Things To Know About Implantation Bleeding & Early Pregnancy
Many people focus on missing their period as one of the first signs of early pregnancy. You might be surprised to learn that a small amount of blood and some cramping known as implantation bleeding can be a sign of pregnancy as the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining and your 9-month journey begins.
Here are 5 things you need to know about implantation bleeding and how to tell if the bleeding may be a sign of pregnancy or of your oncoming period.
I Have Had Two Early Miscarriages Should I Have Special Testing
Since most early miscarriages are caused by problems specific to that fertilized egg, and miscarriage overall is relatively common, most experts do not recommend special testing until you have had three early miscarriages . At that point it is termed “recurrent” miscarriage and further testing may be needed. Studies have shown that even after a woman has experienced three consecutive miscarriages, her chance of the next pregnancy being normal is still about 70%. All women who have a pregnancy loss later in pregnancy should have further testing.
The Odds Of Getting Pregnant
It’s a common question: What are the odds that I’ll get pregnant this month? For most couples trying to conceive, the odds that a woman will become pregnant are 15% to 25% in any particular month.
But there are some things that can affect your chance of getting pregnant:
- Age. After you reach age 30, your chances of conceiving in any given month fall, and they decrease as you age, dropping steeply in your 40s.
- Irregular menstrual cycles. Having an irregular cycle makes it tricky to calculate when you’re ovulating, thus making it difficult to know the ideal time to have sex.
- Frequency of sex. The less often you have sex, the less likely you are to get pregnant.
- Amount of time you’ve been trying to conceive. If you haven’t gotten pregnant after one year of trying to conceive, your chances of becoming pregnant may be lower. Talk to your doctor about tests for female and male infertility.
- Illnesses or medical conditions can affect pregnancy.
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Symptoms And Characteristics Of Spotting
Light spotting can be a normal part of early pregnancy. It might even be so light that it’s only noticeable on toilet tissue after you wipe, or you might see a few drops on your panties. It usually lasts about a day, and is usually light in color. Most of the time it’s lighter in color than your normal menstrual flow, though, sometimes, it can be red or brown in color. It is often painless.
Although spotting is usually nothing to worry about, it’s important to report any bleeding to your healthcare provider just to make sure all is well.
Implantation Bleeding Vs Period Bleeding
Implantation bleeding and cramping can easily be mistaken for the onset of your monthly cycle, but whats happening in your body is completely different. There are differences between implantation bleeding and period bleeding in terms of flow amount, duration of bleeding, pain and the color of the blood.
Heres a quick comparison so you can know how to recognize implantation bleeding or spotting:
- Flow: Light or spotting, generally not enough to soak a tampon or pad
- Duration: 1-2 days or less
- Cramping: mild or moderate tightening, pricking or pulling feeling in the lower abdomen as the egg implants
- Consistency: often thinner or more watery
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Missed Period During Early Pregnancy
Once implantation is complete, your body will begin making human chorionic gonadotropin . This hormone helps the body maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.
You will likely miss your next period 4 weeks after conception. If you typically have an irregular period, youll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
Most home tests can detect hCG as soon as 8 days after a missed period. A pregnancy test will be able to detect hCG levels in your urine and show if you are pregnant.
Is It Normal To Bleed During Pregnancy
Bleeding during pregnancy, especially in the early stages, is quite common. About 1 in 4 women will experience vaginal spotting or bleeding during the first trimester. Many of these women will go on to have healthy pregnancies.
However, vaginal bleeding may be the first sign of a problem, so its important to contact your doctor or midwife if you experience vaginal bleeding at any stage of your pregnancy for advice on what to do next.
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What If I Have A Positive Pregnancy Test And Then Start Bleeding
About 25-30% of pregnant women experience some type of spotting or bleeding in early pregnancy. This can be a result of many different factors including implantation bleeding, infection, cervical irritation, ectopic pregnancy or a threatened miscarriage.
Many women who have this light bleeding go on to have normal pregnancies and healthy babies. About half of the women who experience some light bleeding will go on to have heavier bleeding that will ultimately result in miscarriage.Unfortunately, there is no way to predict whether or not vaginal bleeding will progress to miscarriage. If you experience light bleeding that continues to get heavier, accompanied by painful cramping, back pain or stabbing pains, then you would want to seek medical attention right away.
If you experience some very slight spotting that then goes away, you would want to make sure to share this with your healthcare provider so that they are fully informed of everything you are experiencing in your pregnancy.
