Implantation Bleeding vs Period | Difference in Flow and Colour

Implantation bleeding vs period | Know more about its signs, the difference between the two, consistency, flow and about when to take a pregnancy test.
implantation-bleeding-vs-period

You are actively trying to get pregnant. But yesterday, you saw some spotting and thought that periods had started. But wait a minute...! It was earlier than your usual cycle. Today, even though it ought to be the second day of the period, the blood flow is light. Could it mean something else? Could it mean that you are pregnant?

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If your flow was very light and happened earlier than your periods, there can be a possibility that it is implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding vs period blood; how to differentiate between the two? In this article, we will discuss what it is, why it happens and its signs and symptoms. It will also give you tips on the clues that can indicate that it is not a period but a starting to your beautiful journey of parenthood.

What is implantation bleeding?

When the fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus, it can cause some bleeding. This happens as the attachment of the embryo results in the breaking down of small blood vessels. This is the reason why we see spotting or light blood.

Implantation bleeding happens a little bit earlier than a period. It typically occurs about 10 to 14 days after implantation. Generally, the menstrual cycle is 28 days. However, the fertilized egg gets implanted in the uterus around 22 to 26 days of your cycle. There are some signs that will help you to identify blood spotting after implantation.

What does implantation bleeding look like?

Implantation bleeding can be easily confused with period blood. However, there are certain signs that will give you a clue about what it might be. Here are some of the clues that fertility expert share: -

● Color- The colour of implantation blood is more of a pinkish-brown shade. While menstrual blood colour varies from light and dark red to crimson red.
● Cramping- Period cramps vary from woman to woman. The same is with implantation blood. The only difference is that the cramping does not last as long as that of periods.
● Flow- implantation bleeding is either only spotting or very light flow. The flow will not even fill your pad or tampons.
● Length of the flow- The flow lasts for hours or for less than 2 days.
● Consistency- Flow of implantation bleeding is more on-and-off spotting.

These are the clues that would indicate that it might be implantation bleeding. However, you cannot be totally sure about it. It can sometimes be the start of a period as well. How can you tell the difference between implantation bleeding and your period?

Difference between implantation bleeding and period

Implantation bleeding can be confused with a light menstrual cycle. Even though all women have a different experience of periods. There is a certain primary Difference between implantation bleeding and period.

Period Bleeding

Implantation Bleeding

Menstrual blood colour is usually bright red or dark red.

The colour of blood discharge is either pink, brown, or rust discharge.

It typically lasts for around 5 to 7 days.

Bleeding usually lasts for around 1 to 3 days.

The blood flow is higher in the initial days and lighter in the last two days.

You will see a very light spotting of blood.

In periods, generally, women suffer from severe cramping.

Uterine cramping is very light or does not even occur in implantation bleeding.

You may experience certain other symptoms that will give you more assurance that you are pregnant.

Other symptoms that indicate implantation bleeding

You know that implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy. So, if you have conceived, then there might be these symptoms as well. You might experience: -
● Mood swings
● Tender breasts
● Nausea
● Headaches
● Lower back pain
● General fatigue

Along with the spotting, these can indicate that you are pregnant. Many of you will be concerned about the blood. Does the blood indicate any concern? Are you and your baby safe?

Is Implantation bleeding a concern?

In the case of implantation bleeding vs period, implantation bleeding happens when the embryo attaches to the uterine wall. So, it should not be a concern, either for the mother or the embryo. However, if you start experiencing heavy bleeding and the length also increases, immediately contact your healthcare provider.

It is very common for a woman to bleed during their first trimester. Almost one-fourth of women who are pregnant bleed during the first part of their pregnancy.

When to take a pregnancy test?

When you are not sure whether it is implantation bleeding or period, it is best to take a pregnancy test. A pregnancy test can be done using a test kit at home. You can even book a lab blood test for testing pregnancy.

In the pregnancy test, the level of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in your blood is tested. It is produced by the placenta to nourish the growing embryo. High hCG indicates that you are pregnant.

You can take the test during the period of implantation bleeding. However, there are chances that the result may come negative. The reason is implantation is a very early stage, and there might not be a release of a high amount of hCG. If you still experience pregnancy symptoms, take the test after 4 to 7 days again.

If the blood does not stop or there is heavy flow, then it can be concerning. So, when should you visit your doctor? What might the blood indicate?

Another bleeding during pregnancy

You are sure that it is not periods as you have tested positive. Still, you are seeing blood spots. What is it? Does it indicate miscarriage? It is quite normal for women to bleed during their first trimester. Research shows that 25% of women bleed during early pregnancy.

Most of the time, it is nothing concerning. It might indicate that the cervix is sensitive and cause bleeding during a pelvic examination or even sex. However, heavy bleeding can indicate something serious.

● Ectopic pregnancy- Bleeding even after a positive pregnancy test can sometimes be a sign of ectopic pregnancy. It is very rare. It happens in 1 to 2 per cent of pregnancies. In this, the egg is fertilized outside the uterus.
● Early miscarriage- Blood can be a sign of early miscarriage. It can happen within 20 weeks of getting pregnant. This complication is quite common. Almost 80 per cent of miscarriage occurs in the first trimester.
● Molar Pregnancy- In this, the implanted egg forms a mass of tissue instead of a baby.
● Subchorionic haemorrhage- In this, the bleeding happens when the placenta detaches itself from the original site of implantation.

In case you see bleeding even after you test positive for pregnancy, immediately contact your healthcare provider or a fertility expert. It might be something serious. It should not be, but what if it is a miscarriage or any other serious complication? Do not get disheartened. There are many other ways you can become a parent.

We have Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ARTs) that will help you in conceiving. Some of the effective ARTs are in vitro fertilization, egg freezing, intrauterine insemination and surrogacy.
Takeaway

To sum it up, we have seen that implantation bleeding is an early sign that you have conceived. Some of the signs of implantation bleeding are its pinkish brown colour, 1 to 2 days duration of flow, and the on-and-off consistency. It can easily be mistaken for period blood. However, there are certain clues that say that it is implantation bleeding.

However, if the bleeding continues and the flow increases even after a positive pregnancy test, it can be something serious. Immediately contact your healthcare provider. In case of any other query regarding implantation bleeding vs period, feel free to call us at +917862800700. Our fertility experts will be happy to help you. You can visit our website Medicover Fertility for more information.

For more information regarding implantation bleeding, you can read our Blog - What is Implantation Bleeding

Getting pregnant with irregular periods 

Implantation Bleeding

Frequently Asked Questions

Can implantation bleeding be mistaken for a period?

You can easily get confused between implantation bleeding and light period. This can be because implantation bleeding can occur around the time you get your period.

How much blood is normal for implantation bleeding?

Very light spotting is seen in implantation bleeding. It is also for a shorter duration than periods. It lasts only for 1 to 2 days, while the duration of periods is for 5 to 7 days.

What does implantation bleeding look like on a pad?

The colour of implantation blood is slightly different from period blood. It is usually pink or brown. Further, unlike periods, implantation blood does not have any clotting.

Can you test positive during implantation bleeding?

Yes. Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy. However, it is very early for the placenta to start producing hCG hormones that indicate pregnancy. So, there are chances that you will see false-negative results.

References

  • https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article/18/9/1944/708284
  • https://www.emed.theclinics.com/article/S0733-8627(12)00037-5/fulltext
  • https://journals.lww.com/obgynsurvey/Citation/2004/03000/Vaginal_Bleeding_in_Very_Early_Pregnancy.4.aspx