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.

When does implantation bleeding occur?

Implantation bleeding occurs about nine days after ovulation on average (but can range between 6-12 days after ovulation).

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 with Ovulation Calculator by knowing exactly when the odds are at their greatest by clicking here.

Did you do the quiz? What was your result? Leave a comment below.

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  1. Amza Feb 28, 2018
    I started bleeding on the 1st of February 2018 and i stopped on 8th /02/2017. I started again on 13/02/2018 and was on an off for another 7 days. I spotted again for 1 day on the 22nd Feb. Yesterday when I went to the toilet i wiped light brown discharge with bloody mucus the stopped same time. I don't know what's going on. Anyone had same problem and end up getting BFP?
  2. Robyn Mar 14, 2018
    I was supposed to be in my ovulation period however I got heavy bleeding on my third day of ovulation I first thought it was spotting but i think its my menses because of the colour and quantity... And on top of that I wasn't supposed to get my period due to me having my menses the 23rd February already and started my menses the 13th march its so confusing and worrying, anyone experiencing the same thing, please help!
  3. Madison Mar 17, 2018
    Me and my boyfriend have been having sex alot this and last month. He's came in me quite a few times. And my period was supposed to start this month I had some bleeding that didn't even fill up one tampon. I had no bleeding after that. Today it has been 4 days since then and I haven't had any more bleeding. I've also had headaches,mood swings, some period like cramps, my boobs are very sore, and I'm bloated and having thigh pain and acne
  4. KAtie Mar 25, 2018
    Hi, I feel a bit all over the place this cycle, I’m normally a regular 27/28 days cycle, last cycle lasted 32days and I convinced myself this was my month!
    But here we are again, so this cycle I didn’t think that I had ovulated as all opk’s were not showing 2strong lines. I had light brownish discharge from cycle day 18 -20 ( 5-7 days past predicted ovulation day) then the discharge completely stopped on cycle day 20 after a load of ewcm with some dark brown blood streaks through it???? I’m so confused! As have only ever had ewcm around cycle day 12-14 before! Has anyone else experienced this???

    Katie ttc 10months
  5. Ramonda Mar 29, 2018
    March 3, 2018 positive LG 15th but program said suppose to ovulate on the 14th stayed positive for 2-3 days I’m 26 day cycle menstrual due on 29th but the 26 day cycle says due on the 26th so I’m waiting patiently for the 1-3 of March to say for sure. Always craving, peeing a lot in the middle of the night, smelling stuff I shouldn’t, and eating more oh and body heat. My cycle normally come on before my sister but she beat me. Praying for a miracle I’m 42 with tubes untied

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