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.

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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.

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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.

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New Comments

  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.

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