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    Implantation bleeding during early pregnancy: What is it and why does it happen?

    Updated 23 January 2023 |
    Published 09 November 2018
    Fact Checked
    Reviewed by Andrei Marhol, PhD, Flo lead medical advisor, Lithuania
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    Pregnancy implantation bleeding is a small amount of bleeding or light spotting that occurs about 10 to 14 days after fertilization. When it happens, most people don’t realize they are pregnant and may mistake implantation bleeding for a period.

    Implantation bleeding is a normal part of being pregnant. Implantation bleeding is usually light, stops spontaneously, and doesn’t need treatment. If you have concerns about any type of vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, visit a health care provider.

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    What does implantation bleeding look like?

    Implantation bleeding looks like light spotting that appears when you wipe. It may also look like a consistent, light flow of blood that needs a light pad or panty liner. The blood may look orange, pink, or brown. There are usually no clots in implantation bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy. It may last from a few hours up to several days.

    Implantation bleeding may occur in combination with the other signs of early pregnancy:

    • Mood swings
    • Breast tenderness
    • Fatigue
    • Abdominal bloating
    • Faint or light cramping (less severe than cramps during normal periods)

    Make sure to note the consistency, color, and frequency of any bleeding during early pregnancy, as well as any implantation bleeding signs and symptoms. It may be useful to share these details with a health care provider for a diagnosis.

    How heavy can implantation bleeding be?

    Implantation bleeding in early pregnancy is generally only a light spotting of blood that appears when you wipe or that needs a light pad or panty liner. It may also look like a light flow of blood, but it is different from the typical flow of normal periods. Typical implantation bleeding in the early stages of pregnancy is pink- or brown-colored discharge.

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    When does implantation bleeding happen?

    Implantation bleeding usually occurs 10 to 14 days after conception. It is an early symptom of pregnancy and generally happens when you are expecting your period. It can be easy to mistake light bleeding