Can Implantation Bleeding Be Heavy And Be Like Period?

Can Implantation Bleeding Be Heavy And Be Like Period

Last updated on May 1st, 2019 at 05:11 pm

Question: Can implantation bleeding be heavy and be like period?

When you are trying to conceive, it’s natural to observe slight body changes – increased breast size, breast tenderness, feeling like throwing up, nipple itching, food aversion, and light belly cramps.

Most of these symptoms may develop after missing your period.

So, is there any quick way to tell if you could be pregnant?

Implantation bleeding is another way you can tell if you are pregnant even before period arrives.

If you could identify implantation spotting, it gives you a clue if you should test for pregnancy or not.

But it’s not that easy.

First of all, implantation bleeding can easily be confused with your menstrual period. And secondly, there are other reasons you could experience vaginal spotting.

Therefore, if you are not certain your bleeding is due to pregnancy, you should take a pregnancy test.

This article explains

  • The meaning of implantation bleeding
  • Can implantation bleeding be heavy like your period?
  • How to distinguish implantation bleeding from your menstrual period


What is implantation bleeding?

Women who are trying to conceive may experience a slight gush of blood on their panties while expecting their next period.

After sexual intercourse, sperm moves through your uterus to the fallopian tube where it fuses (fertilize) the egg released during ovulation.

The fertilized egg (embryo) will be conveyed back into the body of the uterus. This process will take some time, though, in most women, implantation will occur 6 – 12 days after fertilization.

Within the uterus, the embryo begins to dig into the endometrium, resulting in implantation bleeding.

Implantation bleeding color is black, dark or brownish. This may come out as brown or black discharge in some women after blood mixes up with your vaginal discharge.

Implantation bleeding is light spotting and lasts for a few days. Within 2 – 4 days, bleeding should have stopped with some pregnancy symptoms already becoming apparent.


Can implantation bleeding be heavy and be like period?

The chances you have implantation spotting increases if you’ve had intercourse at the right time. The most fertile time for a woman to conceive is the fertile window that is about five days from ovulation and a day after.

If you’ve had intercourse at this time and you’re sure your period is regular, an early light bleeding may signify pregnancy and occurs because your baby has successfully been implanted into the uterine endometrium.

While it’s uncommon for women to have heavy implantation bleeding, it rarely occurs and could be confused as period or a miscarriage.

From research, a lot of women (more than 30 – 50%) will miscarry even before knowing they are pregnant. The only sign of pregnancy is a positive urine or blood pregnancy test.

This is known as a chemical pregnancy and could be confused as a heavy implantation bleeding.



Is it implantation bleeding or period?

If you do not understand your signs of a period coming, you may confuse heavy implantation bleeding with your period. Here are some ways to differentiate period from implantation.

1.  Timing

Remember that if your period is regular, you can tell the next time your period will start..

Before period starts, most women will begin noticing some signs that period is coming. Some women will experience mood swing, breast pain, low concentration and acne on the face.

Usually, a lot of women will start to get cramps before period starts. If you are already having these symptoms 1 or 2 days before your period, its likely period coming.

On the other hand, if you notice light vaginal bleeding days or a week before period, it may indicate implantation bleeding.

2.  The color

Implantation bleeding usually does not come out from the uterus in time. It may take hours or days for implantation blood to show up.

This causes red oxygenated blood to become brownish or dark. If you experience light spotting that is brownish or dark it a sign you are pregnant

On the other hand, menstrual period is bright red, and you may get clots too if the flow is fast.

3. The flow

Usually, during menstruation, women will experience continuous flow for five to seven days. This will be accompanied by severe abdominal cramps, which improves as period ends.

During implantation, cramps are mild, and flow is intermittent. You will notice light spotting that is on and off. If you have a heavy implantation bleeding, it will quickly start getting light and stop by day 4.


Is it implantation bleeding or a miscarriage?

If your experience pregnancy signs and now have heavy bleeding, it’s possible heavy vaginal bleeding could be due to a miscarriage.

This can easily occur if the embryo is not well attached to the endometrium, either due to genetic disorders or other causes listed here.

When a miscarriage occurs, women will likely have cramps, vaginal bleeding, and fading of pregnancy symptoms.

Blood from a miscarriage is usually heavy with blood clots and dark in color. Quite often, it possible to see fetal tissues. However, this occurs if your pregnancy has passed six weeks ( 2 weeks after missing your period).


What steps to take?

If you are not sure if your heavy bleeding before your period is due to pregnancy, it’s important you inform your doctor. Remember that heavy implantation bleeding rarely occurs, and if the flow is consistent its likely your period.

It’s possible for women to get their period early; this guide explains causes of the early period.

Also, spotting before period may still be due to drugs you’ve taken, uterine fibroid or other reasons listed here.

It’s important you also check for pregnancy. Most pregnancy kits will not accurately confirm pregnancy a week before period. However, there is nothing wrong if you want to try.

First response pregnancy kit can help you if you can’t wait. This test kit is capable of determining if you’re pregnant or not five days before your period.

Nevertheless, if you test negative, you should reconfirm days after missing your period.


Still not sure if it’s implantation bleeding? Ask Us!!!

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  • MJ Reply

    Good day Dr. Dunn!

    I have a regular cycle, I know when will I have my period since I also record it using an app which calculates my next cycle as well. This month, my expected period was supposed to be on 14th or 15th but did missed it until Wednesday (July 19) that is 4-6days to be exact. Lately I am having some mild cramps, back aches and series of headaches along with being gassy. Tested last Tuesday but it was negative. Yesterday, (July 20) I noticed slight dark brown blood stains which was not a consistent flow the whole day. Until this morning, after peeing, the blood is still little in amount but I felt some and saw blood clots on my pad. Still have headache and mild cramps. Is this a sign of a rare implantation bleeding or is it really my period?

    Thank you for your help doc. Much appreciated.

    MJ, 25

    • Dr Dunn A. Reply

      I’m sorry to see you are really stressed out because of this.

      It’s unlikely to be implantation bleeding.


      It’s occurring after your period date (thought can happen if ovulation is delayed)
      Blood clots coming from your vagina (very rarely with implantation bleeding. It is usually light and dark)

      Recommended guides

      Hope this helps…

  • Ida Reply

    Hi doctor.. i havent booked an appointment to the doctor to confirm my pregnancy. Well i had a discharge.. a blood discharge without any clots. It looks like normal to me.. but im abit worried about it.. please advice.. thanks

  • Peace Reply

    Hey doc! I’m ttc, I usually have a regular period with clots, I had sxx with my husband during my fertile period and had all the signs of pregnancy now my period came as at when due but not too heavy and without clots compared to my normal period. Is just 2days normal bleeding and that’s it. What could be wrong?

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