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21 de May, 2023

Implantation bleeding: What you need to know

Implantation bleeding is a light spotting that usually happens 10-14 days after conception, when the fertilised egg settles in the uterus, and is completely normal. It usually happens around the same time you expect your period, although it is a lighter flow of blood than your period and usually stops spontaneously.

How common is implantation bleeding?

Implantation bleeding is common in 15-25% of pregnant women, and half of them may continue to have implantation bleeding at least during their first trimester.

We know that this can trigger anxiety and worry, particularly in women who have been trying to have a baby for a long time, or are undergoing Assisted Reproduction treatment, and if this is your case, the recommendation is that if you have any discomfort or doubts, you should consult your specialist in Reproductive Biology.

implantation-bleeding-infertility-clinics-ingenes-woman-over-35-years-old-carrying-her-born-daughter-via-in-vitro-fertilization
"Four months into my pregnancy I had some bleeding, but it was light and everything went perfectly" - Iraí, Ingenes mom

However, there are some characteristics, symptoms and causes of implantation bleeding that you need to know about, so that you can be much more confident that you and your baby will be safe and sound, should you experience any spotting.

Color and texture of implantation bleeding

Normal implantation bleeding has a lighter reddish hue than the blood of your menstrual period and may be pink, dark red or brown, unlike your period, which is more of a bright red.

Other characteristics that you should take into consideration are the following:

  • Lighter blood flow than your period.
  • It does not contain blood clots.
  • Much finer texture than your ruler.

Duration of implantation bleeding

The duration varies from woman to woman, but commonly this spotting can last from 2 hours to 3 or 4 days. If the discharge continues for longer than this, it is important to see your reproductive biologist.

Unlike menstruation, whose flow tends to increase as the hours and days go by, implantation bleeding gradually decreases until it disappears completely.

What are the symptoms?

Although the associated symptoms may also vary from woman to woman, there are some common discomforts that may occur such as some mild pain in the lower abdomen, which should not be sustained.

Once the spotting has stopped, it is common that you may experience some symptoms associated with pregnancy, such as the following:

  • Swelling in breasts and abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness and tiredness

Can I take a pregnancy test if I have implantation bleeding?

If you are trying to have a baby and you have such bleeding, you should know that you can take a pregnancy test, as the hormone (hCG) you produce when you are pregnant remains in your urine and blood, but its level may be altered.

Therefore, it is recommended that you wait at least a week after the end of the flow for the results to be much more reliable, and remember that a blood test will always be much more effective in detecting the hormone.

implantation-bleeding-infertility-clinics-ingenes-woman-over-35-years-old-carrying-her-two-born-daughters-via-in-vitro-fertilization-treatment
"I had a couple of bleedings, but my doctors were there 24 hours a day and they controlled me with medication" - Fernanda, Ingenes mother

Does this bleeding pose any risk to your baby?

Implantation bleeding poses no risk to you and your baby, and there is no evidence of problems such as ectopic pregnancy, threatened miscarriage, molar pregnancy or cervical problems.

While it is true that the above problems can trigger bleeding as with your period, it is much heavier and accompanied by severe pain and other symptoms other than implantation spotting.

As you can see, light spotting is very common in 3 out of 10 women who become pregnant, regardless of whether or not they are in the midst of fertility treatment.

However, it is very important that if you have any doubts or discomfort, you contact your doctor immediately, so that you can enjoy the beautiful stage of your pregnancy with as much peace of mind as possible that you and your baby are healthy and safe.

implantation-bleeding-infertility-clinics-ingenes-woman-over-35-years-old-carrying-her-two-daughters-daily-born-via-in-vitro-fertilization-treatment
"I was on bed rest because of bleeding, but from the 4th month I enjoyed my pregnancy to the fullest" - Maite, mum Ingenes


Sources

  1. Assisted Reproduction ORG. What is implantation bleeding? (2018).
  2. Yvonne Butler Tobah, M.D. Is implantation bleeding normal in early pregnancy? (2019).
  3. B. J. Snell CNM, PhD. Assessment and Management of Bleeding in the First Trimester of Pregnancy (2010).

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