Many experts regard implantation as the moment at which pregnancy begins. It is a moment that couples who are trying to have a baby strive for. The technicalities surrounding implantation and what has to occur to make it happen will be described later in this article. We will also look at Implantation symptoms and signs, and the tests that can be done to check for pregnancy. Furthermore, we will describe some of the side-effects associated with implantation, and the time over which you can expect it to take.

Symptoms

Implantation symptoms are quite specific but, due to their nature, they can be mistaken for the onset of the menstrual cycle. The best way to spot symptoms of implantation is to look for what is known as ‘spotting’- minor blood release – around one week prior to your expected period. It can also be associated with stomach cramps. However, these are not definite signs of pregnancy and can be associated with other conditions. This is why it is best to take a proper test. Furthermore some women become pregnant without showing any signs, and this is far from uncommon. In fact, it is considered quite rare to show any definite signs of implantation.

What Is Implantation?

Let’s describe the process that implantation takes in order that we can see how it occurs: for implantation to take place the egg must have been fertilised by the sperm. Following this, the fertilized egg attaches to the inner wall of the uterus, having travelled down the fallopian tube. This where it gains the vital oxygen and other essential nutrients that will allow it to develop. It is essential that the fertilised egg attaches correctly in order to progress into pregnancy.

How Long Does It Take?

The process of implantation –that is the fertilization of the egg and it attaching to the uterine wall – takes anywhere between seven to nine days. During this time it will have divided naturally several times. Implantation becomes a pregnancy at this point, assuming all is well with the woman carrying the egg.

When I Can Do The Test?

A pregnancy test can be taken after one week to nine days following intercourse. If you think you may be pregnant it is important that you determine whether you are, and you should see a doctor as soon as it is possible. Do not assume you are pregnant simply because you experience the symptoms described above. However, the following are also indications you may be pregnant:

  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen and tender breasts
  • Cravings for or aversions to certain food
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Constipation
  • Fainting and dizziness

Again, each and every one of these can be a sign of another condition, so a medical diagnosis for pregnancy is essential.

How Long Does Implantation Bleeding Last?

As we have said it is somewhat rare for a woman to experience bleeding as a result of implantation. Generally, however, it will occur for the week before you are expecting your next period. It is always worth having unexpected bleeding checked by a doctor.

What Does Implantation Bleeding Look Like?

Implantation bleeding is minor and will appear as small spots of blood on the underclothes. It may also be accompanied by a brown or yellow discharge. Again, it is to be stressed that it is not a common occurrence, and this sort of bleeding is not an automatic indication of implantation.

When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur?

Bleeding, if it does occur, will begin a week after intercourse, assuming the egg was fertilized and is attached to the uterine wall. It will not occur at all in most cases.

How Long Does Implantation Take?

To reiterate: if an egg has been fertilized during intercourse it will complete its journey and division down the fallopian tubes and attach to the inner wall of the uterus between seven and nine days afterwards.

We hope this article has helped you to understand the process of implantation, what it is and why it occurs, as well as how to spot the various symptoms. If you do think you may be pregnant, it is best to seek expert medical advice straight away.

Written By Melissa Robertson

Dr. Melissa Robertson, MD, is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and she currently practices gynecology in West Palm Beach, Florida. As a physician with the OB/GYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches, Dr. Robertson’s goal is to improve the overall health and welfare of women from adolescent through childbirth.