Implantation Bleeding or Period? Quiz

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Andrea Fernando

By Andrea Fernando

For fertilization to occur, fusion of an egg and sperm must occur in the female reproductive tract. This usually happens in the fallopian tube. Once the egg is fertilized, it travels down the fallopian tube and attaches to the lining of the uterus. When it attaches here, some blood vessels are ruptured and the lining of the uterus is disrupted. This causes symptoms of light bleeding and cramping.

Uterus - Implantation bleeding

This is known as "implantation bleeding" - discharge that occurs due to the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine wall. It is the first sign of pregnancy.

How do I know it isn't just my period?

1. Timing

If you experience spotting before your period is due to begin, this may be due to implantation bleeding. The timing of the bleeding depends on the length of your cycle and when and where fertilization occurred. It can occur anywhere from a week to the day before your period is due to begin.

Implantation bleeding timing Click the image above to zoom.

2. Duration

Your normal period may last from three days to a week, but implantation bleeding usually occurs for less than two days. Some women may only see the spotting or light discharge on one day or for a few hours.

Implantation bleeding duration

3. Color

Implantation bleeding is normally a pinkish or brown colored discharge rather than the sharp, red color of a normal menstrual period. There is no change in the color through the duration of the spotting.

Implantation bleeding color

4. Quantity

Where during a normal period you may need to change a tampon or pad once every four-five hours, implantation bleeding is generally a few drops and very light in quantity.

Implantation bleeding quantity

5. Other symptoms

The symptoms you might expect from your normal period such as acne, mood swings and painful cramps do not usually occur with implantation bleeding. You may find light abdominal cramping which is completely normal, but the other hormonal impacts of menstruation do not occur in implantation bleeding.

Implantation bleeding other

6. Basal Body Temperature

Basal body temperature is the lowest resting temperature of your body, usually at rest. Immediately following ovulation, BBT increases and stays elevated until the next period. If you are monitoring your BBT for ovulatory purposes, in implantation bleeding, a slight rise in BBT will be seen around nine days after ovulation.

Implantation bleeding bbt basal body temp rises
Are you trying to get pregnant? We remove the guesswork

Implantation Bleeding or Period Quiz

If you're still unsure about whether you're experiencing implantation bleeding or a regular period, take the interactive quiz now.

The bottom line: Don't forget that once you're pregnant, you will no longer have your normal menstrual period. If you notice that your period is early, very light in quantity, and has changed to a pink or brown color, this may be the first sign of pregnancy. See your doctor for a blood test, which can then accurately confirm the pregnancy.

Did you know that on your most fertile day of your cycle you only have a 35% chance of getting pregnant? Maximise your chances of pregnancy by knowing exactly when the odds are at their greatest by clicking here.

20 Simple + Proven Methods To Increase Your Fertility
Did you do the quiz? What was your result? Leave a comment below.

New Join the Discussion!

