Implantation is one of the most critical biological steps during pregnancy, but this process often goes unnoticed, with many women being unaware of it occurring at all. Other women experience mild discomfort during this early stage of pregnancy, as their body begins to adjust in order to prepare for their growing baby.
The symptoms of implantation can easily be mistaken for menstrual discomfort making it difficult to recognize, however there are a few subtle differences that can indicate its occurrence. If you’d like to learn more about recognizing this event during early pregnancy, keep reading. In today’s article, we’ll detail the signs of implantation and the outline of what you should know about this early pregnancy milestone.
What is Implantation?
Once conception occurs, the resulting fertilized egg—a cluster of rapidly dividing cells called a blastocyst—travels down the fallopian tube and burrows into the lining of the uterus. Implantation refers to the occurrence of this process, when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of the uterus where the growth and development process of pregnancy begins. Typically, implantation occurs 8 to 9 days after fertilization. It’s important to note that while conception is the first main event of pregnancy, implantation is equally important, as it is the process that allows the development of the embryo.
What are the Signs of Implantation?
Once the embryo settles into the cells of the uterus, hormones are released that cause menstrual cycles to cease and trigger the development of the placenta. It is these same hormones, however, that are responsible for the symptoms of discomfort that many women experience during implantation.
Implantation bleeding is one of the most common symptoms experienced during this time, and so many women find it difficult to distinguish from normal menstrual bleeding. Implantation bleeding can be distinguished as bleeding that is:
Outside the Time-frame of Your Normal Menstrual Cycle
Implantation bleeding usually occurs outside of the timeframe of your normal menstrual bleeding (a few days or a week prior, for example). If your cycles are normally very regular and you experience bleeding that is not in sync with your normal cycle, this may be an indication that implantation bleeding is occurring. This is, however, not always the case, and some women experience implantation bleeding close to the normal time of their menstrual cycle, making it more difficult to distinguish.
Light Pink or Brown in Color
Implantation bleeding produces blood that is usually different in color than menstrual bleeding. For most women implantation bleeding is light pink or brown, rather then the rich red hue of menstrual bleeding.
Very Light in Flow, or Spotting
Implantation bleeding is usually extremely light spotting, rather than the heavier flow that accompanies a menstrual cycle. The process of implantation usually lasts no more than a few days, and so many women only experience a few hours of spotting or spotting over the course of a few days.
It is not uncommon for cramping also to accompany implantation. Implantation cramping is usually quite mild in comparison to menstrual cramps and some women describe a light pulling, tingling, or pricking sensation. Implantation cramps are typically felt in the lower abdomen or back and some women only experience them on one side of the body.
Some women may also feel woozy and tired during implantation, experience breast tenderness, or a slight elevation in body temperature (typically of about 1 degree).
North Florida Ob-Gyn of Jacksonville Beach
Implantation is one of the earliest events in pregnancy following conception. It’s normal to feel a combination of symptoms and discomfort as your body prepares to accommodate your growing bundle of joy. At North Florida Ob-Gyn of Jacksonville Beach, we believe that knowledgeable and experienced prenatal care is vital to the healthy development of your baby. As a part of our commitment to accomplishing this goal, we utilize our decades of collective experience to guide our patients through all of the physical and emotional changes of pregnancy. Every member of our team strives to offer the best in specialized obstetrical care, and we pride ourselves on making each patient a member of the North Florida Ob-Gyn family. To make an appointment or learn more information about implantation bleeding, contact us today!