pregnancy

Implantation Bleeding and How to Recognise It

That was it. That was the moment you became pregnant, although you probably weren’t even aware of the monumental process going on in your body.
But as roughly 1.5 – 3.5 million sperm headed for your fallopian tubes one amazing little seed hit its target and your egg was fertilised.
This fertilised egg became a zygote which spent the next 7-10 days dividing and multiplying as it moved slowly into the uterus. When the little zygote was finally implanted it became known as a blastocyst and measured about 0.1 – 0.2 mm
It was while this minuscule blastocyct burrowed itself down into the wall of your uterus that you may have had a little bleeding or spotting. This is known as implantation bleeding.
Up to 30% of women experience some implantation bleeding and many of these women mistake it for a period. However implantation bleeding, sometimes called implantation spotting, doesn’t look like a regular menstrual period. There is much less of it and it is usually pink or brownish in colour, not like the red of a menstrual period bleed.
Implantation bleeding normally occurs a week to a few days before your period would normally start. If your spotting occurs very close to the time that your period would normally start it may not be implantation bleeding.
You can usually tell the difference from a normal menstrual cycle as this would generally start off light and get heavier. Implantation bleeding can last from just a few hours to a few days but does not increase in flow.
For some women this implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy, although it is best to wait a few more days to take an accurate pregnancy test. Around 10 days after ovulation is the recommended time.
Other causes of bleeding in pregnancy
• During pregnancy a woman’s cervix becomes tender and engorged with blood vessels and can, occasionally, become irritated during sexual intercourse. In some instances this results in some light bleeding.
• An infection of the vagina or cervix which causes it to be inflamed may cause temporary spotting.
• Subchorionic bleeding occurs when there is an accumulation of blood under the outer fetal membrane, next to the placenta. It rarely causes complications.
Always call your GP if any bleeding or spotting is accompanied by cramping or if the blood is bright red and flow is heavy.
Some women bleed, even heavily, throughout their pregnancy and go on to have perfectly healthy babies.
But if you have any doubts or worries, speak to your GP.