Implantation Bleeding or My Period?

implantation bleeding

Implantation Bleeding or My Period?

The two-week wait after your IVF transfer can be torturous, and that anxiety can increase ten-fold if it’s compounded by bleeding when you were hoping for none.

Implantation bleeding is a completely normal phenomenon and occurs when the endometrial lining is penetrated because this attachment of embryo-to-endometrium causes a little bit of blood to slough away – just like a period. Thus, the irony is that the small amount of brownish- or pinkish discharge may be the very thrilling sign that you’re officially pregnant after all.

Of course, you should always call your fertility specialist if you’re concerned or have any questions. They’re there to help and support you through your fertility journey.

The Difference Between Implantation Bleeding and Your Period

Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether the blood on your toilet paper or underwear is the result of an embryo nestling comfortably into the endometrium – or whether it’s the sign you’ve started your period.

Less intense cramping

While implantation – and potential, resulting bloodshed – can cause cramping, women experiencing implantation typically feel less intense cramping for a very short while, rather than the more intense and lengthier cramping associated with menstruation. Of course, these discomforts vary from woman to woman – but if you notice cramping is lighter, and for a shorter duration – it’s a good sign.

Less blood

The small amount of blood released when the embryo implants means less blood to be noticed by you. While a little spotting or staining can occur, it won’t be comparable to the flow of blood that increases by Day 3 and continues for the duration of a regular period. While it may feel/look the same as your typical Day 1 and 2 of your period, bleeding should notably taper off.

Brown or pink, rather than red

Again, because the quantity of blood is minimal – its dilution by cervical and vaginal secretions and slight drying will mean it’s only brownish or pinkish in color. Bright red blood is more indicative of the blood shed by the entirety of the endometrial lining.

Intermittent flow

Typically, your period starts light, the flow continues to increase day by day, and it finally ebbs at the end. There is rarely any break or intermittent feeling in there. Spotting or bleeding resulting from implantation may start and stop again – but will taper off completely after a day or two, after which you may experience the first signs of pregnancy, such as tender breasts or even the beginnings of nausea or stomach upset.

It Occurs Before You’re Period Is Truly Late

Fertility specialists time our transfers with your natural cycle. As a result, implantation would typically occur before your period is actually late. So, if your cycle is typically regular, a small amount of bleeding before your period is scheduled to begin is a good sign.

Don’t Panic if You Can Help It

Try your best to remain as calm as possible. If you are pregnant, you don’t want any undue stress or worry to upset things any more than they need to be.

If you’re a patient at Fertility Center of Dallas and you’re experiencing spotting, cramping or bleeding that’s causing concern – contact us immediately so we can check-in and determine the cause.


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