How to recognize implantation bleeding vs. period bleeding

Would you like to know how to recognize implantation bleeding? It is a little different from your period and you should know how to tell the difference between the two. Your period tells you that your cycle is over. In contrast, implantation bleeding occurs when your cycle becomes significantly longer – when pregnancy begins.This is usually less severe, brighter and shorter than the period.

But also the strength and length of your period can vary from cycle to cycle and is of course quite different for different women. Here you can find out what the special features of the different bleedings in the cycle are. If you know your period and the differences between the bleedings exactly, you can understand your individual cycle even better.

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Implantation bleeding is a sign of the beginning of pregnancy

Some women who want to have a baby know this situation: About a week after ovulation, there is a bright red bleeding. Depending on when you would expect your period, the timing arouses initial doubts in you.

Is this menstruation, intermenstrual bleeding or implantation? Am I perhaps pregnant after all? However, many women find it difficult to distinguish implantation bleeding from their period. We compare the most important characteristics here. This will make it easier for you to recognize an early pregnancy.

How to recognize implantation bleeding

What is implantation bleeding?

Implantation bleeding can occur when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus about a week after sex – hence the name. An implantation bleed therefore indicates the beginning of a pregnancy. This is usually less heavy, lighter and shorter than the period. Doctors also call this implantation bleeding or nidation bleeding.

How does implantation bleeding occur?

If an egg has been successfully fertilized, it slowly migrates to the uterus and nests there. The cells of the outer layer of the uterus now develop into the placenta. In order to be able to supply the embryo soon, maternal and fetal tissue grow together. In the process, it is possible that blood vessels of the uterus or the mucous membrane are damaged. This can cause slight bleeding, but often unnoticed inside the body.

Does every implantation also involve implantation bleeding?

No, implantation bleeding occurs rather rarely overall. It is assumed that this bleeding occurs in only 30% of women. In most women, the implantation bleeding is so weak that it is not even noticed. So it is not a bad sign if you do not notice the implantation.

When in the cycle does implantation bleeding occur?

Implantation occurs around the middle of the corpus luteum phase, about 7 to 10 days after fertilization of the egg in the fallopian tube. How long it takes the fertilized egg (small embryo) to travel from the fallopian tube to the uterus is not always the same. After the fertilized egg reaches the uterus, it nests.

If the time between ovulation and a bright red bleed is shorter than 14 days, this does not automatically mean that it is an implantation bleed. If you have a luteal insufficiency, for example, your second cycle phase is only 9 days long and you have a menstrual period. In this case, it is important to know the length of your second cycle phase before the pregnancy cycle so that you can interpret the bleeding correctly.

Determine the exact length of your second cycle phase now - with OvulaRing

OvulaRing is a medical cycle tracker to record your cycle completely. OvulaRing measures your body temperature every 5 minutes. Let it show you your ovulation and your fertile days very precisely. This way you reliably know the length of your corpus luteum phase and can recognize an incipient pregnancy much better.

How severe is implantation bleeding?

For most women, the implantation bleeding is significantly weaker than the period. Here, the fluctuations from day to day are often not so clear. The implantation bleeding therefore tends to remain constant at a weak level. Often it is even so weak that no blood comes out of the vagina, which is why many women do not even notice the bleeding. However, the strength of the implantation bleeding can vary. In exceptional cases, it even reaches a strength similar to your period, which has been observed in multiple pregnancies.

How long does the implantation bleeding last?

Only a few days! The duration of bleeding is one of the main distinguishing features of implantation bleeding and menstruation. While menstruation lasts on average four to seven days, implantation bleeding is usually over within one to two days.

What color is the implantation bleeding?

The implantation bleeding is and remains bright red and does not turn brownish. The reason for this is that it is a fresh bleed that quickly drains to the outside. In contrast, period bleeding takes on a dark red to brownish color as menstruation progresses. Spotting is also often brownish.

Can there be pain during implantation?

Implantation bleeding may be accompanied by a mild, pulling pain, similar to mild to moderate period pain. In many cases, however, there are no accompanying symptoms. Women who otherwise suffer from severe pain during their periods often even recognize implantation by the absence of pain during bleeding. If you experience unusual pain during your cycle, please consult your doctor.

What happens in the cycle after implantation?

After implantation, actual conception is complete and the embryo has arrived in the uterus. Via the placenta, the embryo is now supplied with sufficient oxygen and nutrients. Here it can continue to divide and grow. The amniotic sac with the amniotic fluid also forms for this purpose. The woman is now in the 2nd week of pregnancy.

Get to know your cycle and calculate your ovulation now - with out online ovulation calculator

Not as accuarte as the real OvulaRing Method – but you can start your journey of better understanding your cycle right now:

What are the differences between implantation bleeding and menstruation?

The implantation bleeding differs from the period bleeding in many characteristics. The most obvious differences are the strength of the bleeding, the color of the blood and the duration. The implantation bleeding is usually less heavy, lighter and shorter than the period. However, there are other characteristics as well. You should know these if you are still unsure.


Implantation bleeding

Color: red, brownish

Color: light red

Duration: 3 to 7 days

Duration: few days

Strength: variable, sometimes very strong

Strength: rather weak, little variation

Pain: variable, sometimes very strong

Pain: rather light, pulling or without

Emergence: end of cycle, progesterone level decreases

Origin: implantation fertilized ovum

When: approx. 14 days after ovulation, fluctuating

Wann: 7 bis 10 Tage nach Befruchtung

Frequency: in almost every cycle

Frequency: in approx. 30% of all pregnancies

other signs: Cramps, PMS

other signs: Nausea, mild cramps

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Once again, the German Institute for Service Quality and German TV channel ntv have honored the most popular companies with the “German Health Award. The basis for the award is the customer vote in a large survey with over 35,000 votes.

Deutscher Gesundheits-Award 2022 geht an OvulaRing

Other reasons for light bleeding

Under the influence of hormones in early pregnancy, the tissue inside the cervix loosens up. It is sensitive and can bleed very easily when touched, for example during sexual intercourse. In addition, bright red bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy can also be the first symptom of an incipient miscarriage. In this case, however, the bleeding would tend to become heavier and be associated with pain.

Get to know your cycle exactly - with OvulaRing

OvulaRing pregnancy test

The OvulaRing app has an integrated, free pregnancy test. So you can be sure that the egg has nested optimally. If the core body temperature remains at a high level for 18 days in the second half of your cycle, pregnancy is likely. If the app detects that you are pregnant, it will also calculate your due date based on the exact ovulation day. In this way, for example, premature induction of labor can be avoided, as in Anne’s experience report.

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Do you have questions about how OvulaRing evaluates your cycle?

Our customer service is here for you. You can reach us during our service hours on weekdays from 9 am – 4 pm. Write us a message or give us a call. You can find our contact details here:
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