  1. Molara Jul 24, 2016
    I have not been following my calendar. I noticed light blood and little clot today, what could be the problem?
    1. Sarah (OC Team): It's hard to know, there can be many causes for unusual bleeding / clots, you should speak to your doctor if you are concerned. - (Jul 24, 2016)
  2. Pam Jul 24, 2016
    I want to learn more about the basal body temperature... I have used the digital ovulation kit.
    1. Sarah (OC Team): Hi Pam, please see the following link for more details on BBT. - (Jul 24, 2016)
  3. Gina Jul 26, 2016
    I'm 3 days post ovulation. I haven't felt "normal" since. We are TTC. My abdomen feels "strange" almost like a stomach ache but not exactly. Somewhat like cramping but mostly just noticable pressure. I had to urinate 2-3 times more than usual yesterday. My period is still 10-12 days away. Are these early signs or am I dreaming?
    1. Sarah (OC Team): Hi Gina, it's hard to know for sure as you can also experience similar symptoms before a period. Have a look at the following article about early signs of pregnancy too. - (Jul 27, 2016)
  4. Maria Jul 26, 2016
    I had a hcg diet shot on 15th.
    1. Jasmine: Has this helped you? Are u pregnant? My dr recommended this for me. - (Aug 19, 2016)
  5. Nana Jul 29, 2016
    My due date for period is today and I have a light bleeding for 2 days. I want to know if this is sign of pregnancy or if it's normal bleeding? Or do I have see 3 days before ovulation? I want to know what the bleeding means... thanks.
    1. Sarah (OC Team): Everyone is different Nana, is the bleeding "normal" to you? Not sure what you mean by "Or do I have see 3 days before ovulation?" - (Jul 29, 2016)
  6. Gely Jul 31, 2016
    Today is my seventh day past ovulation. I've been feeling cramps on my lower right side, but didn't see any spots of blood. Could I be pregnant?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Not everyone notices bleeding during implantation, so as long as you had sex during your fertile window, pregnancy is a possibility. - (Jul 31, 2016)
  7. Hhfs Jul 31, 2016
    I had my period from 21st-23rd of July. I had sex on the 25th and had reasons to take an early morning pill. And today, the 31st of July, I noticed brownish-red stains on my panties. Its kind of a lot. I don't know what caused it. Thanks.
  8. Gely Aug 01, 2016
    Thanks Christina for the reply. But I've been wondering: It's my ninth day from ovulation and I'm not feeling any more cramps. Is this normal during pregnancy?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Some women experience symptoms of early pregnancy and some do not, so it's difficult to say. Have a look at these early signs to see if you are noticing any. - (Aug 02, 2016)
  9. Christebel Aug 02, 2016
    I use to have light bleeding. I now take medication. Last month, my period was very heavy and the colour was red, but this month, it was very light and pinkish in colour. I was also having cramping on the left side of my abdomen.
  10. Betty Aug 06, 2016
    Hi, Thanks for the useful information. One week before my period, I always feel pain in my left tube. Later, I have pain in my lower abdomen (still before my period). What could it be?
  11. Esther Aug 07, 2016
    Hi. I menstruated on the 30th of June. On the 5th of August I noticed very light blood in my vagina. Very scanty drops. I'm scared to take another test because I have been trying to get pregnant for a while. What could this mean?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Depending on where you are in your cycle, slight spotting could have been from ovulation. Have a look at this article - (Aug 08, 2016)
  12. Adedotun Aug 10, 2016
    Please, I need your help. I have been trying to get pregnant for some months now. I take folic acid every day, but still I test negative. My ovulation is always good and frequent, period is good but is there something hindering implantation? And how do I know if implantation is happening in my body? I am expecting another period in the next four days. I am so eager to know if am pregnant now. I don't want to have another flow. I want to test positive.
    1. Christina (OC Team): The two week wait between ovulation and when you can take a test are difficult. It's normal to feel a little anxious to test. You can only confirm that implantation has occurred with a pregnancy test, but while you wait, you can look for these signs: - (Aug 10, 2016)
  13. Lei Aug 14, 2016
    Can anyone please help me out? So first of all, me and my husband are trying to have our second child. Our first born is turning 4 next month. I am now 22 days late with my period. I never missed my period before. I took a home pregnancy test today and it was negative. So today, we had intercourse and I'm bleeding a little when I wipe. Is this normal?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Many things can impact your cycle. If you're concerned, have a talk with your doctor about your missed period. - (Aug 14, 2016)
  14. Oyindamola Aug 14, 2016
    Please help me. I finished my last period on the 24th of July, and I had an unprotected sex that same day. I discovered I started ovulating 3 days later, and have been having constipation since then. Now, I have my period again without any cramps whatsoever. This started on the 12th of August which is exactly 19 days after my last period. Please, this is the first time am experiencing this. I really want to know what has happened to me. Thank you.
    1. Christina (OC Team): It's impossible to say for sure, but this sounds like it could be an irregular period. Your doctor can investigate further and possibly provide you with some answers. - (Aug 15, 2016)
  15. Oladele Aug 21, 2016
    Please, is it safe to have sex three or more days after ovulation when the next day is my period?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Having sex after ovulation won't affect your chances of pregnancy either way. Good luck! - (Aug 22, 2016)
  16. Oladele Aug 22, 2016
    Good evening. What sex position is not proper for couples who are trying to get pregnant? I am used to missionary position. Is there any other that can help me conceive?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Position doesn't matter as much as timing. As long as you are having sex in your fertile window, you have a chance at getting pregnant. Have a look at this article for more information on timing sex for conception. - (Aug 22, 2016)
  17. Lubna Aug 22, 2016
    My period is regular and I am trying to get pregnant. My last period was on the 7th of August 2016. Today is my 17th day. Last night, I had sex and in the morning I got an egg white like discharge with little blood. What does it mean? Please help.
    1. Christina (OC Team): It sounds like you are in your fertile window. You can learn more about evaluating cervical mucus here: - (Aug 23, 2016)
  18. Sarah Aug 23, 2016
    Hi, my ovulation was on the 20th of August and I had sex throughout my fertile window except on my ovulation day. Today is the 23rd of August, and I had heavy cramping in my left abdomen with brownish blood droplets. The cramping is still there. Please, what could be happening?
    1. Christina (OC Team): Did you take the quiz in this article? Cramping with implantation is usually light, but the spotting could be a sign. It could also be a sign that your period is coming. If you are close to your period date, you can test soon. Good luck! - (Aug 23, 2016)

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