The moment a sperm fertilizes your egg it becomes an embryo and starts dividing and growing. It starts to send out signals to your body of the impending pregnancy. This triggers a change in the walls of your uterus. The walls thicken and mature to a point where they can protect and nourish the embryo. Between the 6th and 12th week after fertilization, the embryo moves down the fallopian tubes and attaches to the walls of your uterus. This process of attachment can disrupt the tiny blood vessels in the area where it attaches, causing light bleeding. This is what is referred to as implantation bleeding. So, what’s it like? Let’s find out below.

Can Implantation Bleeding Be Heavy?

Many women do not experience implantation bleeding and if it does occur it’s extremely light. However, there is a chance that you might experience heavier and more intense implantation bleeding. This is in no way abnormal, but the bleeding should only last for a few days. If you experience heavy bleeding for longer than 4 days, you should consult your doctor as it could be a sign of vaginal infection, an ectopic pregnancy, or a miscarriage. The ovum is not very large so it only causes minimal damage to the blood vessels on the uterine walls. The blood is usually so little that it rarely flows out as it does during your regular period. You should also look out for the following signs:

  • Prolonged and heavy bleeding

  • Extended and recurrent bleeding along with regular periods

  • Fatigue, pain and light headedness

Differences Between Implantation Bleeding and Periods

Can implantation bleeding be heavy and how can I differentiate it from my regular period? Yes it can sometimes. Since it occurs before testing positive for pregnancy it is hard to know whether what you are experiencing is regular spotting or implantation bleeding. Unfortunately, there is no clear cut way to differentiate the two. However you should look out for the signs in the table below.

Implantation Bleeding



Bleeding is light and minimal. You might only need to wear panty liner. Bleeding is often single spot or inconsistent spotting.

The blood will appear brown or pink and might get darker with time. There is a chance that the bleeding might appear darker than your normal period due to the time taken for the blood to move from the uterus through the vagina.

Blood from your regular period is usually red and tends to get darker and heavier with time.


Usually no symptoms. However you might experience some cramping, nausea, swollen breasts, bloating, increased body temperature and tender breasts. You might also experience symptoms associated with pregnancy such as increased urination, increased sensitivity to smell and fatigue.

Cramping and related symptoms.


Usually occurs 10 to 14 days after conception.

May be regular or irregular. You can make a chart for better record.


Characterized by spotting and on and off bleeding for up to 3 days.

Continues throughout the duration of the menstrual period.

What to Do When In Doubt

Can implantation bleeding be heavy? Yes it can. If you are not sure whether what you are experiencing is implantation or menstrual bleeding, you might want to pay close attention to the duration, timing and nature of the bleeding. Take a pregnancy test or blood test to determine whether you’re expecting a baby. Talk to your doctor if you have any unusual symptoms.


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