How Long After Implantation Symptoms

Implantation symptoms in your body can occur between 6-12 days after fertilization. Early signs and symptoms include implantation bleeding or cramps, which can occur 5–6 days after the sperm fertilizes the egg. Other early symptoms include breast tenderness and mood changes.

Implantation bleeding or cramps, which can occur 5–6 days after the sperm fertilizes the egg, are easily confused with an oncoming period. For this reason, early pregnancy symptoms may be overlooked. Other early symptoms include breast tenderness and mood changes.

Implantation occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of a woman’s uterus. After implantation, the developing placenta and embryonic sac produce human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), much like the corpus luteum does. Implantation bleeding or cramping can occur about a week after conception, which could be easily confused with your planned menstrual period. Many women believe they have an instinct about pregnancy signs.

Implantation, the process of attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus, can cause different symptoms. Some women may experience cramping and low back pain after implantation, but many do not. A menstrual period is considered late if it hasn’t started 5 or more days after the day you expected it to start. Waiting for one or two weeks after you miss your period is usually a good idea before taking a home pregnancy test. This allows time for hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels to build up in your body and be detectable in your urine.

Early pregnancy symptoms: Implantation. Sore breasts, back pain, heightened sense of smell and more early signs of pregnancy.

If you experience mild cramping and spotting around the time your period would normally be due, it is possible that you are pregnant. It is also known as implantation bleeding and can last from a few hours to a few days.

When trying to conceive, people pay extra attention to their body, hoping to discover symptoms of implantation. “Implantation is when a fertilized egg implants itself into the lining of the uterus and starts to construct the placenta and embryo,” says Jingwen Hou, M.D., Ph.D., an OB-GYN specializing in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Kaiser Permanente in Hawaii. Implantation usually occurs one to two weeks after ovulation, and it signals the beginning of a pregnancy.

Can women tell when implantation occurs? The short answer is no. “We don’t usually talk about symptoms of implantation. Rather, we talk about early pregnancy symptoms,” says Dr. Hou. “There is no single symptom or symptoms indicating that implantation is about to or is happening.” 

That said, Dr. Hou explains that some women may experience minor bleeding or spotting, which may be related to implantation. Here’s what you need to know about the most common signs of implantation, and what they tell you about conception.

Implantation symptoms

Indications that implantation has happened can include bleeding and cramping.

Implantation bleeding is spotting or light bleeding that takes place about 1–2 weeks after fertilization. It is usually short-lived and lighter than a normal period. The blood is often paler than menstrual blood or can be a rusty brown.

There has been little research about implantation cramping, but it may affect the lower abdomen or back and feel like:

  • light pulling
  • tingling
  • pricking

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Other early pregnancy symptoms

Early pregnancy can cause additional symptoms, which may start a short time after implantation and continue for the first trimester and sometimes beyond. They can include:

  • tiredness
  • feeling very emotional
  • nausea
  • vomiting, especially in the mornings, often from around 6–9 weeks
  • a headache
  • heartburn
  • having enlarged or tender breasts, sometimes with the nipples sticking out
  • needing to pee more frequently
  • constipation
  • a strange taste in the mouth
  • food cravings and aversions
  • changes in weight

Some pregnant people experience many of these symptoms, while others experience none.

Implantation timeline

A timeline of implantation and early pregnancy includes the following events, based on a 28-day menstrual cycle:

Other causes of similar symptoms

The following symptoms can indicate implantation, but they can also have very different causes, including pregnancy loss.

Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding occurs during 15–25% of early pregnancies, according to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It can be a sign of implantation, but it can instead point to:

  • a miscarriage
  • an ectopic pregnancy
  • bleeding from the cervix, due to increased blood flow to the area
  • an infection

Also, bleeding sometimes happens due to a pelvic examination, sex, or a Pap smear.

Cramping

Cramping or lower back pain can indicate implantation, but it can also occur with early pregnancy loss.

Because pregnancy tests are now so sensitive, some people know when they have experienced a very early pregnancy loss, known as a chemical pregnancy. The loss occurs at just around 5 weeks.

Also, a person might confuse implantation bleeding and cramping with a period, though any symptoms of implantation usually take place a week or so before a period is due.

Often, light bleeding, spotting, and cramping in early pregnancy resolve with no problems.

However, anyone experiencing bleeding or more serious pain should consult a doctor. These may be, for example, symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, which is a medical emergency.

In addition, pregnant people with rhesus-negative blood may need an injection of rhesus immune globulin after any bleeding, to prevent the fetus from developing health issues such as hemolytic anemia, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteTrusted Source.

When to take a pregnancy test

Home pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in urine.

The pregnant body starts producing this hormone before implantationTrusted Source. Levels in the blood and urine double about every 24 hours Trusted Sourcefor 8 weeks, peaking at about 10 weeks.

Home pregnancy tests can detect hCG in the urine about 12–15 daysTrusted Source after ovulation, in people with 28-day menstrual cycles.

A positive pregnancy test result may be possible on the day a missed period is due. However, the tests are not so reliable that a negative result at this stage definitely means that the person is not pregnant.

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry suggest that in this case, a person should test again about 10 days after the period was due.MEDICAL NEWS TODAY NEWSLETTERKnowledge is power. Get our free daily newsletter.

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Summary

Implantation is a complex process essential to the establishment of a pregnancy.

