Understanding Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding is a pink or brown vaginal discharge that generally occurs six to 12 days after ovulation and fertilization. Most women do not experience implantation bleeding, and doctors suggest that just 1/3 pregnant women will report any such discharge at or around the time they find out they are pregnant. The discharge occurs when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, which is why it is referred to as implantation bleeding.

Usually, you can test for pregnancy and get an accurate result right around the time that you experience implantation bleeding, though your hcg levels may not be high enough to register a positive until 2 or 3 days after implantation.


Many women get scared when they see implantation bleeding or assume that they must not be pregnant because it looks like period blood. Cramping, backache, or increased bleeding does not usually accompany implantation bleeding. For most women, implantation bleeding is simply a bit of brown or pink colored discharge mixed in with a clear discharge.


If you have already confirmed your pregnancy and it is more than 10 days since fertilization, you probably will not see the implantation bleeding, so if you see blood you should call your doctor and follow his or her instructions carefully as you could be experiencing a miscarriage.

If you do believe you are experiencing implantation bleeding, you can go ahead and test for pregnancy like you normally would. Many women assume that the blood will affect the results of a standard home pregnancy test, but this is not the case. If there is hCG present in your urine, a home pregnancy test may show a positive result.

If there is no hCG present in the urine, it will come back negative. Because your urine and the bloody discharge come from different parts of the body, the small amount of implantation bleeding will not skew the results of your test. If for some reason the test is negative but you do not continue to bleed as you would with your period, test in 2-3 days to give you body time to produce a high enough level of hCG to be picked up by your test.

If you still have not started your period within a week and you do not get a positive test result, you may want to contact your doctor and ask her how you should proceed as he or she may want you to have a blood test done to determine if you are pregnant.

Luckily, because most women do not experience implantation bleeding, there is no need to concern yourself with this. If you are worried that you did not experience this bleeding because your friend did, don’t assume that there is something wrong with your pregnancy. Whether or not a woman experiences implantation bleeding doesn’t seem to affect the outcome or overall health of a pregnancy, so as long as the bleeding is just a little bit or you don’t bleed at all, implantation bleeding need not be a concern to you!