Spotting symptoms of implantation can be one of the earliest ways to confirm a pregnancy. From conception to the first positive pregnancy test, your body goes through a remarkable transformation. Implantation is one of the most important steps.
When you’re hoping to get pregnant, it’s natural to constantly watch your body for any changes it undergoes. And when you begin to feel the onset of the first symptoms, it might just be the best feeling in the world, isn’t it?
If conception has been successful, you will begin noticing the first symptoms of implantation some days after ovulation. But remember, since there is no hard-and-fast timeline to the process and everybody works at their own pace, it’s possible that you won’t feel symptoms of implantation when you expect to.
Does the absence of symptoms indicate you’re not pregnant? No, don’t lose heart so quickly. Keep in mind that most women have no symptoms of implantation and may still be pregnant. Some women do experience symptoms like bleeding and cramping. But since these overlap with menstruation symptoms, differentiating between them can be maddening!
Some women do experience symptoms like bleeding and cramping. Implantation bleeding does not mean you are not pregnant. Also, the bleeding is not the same as during periods. It’s easy to confuse implantation bleeding with a period. Read the blog Implantation Bleeding vs Period to know the differences and figure out if you’re experiencing symptoms of implantation.
We know early pregnancy can be a time of much confusion. You’re desperately waiting to catch some signs since you are not sure whether you are pregnant or not. So, what is implantation, when does it occur and what are the symptoms of implantation?
What is implantation?
Implantation is one of the earliest processes that occur during pregnancy. After an egg and sperm cell unite to form a zygote, it travels down the fallopian tube. By the time it reaches the uterus, the zygote has transformed into a blastocyst, a ball of cells that continues to rapidly divide. This blastocyst then implants deep into the lining of your uterus, where it grows and remains there until delivery.
After the blastocyst is implanted, it starts releasing hormones to prepare your body for pregnancy. Due to these hormonal changes, you might start experiencing implantation symptoms.
When does implantation occur?
Usually, implantation takes place anywhere between six to ten days after ovulation. Ovulation occurs when an egg is released from either the left or right ovary, following which it lives for approximately 24 hours until fertilized. If it is not fertilized, the uterine lining is shed off and leads to menstrual bleeding.
Symptoms of Implantation: See the First Signs
Implantation symptoms are usually very subtle. So many women do not take notice of them, even if they are actively looking for signs of pregnancy. Moreover, since implantation happens close to the start of your next period, the symptoms may be mistaken for symptoms of your menstrual cycle. But, unlike periods, your body will produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone, and instead of showing PMS symptoms, you will experience symptoms of implantation.
Nonetheless, the most common symptoms include:
1. Implantation Bleeding
Women may experience some light spotting or bleeding after the fertilized egg implants into the uterus. Implantation bleeding occurs one to two weeks after conception and is considered an early sign of pregnancy. This is normal and does not need any medical intervention.
However, since implantation bleeding usually occurs around the same time that you would usually have your period – in the event that conception has not happened – you may confuse the bleeding with menstruation.
But, unlike periods, implantation bleeding usually stops after one or two days.
So if you see blood on your underwear two weeks after intercourse, don’t panic! It does not mean that conception didn’t occur. This could be implantation bleeding which is a positive sign of a successful pregnancy!
Implantation cramping occurs after a fertilized egg gets attached to the uterine lining. This process of attachment can cause the activation of prostaglandins, which are fat-based compounds in your body with hormone-like effects. They play a major role in reproductive functions like conception, menstruation, etc.
Prostaglandins are commonly associated with pain and inflammation. They cause your uterine muscles to tighten, resulting in cramping.
Like all other symptoms, there is no set standard for all expectant mothers. You may or may not have cramps during implantation. If you do, they will be mild to moderate. You might experience pricking or a slight tingling sensation, unlike intense period cramps.
If you experience painful cramping accompanied by symptoms like heavy bleeding or fever, consult your doctor immediately. This could be a sign of early miscarriage. Here’s how you can differentiate between miscarriage and a period.
