After the egg has been fertilised, it will travel to the uterus and ‘plant’ itself into the lining of your uterus. Some women may experience slight bleeding or spotting when this happens. This is called implantation bleeding or spotting.
Although not all women experience implantation bleeding, it is quite common with up to 30% of women noticing a small amount of blood either when they go to the toilet or in their underwear.
Implantation bleeding can sometimes be confused with an early period. On average an implantation bleed will happen 9 days after ovulation and fertilisation, although some women may experience implantation as early as 6 days after or as late as 12 days afterwards, this is still slightly earlier than you would expect your regular period. Implantation bleeding does not look like a regular menstrual period as the bleeding is short and light and normally pink or brown in colour. Periods also usually start slow and get stronger whereas implantation bleeding tends to fade away quite quickly. However, it can still be a confusing and frustrating time for you especially if you are actively trying for a baby and you may just need to wait and take a pregnancy test to determine if you are pregnant or not. If you have tested early with a home pregnancy test and got a postitive result, there is also the worry that it could be the beginning of a miscarriage, which can be very stressful.
A small percentage of women say that they have slight cramps during the time of implantation but most women do not experience any other body changes at this time.
by Jenny, mum to William and James