Pu­blished: 15. Fe­bruary 2022 | Up­dated: 20. Sep­tember 2022 Author: An­drea Helten | Re­viewed by An­drea Helten

Im­plan­ta­tion blee­ding

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

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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