When a woman is hoping for a positive pregnancy test, any amount of spotting or bleeding may cause her to feel disappointment or concern. After all, pregnancy means the cessation of menstrual periods. However, for some women, bleeding that occurs early in pregnancy as a result of implantation of the fertilized egg may be a positive sign of pregnancy.
What Is Implantation Bleeding
When a fertilized egg burrows into the endometrial lining of the uterus, spotting or bleeding may sometimes occur. The bleeding that results from the fertilized egg implanting in the endometrium is known as implantation bleeding. Although not all women experience implantation bleeding as an early symptom of pregnancy, an estimated twenty to forty percent of pregnant women do notice some light spotting or bleeding before or during their expected menstrual period. However, although any amount vaginal bleeding can be worrisome for a woman hoping to conceive, implantation bleeding is perfectly normal.
After ovulation, an unfertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube towards the uterus. If a sperm successfully fertilizes the egg, then the newly formed fertilized egg, or blastocyst, travels into the uterus and implants in the endometrial lining. When the ball of cells known as the blastocyst penetrates the endometrium, bleeding can sometimes occur. As the resulting blood is expelled from the uterus, the woman may notice some light spotting or bleeding in her panties or while using the toilet.
What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like
Because the length of time required for a fertilized egg to travel into the uterus and implant in the uterine wall varies from seven to fourteen days, the occurrence of implantation bleeding also varies between seven and fourteen days after ovulation. For some women, implantation may also occur later than fourteen days. Therefore, implantation bleeding typically occurs before the date of the next expected period; however, some women do not experience implantation bleeding until after their missed period. On average, though, implantation bleeding occurs six to twelve days after ovulation.
Implantation bleeding is often mistaken for menstrual bleeding. However, unlike a period that begins light and then becomes heavy, lasting for an average of five to seven days, implantation bleeding usually occurs for a very short time and rarely becomes a heavy flow. Although some women report red blood, implantation bleeding is usually pink or brown in color. Sometimes implantation bleeding is also accompanied by cramping as the uterus prepared for the pregnancy; however, in general, the spotting or bleeding associated with implantation is short and painless. In fact, some women who have experienced implantation bleeding do not notice because the bleeding is so brief and light.
How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last
For most women, implantation bleeding does not last for more than a few days. Unlike the bleeding associated with menstruation, the bleeding that accompanies implantation rarely turns into a heavy flow. Some women also report only light spotting that lasts only briefly around the time of implantation. Many women do not even notice their implantation bleeding because the spotting is too light to detect. However, on average, implantation bleeding lasts for no more than one to two days.
A woman who experiences light spotting or bleeding that does not progress into the full flow of a menstrual period may want to consider taking a pregnancy test to confirm or disprove a pregnancy. Because pregnancy tests measure the amount of hCG, the pregnancy hormone, in the body, a pregnancy test will only produce a positive after the fertilized egg implants, prompting the production of the hCG hormone. Testing after light spotting or bleeding that is suspected to be implantation bleeding may very likely produce a positive pregnancy test. However, if light spotting turns into a heavy flow, then the bleeding is most likely the result of a menstrual period, not implantation bleeding.
Although bleeding during pregnancy can indicate a problem, light spotting or bleeding that occurs shortly after ovulation may be a symptom of the implantation of the fertilized egg into the lining of the uterus. For many women, implantation bleeding is a positive sign of pregnancy.
Implantation Bleeding: http://www.justmommies.com/articles/implantation-bleeding.shtml
Implantation Bleeding: How Long Does It Last: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/implantation-bleeding-how-long-does-it-last.html
What Is Implantation Bleeding: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/what-is-implantation-bleeding.html
Implantation Bleeding: A Positive Sign of Pregnancy: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dos_rayitas.jpg and © 2011 Heather Johnson
Positive Pregnancy Tests © 2011 Heather Johnson