When Can You Confirm Your Pregnancy
Can you get a positive pregnancy test at 3 weeks, you may wonder? Itâs possible, but itâs always best to wait until after your missed period to take a pregnancy test, as youâll receive more credible results. Thatâs because a home pregnancy test responds to the levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in your urine, which begin to increase shortly after conception. So, although your hCG levels may be high enough in week 3 to result in a positive test, youâll want to confirm with your healthcare provider that youâre pregnant.
Think you might be pregnant? Take our Am I Pregnant quiz. It wonât tell you for sure, but itâs all good fun!
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Are There Pregnancy Symptoms At 1 2 Or 3 Weeks Pregnant
Your journey through pregnancy has officially begun, but as mentioned above, youâre not actually pregnant yet. This is a difficult concept to grasp at first, and many people wonder if there are any symptoms during the first 72 hours of pregnancy. Again, because of the way pregnancy is calculated, you wonât feel any symptoms of being pregnant during those first three daysâor possibly three weeks. But after two weeks, an exciting series of events starts to take place inside your body:
Egg release. One of your ovaries will release an egg around 14 days after the first day of your last period .
Fertilization. The egg will travel down one of the fallopian tubes, where it may unite with sperm. If they find each other, theyâll join up in a fallopian tube to create a single cell called a zygote in a process called fertilization. This process determines the sex of a baby.
First DNA. The zygote carries chromosomes from the egg and sperm and sets the first building blocks of your future babyâs genetic makeup.
Development. The zygote then moves down the fallopian tube and toward the uterus as it starts dividing into a larger group of cells. Cells will continue to divide as your baby develops over the course of your pregnancy.
Is It Implantation Bleeding
Implantation bleeding may occur very early in the pregnancy, around the time that you would otherwise expect your menstrual period, but the quantity of blood is minimal, and bleeding does not last a long time.
Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, around 10 days after ovulation. Most often women notice only a tinge of red on their panties or on toilet paper, though sometimes it may be heavier.
People who ordinarily have light periods may mistake implantation bleeding for a period and not realize that they are pregnant.
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When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur
Implantation bleeding if it happens usually occurs 9-12 days after conception when the fertilized egg implants, or attaches to the lining of the uterus. It can take as few as 6 days for the egg to make its journey from the Fallopian tubes or as many as 14, with the average around 9 days.
If youre trying to determine when implantation occurred, knowing when you ovulated and the date your last period began will give you the best idea. Ovulation is typically 12-14 days after the first day of your last cycle, and implantation is 6-12 days after ovulation, if the egg is fertilized.
Dont worry if you dont experience any implantation bleeding at all. In fact, most people who become pregnant dont report any implantation spotting. But that means 25-30% of women do have some implantation bleeding. Weve been conditioned to worry that any bleeding at all when youre hoping to be pregnant may be a sign of a miscarriage, but it isnt that simple.
Can I Be Pregnant And Still Have A Period
Pregnant women can have some light irregular bleeding during pregnancy, but it should not be like a normal period. Some women can confuse this for their period because often it can come right around the time she was expecting her normal period.
The irregular bleeding or spotting that can occur during pregnancy is often a dark brown or a light pinkish color. It should not be enough bleeding to fill pads or tampons over a few days. If you are bleeding enough to fill pads and tampons, then this would be a good indication that you are probably not pregnant. Learn more about getting pregnant while on your period.
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How Soon Can I Take A Pregnancy Test
Pregnancy tests work by detecting a certain level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your pee. You can take a pregnancy test as soon as youve missed your period. However, its best to wait at least one week after youve missed your period to get the most accurate results. While some tests claim to give you accurate results before a missed period, taking a test too soon can result in a false negative .
Your healthcare provider can take a blood sample to test for pregnancy as early as one week before a missed period.
Scanning In Early Pregnancy
An ultrasound scan is used during pregnancy for a number of reasons. In the first three months of pregnancy it can be used to check the presence of the babys heartbeat, which can be reassuring if you have experienced a problem, such as vaginal bleeding or pain. A scan will also be used to check to see if the pregnancy is in the correct place and to accurately predict the estimated date of delivery by measuring the end points of the embryo or fetus.
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Can The Exact Date Of Conception Be Determined Accurately
Many women have questions about the date of possible conception, and unfortunately figuring this out is not always so easy. The assumption is that if a woman has pretty regular menstrual cycles, then she will be ovulating during a certain time of the month.
Ovulation is the time when conception can take place because that is when an egg is made available. The problem is that most women do not ovulate on an exact date each month, and many women have a different ovulation day from month to month.
