What does implantation bleeding look like? And how can you tell it apart from your period? Read this article to find out.
But what does implantation bleeding look like?
Not every pregnant person will see implantation spotting, but it’s handy to know what to keep an eye out for.
After all, it’s one more exciting sign that there’s a bun in the oven!
In this article, we explain what causes implantation bleeding, how to identify it, and how to tell it apart from your period.
In this article: 📝
- What is implantation bleeding and what does it look like?
- What color is implantation bleeding?
- Can implantation bleeding look like a period?
- How many days does implantation bleeding last?
- How can I tell if it’s implantation bleeding?
What is implantation bleeding and what does it look like?
Implantation bleeding is something that may occur at an important moment in your embryo’s journey to fully-grown babyhood.
When does implantation bleeding occur?
First, a quick recap of the journey for your embryo so far.
Since conception, the embryo has been traveling down your fallopian tube and already growing at an amazing rate.
But now it’s time to find a more permanent home: the embryo pops out of the fallopian tube and into your uterus, finding a promising spot in your uterine lining to nestle into.
As the embryo implants, it can disturb the tiny blood vessels in the place where it settles, and this may result in a small amount of implantation bleeding.
This is normal and the blood vessels will soon heal themselves.
Implantation tends to happen about 10 to 14 days after conception, but it can be as early as 6 days for some women.
So some bleeding in the run-up to your expected period or even about the time that your period is due to start (confusingly!) could be implantation bleeding.
What does implantation bleeding look like?
If you look at some implantation bleeding pictures, you might find yourself getting out your magnifying glass to spot the blood.
Early pregnancy spotting looks like only a very tiny amount of blood – in fact, you might have it but totally miss it.
And in implantation bleeding pictures, it can also appear different on different materials, like a tissue or pad.
What does implantation bleeding first look like?
Implantation bleeding can initially look like a pinky tinge on a tissue ‒ maybe a more peachy color.
From there, you may notice that you bleed a little more over a day or two.
What does implantation bleeding look like on a pad?
A few spots or a very light flow of blood – usually not enough to soak the pad or pantyliner.
Note: It’s best not to use a tampon to soak up any blood if you think you might be pregnant.
There’s a risk that a tampon could bring unfriendly bacteria into your vagina and lead to an infection.
Can implantation bleeding fill a pad?
Not usually, no ‒ it’s generally significantly less than normal period bleeding.
Some pregnant people may not even notice it ‒ it might just make urine appear a shade pinker.
But some people do experience heavy implantation bleeding, which can look closer to a period.
It’s also key to note that, at this stage, many people don’t know they’re pregnant, as implantation bleeding can occur before a positive pregnancy result.
What color is implantation bleeding?
Usually pinkish or brown.
Pink means the blood is mixed with cervical mucus; brown means the blood has taken a while to exit your body and has oxidized on the way.
But bright red implantation bleeding has also been reported by our moms-to-be on Peanut, too.
Can implantation bleeding look like a period?
It might resemble the light flow that you get at the start or end of your period.
If the bleeding becomes heavier and changes to a more vibrant red, it’s likely to be your period rather than implantation spotting.
This is because it may be happening at the time of your normal period, so it’s safe to assume it’s a period rather than implantation bleeding.
But if you have other potential pregnancy symptoms, there’s nothing to stop you from taking a pregnancy test, just to make sure.
Of course, if you normally have very light periods, it might be harder to tell the difference.
Don’t worry, there are other ways to check (more on that below!).
How many days does implantation bleeding last?
Implantation spotting only lasts for 1 to 2 days on average, and it may be very “on-and-off” rather than a continuous flow of blood.
On the other hand, if the bleeding lasts for several days, and is heavier, it could be your period.
But you know your own body and what’s normal for you.
If you have bleeding that is unusually heavy or painful, or lasts for longer than usual, get in touch with your healthcare provider.
So it’s important to get it checked out.
How soon can implantation bleeding occur?
Implantation bleeding usually happens about 10-14 days after you’ve conceived.
So if you have some bleeding immediately after sex, it’s not likely to be implantation bleeding.
How can I tell if it’s implantation bleeding?
Your bleeding is more likely to be implantation spotting if:
- It happens about 10 to 14 days (or sometimes a little earlier) after you think conception took place.
- The bleeding is much lighter than your normal period and you only have mild cramps (or none).
- You have some other early pregnancy symptoms, including nausea, tender breasts, and fatigue.
- You get a positive pregnancy test result a few days after seeing the blood.
Can I test pregnancy during implantation bleeding?
But can you take a pregnancy test during implantation bleeding?, you ask…
We know you’re eager to find out whether your pregnancy journey is underway, but it’s best to take a pregnancy test once the suspected implantation bleeding is over – and ideally after the first day of your missed period.
That gives your pregnancy hormones (which are detected by the test) time to build up.
Fingers crossed for the result you want to get!
How long after implantation bleeding did you test positive?
It can take a few more days after implantation bleeding to test positive.
This is because your hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin, the pregnancy hormone) levels may not be high enough to get a positive result on a pregnancy test.
So it’s best to wait 4-5 days after you see some implantation bleeding before you take a pregnancy test, to avoid unnecessary disappointment or wasting pregnancy tests.
Can I test negative after implantation bleeding?
Yes, you can test negative after implantation bleeding, even when you’re actually pregnant.
Your hCG levels need to be a certain point to be registered on a pregnancy test, so it might be a little too early for a test.
There you have it, all there is to know about what implantation bleeding looks like.
If you’re still wondering What does implantation bleeding look like?, or you’re after some implantation bleeding pictures, feel free to join our TTC community on Peanut.
Many women on Peanut who are trying to conceive or navigating their own fertility journeys share implantation bleeding pics for other opinions ‒ even pictures of heavy implantation bleeding that resulted in healthy pregnancies.
After all, every pregnancy journey is different.
And if you’d like another opinion on your own implantation bleeding pictures, you’re welcome to share them in our safe community ‒ we just recommend putting a little trigger warning before you post!
You’re always welcome to join our Peanut community.
We’re having the conversation.