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Women that want to get pregnant must know what implantation bleeding is. This is bleeding caused by the fertilization process when the egg attaches to the uterine wall. What does implantation bleeding look like? It truly depends on the person.
Light Blood, Almost Like a Faint Period
One way to describe implantation bleeding is that it is like having a very light period. The blood is not typically heavy or dark. If the blood is heavy, you’re likely having your period and implantation has not occurred.
A few ways to determine if it’s implantation or period blood are as follows:
- Flow: Blood flow is the biggest indicator. There are no blood clots found in implantation blood, so there will not be periods of light blood followed by periods of heavier blood. Instead, it will be light blood and remain that way for the duration of the bleeding (hours to days).
- Color: Red blood that is vibrant is period blood. Implantation bleeding produces blood or discharge that is light pink or brown in color.
- Regularity: Off-and-on bleeding will be present with implantation. This is usually only for a day or two. If the blood is there in the morning and gone for hours at a time, it’s likely not your menstrual blood.
Women will also be able to watch for the severity of their cramps. While this isn’t a visual indicator, it is an indicator that is very accurate. Cramping that is very mild and faint and does not increase over time is normally implantation cramps.
What Does Spotting Look Like?
Spotting will be short spurts when spots of blood can be found. Spotting does not have a distinct long layer of blood like a period would contain. Instead, small spots of blood will be found mostly intermittently.
When you’re on your last day of your period and you’re not quite done yet, you’ll often notice spotting. These are the annoying days where spots of blood are found, but they are nowhere near the level of flow and consistency that you would experience in the middle of your menstrual cycle.
It’s important to note that:
- Implantation occurs near the start of a menstrual cycle.
- Spotting can be a sign of other medical issues.
Spotting will be light pink or brown in most circumstances.
In very few cases, some women may experience significant spotting when implantation occurs. This is not the norm, but it does happen to some women. It’s also important to note that only 3 out of 10 women will experience implantation bleeding, so it is not 100% accurate in predicting pregnancy.
When to Expect Implantation Bleeding
It takes quite some time for the bleeding to occur. If you had sexual intercourse today, it would take 6 to 12 days before you would expect to see any blood from implantation. It’s also more common to not have bleeding from implantation than it is to have bleeding.
If implantation bleeding is going to occur, it will:
- Be 6 to 12 days after intercourse.
- Occur before your normal period date.
If implantation bleeding is present, you will want to consult with a physician to see if you’re pregnant. There are other forms of vaginal bleeding, and this may be a sign of a more serious issue if you do not suspect that you’re pregnant.
You can also take a pregnancy test, but you will want to wait 7 to 10 days after the bleeding occurs to take the test. The pregnancy hormone levels in the body will not be high enough at this time to expect an accurate result from a pregnancy test – or worse – it will read negative although you are with child.