If you also take into account that sperm can live in the body 3-5 days after intercourse has taken place, this can make determining conception very difficult.
Most doctors use the first day of the last period and ultrasound measurements to gauge the gestational age of a baby and determine when the baby was conceived. But these are just tools used to estimate the datesit is very hard for anything to tell what the exact date of conception really is.
Most people do not realize that ultrasounds can be off up to 5-7 days in early pregnancy and up to a couple of weeks off if the first ultrasounds are done farther into the second trimester or beyond.
Why See Our Specialists At Uc Davis Health
Our specialists can evaluate you quickly in an office setting. Any laboratory testing or ultrasound examinations that need to be done can be performed easily and conveniently. We perform our own ultrasound examination in the office and can share the results with you immediately.
If we do confirm you have a miscarriage, we can discuss expectant management or treatment options with you immediately. Should you need blood testing to evaluate the pregnancy, the laboratory is in the same building as our office.
If you are having very heavy vaginal bleeding or are feeling very sick, you should go to the Emergency Room to see our physicians.
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What Placenta Problems Can Cause Bleeding During Pregnancy
These conditions can be life-threatening for both you and your unborn baby. Once diagnosed, your health care provider or OB-GYN might recommend an emergency C-section.
This happens when the placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus. It can lead to heavy bleeding and pregnancy loss.
Placenta previa happens when the placenta partially or fully covers your cervix.
This occurs when blood vessels connecting the placenta to your baby pass close to your cervix and are unprotected by the umbilical cord. They have a higher risk of rupturing.
Risks Of Bleeding In Early Pregnancy For Mother And Baby
The effects and risks of bleeding in early pregnancy depend on the cause and whether it can be treated.
- Ectopic pregnancy If the cause of bleeding during early pregnancy is an ectopic pregnancy, it is highly unlikely for the fetus to survive. The risk of another ectopic pregnancy in the future may also be increased. With appropriate treatment, the prognosis after an ectopic pregnancy for the mother is good.
- Threatened abortion If the cause of bleeding during early pregnancy is a threatened abortion, there is still a chance to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Miscarriage is also a possible outcome. It is critical to visit a health care provider as soon as possible.
- Complete miscarriage The pregnancy is terminated during a complete miscarriage. There may be no risks to the mother associated with complete miscarriage.
- Molar pregnancy In this type of pregnancy, no fetus has formed and, therefore, cannot be harmed. A molar pregnancy may have serious complications for the mother, including cancer.
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Signs You Need To Take A Pregnancy Test
4 min Read Time
Most over-the-counter pregnancy tests are 99% effective when you take them after a missed period. But how do you know when its time to pee on a stick?
Pregnancy symptoms are different for everyone, and as the levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotropin rise, your symptoms may increase, says OBGYN Jessica Brown, MD. At four weeks, you may have a little bit of cramping, but classic symptoms like sore breasts, nausea and fatigue may not begin for six or seven weeks, she says.
So, how do you know if your symptoms point to pregnancy? Brown discusses some of the very first symptoms, along with how to ease the discomfort and the best time to take a pregnancy test.
When Does Implantation Bleeding Happen
Sometimes, as the embryo attaches, it causes a little bleeding. This usually happens about the time you would have your period. You may even confuse it with your period and not realize youâre pregnant. Implantation bleeding is normal and doesnât mean you or your baby will have problems.
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When To Call Your Doctor About Bleeding During Pregnancy
The answer to this is: always. If you’re experiencing any bleeding during pregnancy , call your doctor or midwife right away to be safe, as any vaginal bleeding during pregnancy can be a symptom of a larger problem. Even if there is nothing to worry about, consulting your health provider can still give you reassurance and prepare you for the next steps.
When you do call your doctor, be prepared to answer detailed questions about the amount of blood you’ve lost, its color and consistency, and a description of how you’re feeling overall, advises Laura Riley, M.D., author of Pregnancy: Your Ultimate Week-by-Week Pregnancy Guide. Your doctor will decide whether there’s a cause for concern.
Questions You May Be Asked
Bleeding early in pregnancy isn’t normal. But it is common. If youve seen any bleeding, you may be concerned. But keep in mind that bleeding alone doesnt mean something is wrong. Just be sure to call your healthcare provider right away. They may ask you questions like these to help find the cause of your bleeding:
When did your bleeding start?
Is your bleeding very light or is it like a period?
Is the blood bright red or brownish?
Have you had sex recently?
Have you had pain or cramping?
Have you felt dizzy or faint?
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