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Implantation Bleeding: What is it and When Does it Occur?

written by: Suzanne Florin • edited by: BStone • updated: 11/28/2010

Vaginal bleeding during pregnancy is a worrisome sign, but is normal in some cases. One type of bleeding occurs when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. The timeframe varies based on several factors.

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    To ensure a safe and joyful pregnancy, it is necessary that appropriate measures are taken at the onset of this wonderful experience 415px-Expecting mother in a woman's life. Obtaining reliable information about pregnancy, consulting the advice of a health care provider, and getting the right nutrition are key factors in having a worry-free pregnancy. Although one cannot completely get rid of occasional discomforts that pregnancy entails, anxiety and fear can be lessened by knowing how to deal with pregnancy symptoms.

    Nausea (morning sickness), dizziness, fatigue, and backaches are the usual pregnancy symptoms, although they vary from woman to woman. Spotting during pregnancy is also experienced, and it can cause alarm or concern for some women. But by knowing the type of bleeding, one can identify if it is a normal experience or something that should be consulted to a health care provider.

    Implantation bleeding is only one of the many common pregnancy symptoms. It usually happens around the 10th to 14th day after ovulation and fertilization. This experience is commonly confused with menstruation, although the two have certain differences in terms of appearance and duration. Implantation bleeding is nothing to be worried about, since it is a normal occurence among pregnant women. However, if the discharge is heavy and lasts for more than three days, it would be best to seek the advice of a doctor.

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    When does implantation bleeding occur? After the egg is fertilized, it travels into the uterus until it reaches and attaches itself to the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus). The egg is covered with a special tissue called the trophoblast, and this allows the egg to place itself firmly to the endometrium. This process is called implantation. Once the egg has found its place in the walls of the uterus, it connects to the mother's blood vessels and can even cause them to open up. Some of the blood leak out into the uterus and flushed down through the vagina, thus appearing as a discharge. It is usually light pink in color, but it becomes brownish the next day. The vaginal discharge usually lasts after two days.

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    Implantation Bleeding or Menstruation?

    In terms of appearance, amount of blood flow, and duration, implantation bleeding differs so much from the normal menstrual period. Here are the characteristics of implantation bleeding:

    • It is a very light flow that is not even felt by some pregnant women.
    • The discharge is usually pink or brownish in color.
    • Bleeding lasts for only a day or two.
    • It occurs around 10 to 14 days after ovulation, or a week before the normal menstrual period is about to start.
    • Unlike normal menstrual period, implantation bleeding is not accompanied by cramps or pain.
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    What to Do During Implantation Bleeding

    Upon diagnosing that it is implantation bleeding, let go of your anxiety. This is a completely normal experience among pregnant women, and there is no need to worry. The discharge fades away by itself, thus there is no treatment or medication to be taken for it. Supposing you are not sure yet if you are pregnant, you can take a pregnancy test two to three days after implantation bleeding, for accurate results. Upon confirmation of your pregnancy, you should immediately consult your health care provider so you are properly guided on the right nutrition, the necessary tests, and the things to expect while you are on your pregnancy. Being knowledgeable about what you are going through can ward off unnecessary negative emotions and experiences that will only give you stress during the wonderful milestone in your life.

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    Photo Credit: WikiCommons

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