What is an Implantation Bleed?

What is implantation?

Implantation is the attachment of a fertilised egg to the lining of the uterus. Implantation usually happens about 9 days after ovulation and is required for the fetus to continue to grow.

How does implantation occur?

Implantation occurs when a fertilised egg travels down the fallopian tube towards the uterus.  When the fertilised egg enters the uterus the egg sticks to the endometrial lining.  The endometrial lining is rich in blood and sometimes during implantation a few drops of blood move through the cervix and down into the vagina.  This blood is referred to as implantation bleeding. 

What does implantation bleeding or spotting look like?

An implantation bleed or spotting does not look like a regular menstrual period.  It appears as spotting of some pink or brown discharge. It should not be flowing or bright red in colour.

When does it occur?

Spotting that occurs around a week after ovulation is likely to be an implantation bleed.  If it occurs very close to the time that your period is due it is more likely that it is a menstural period.  

How likely am I to have an implantation bleed?

Implantation bleeding is fairly common with pregnancy. Most women will experience some spotting during early pregnancy.

Should I be concerned if I have spotting?

Spotting in early pregnancy is very common.  The discharge should not be flowing out but be seen on a tissue when you urinate or wipe.  Unless you are passing bright red clots, spotting is usually harmless and is perfectly normal in early pregnancy.

It is advisable to observe the frequency of the discharge and monitor its shade or colour.  If however, your spotting comes with severe cramping or pain it is advisable to seek medical attention.

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