Implantation bleeding as the first sign of pregnancy
Myth or not? Hardly any other topic is as hotly debated in the fertility community as the question of whether there really is such a thing as implantation bleeding, how you can recognize it and whether it is actually an indication of pregnancy. We have therefore compiled the most important information on this topic.
What is implantation bleeding?
If an egg cell meets a sperm cell during the fertile days, fertilization can occur. The fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tubes into the uterus and nests in the lining of the uterus. At this time, implantation bleeding may occur.
The uterus is crisscrossed with delicate blood vessels that are sometimes damaged during implantation of the egg. This is how implantation bleeding occurs, also called “nidation bleeding” or “implantation bleeding.” This bleeding may be stronger or weaker, or may not occur at all. According to one study, it occurs in 15 to 25% of all women.
When does implantation bleeding usually occur?
Implantation bleeding occurs — as the name suggests — at the time of implantation of the egg into the uterus. This usually occurs five to seven days after fertilization. Approximately twelve days after fertilization, the process of nidation is complete — bleeding can occur up to this point. To correctly determine the time of implantation bleeding for your own cycle, you should know the day of your ovulation and use this as a basis for calculation.
How heavy is implantation bleeding?
The strength of this bleeding varies from woman to woman. It can be so weak that it does not come out through the vagina and is therefore not noticed at all. Very often, women notice only very few drops or streaks of blood.
Implantation bleeding or period: How can I tell the difference?
If there is bleeding from the vagina, then the assumption is that it is the beginning of the period. However, it may also be implantation bleeding. Since the process of implantation can continue until twelve days after fertilization and can also cause bleeding during this time, the timing of nidation bleeding coincides with the timing of the period. However, there are some characteristics that you can use to distinguish implantation bleeding from a period.
Signs of implantation bleeding
Timing of bleeding
Implantation bleeding usually starts earlier in the cycle than your period. While your period starts about 14 days after ovulation, nidation occurs as early as the fifth day after fertilization.
Strength of bleeding
While menstrual bleeding is usually relatively heavy and increases as it progresses, nidation bleeding usually only produces a few droplets.
Although nidation bleeding is accompanied by pain in rare cases, it does not trigger the usual period pain.
It usually ends after one or two days, while the period lasts up to seven days or longer.
You can usually recognize an implantation bleed by its light red to light brownish color. It is not as deep red as an average period.
If it was an implantation bleeding, you can reliably recognize it by the fact that the pregnancy test is positive at the end of the cycle. Often, in the days following implantation bleeding, the first symptoms of early pregnancy appear, such as fatigue, breast tenderness, cravings, nausea or frequent urination.
Some women report that they got their period despite a pregnancy having occurred. However, this is not medically possible. Most often, women in early pregnancy confuse implantation bleeding with their period.
Do women feel the implantation?
Pain in the abdomen can have many causes. It can indicate that ovulation is approaching, that menstruation is imminent, but also that a fertilized egg has implanted.
If small blood vessels are injured during the implantation phase, this can be felt as a slight pulling sensation or a localized pain. However, the so-called nidation pain has not yet been scientifically proven.
Women who have been waiting for a baby for a very long time observe their bodies very closely during the childbearing phase. It can happen that every change is interpreted as a possible sign of pregnancy. Minor bleedings can have very different causes — only one of them is implantation bleeding.
When can I take a pregnancy test after an implantation bleeding?
If you want to have a baby, you want to know as early as possible whether pregnancy has worked. If you don’t want to wait for your period, you can do a pregnancy test a little earlier.
Implantation bleeding indicates that the fertilized egg has implanted in the lining of the uterus. At this time, the body begins to produce the pregnancy hormone HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). Some early tests detect HCG as early as six to eight days after fertilization of the egg, which is two to four days after implantation. However, since implantation bleeding does not necessarily occur on the first day of implantation, there is no reliable prediction of when a test is useful. It is more than 90% reliable from the 14th day after ovulation. A medical examination also provides clarity.
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