Health/Life, Parenting/Children

How to recognize implantation bleeding, and when to see a doctor

How to recognize implantation bleeding (1)

Outlines how to recognize implantation bleeding, when it is likely to occur, what to do about it, and how to determine if you are actually pregnant.

The implantation bleeding (also sometimes called nidation bleeding) indicates that pregnancy has occurred. However, some women mistake it for a normal menstrual period. We explain about implantation bleeding – when it occurs, how it occurs, and how it differs from normal menstrual bleeding.

Every third woman has an implantation bleeding. Between the first and second week of pregnancy, you will notice slight bleeding. This occurs when the embryo is implanted in the uterine wall. This could be one of the first obvious signs of pregnancy.

It can also be a painful moment for couples wanting to have children, as this bleeding can be mistaken for the start of the next period.

How to recognize implantation bleeding: the key factors

What is implantation bleeding?

In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the uterus has a lot of blood supply. If the embryo adheres to the lining of the uterus, which has thickened to accommodate the embryo, some blood vessels may rupture, which can cause slight vaginal bleeding.

Not all pregnant women have implantation bleeding, and if they did, it may not occur in all pregnancies.

This can be a source of anxiety and stress for those trying to have a child, as it can be mistaken for the start of the next period.

When does implantation bleeding occur?

The egg cell meets the sperm in the fallopian tube, fertilization takes place, and together they begin their journey into the uterus. Then a process of cell division begins until they become a blastocyst (days 5-6 of fertilization). Once in the uterus, the embryo has to implant itself in the uterine lining of the future mother so that pregnancy can occur.

This process takes about ten to fourteen days after conception, so this small bleeding may be mistaken for the start of menstruation.

How to recognize implantation bleeding vs menstruation

As we mentioned earlier in this article, it is not surprising that implantation bleeding in the first few weeks of pregnancy can be confused with the start of the next period, as it can occur in the first few weeks of pregnancy.

Although it is difficult to tell by timing, there are other factors that can help us easily identify that this is bleeding for the embryo to implant properly in the uterine wall.

The amount of blood

One aspect to be assessed is quantity. The bleeding that occurs when the embryo adheres to the uterine wall is less than that of menstruation . It can range from a drop to a little bleeding. It is true that the amount is usually small at the beginning of menstruation. However, it will increase over the days.

The color

The color can also help to tell what the bleeding is. The blood at implantation is usually darker in contrast to the bright red that normally appears during menstruation.

The duration

Compared to menstruation, the duration of bleeding is shorter.  Since only small vessels are injured during implantation, nidation bleeding subsides quickly. It usually only lasts about a day or two. In rare cases it can last a little longer. If you are unsure, you can ask a doctor for advice in this case. Describe the bleeding in more detail (type and extent of bleeding? Since when?).

The texture

Another deciding factor is the texture, which tends to be more fluid and lighter.

The truth is that every woman is unique, as are her symptoms and the bleeding she experiences during each period. This is why it is important to address other types of symptoms that could indicate the onset of pregnancy.

Pregnancy symptoms such as: breast tenderness , nausea at certain times, tiredness or the constant need to go to the bathroom can give us an indication that we have achieved the desired pregnancy.

How can you confirm that you are pregnant?

The easiest thing to do is to do a urine pregnancy test. The downside is that it can be a little early to get a positive result. This type of test takes longer to check for levels of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). If it is not carried out at the right time, a false negative result can come out, although the embryo has implanted.

In order to properly perform a urine pregnancy test, you will need to wait a few days before you have had your period.

The hormone hCG, also known as beta-hCG , is secreted by the embryo as it implantes in the uterus. Measuring beta-hCG levels is a reliable indicator of whether or not pregnancy has been achieved.

In centers for assisted reproduction, the levels of the hCG hormone are measured with a blood test ten days after the transfer of the embryo to the patient. In order for us to confirm that the pregnancy is going well, hormone levels will increase exponentially during the first trimester.

This period of time between embryo transfer or insemination until the result is achieved is known as the beta waiting time . It is usually the most difficult time for a patient to have fertility treatment. It’s a life changing blood test.

What to do if you see signs of blood when pregnant

If you have had fertility treatment, the first thing we recommend is that you continue with the medication and contact your patient care team so that one of your fertility doctors can assess whether everything is going normally and advise you on the next steps .

On the other hand, if you have not yet had any treatment and are in doubt, it is best to see your gynecologist so that they can assess what type of bleeding it is.

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