OB-GYN (Obstetrician-Gynecologist) Questions Menstruation

How can I differentiate between implantation bleeding and periods?

I am a 25 year old woman, recently married. We are not planning a family for the next two years. As I have been reading, I came across the term implantation bleeding which is very often misunderstood as periods. What does it mean and how can i distinguish implantation bleeds from periods?

18 Answers

Implantation bleed may refer to the bleeding that can occur during pregnancy after implantation. Some people think they have their period when they are actually bleeding from pregnancy. This does not occur with every pregnancy, which is why the term implantation bleeding can be confusing. Bleeding during pregnancy can be normal, or be a sign of miscarriage, an abnormal pregnancy, or a sign of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside the uterus-which is dangerous). It is therefore important to contact your physician if you are experiencing bleeding during the pregnancy.
Implantation bleeding is transient, scant and limited to short duration compared with a menstrual flow which may last days (4-6 days) and may be heavier. Also, implantation bleed may occur after a missed cycle (more than day 35 of a regular cycle).
It all comes down to timing and amount. Implantation bleeding is usually a few days earlier than your usual menses (menses normally occurs 14 days after ovulation). The amount is usually lighter and not as a rich a red as your usual flow
Implantation bleeding is supposed to occur about 5 to 6 days after ovulation around the time of implantation. However, here is no scientific evidence that any bleeding occurs at the time of implantation, even though this is commonly stated as being true in many internet sites. While some bleeding in the second half of the cycle may be common, it is not a sign of pregnancy. More likely it is just a result of further fluctuation in hormonal levels. So the "mistake" is actually the other way around, mistaking early menstrual bleeding as a sign of pregnancy, when it is not..
Any abnormal bleeding should be evaluated by your gyn. Also, do a pregnancy test and if negative, it is most likely your period.
Implantation bleeding is from an impregnated embryo burrowing into the uterus. It is usually lighter and in the middle of a normal menstrual cycle. Period bleeding is usually heavier. If there's no possibility of pregnancy then it isn't implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding when one is pregnant 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy
Implantation bleeding often happens between 5-8 weeks of pregnancy. By that time, you have already "missed" a period and many women are aware that they are pregnant. The bleeding would also be significantly different than that of a regular period. To be safe, any abnormal bleeding should be evaluated by a woman's health specialist.
You can not always differentiate between the two. If you are having unprotected intercourse you risk the chance of getting pregnant. If you are faithful with your birth control method your chance of pregnancy decreases. PMS symptoms can be similar to the signs of early pregnancy. A pregnancy test will give the answer.
Implantation bleeding is usually very light ( mostly spotting) and happens about a week after ovulation vs period is much heavier and should come at least 2 weeks post-ovulation, if you track it.

I hope it helps.
Sometimes you cannot differentiate between the two. I would say perform a pregnancy test and if it's positive, it may be implantation bleeding. You should always discuss it with your physician. However, first trimester bleeding can also be an indication of miscarriage.
Implantation bleeding is typically lighter than a normal menses and has minimal cramping. It often starts 3-5 days earlier than a menses.
Implantation bleeding is usually only a small amount of spotting 10-14 days
after implantation. While this happens around the time of a missed cycle,
it should not bleeding typically seen with menses. In general, any bleeding
in pregnancy is not normal and should warrant further evaluation.
Implantation bleeding is caused when an embryo settles into the uterus. It is usually light bleeding that may last for a day or two. Normal periods last from 2 to 10days. If you experience bleeding that is very light and lasts only a short time then it may be implantation bleeding.
Implantation bleeding is when you know you are pregnant. This bleeding is due to the placenta being implanted away from the normal site and it is implanted near the opening of cervix inside the uterus. This occurs between 5-8months of pregnancy.
Implantation bleed is still not completely understood and some experts challenge that this even happens. When a women gets pregnant, the embryo travels from the Fallopian tube into the uterus and gets implanted into the wall of the uterus to start growing. It is thought that some women may experience a little bleed during this time. It usually happens in the first couple of weeks of pregnancy and is typically a little spotting of a light bleed. So very different from a period
Implantation bleed can make your pregnancy test positive and can delay your periods, that is the way you distinguish it from periods.