Implantation Bleeding or Period?

“Implantation bleeding or period?” is a confusing and often stress-causing question women face because most are uneducated about bleeding associated with pregnancy. Though it occurs in a minority of women, it is normal, and no, it is not your period.

Is it implantation bleeding or period?

If a fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall to cause a pregnancy, it can sometimes cause a small amount of uterine bleeding. This blood exits the body through the vagina and can easily be mistaken for a woman’s period.

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The color of implantation bleeding ranges from light pink to dark brown. It lasts anywhere from a few hours to a day or two. In most cases, this type of bleeding is significantly lighter than a regular period and does not get heavier the way a period does.

When does implantation occur?

Implantation bleeding can occur anywhere from five to ten or eleven days after ovulation. Many women erroneously think that this bleeding is actually their period.

How can I tell if it’s implantation bleeding or period?

The most definitive way to determine whether you are experiencing implantation bleeding is to take a home pregnancy test. If the test turns positive, the bleeding was likely a result of implantation, and not your period. If the bleeding continues or intensifies, or is accompanied by severe cramping or abdominal pain, call your doctor.

If the pregnancy test is negative, it may be a period, or it could still be too soon for a positive pregnancy test. If the bleeding doesn’t get heavier or you still think you might be pregnant, wait a few days and test again.

When will a pregnancy test turn positive after implantation bleeding?

This question is tricky because there are a number of variables involved. After the embryo implants in the uterus, it begins to secrete a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG. Home pregnancy tests detect this hormone, but each test varies in sensitivity. One test may turn positive when the concentration of hCG reaches 25mIU/ml, while other test brands may not turn positive until the urine concentration is at least 250mIU/ml. Most sensitive tests will turn positive a few days after implantation.

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