As you approach ovulation, your cervical mucus becomes clear, stretchy, and slippery – resembling the consistency of egg whites. You probably already know that this is the ideal time during your cycle for intercourse if you are trying to conceive. If you are monitoring your cervical mucus, you may notice some changes around the time of implantation. The discharge following implantation tends to become thicker, gummier, and clear or white in color.
Tracking your discharge can be a convenient way to help you predict your time of ovulation. But you cannot always rely on your cervical mucus. A fertility monitor like Inito is a reliable tool that can precisely detect your fertile window and confirm your ovulation, increasing your chances of successful conception by 89%!
4. Tender Breasts
Post implantation there is a rise in the hCG, estrogen, and progesterone hormones. As your hormonal levels hike up, you may start to experience changes in your breast such as tenderness, enlarged breast size, soreness, or sensitivity.
The rise in your progesterone levels post-implantation can slow down your digestion, which contributes to nausea. This is a common symptom of pregnancy in the first trimester, which is referred to as ‘morning sickness.’ Although, it can happen at any time of the day. You could also notice changes in your appetite, such as aversion to food or smells that you previously used to enjoy.
Digestive changes caused post-implantation can also lead to increased bloating and gas release.
6. The Implantation Dip
To know what implantation dip is, you first need to understand how hormones affect your Basal Body Temperature (BBT). BBT is your body’s temperature at rest. You record your basal body temperature at its lowest point before any physical activity. BBT rises notably after ovulation. This temperature rise is caused by progesterone, which, as we mentioned, increases post-ovulation.
An implantation dip happens about a week after ovulation, showing a one-day fall in your BBT. The temperature rises back up again the next day. One must note, however, that an implantation dip is not a reliable indicator of positive pregnancy. Though its name suggests otherwise, an implantation dip may not always be caused by implantation. The BBT dips around a week after ovulation, and we know that implantation can typically take on an average at 6-10 DPO. This fluctuation in BBT can also happen if your period is about to begin. But, the temperature stays low when your periods begin.
Tracking your BBT, a process called ‘temping’, can be a great way to tune in to the changes your body is undergoing during its cycle. This works best if done over a considerable period of time, so you can take note of the trends over your past cycles.
Other signs and symptoms of implantation
- Food craving
- Mood swings
- Feeling dizzy
- Nasal congestion
FAQs on Symptoms of Implantation
Here, we answer some frequently asked questions about implantation and its symptoms.
Q. How soon can you experience symptoms of implantation?
A. Implantation usually happens eight to ten days after ovulation. But, it can occur as early as six days and as late as 12 days following ovulation.
Q. Does every woman experience implantation bleeding and cramping?
A. No, not every woman has implantation bleeding and/or cramps. However, it normally occurs 10 to 14 days following conception, around the time of a menstrual period. Because of the timing, it can be difficult for many women to tell if their symptoms are related to implantation or if they are experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Q. When do you need to see a doctor once you start experiencing symptoms of implantation?
A. It’s better to wait for at least 4-5 days before you make a visit to your doctor. Your doctor may advise a blood test to confirm pregnancy.
- Symptoms of implantation include light bleeding, cramping, bloating, nausea, breast tenderness, headaches, mood swings, and possibly a change in basal body temperature.
- While some women do experience symptoms of implantation, many have no signs at all and are in fact pregnant.
- Implantation is an early sign of pregnancy but can also be mistaken for periods.
- A positive at-home pregnancy test is the only way to confirm that you’re pregnant. If any of the above symptoms become severe, consult your doctor.
- What is Implantation Bleeding?. American Pregnancy Association. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-symptoms/what-is-implantation-bleeding/. Published 2022. Accessed March 22, 2022.
- Basal Body Temperature Method. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21065-basal-body-temperature#:~:text=The%20basal%20body%20temperature%20method,the%20month%20she%20is%20fertile. Published 2022. Accessed March 22, 2022.