A third of pregnant women experience implantation bleeding. This is the bloody discharge that is experienced when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine lining.
Why does implantation bleeding occur?
After being fertilized by a viable sperm, the egg will implant itself in the lining to the uterus, where it will start to grow into a fetus.
This lining of the uterus is composed of blood and nutrients, which lining periodically sheds itself as the monthly menstrual bleeding cycle when there is no fertilized egg there to prevent it’s shedding.
When the fertilized egg or the blastocyst implants itself into this blood rich endometrial lining of the uterus, there can sometimes be some discharge experienced by women, which is brownish or pinkish in color, which is known as implantation bleeding. This is due to some of the uterine lining getting dislodged by the implantation process.
How is implantation bleeding different from menstrual bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is a small quantity of discharge and is very different from regular menstrual bleeding.
Firstly it is more in the nature of spotting rather than actual bleeding, and secondly the color of the discharge can also be distinguished; since implantation bleeding is brownish or pinkish in color.
When does implantation bleeding happen?
The blastocyst forms by a process of fertilization of the egg by the sperm in the fallopian tube, and this small cluster of cells then travels outward to the uterus, where the blastocyst then implants itself in the endometrial lining.
This takes time, and the actual implantation takes place some 9 or so days after the woman’s ovulation, which is usually a few days before her period would have been due.
So often implantation bleeding could be confused with an earlier period. Conversely, it could also be the first sign that a woman may have of having fallen pregnant.
Should you worry about implantation bleeding?
In most cases implantation bleeding is nothing to worry about, and it does not affect the developing embryo. A third of all women who are pregnant experience it, and as long as the discharge is not accompanied by any backache or cramping there is no reason to worry.
If the discharge is not just spotting and the bleeding increases, then it is possible that a woman actually has got her period. So if there are other symptoms to indicate pregnancy together with implantation bleeding then a woman has a very good indication that she is indeed pregnant.