What Babyexpert's doctor says…
“Implantation bleeding (also known as spotting) usually lasts for a couple of days but every woman is different, so how long it lasts can vary. Sometimes it’s less than a day, occasionally it’s longer than a couple of days,” says Dr Rob Hicks.
“It’s believed to occur when the fertiised egg attaches to the womb lining. The bleeding is usually lighter than a period, and also happens before the time a period would normally have come,” adds Rob.
“If you have any concerns about bleeding whilst pregnant, then seek the advice of your doctor or midwife.”
What is implantation bleeding?
Implantation bleeding is when the blastocyte (what the ball of cells is called before it becomes an embryo) implants itself into the lining of your womb. It can cause irritation and movement to the lining, which you’ll notice as spotting in your knickers, and you may even experience slight cramping or soreness. It occurs at around four weeks of pregnancy, which is why many mums-to-be sometimes mistake it for menstruation.
What does it look like?
Your spotting won't be red but brown or black in colour as the blood won't be fresh. It’ll be lighter than a normal period and should happen around the week before you would expect your period. If the blood turns deep red or becomes heavy, speak to your midwife or GP as soon as possible.
How long does it last?
The bleeding should only last for one or two days, but every woman is different. Occasionally mums-to-be can continue to have a light period for the first month or two after they get pregnant, so it’s worth taking a pregnancy test around the time your first period is due. If the bleeding becomes painful or particularly uncomfortable, you should seek out medical advice.
Does every mum-to-be experience it?
Not everyone. Only a third of pregnant women notice implantation bleeding, but if you haven’t had any spotting, if doesn’t mean you’re not pregnant.
Our mums' experiences
“I wouldn’t worry about your bleeding unless it gets painful. I had an implantation bleed and it literally lasted a day, but everyone is different”
“My first pregnancy I had implantation bleeding for five days, and during my second pregnancy it lasted only a few hours”
“I had bleeding for three days and at first I thought it was my period coming. I started to suspect I was pregnant when I didn’t get cramps or anything, and the blood was brown in colour"
“I experienced spotting with one of my children (I have four), and it was a very odd experience. It seemed to start off quite red, fade to pink and then to brown, and I had some light stomach cramps”
For more mum stories, log onto our implantation bleeding forum.
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