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Parenting

How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last?

Last Updated March 8, 2021

By  Janice Warren

Implantation bleeding is light bleeding or spotting from the vagina. It happens when a woman conceives a baby after 10 to 14 days. You might mistake it for a light period, but it is no cause for alarm since it might be a sign that you are pregnant.

However, if you suspect the bleeding being more decadent than your usual period, it is wise to consult your doctor since it might be a sign of a problem.

Implantation bleeding happens after the formation of the embryo, and it then implants itself on the uterus lining. Do not worry when this happens since it's normal and doesn't mean you or your baby will have a problem.

How Long can Implantation Bleeding Last and How Heavy Can it Be?

1. How Long Does the Spotting Last?

Implantation bleeding is a form of bleeding that often occurs in your early pregnancy stage. Medical experts believe that fertilized egg forms an embryo, and it then attaches itself to the uterine lining.

However, not everyone experiences implantation bleeding. It is light and short and lasts for a few days compared to your usual period. It usually occurs during the first 10-14 days after conception or around the time of your missed period.

You can always experience vaginal bleeding, which reportedly happens anytime in the first eight weeks of pregnancy.

Spotting is also common before the start of your menstrual period. Therefore, to know if your bleeding is pregnancy-related, it is best to take a pregnancy test. If you are pregnant, Confirmation might be if you are experiencing some pregnancy signs such as; frequent urination, fatigue, nausea, and tender or swollen breasts.

2. How How Heavy Can it Be?

Implantation bleeding is usually very light and only lasts for 1 or 2 days. Wearing a pantyliner is recommended since the blood is not enough to soak a tampon or a pad.

On rare occasions, implantation bleeding can be heavier if you have an underlying bleeding disorder that may affect blood clotting. Spotting is usually lighter in color than menstrual blood, which is generally dark red. It can range in color from pale pink to a rust-like color.

How can I tell if it's Implantation Bleeding?

It can be challenging to tell the difference when implantation bleeding happens and an average early period. Luckily, there are some signs you can look out for to clue you in. Let's delve in;

a. Color

Implantation bleeding or spotting tends to be of pinky-brownish color. The difference with menstrual bleeding is that it may start as light pink or brown, but it soon changes into crimson red.

b. Strength of Blood Flow

When you experience implantation bleeding, the blood flow will appear as a light spot compared to menstrual bleeding; it may start with light and get stronger as it progresses.

c. Cramping

While having implantation bleeding, you are likely to experience cramping that is short-lived. On the other hand, cramping while you are on your period tends to last longer and more intense. Each woman has a different menstrual experience, thus the need to listen to your body.

d. Blood Clotting

It is usually light with zero blood clots or tissue. In case the blood displays clots and tissue, be rest assured it is your usual period.

e. Length of flow

It takes a duration of about 1 to 3 days, while your period may last 4 to 7 days.

f. Consistency

It is more likely to occur as an on-and-off spotting. However, your period starts lightly and gets progressively heavier.

How Long After Implantation Bleeding Can You Take a Pregnancy Test?

Suspecting you may be pregnant? This type of bleeding is one of the signs that you might be pregnant. However, it is best to wait about four to five days after the implantation bleed for the body's HCG levels to reach detectable levels in the blood.

If you are considering a home pregnancy test, it may take you up to 7 days for HCG levels in the urine to reach detectable levels for testing.

How soon you may test positive or negative depends on the sensitivity of your test. It also depends on how long it’s been since the embryo has implanted on the lining of the uterus and if you are experiencing any.

Consider testing if you have many early signs of pregnancy. For the most reliable pregnancy test reading, consider waiting a week past when your period should have started.

Consult your doctor for a confirmation blood test and get to have an update on your health information, especially in your early pregnancy stage.

What Else Could Cause Vaginal Bleeding?

It is important to note that bleeding that is outside your usual menstrual cycle is not always implantation-related. It should be a cause of alarm, especially if the flow is heavy. The following are some of the potential reasons:

  • Bleeding abnormalities such as hemophilia or other medical issues may cause uncontrolled bleeding.
  • Sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea can cause cervical infections.
  • If the fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tube, it is medically known as an ectopic pregnancy. Women in this condition require immediate attention to be medically reviewed.

Other causes are hormonal changes due to birth control pills, uterine cancer, uterine fibroids, and uterine polyps.

To be on the safe side, consult a healthcare service provider or a doctor. Depending on your other symptoms and medical history, you will likely get some blood tests and an ultrasound.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can implantation bleeding exceed five days?

In most cases, implantation spotting only lasts from a few hours to a couple of days, but some women report having implantation spotting for up to seven days. You may experience some light cramping and soreness during implantation.

2. How much blood is normal for implantation bleeding?

The amount of bleeding is usually very light as well. The bleeding usually lasts no more than one day. In some cases, women may experience a few hours of light bleeding and nothing more. Some women may experience a single spot of blood and discharge with no other symptoms.

3. Can you test negative during implantation bleeding?

The hCG levels double every 48 hours after implanting the embryo, thus presenting a negative pregnancy result. If a woman experiences such bleeding, it is better to wait for four to five before taking a blood test for accurate results.

4. Can implantation bleeding fill a pad?

Implantation bleeding, however, should not present any clots. Most women can fill pads and tampons during their periods, but spotting is different. It only appears as light bleeding or a light flow rather than a full flow.

Janice Warren


Janice is a full-time writer at Infantcore, writing about her experiences as mother of 4.

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