What is Implantation?

Implantation can take anywhere between 4 and 12 days after ovulation. The process itself is lengthy beginning with the egg being released from a mature follicle at ovulation; hair-like cilia in the fallopian tubes push the egg up the tube and towards the uterus; if the timing is right, the released egg gets fertilized in the fallopian tube, upon which it begins its journey to the uterus. This can take up to 3 days and ends in the fertilized egg attaching to the uterine lining for its 38 week stay resulting in implantation. The fertilized egg is now considered an embryo. If all goes according to plan, you will be holding your bundle of joy in your arms in less than 9 months.

What are the common symptoms of Implantation?

Pregnancy_ImplantationWhile some women experience text book signs of implantation, there are others that feel nothing. Then there are others still that confuse these symptoms with those of premenstrual syndrome. One way to distinguish between the two is through a pregnancy test. It may take at least three days after implantation for a blood pregnancy test to read positive. A urine pregnancy test may take as long as week after implantation to yield accurate results. Some signs of implantation are:

1. Implantation bleeding or spotting

Some women experience bleeding or spotting during implantation. The site where the blastocyst attaches to the uterus invariably sheds uterine lining fragments which are often seen as dark or light red drops of blood. While some women may confuse this with the start of a menstrual period, implantation bleeding is scanty and does not last more than a day. So before you throw in the towel on this cycle, wait for a day and you’ll realize that you may not even have enough blood to soak a panty-liner. Implantation bleeding is reported by 1 in 4 pregnant women. This is when early pregnancy symptoms begin appearing.

2. Cramping

If you do not experience menstrual cramps usually, then cramping even before your period begins may be a sign that you are pregnant. It usually affects only one side of the body depending on the side of the uterus that the egg implants. This discomfort can last a few hours to a few days for some women and more so during certain times of the day.

3. Basal Body Temperature

If in the course of your journey of getting pregnant, you have been charting your basal body temperature, a noticeable drop in this temperature, approximately 5 days after ovulation signals implantation. This dip is attributed to a rise in progesterone at the time of implantation. However, it is followed by a steady rise in temperature that is maintained for the rest of the pregnancy.

While implantation may not be easy to confirm directly, a pregnancy test that is designed to pick up the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG may be performed as early as 5 days after implantation. However waiting at least 10 days after implantation can eliminate false negatives. Also, don’t you want to be sure before you spread the word?