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How to Differentiate between Implantation Bleeding and Period?

  • 4.7 (5 Votes)

It is very common to misunderstand implantation bleeding fora normal period. Most often implantation bleeding is accompanied with symptoms of a regular period such as cramps and bloating, however the common difference is that a regular menstruation will last for 3-5 days whereas implantation bleeding lasts for a maximum of a day or two.

When you are trying to have a baby actively, you might be doing all the necessary deeds including finding out symptoms of early pregnancy. Well, in this case, you must have come across the word ‘implantation bleeding’ during your reading or from friends. But how do you know what you should look for when it comes to implantation bleeding and how not to confuse it with a normal period? Well, this article answers some of the important questions which you might be asking yourself regarding implantation bleeding as an early sign of pregnancy.

What is Implantation Bleeding?

Before getting into what is implantation bleeding, first let’s understand what is implantation? Well, a woman’s body releases a mature egg or ovum from one of her ovaries almost every month which is called ovulation. If a healthy sperm comes in contact with the egg, fertilization takes place. Once the fertilized egg travels through fallopian tube, become an embryo and attaches itself to the uterine lining, implantation bleeding takes place. Basically the event of attachment is called implantation phase. Implantation bleeding or implantation spotting is the light colored thin blood which leaks due to ruptures caused by the embryo attaching itself to the uterine lining.

How common is Implantation Bleeding?

Although implantation bleeding is one of the very signs of early pregnancy, not all women experience this bleeding when they are pregnant. According to a study, only 30% of the pregnant women experience this bleeding.

Implantation bleeding

However, it is not to be confused that implantation is uncommon and does not happen to everyone. Obviously, implantation is when the fertilized egg enters into the uterus and attaches itself. The bleeding caused by implantation however is not common as stated earlier.

What is the Difference between Implantation Bleeding & Normal Period?

It is extremely easy to misunderstand implantation bleeding as period as it occurs almost near or after a few days of your regular menstrual cycle. Also, implantation bleeding is accompanied with similar pre-menstrual symptoms such as -cramping, bloating, change in mood and behavior which is very confusing to almost everyone. However, implantation bleeding is mere some spotting without much flow. But in some cases, some women get regular flow like period during implantation bleeding. Still, if it is implantation bleeding or implantation spotting, it won’t last for a day or two at maximum.

Also, the most distinguishable factor between implantation bleeding and regular period is that the blood during implantation bleeding is thin in texture and light in color where in period once experiences a slight darker and thicker version of it. Again, another distinctive feature is that, this blood is odorless unlike menstrual period blood. 

What are common Symptoms of Implantation Bleeding?

There are some distinctive features you experience during implantation bleeding such as

1- Light in color and texture. The blood looks almost pinkish-orange color or brownish red.

2- Abdominal cramping. Sometimes leg cramps or back cramps also can be observed.

3- Nausea and headache accompanies implantation bleeding sometimes.

Nausea and headache

4- Mood changes can be distinctively seen due to cramps and nausea.

5- Flow is very less. Hardly fills a panty most of the cases.

How long does Implantation bleeding last?

Normally, implantation bleeding lasts for a day with spotting on and off. However, some women are reported saying that they got implantation bleeding for almost two days. Too much bleeding during implantation however is a cause of concern and one should get medical help if it occurs.

What are other Causes of Bleeding during Pregnancy?

One should take note that, implantation bleeding is not the only form of bleeding a pregnant woman may experience. When your bleeding is heavy it is an issue of concern and following factors should be considered along with visiting a doctor/medical professional

1- Ectopic Pregnancy- Sometimes in some specific case, the embryo attaches itself outside the uterus. It is often characterized by heavy cramping and bleeding.                                                 

2- Sex: Sometimes due to hormonal changes, our lady parts are sensitive enough and are prone to scratch and rash during pregnancy. In such situations, when we have sex, there is chance of low-mild bleeding. However, one should seek medical help as the skin might get infected by bacteria later on which are not good for pregnancy.

3- Miscarriage: About 20% of the early pregnancies result into miscarriage most often due to issues in implantation or issues in chromosomal abnormalities. One experiences bleeding with cramps during miscarriage and it is cause of serious concern.

If your menstrual cycles are late, then you can use these tips to make your Periods Come Faster. There can be various reasons of irregular periods which might also interfere with your fertility.

Hope, this article has resolved your confusion on how to differentiate between implantation bleedingand period. Follow Elawoman blog to get regular updates on fertility health and treatment.

Dr. Sailaja Vuppu

About The Author

IVF & Infertility Specialist, Gynecologic Surgeon Dr. Sailaja Vuppu

Dr Sailaja Vuppu is an acclaimed Gynaecologist and Infertility Specialist in Sri Ramachandra Nagar, Vijayawada. She has completed 10 years on working as a gynaecologist and infertility specialist. Dr Sailaja Vuppu is right now practising at Rainbow Super Speciality Hospital for Women and Children. Her fields of expertise are Hysterectomy (Abdominal/Vaginal), Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and so on. Find her contact details on


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Nihira Vedi

I had implantation bleeding with both my pregnancies. The color of blood was dark brown both the times. But I have heard that some women also experience pink color bleeding.

Oct. 13, 2018, 1:17 p.m. 4.5


Manika Joshi

Does having implantation bleeding indicate early pregnancy all the time?

Sept. 19, 2018, 3:12 p.m. 5.0


Erika Vikander

After reading this, I think I misunderstood my implantation bleeding as periods and took those as irregular cycles. I was wrong since so long! It means I am pregnant. I need to check very soon.

Sept. 17, 2018, 6:09 p.m. 5.0



Very educative. Thanks for sharing.

March 16, 2018, 1:38 a.m. 4.5


Mrs. Lucy

Well, this piece of information is so rare to find. Will make my life so much easier.

Feb. 25, 2018, 12:38 a.m. 4.5

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