If you’re experiencing bleeding and it is not period blood, it may be implantation bleeding. This occurs when a woman’s egg is fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall. When this happens, small amounts of blood may pass between the uterine walls as it’s stretched and exit the body as vaginal discharge in the form of blood.
How long does implantation bleeding last? That depends on the woman. Most women will only experience bleeding for a few hours before it stops. Other women may experience bleeding for days, so there really isn’t an exact timeline.
It’s also important to know that implantation bleeding is not as heavy as period blood. Many women state that it is either spotting with little drops of blood, or it can be very faint and almost unnoticeable – it is that light. However, implantation itself can cause a woman to feel cramps that are very similar to menstrual cramps – minus the back pain.
How Long Does Implantation Take?
Implantation is a long process, and a lot of internal processes need to take place before implantation actually occurs. Conception occurs usually two weeks after a woman’s last menstrual cycle.
Based off of these numbers, it is estimated that the following occurs:
Inside of a woman’s ovaries, eggs will grow and erupt. This process normally occurs 2 weeks after a missed period and is the time when a woman is most likely to get pregnant.
Egg Travel Time
A woman’s egg will be released from the follicle and sent through the fallopian tube. During this time, the egg will rest inside of the tube for just 24 hours waiting for sperm to fertilize the egg. This is the exact day when an ovulation occurs for most women and is nearly 2 weeks after a woman’s last period.
For non-pregnant women, the egg will not be fertilized and will disintegrate in the body. However, fertilization must occur for implantation to begin. Sperm can live in the body for 5 days.
If fertilization has occurred, the egg will stay within the fallopian tubes for 3 to 4 days instead of just 1 day. At this time, the egg starts dividing into cells and is slowly progressing to the uterus through the fallopian tube.
Once in the uterus, the cells will attempt to attach to the lining of the uterus, completing the process of implantation. This is when a women would experience implantation bleeding that lasts an average of 1 to 2 days, according to WebMD.
Only 33% of women will experience implantation bleeding despite implantation occurring in every pregnancy. This is because mucus will form in a woman’s uterus and essentially plug up the hole that allows for blood to pass through. It is not as common as a woman simply missing her period, but it is an early indicator that a woman may be pregnant at this time.
It’s also possible that bleeding is occurring for another reason. Some women will experience bleeding during their pregnancy. In fact, 20 – 30 percent of women will have vaginal bleeding when they’re pregnant, which is actually perfectly normal and healthy. The best thing you can do is relax and consult with a doctor if the bleeding does continue, or is extremely heavy.
Missed Period But Not Pregnant
Sometimes, a woman will miss her period or only experience spotting, which is often confused with implantation bleeding. After it has been confirmed that you’re not pregnant, it’s important to understand that the blood was likely not implantation unless a swift miscarriage occurred. Instead, there are numerous reasons why a woman may have spotting and a missed period aside from pregnancy:
- Hormonal imbalances in the body can cause a woman to miss a period.
- Weight loss where a woman’s BMI is less than 19 can cause missed periods.
- Birth control may trigger faint blood and a missed period.
- Thyroid issues can cause hormonal imbalances, leading to spotting but no period.
- Extreme levels of stress can also cause a woman’s body to not enter a menstrual cycle.
If you’re worried about how long implantation bleeding lasts, it is relatively short. Taking a pregnancy test to confirm pregnancy is recommended after your normal period would begin for best results.