Period or Early Pregnancy Bleeding?
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When a woman is trying to get pregnant, it can sometimes be confusing as to whether or not she is suffering from her regular period, or from early pregnancy bleeding, also known as implantation bleeding. Read on for more info about how to tell one from the other.
1. Implantation Bleeding
About one third of all pregnant women will experience implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding occurs when the fertilized egg burrows into the uterine wall. This can cause light cramps and spotting in some women.
If you are in fact experiencing implantation bleeding, it will come before your period is due, and will be brownish or light pinkish in color. With implantation bleeding, there are usually no other symptoms like breast tenderness, fatigue or moodiness. Implantation bleeding does not have nearly as much blood as a regular period, and will only usually last a day or two.
2. Menstrual Period
Most women are able to easily tell the difference between implantation bleeding and their regular period. A regular menstrual period (usually) comes at the same time every month, and usually lasts between 4-7 days. The blood from a normal menstrual period is usually dark red or bright red.
A normal menstrual period can be accompanied by normal PMS symptoms including mood swings, food cravings, bloating, breast tenderness and cramps. Most women are easily able to distinguish implantation bleeding from a normal menstrual period because implantation bleeding is much “milder”.
3. How to Know
If you still have questions about whether or not you are experiencing implantation bleeding or a normal menstrual period, it is probably time to find out for sure. You can take a home pregnancy test, but remember you will have to wait for the first day of your missed period to get an accurate result.
You can test earlier, but remember there is a chance that the results won’t be accurate if you test too soon. If you can not get an accurate result from a home pregnancy test, remember that you can always go to your doctor to get a test done there.
4. What to Remember
If you think that you are experiencing implantation bleeding, but it continues to get heavier and darker, you might be experiencing something else. Any bleeding that doesn’t stop, gets heavier, darker, is accompanied by severe cramps or back pain might possibly be a sign of a miscarriage.
About half the time, bleeding during pregnancy can be indicative of a miscarriage. See a doctor right away if your bleeding progresses to the point that you think it might be miscarriage.
Dr. Lynette Weiss is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician and Scientific Director. She is certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.