Implantation Dip: 10 Things You Should Know

Whether you’re struggling with infertility or just want to get pregnant quickly, charting your basal body temperature (BBT) will let you know when you’re ovulating, which boosts your chances of conceiving. But charting can also give you some hints that you might be pregnant.

The implantation dip is one of those hints.

If you’re new to the world of BBT charting, you may not know what an implantation dip is, or what it means.

Here are 10 things you need to know:  

1. Implantation Dips Happen Around—You Guessed It—Implantation

The name of this phenomenon says it all: implantation dips tend to occur around the time of implantation – about 7-10 days after ovulation. 

But what exactly is a “dip?” The dip part refers to a change in your basal body temperature (more on this shortly).

2. A Dip Occurs Because of Hormones

When your basal body temperature takes a sudden shift in the opposite direction (i.e. goes from higher than your coverline to near or at your coverline), this is referred to as a potential implantation dip. The drop in temperature lasts about a day.

Why does your temperature drop? There are two potential pregnancy-related reasons:

  • Estrogen lowers your body temperature. A surge of estrogen smack dab in the middle of your luteal phase may cause a dip in your temperature. While this rush of estrogen can occur with both pregnant and non-pregnant women, it tends to be more common after conception has occurred.
  • In the middle of the luteal phase, the corpus luteum reaches peak production of progesterone and then recedes. But if conception occurs, progesterone levels remain higher as the embryo implants itself and will stay that way until the placenta can produce the hormone on its own.  

3. An Implantation Dip May Mean That You’re Pregnant

If you’re seeing an implantation dip on your chart, it may mean that you’re pregnant. It is by no means a guarantee, but it may be an indication that implantation has occurred.

Some women may also experience spotting and cramping around the same time the dip occurs. This is referred to as implantation bleeding. 

4. A Dip in Your BBT May Also Mean That Your Period Is On Its Way

Part of the reason why the “implantation dip” isn’t a reliable way to determine if you’re pregnant is that a drop in your basal body temperature usually means that you’re not pregnant. In fact, when your temperature drops, it’s usually a sign that Aunt Flow is on the way.  However, if your temperature zips right back up the next day, you may be one of the lucky gals who experienced a dip and is now pregnant.

5. A Pregnancy Test is the Only Way to Confirm a Pregnancy

The only surefire way to confirm a pregnancy is to take a pregnancy test. When you want to conceive (and conceive quickly), you look for every possible sign that you have a bun in the oven. While pregnancy charts are far more likely to show an implantation dip, this is by no means a reliable pregnancy sign. Only a test will let you know for sure.

6. Implantation Spotting is Light

If the dip is a sign of implantation, you may also see some spotting. Don’t panic – spotting is normal (although not common) in pregnant women. However, this type of bleeding is very different from the bleeding you experience during your period.

Bleeding typically occurs when the embryo implants itself into the uterus. When this happens, the burrowing of the egg can disrupt some blood vessels in that area. This disruption doesn’t cause any long-term complications, but it can lead to implantation bleeding. This bleeding is very light, more like discharge, and either brown or pink in color. It usually happens way before your period would normally arrive, about 5-10 days after conception.

If the bleeding happens around the time you’re expecting your period and the flow is heavier, it’s probably Aunt Flow.

7. Your BBT Technique May Set Your Chart Off

Sometimes, a slight dip in your temperature can occur because you’re not taking your BBT properly. Taking your basal body temperature is simple, but it still requires you to follow certain steps:

  • Take your temperature before you get out of bed—before you do anything. Don’t get up to go to the bathroom. Don’t get up to get a glass of water. Don’t even sit up in bed. Even the slightest movement can make your temperature go up or down.
  • Always use the same exact thermometer every time you take your BBT. Using a different thermometer may give you inaccurate results.
  • Take your temperature at the same exact time every day.
  • Always take your temperature after you’ve had at least three straight hours of sleep.  

8. Know the Statistics

While there are no formal studies on the validity of an implantation dip, there was a minor analysis performed that looked at just over 100,000 BBT charts of women who were pregnant and non-pregnant. These were charts that detected ovulation, had at least a 0.3F dip in temperature after ovulation, and with a drop occurring between days 5 and 12 of the luteal phase. 

Of all the charts, 11% of the non-pregnancy charts showed an implantation dip, while 23% of the pregnancy-positive charts showed an implantation dip. This means that twice as many pregnancy-positive charts had the dip, but it doesn’t mean that you’re not pregnant if you don’t see a drop in your BBT. In fact, 75% of pregnancy-positive BBT charts had no temperature dips at all.

 9. Most Women Don’t Know Implantation is Happening 

Most women really have no idea that implantation is happening. Yes, some women will see that “dip” around the time implantation takes place, but most won’t. Yes, some women will get cramping and spotting during implantation, but most won’t.

While it’s great to be on the lookout for these signs, don’t lose hope if they don’t materialize. Many women are surprised by their pregnancy because they had zero symptoms until they missed their period.

10. Don’t Rely On “Dips” or “Triphasic” Patterns

So many women who are trying to conceive cling dearly to “dips” and “triphasic” patterns, hoping that they’re pregnant. However, relying on these patterns alone will only set you up for heartbreak.

There is very little evidence that either of these things have anything to do with being pregnant. A dip in your temperature can mean that you’re pregnant, but it doesn’t mean that you’re not pregnant either.

The same can be said for triphasic patterns. They may show up on a pregnancy chart, but they don’t show up on most. Sure, if you have either of these, your chance of being pregnant is slightly higher. But don’t rely on these methods as absolute indicators.