You got your “period” but it was just spotting that lasted for three days. You’re also experiencing some of the early signs of pregnancy, so now you’re unsure if you’re pregnant or not. The only way to find out if you’re pregnant is by taking a pregnancy test.
But if you’re wondering whether your short “period” is normal or a sign of something serious, Here’s the thing – it may really be your period, but it could also be implantation bleeding. Telling the difference could be confusing. Here’s what you need to know about implantation bleeding.
What is implantation bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is one of the early signs of pregnancy, although not everyone will definitely experience it.
The bleeding typically happens between 6 to 12 days after conception, when a fertilized egg cell attaches to the uterine lining. It’s often mistaken as a regular period because they look alike and happen around the same time you’d expect your monthly period.
How to tell the difference between monthly period and implantation bleeding?
Implantation bleeding does look a bit different from your monthly period. Here are some key differences:
Duration: Periods, on average, last about 3 to 7 days. Implantation bleeding lasts for a couple of hours to 3 days.
Color: Despite the heaviness of flow, period blood is usually bright to dark red. Blood from implantation bleeding can range from light pink to dark brown (like rust), or even black.
Flow: Periods often start out heavy and lighten up towards the end, and enough to fill up pads or tampons. Implantation bleeding isn’t like a full flow. It’s usually just spotting or light flow.
Cramping: Your cramps when you’re on your period are usually painful and uncomfortable, and start before bleeding, and last for 2 to 3 days. You won’t experience cramping during implantation bleeding. If you do, it’s very mild compared when you’re on your period.
Clotting: Period blood often comes with clots, while implantation blood does not.
Are there other symptoms accompanying implantation bleeding?
- Mood swings
- Breast tenderness
- Lower backaches
These could also be PMS symptoms or ovulation symptoms. Experiencing any of these along with pinkish/brownish spotting does not immediately mean that you’re pregnant.
When should you take a pregnancy test?
Take a pregnancy test a week after you missed your period, or three days after the bleeding/spotting stops.
When should you worry?
Any bleeding experienced while pregnant is usually considered abnormal. Not all bleeding is a sign of complications, but your doctor may ask you to undergo some tests to find out the cause. Though implantation bleeding often should not be a cause of concern, it’s still better to contact your healthcare provider about this.