Whether you’re trying to get pregnant or not, you should know what implantation bleeding is, and what it looks like. It is caused by the egg attaching to the wall of the uterus in the fertilization process. The appearance differs somewhat from one woman to the next.
Determining if you’re Experiencing Implantation Bleeding
Implantation bleeding is often described as being similar to a period that is quite light. You will not normally see dark or heavy blood. If you do, this is more likely to be your period starting, and implantation hasn’t occurred.
If you experience vibrant red blood, this is usually due to a period. Implantation produces a discharge or blood that is more likely brownish or pinkish in color.
This is the most noticeable indicator of implantation bleeding. You will not see clots of blood in implantation bleeding. The blood will look light for the duration of this bleeding, usually from hours to days.
If you are experiencing implantation, your bleeding will appear as on and off bleeding. If you have blood in the morning and then none for hours afterward, this is more likely to be implantation bleeding than your period.
How Does Implantation Spotting Appear?
Spotting is by definition and appearance short spurts where you can see blood on your panties or toilet paper. It doesn’t contain a long, distinct blood layer like a period does. Rather, you will likely find mostly small blood spots, and they will only usually appear intermittently.
If you’re on the last day of a period, but not quite finished, you will probably see spotting. This has nothing to do with implantation bleeding at that point in time, but it does give you an idea of what implantation bleeding looks like.
During those late period days, you’ll see spotting now and then, but it will not be anywhere near the consistency and flow of the middle of your period.
You should know that implantation bleeding takes place before your period would normally start. It will usually be that light brown or pink color, and the blood can also be a sign of medical issues not associated with implantation bleeding.
In a few isolated cases, women may have more significant spotting at the time of implantation. This isn’t normal, but it does occur sometimes. In fact, only about 30% of women experience any implantation bleeding, so it’s not a tremendously accurate predictor of pregnancy. Even though implantation bleeding is usually lighter than menstruation, in some cases, women have heavier spotting during implantation.
When can you Expect Implantation Bleeding?
It takes time for this type of bleeding to begin. If you engage in sexual intercourse this evening, it will take between 6 and 12 days before you can expect to see any implantation bleeding. As we have noted, it’s also more common not to experience any bleeding at all. If you do experience implantation bleeding, it occurs before your normal period would begin
If you have bleeding unrelated to implantation or a period, consult your physician. There are other types of vaginal bleeding that can be confused with implantation bleeding, and you’ll want to know the cause.
You can take a pregnancy test at home as well, but you’ll need to wait between a week and 10 days after your spotting occurs, before you test yourself. The levels of hormone in your body won’t be high enough before that time period, in order to give you an accurate pregnancy test result.
Study the Differences in Appearance
It’s not likely that you will confuse implantation bleeding with a heavy period. However, if you have a light period, this can be a bit perplexing. In some cases, light periods may also occur in waves that are light, then heavy and then light again. Note these periods when you have them. That way, you can check in the future, if you experience similar bleeding. If it doesn’t fit a period bleeding profile, it’s likely implantation bleeding.