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How Do I Know If It's Implantation Bleeding?

Reviewed on 6/24/2020

What Is Implantation Bleeding?

Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy.
Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy.

Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy. It occurs when a 6- to 12-day-old fertilized egg attaches to the inner lining of the uterus, resulting in light vaginal bleeding or spotting. About one-third of women experience implantation bleeding, which is a normal occurrence that typically happens near the time of a woman's next expected menstrual period.

What Are Symptoms and Signs of Implantation Bleeding?

The main sign of implantation bleeding is vaginal bleeding or spotting that

  • is light pinkish or brownish (usually slightly different in color than a woman's normal menstrual period),
  • occurs near the time of a woman's next expected menstrual period,
  • only lasts 1 to 3 days, and
  • does not contain any clots, as with menstruation.

Other symptoms that may accompany implantation bleeding are signs of early pregnancy and may include:

What Causes Implantation Bleeding?

Implantation bleeding occurs when a 6- to 12-day-old fertilized egg implants itself in the inner lining of the uterus. This attachment may result in light vaginal bleeding or spotting.

How Do Medical Professionals Diagnose Implantation Bleeding?

Doctors diagnose implantation bleeding by noting its characteristic signs. Vaginal bleeding from implantation is pinkish to brown, very light in amount, and different from regular menstrual periods. It also occurs near the time of a woman's next expected menstrual period.

What Is the Treatment for Implantation Bleeding?

No treatment is needed for implantation bleeding. It usually resolves on its own in 1 to 3 days. If bleeding is heavy or lasts longer than 2 days, see your doctor.

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Reviewed on 6/24/2020
References
American Pregnancy Association. "What Is Implantation Bleeding?" <https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/what-is-implantation-bleeding/>.
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