We’ve all heard about the possibility of having an implantation bleeding. When you have never had one, you might wonder what the differences are between an implantation bleeding and menstrual bleeding, and how you can tell the two apart.

Implantation bleeding occurs when a fertilized egg makes its way to the endometrium, the tissue that lines the uterus, and implants. It does not happen to every newly pregnant women – in fact, around one in three pregnant women have an implantation bleeding.

If you are experiencing bleeding, and are not sure whether it is a period or an implantation bleeding, the first thing to look at is the time in your cycle. Implantation bleeding or spotting happens before your period is due. A week to ten days after your ovulation is the most usual time for the implantation bleeding to happen.

For those with an irregular cycle or those who are simply not sure when their period is due, there is another key way of determining whether your bleeding is a period or an implantation bleeding. Menstrual bleeding tends to speed up soon after you first notice it. Unlike your period, an implantation bleeding literally consists of a few spots of blood. That is probably why it is also called spotting. If the bleeding is barely noticeable, the chances are that it was an implantation bleeding.

Most of the women who do get an implantation bleeding have no symptoms other than the bleeding itself, but if you do notice symptoms like cramping and tender breasts, that does not mean that your bleeding must be a period. Some women do have period-like symptoms with their implantation spotting. These are, in fact, very early pregnancy symptoms.

Ladies who are trying to conceive probably have a few pregnancy tests lying around the house. If you think you might have had an implantation bleeding, there is no harm in peeing on a stick and seeing whether your pregnancy test turns up positive. It does happen sometimes, even at this early stage.