Guest Author - Vanessa Pruitt
Approximately 10 to 14 days after conception, the fertilized egg enters the womb and attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. Bleeding can occur during this time, known as implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding is normal, though it's not fully understood why it happens. The bleeding may come with other symptoms such as slight cramping.
Am I Pregnant?
Women who do not know they are pregnant yet often mistake this bleeding with their period, because it happens about 4 weeks into the pregnancy, when they are expecting some bleeding. It's not uncommon for a woman to count this as a light period, only to find out that she's actually pregnant closer to 8 weeks, when she misses her period again!
Implantation bleeding is usually much lighter than a period, often a dark red or brownish color, and lasts for only a short time, anywhere from a few hours to a few days. If you are experiencing this type of bleeding and are unsure if it is your period, you may want to take a home pregnancy test to confirm, especially if you are experiening any other sypmptoms of pregnancy.
Is There Anything to Worry About?
If you already know that you are pregnant, implantation bleeding can be scary. You may fear that you are having a miscarriage or that something is wrong with the pregnancy. In most cases, this bleeding is nothing to worry about. Unless you have other worrisome symptoms, there is no need to contact your care provider.
Other symptoms that are normal during this time are:
- breast tenderness
- bloating or a “full” feeling
- mild cramping
Not all women experience implantation bleeding, so don't worry if it doesn't happen to you. It is no indication of how healthy the baby is or how well the pregnancy is progressing.
When to Worry
You should contact your doctor of midwife if your bleeding is heavy, bright red, lasts for more than a few days, or is accompanied by pain, low back ache, extreme cramping, a foul odor, or any other unusual symptoms.