Is It Implantation Bleeding, Spotting, or Menstrual Period? Know the Difference

4 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

implantation bleeding or menstrual period

When compared to the bleeding that occurs during your period, implant bleeding is very light. Blood volume and color may be the most noticeable difference. What does implantation bleeding look like, exactly? A few specks of blood on your underwear, not even enough to stain a panty liner, are the most common symptom of implantation bleeding.

Brown or light pink bleeding is also possible during the process of implantation. However, there is no way to know for sure if any type of bleeding, no matter what color, is safe in the early stages of pregnancy. Make an appointment with your doctor if you’re concerned in any way. Implantation bleeding is considered one of the earliest pregnancy signs. But women tend to confuse this light spotting with their regular periods, and completely ignore what their body is trying to convey. So let’s understand the Difference Between Implantation Bleeding Spotting and the Menstrual Period more closely.

In This Article

What Is Implantation Bleeding?

After an egg gets fertilized by the sperm, it attaches itself to the interior lining of the uterus and marks the conception of the growth process. About this time, something called implantation bleeding occurs, as this movement of the egg may lead to slight bleeding. This is completely normal and happens in about 1/3 rd of pregnant women.

Signs Of Implantation Bleeding


As discussed, this implantation bleeding marks the beginning of the growth cycle and is considered to be one of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy. This usually begins a few days before the next menstrual cycle and thus many women may confuse it with menstrual blood. Therefore, to avoid confusion, look out for these signs of implantation bleeding,

  • Light cramping
  • Mood swings
  • Headache and nausea
  • Pink or brownish discharge
  • Spotting occurs

Is It Implantation Bleeding Or Menstrual Period Bleeding?

Since menstrual bleeding is so similar to implantation bleeding, one may easily get confused between the two. But it is necessary to identify the difference between this spotty blood and period flow.

One of the most obvious differences is the length of the period of bleeding, the color of the blood, and how heavy is the blood flow. Implantation bleeding is usually light, brownish in color, and doesn’t last for many days. As opposed to its period blood can be identified with the heavy flow on initial days, lasting for a span of 4-7 days, and is generally dark red in color.

When Does Implantation Bleeding And Period Occur?

As already explained, soon after insemination, the embryo attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. And this process may break several blood vessels which may result in bleeding. This entire process takes around 10- 12 days after ovulation.

Now, the menstrual period occurs 14 days after ovulation and that is why there are very high chances of one getting confused between implantation bleeding and periods. And this light pink spotting on the 22-25th day may make women think that their menstrual has just gotten early at that time.

But observant women will soon understand that this light pink spotting is a little awkward. Because usually, women know their flow and the color of the menstrual blood, and until and unless they are on some medication, that would not change. So, observing the difference can be easily spotted.

Difference Between Implantation Bleeding Spotting And Menstrual Period

Difference Between Implantation Bleeding Spotting And Menstrual Period

As mentioned, on looking carefully one may easily spot the difference between implantation bleeding and menstrual bleeding. So, let us now see what differences to look out for,

1. Color

Color is one of the most important physical attributes that might help us in knowing the difference between the two. Now, as far as period bleeding is concerned, most women are aware of their own color of bleeding, light or dark, it is usually the same in all the period cycles.
But implantation bleeding may appear to be either pinkish or dark brown in color. The darker brown color is almost similar to the rust color as if the blood has aged.

Apart from that, menstrual blood commonly produces thick blood clots in the monthly flow, which is not in the case of implantation bleeding.

2. Time Period

For most normal women who are not on any sort of medication, menstrual bleeding will span for 4-7 days. Almost all the women, either start with a light spotting and then go to a much heavier flow or vice versa. Whatever may be the pattern, there is always a pattern of menstrual bleeding.

But in case of implantation bleeding, there is no fixed pattern, it will be either spotty or a light flow. Plus, it doesn’t even last for too long.

3. Severity Of The Cramps

Both menstrual bleeding and implantation bleeding will involve cramping. But the difference lies in the severity of the pain. Menstrual bleeding will usually cause more severe pain than implantation cramping, which is usually light and never increases in intensity.

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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