Trying to Conceive

Understanding Implantation Symptoms

Team Peanut4 months ago6 min read

While some say our women’s intuition can kick in as soon as we’ve conceived a child, there are also implantation symptoms that can give us a clue! When you become pregnant, your body is about to undergo a huge number of changes. These will vary from emotional changes to developments in your body shape, and, sadly, some potential pain!

Implantation Symptoms

These can start as early as just after conception, so it’s important to understand implantation symptoms from the outset.

In this article: 📝

  • When does implantation occur?
  • How soon after implantation do symptoms start?
  • What does it feel like when implantation occurs?
  • What should I do if I experience implantation symptoms?
  • Talking through implantation symptoms

When does implantation occur?

To better recognize signs of implantation, we need to understand what it is first. Implantation is the process of a fertilized egg, known in scientific terms as a ‘blastocyst’, attaching itself to the lining of the uterus.

How long after ovulation does implantation occur?

We’re probably beyond the birds and the bees at this point – you need male sperm for implantation to occur! It all happens in line with your menstrual cycle, which is often why many women confuse menstrual cramps with implantation, as the symptoms can be similar.

In a normal 28-day cycle, ovulation occurs at around 10 to 14 days in. Assuming the sperm meets the egg that has been released, you can expect implantation to take place between six and 10 days after this conception – around four to eight days before your next expected period.

How soon after implantation do symptoms start?

If you do experience any symptoms of implantation, these will usually happen straight away – around four to eight days before your next expected period. As many of these signs are similar to pre-menstrual symptoms, many women may confuse them with their standard monthly cycle.

Some crossover signs between menstruation and implantation symptoms may include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Mood swings
  • Cramps
  • Spotting

However, there are key differences between the two. For example, implantation bleeding may be pinky or brown in color, whereas the beginning of a menstrual period is usually a bright red blood. Similarly, if you do experience implantation cramps, these may be shorter-term and less severe than period cramps.

What does it feel like when implantation occurs?

If you do suffer with signs of implantation, you may experience a pulling or tingling sensation around the uterus. This is similar to menstrual cramps, but only lasts between one and three days.

The reason this pain occurs is because implantation can trigger a release of ‘prostaglandin.’ This is similar to the hormonal response we experience when we have experienced trauma or injury, and may trigger inflammation. This is what leads to mild pain in the uterine area.

Where do you feel implantation pain?

So, other than in the uterus, where else can you feel implantation? Remember, implantation signs don’t happen to everyone – your pregnancy may be a complete surprise! But if you’re experiencing any of these, it might be time to take a trip to the doctor:

Implantation bleeding

This happens to around a third of all pregnant women and is not as heavy as a menstrual period. It also happens before your normal period should occur, up to eight days before, and may be pinkish or brown in color. Implantation bleeding symptoms should be light and should go away by themselves – there’s no need to worry unless the bleeding is especially heavy.

Headaches

Our hormones have a lot to answer for when it comes to pregnancy! One of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy is headaches as our bodies respond to a sudden increase in hormones.

Stuffy nose

We bet you didn’t think cold symptoms could be a sign of pregnancy! In some cases, increased amounts of hormones and blood volume can cause your nasal pathways to swell up, with some women reporting nose bleeds.

Bloating and constipation

Who said pregnancy wasn’t glamorous? Once again, similar to periods, you may experience bloating shortly after implantation. The sudden shot of hormones could also see reactions from your digestive system, slowing it down and potentially resulting in constipation. A few herbal remedies can help to move things along!

What should I do if I experience implantation symptoms?

If you are trying for a baby, it’s tempting to reach for a pregnancy test as soon as you’ve had sex. But hold off for a while – the pregnancy test works most effectively when there’s a higher concentration of human chorionic gonadotropin in your system. This is known as the ‘pregnancy hormone’ and appears in higher concentrations when your menstrual period is due.

Try to wait seven to 10 days after your potential conception date before you take your pregnancy test. Ideally, you should time it with the date of your suspected missed period.

Pain relief

Thankfully, signs of implantation are short-lived. If you do experience cramps, for example, these should last between one and three days. A mild over-the-counter medicine like Tylenol can help, but you should avoid ibuprofen and aspirin unless your doctor tells you otherwise. Alternatively, you can treat implantation cramps like period pain – applying a warm compress can help to ease symptoms.

Bleeding

Like period pain, you should not worry about implantation bleeding unless it appears severe. Serious bleeding or pain could be signs of something else such as an ectopic pregnancy or ovarian cysts, so always ask your doctor if you’re not sure.

Constipation and cold symptoms

Once again, you should always talk to your doctor before taking any medications for constipation or cold symptoms. Some herbal alternatives include high fiber diets and dandelion or mallow tea. You can try external decongestants such as menthol rubs to ease cold symptoms.

Talking through implantation symptoms

We’re all different and our bodies will not all respond to pregnancy in the same way. What’s important to remember is that we’re not alone. You can find out more on The 411, from tracking your cycle to common pregnancy symptoms.

And if you’re TTC and looking for support, why not connect with other women on Peanut?