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

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.

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:

Find out if you are pregnant

Start the test
Illustrative picture of the questionnaire
In the last month, have you had sex without using a condom or other contraceptive method such as an IUD or implant?
  • Yes
  • No
Have you noticed any pink vaginal discharge lately?
  • Yes
  • No
Have you been nauseous or have you felt the urge to vomit in the morning?
  • Yes
  • No
Are you more sensitive to smells and/or are you unable to tolerate strong smells like cigarettes, or certain foods or perfumes?
  • Yes
  • No
Are you experiencing lower belly bloating that makes it hard to button-up your jeans?
  • Yes
  • No
Does your skin look oilier and more prone to acne?
  • Yes
  • No
Are you feeling more tired and sleepy?
  • Yes
  • No
Is your period over 5 days late?
  • Yes
  • No
Have you had a positive pregnancy test in the last 30 days (urine or blood test)?
  • Yes
  • No
Did you take a morning-after pill recently?
  • Yes
  • No

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Updated by Tua Saude editing team, on November of 2021.
Our team made up of medical doctors and health professionals from various fields such as nursing, nutrition, physiotherapy, clinical analysis and pharmacy.