It is sometimes accompanied by spotting or light bleeding, and the blood may be pale pink or rusty brown. Some people experience cramping.

However, bleeding and cramping can indicate a range of issues, including pregnancy loss, and are not a reliable indicator of implantation.

For greater certainty, use a home pregnancy test at least 10 days after a missed period, though some tests can detect pregnancy earlier, on the first day a period was due.

48 Hours After Conception Symptoms

About 50 percent of pregnant women have some symptoms by the time they are 6 weeks along, and 90 percent have symptoms by the time they are 8 weeks. The most common is fatigue; this is due to soaring levels of pregnancy hormones as well as a rapid expansion in blood volume. The first trimester also brings on morning sickness, which can strike at any time of day. (Another reason for fatigue.)

As soon as a woman becomes pregnant, her body begins the amazing process of creating a life. It takes about six days for the fertilized egg to be implanted in the uterine lining and begin developing. But it can take several months for women to figure out that they’re pregnant. In fact, many women don’t know they’re pregnant until they miss their period. By that time, she is 6 weeks into her pregnancy — just two weeks after her period was late.

An egg is fertilized by a sperm in one of the two fallopian tubes. These connect the uterus with the ovaries, which sit to either side.

The fertilized egg is called a zygote, and it travels down the tube toward the uterus. As it moves, it divides and grows, becoming a multicellular structure called a blastocyst.

The first stage of implantation occurs when the blastocyst attaches to the lining of the uterus, a mucous membrane called the endometrium. The blastocyst then buries itself in the uterine wall.

Timing

Implantation is a complex process with a brief window — it happens about 6–10 daysTrusted Source after ovulation.

One factor influencing the timing is that the endometrium changes, thickening and shedding, throughout the menstrual cycle. It is only receptive to a blastocyst for a few days in each cycle.

Even if the timing is right, implantation may not happen. According to researchersTrusted Source, a lack of implantation is a common cause of early pregnancy loss.

Implantation Bleeding

“Some women may have a small amount of spotting or bleeding approximately 10 to 14 days after fertilization, and it’s presumed to be related to implantation,” says Dr. Hou. “We don’t have a good study showing how common it is, but based on different reports, implantation bleeding occurs with 10 to 30 percent of pregnancies.”

Implantation bleeding happens when the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterus, causing the uterine lining to shed from irritation. It usually lasts one to three days, and it occurs one week before your period or around the time of your normal period. Because of this, many women think they’re simply experiencing early or light menstruation. How can you tell the difference? Unlike red menstrual bleeding, implantation bleeding is usually light pink or brown. The flow should be light, and it doesn’t get heavier like a normal period.

woman holding pregnancy test

CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

Implantation Cramps

Can you feel implantation? Although the answer is no, Dr. Hou says some women experience minor cramps around when the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterus —”but we are not clear if that’s related to implantation,” she says. Cramping often happens near the same time as implantation bleeding and feels similar to menstrual cramps. They typically come and go in your lower abdomen or lower back.

Other Implantation Signs and Symptoms

According to Dr. Chloe Acevedo, an OB-GYN at Atlantic Medical Group Women’s Health in Westfield, New Jersey, other implantation symptoms include nausea, sore boobs, darkening of the areolas, fatigue, headaches, bloating, mood swings, metallic taste, and changes in appetite—although these symptoms are more closely associated with early pregnancy. What’s more, “implantation symptoms can sometimes be confused with PMS symptoms, which can be vague and nonspecific,” says Dr. Acevedo. “It’s important to understand that symptoms are not diagnostic and the only way to confirm if symptoms are due to implantation or PMS is with a pregnancy test.”

Sore Boobs: The pregnancy hormone hCG, estrogen, and progesterone may make your boobs very sensitive to the touch. This happens 1-2 weeks after conception, and it’ll feel more pronounced than normal PMS soreness.

Nausea: Since your digestive system slows down after getting pregnant, some women experience nausea, constipation, and indigestion (although full-fledged morning sickness is still a few weeks away). Progesterone and hCG hormones also contribute to these conception symptoms—and so does the heightened sense of smell that many pregnant women experience.

Darkening of the Areolas: Pregnancy hormones affect nipple cells (called melanocytes) and cause them to darken.

Fatigue: As your body prepares to grow a baby, you may feel more tired than normal. You can partly blame fatigue on the rise of progesterone and increased blood production.

Headaches: Are you experiencing tension headaches even though you aren’t prone to them? Increased blood volume and surging hormones may be the culprits.

Bloating: Unfortunately for your skin-tight jeans, rising progesterone levels can bloat your stomach—similar to what you might experience during PMS.

Mood Swings: Just like some people get emotional before their period, they might feel extra moody after implantation due to pregnancy hormones.

Metallic Taste: Thanks to rising levels of estrogen, women may notice a bitterly metallic taste in their mouths following conception, says Dr. Acevedo.

Changes in Appetite: It’s not uncommon to have a shift in your taste preferences after getting pregnant, whether you’re suddenly adverse to coffee, your favorite dessert, or something else.

I’m Having Implantation Symptoms—Now What?

What should you do if you experience bleeding, cramping, nausea, sore boobs, or other implantation symptoms? “You can take a home pregnancy test,” says Dr. Hou. But since implantation happens one or two weeks after ovulation, it may be too early to get an accurate reading. It’s better to wait about a week after implantation when levels of the hCG will be high enough to detect.

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