Updated on 2 November 2022
Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO
When you are trying to get pregnant, you will be hyper-aware of every sign, every ache and craving in your body, wondering whether it’s a sign of pregnancy. One of the most common signs of pregnancy is bleeding. In case you have some light spotting, does it denote anything?
While in the first instance it can be hard to tell, during normal pregnancy what you may see is called implantation bleeding.
It is the light bleeding or spotting which occurs between 7 to 14 days after fertilization. After ovulation and the moment, the egg is fertilized by the sperm, the embryo starts growing. During this period, the inner lining of the uterus starts to change in order to nourish and protect the embryo.
Within 5 to 6 days after fertilization, the growing embryo moves down the fallopian into the uterus. Implantation bleeding starts when the embryo makes its way to the uterus, causing the blood vessels to burst.
Though it isn’t easy to tell the difference between implantation bleeding and menstrual bleeding, here are some of the signs you need to observe:
The colour of implantation bleeding is likely to be pink-brown in colour. On the other hand, menstrual bleeding can turn crimson red.
Cramping due to period is usually more intense and lasts longer. While cramps during implantation is usually short-lived and less intense
Implantation bleeding does not produce a mix of blood and tissue as compared to menstrual bleeding.
Implantation bleeding lasts between 1 to 3 days as compared to your periods which can last between 4 to 7 days.
In case of pregnancy, you are likely to experience the following:
Some women experience morning sickness in extreme at any time of the day whereas some never experience it. Changes in the hormonal levels make the pregnant woman feel nauseated and it is one of the common early signs as well.
A lot of hormonal changes happen after conception. The breasts may become sore, and swollen and have visible veins, and are tender to touch. The dark area around the nipples (areola) may also darken.
Many pregnant women complain about frequent mild headaches which happen due to the increased blood volume and hormones. Hypertension and high blood pressure levels also result in severe headaches during the beginning of pregnancy.
The human body produces a hormone called HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) in the first few weeks of pregnancy which increases the blood flow to the pelvic region. That makes your kidneys work hard and puts pressure on your bladder which makes your loo trips endless.
The rise in your progesterone levels makes you feel sleepy day and night. A lot is happening inside your body which makes you feel tired and exhausted.
Such symptoms are the result of hormonal changes occurring in your body to support pregnancy. However, you can experience such symptoms during a period as well.
Since it's not easy to tell the difference between menstrual and implantation bleeding, you should take up a pregnancy test to check if you could be pregnant. They measure the level of HCG hormone in your blood.
A urine pregnancy test is 99 per cent accurate. In case you have a negative result, but you feel the symptoms are persistent, wait for 7 days and retest.
1. Hasan R, Baird DD, Herring AH, Olshan AF, Jonsson Funk ML, Hartmann KE. (2010). Patterns and predictors of vaginal bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. NCBI
2. E.W. Harville, A.J. Wilcox, D.D. Baird, C.R. Weinberg. (2003). Vaginal bleeding in very early pregnancy. OXFORD Academic
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Obstetrician & Gynecologist - MBBS| DGO
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