What is implantation bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is light bleeding or light spotting that happens during the first 2 weeks after fertilization. To prepare for pregnancy, the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, starts to thicken. This process prepares the uterus for the newly fertilized egg. As the embryo travels through the fallopian tubes to the uterus, tiny blood vessels may get damaged. This damage can cause very light bleeding. Furthermore, bleeding can happen as the embryo rests into the uterine lining, dislodging and damaging blood vessels.
Is this normal?
Implantation bleeding is normal, but not all women experience the symptom. Doctors estimate about one-third of pregnant women notice light spotting around conception. Implantation bleeding may look light pink to dark brown in color and only happens for 1-3 days.
Isn’t this my period?
Implantation bleeding happens around the time a woman suspects pregnancy but is not quite sure. Bleeding can also be confused with the normal spotting that happens leading up to the period. That’s understandable since implantation bleeding has similar symptoms to periods like cramps, dizziness, lower backaches, and headaches. Gauging which is which can be difficult. So the best bet is to wait a few days. If the spotting changes to the period, then this is not implantation bleeding. If no change happens after a few days, take a pregnancy test.
Other early pregnancy symptoms
Besides implantation bleeding, there are some common symptoms women may experience. For instance, there can be frequent urination and increased fatigue. Early changes in hormones can make breasts feel swollen and tender. These hormonal changes may also cause morning sickness, though this varies from person to person. Other uncommon symptoms include constipation, nasal congestion, and an aversion to certain foods.
Should you be worried about implantation bleeding?
In almost all cases, implantation bleeding is nothing to worry about. This light bleeding is normal and will eventually stop. The bleeding also causes no risk to the embryo at this stage in pregnancy. Look for other signs of pregnancy and wait a few more days before trying a pregnancy test. If the bleeding continues during pregnancy, there could be a more serious issue at play. At this point, don’t hesitate to see a healthcare provider.
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