Implantation Bleeding: What it Looks Like & How Long it Lasts

Updated in November 2021

Implantation bleeding can occur about 5 to 7 days after fertlization of the egg. The bleeding is usually light, lasting for only a few hours, and ranges from light pink to brown in color. Not all women experience implantation bleeding, therefore it is important to be aware of other signs of pregnancy, like bloating, mild abdominal pain or abdominal tingling. 

Implantation refers to the attachment of the egg (already fertlized by the sperm) to the uterine lining, which signals the start of pregnancy. It is following implantation that hormonal changes will occur and the fertlized egg will develop into an embryo.

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What implantation bleeding looks like

Implantation bleeding will occur following ovulation, as long as there has been sexual intercourse. This bleeding is usually light and its color can vary from dark maroon (like coffee grounds) to light pink. It usually occurs 5 to 7 days after fertilization.

In addition to bleeding, you may also have other signs and symptoms that can suggest implantation, like mild gas pain and abdominal tingling. These symptoms can last for around 3 days and can be considered to be the first symptoms of pregnancy.

Implantation bleeding vs. period - what's the difference?

Menstruation, or a period, is characterized by heavier bleeding and bright red blood (in the first days of your cycle) that lasts for about 5 days. In some women, a period can also be accompanied by clots. Implantation bleeding, on the other hand, is not heavy, lasts for just a few hours, and is different in color (usually light pink to dark maroon like coffee grounds).

How long it lasts

When implantation bleeding occurs, it can last from hours to up to 3 days. Blood flow is not heavy, nor does it increase. Bloating and tingling in the belly can also last for up to 3 days. If these symptoms are very intense, if they last for more than 3 days, or if bleeding is bright red, heavy and not period-related. you should see your doctor or gynecologist for assessment. They will examine you to determine a diagnosis and indicate treatment as necessary.

If symptoms disappear in 3 days, there is a good possibility that you could be pregnant. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor or gynecologist so that you can do a blood test to assess your beta-HCG levels. This hormone will be positive in the blood in the presence of pregnancy.

If you have any of the symptoms of implantation bleeding, complete our test below to assess your probability of pregnancy: