s happening? Is this my two day late period or am I pregnant but not confirmed? Or did I mc if I was? Should I go get a blood test from my Gp? Or wait to see if I continue to bleed for 3rd day?

    • You have observed your symptoms. You are having severe experiences, and you may want to speak with a medical professional. It is possible that you are having an unusual period. You may be experiencing implantation bleeding. Take another pregnancy test tomorrow. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Best of luck, Ava!

  2. My boyfriend rubbed the shaft of his penis against my vulva. (There was no cum. He didn’t ejaculate or go near the opening of my vagina at all. He also didn’t pre cum.) but I’ve been very paranoid. My period had came 3 days late and I hear that implantation bleeding is a couple of drops. But this is not what this was. The color looked normal but it was more than just a few drops. I’d say it covered half the pad. It kept stopping and coming back. I’d say it’s lasting 3-4 days now.

    • It is possible to become pregnant due to precum. It is possible that he did have precum while he brushed against you. It is unlikely that you are pregnant, but it is possible. You may be experiencing an unusual period or implantation bleeding. Take a pregnancy test three days after the end of your period. You may want to speak with a medical professional to confirm the results of the test. Best of luck, Taylor!

  3. Hi I’ve had really bad head aches and I get really hot out of no where and bad back aches also last Wednesday i spotted a little than Thursday I filled one pad next day I spotted and than had nothing for 2 days than I had little pink spotting and brownish .. and than nothing I’ve felt really dizzy lately really bad headaches and back aches

    • It is possible that you are experiencing symptoms of implantation bleeding. You may be having an unusual period. Continue to monitor your symptoms. Take a pregnancy test three days after your normal period date. You will want to confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Best of luck, Carina!

  4. I also forgot to say my period was bright red as usual and lasted 5 days my periods are normally 21-24 days. My period started June 29 and ended july 3rd and as well lasted 5 days so i would like to know if I’m pregnant or not but all signs are leading to that I’m most likely not in my point of view

    • It is possible that you had an unusual period. It is possible that you are experiencing implantation bleeding. Continue to monitor your experiences for additional pregnancy symptoms. You may find benefit in taking another pregnancy test in five days. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Have a great day, Laurel!

  5. Hi i had unprotected sex June 18th and got my period ( June 29th twos days early than my app prediction)it started off light but it began to get heavy the second , third and fourth day and the last day was brown spotting as usual. I am really concern if i am pregnanct or not it’s been three weeks since i have had sex and had no symptoms no cramps or anything but both side of my abdomens are tight. I would really like to know if I’m pregnant or not
    P.S: i took a pregnancy test June 26th (3 days before i experienced my “period) it came back as negative

    • It is possible that you had an unusual period. It is possible that you are experiencing implantation bleeding. Continue to monitor your experiences for additional pregnancy symptoms. You may find benefit in taking another pregnancy test in five days. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Have a great day, Laurel!

  6. Hi I’m 2 weeks late for my period today I experienced brown blood when I wiped not enough to call a period I’ve been very nauseous with headaches my tummy feels right my breasts have enlarged. Should I take a pregnancy test

    • It is possible that you are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy. If you have recently had unprotected intercourse, then it is possible that you are pregnant. Take a pregnancy test three days after your normal period date. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Have a great day, NIC!

  7. I recently took a plan b and 6 days after I started bleeding I thought it was spotting but it is much more heavy like the blood is enough to fill a pad should I be concerned? I took the plan B a couple hours after the slip up

    • The experiences that you are having may be symptoms of the plan b pill. There may be another reason for these symptoms. Continue to monitor your experiences. If the bleeding continues, then speak with a medical professional. You may want to make an appointment at this time. Best of luck, Lilly!

  8. I am 16 and have had light pink on a tissue the day before my period ie due, and its verry light am i pregnant ?

    • It is possible that you are having an early or unusual period. It is possible that you were experiencing implantation bleeding. It is possible that you are pregnant, then take a pregnancy test three days after your normal period date. Confirm the result of your test with a medical professional. Best of luck, Ally!

  9. I dry humped my boyfriend last week and since then,I’ve been feeling sick. I got my period normally(medium flow) but on the third day,it reduced drastically. What does this mean?

    • You did not have sexual intercourse with your partner and ejaculate has not entered your body. You have had your period. You are not pregnant. However, if you did have sexual intercourse, then it is possible that you would be experiencing implantation bleeding. Continue to practice safe sexual practices until you are ready to have a child. Have a great day, Mavin!

  10. I dry humped with my boyfriend last week and I’ve been feeling sick since then. I started my period normally(medium flow) but then on the third day,its reduced drastically. What does this mean?

    • You did not have sexual intercourse with your partner and ejaculate has not entered your body. You have had your period. You are not pregnant. However, if you did have sexual intercourse, then it is possible that you would be experiencing implantation bleeding. Continue to practice safe sexual practices until you are ready to have a child. Have a great day, Mavin!

  11. My period cycle is 40 to 42 days from march 2018 while it was 30 to 35 days before march. my period had started on 15 th April last month as per 40 days cycle it is to be occur on 25 th may but have been facing on and off bleeding since 13 th may which is brown. We have been planning also, plz tell it is implantation bleeding or period with right cycle duration . I had cramping in lower right and left side for 2 days from 10th may to 12 th may and felt upper thigh right and left pain at panty lining.pls reply me back

    • It is possible that you are experiencing symptoms of pregnancy. You may be having an unusual period. Take a pregnancy test at this time. Confirm the result of your test with your medical professional. Continue to monitor your symptoms at this time. Best of luck, Neha!

  12. My last period was April 16 to April 22 2018. My period was start again on the 12th of may today its 3 days late .. I’ve experienced cramping and frequent need to pee in the past weeks.. Yet today I started bleeding..on the pad was brown and very little. No clots.When I wiped it was pink ..any knowledge or advice? I also had unprotected sex with my husband from the 20th of April to the 26th and the 28th,29th,and the 6,7,12 of may.

    • You had unprotected sex recently. It is possible that you are pregnant. You may not be pregnant, and you may be experiencing an unusual period. Take a pregnancy test at this time. Speak with a medical professional to confirm the result of your test. Best of luck, Arlene!

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