Implantation Bleeding: How to Know You’re Truly Pregnant

March 24, 2024

Are you having implantation bleeding or is that spotting? In this post we’ll talk about preimplantation bleeding, how many pregnancies fail at implantation, what causes implantation to fail, the 4 stages of implantation.

What is Preimplantation Bleeding?

Preimplantation bleeding, commonly mistaken as a light period, is slight bleeding or spotting that occurs in a woman’s early pregnancy stage.

It happens approximately six to 12 days after conception when the fertilized egg attaches to the lining of a woman’s uterus.

implantation bleeding

This attachment can cause slight bleeding, which may also be accompanied by mild cramps.

It’s important to note that not every woman will experience preimplantation bleeding.

In fact, only about 15-25% of pregnant women will notice this early pregnancy symptom.

Here’s a table outlining some features that may help in understanding if you’re experiencing implantation bleeding:

TimingTypically occurs around 6-12 days after ovulation, just before your expected period
DurationUsually brief, lasting only 1-2 days, as opposed to a regular menstrual period which lasts longer
Amount of bleedingLight spotting, often pink or brown in color, rather than a heavier flow
ConsistencyOften lighter and more watery than menstrual blood, sometimes described as “streaky” or “spotty”
Associated symptomsMay be accompanied by mild cramping or abdominal discomfort
Timing of other symptomsImplantation bleeding may coincide with other early pregnancy symptoms such as breast tenderness or fatigue

If you suspect you may be pregnant or have concerns about bleeding, it’s always best to consult with your gynecologist.

How Many Pregnancies Fail at Implantation?

Pregnancy loss at the implantation stage is surprisingly common; however, it often goes unnoticed since it occurs before a woman realizes she’s pregnant.

Approximately 50-75% of all miscarriages happen in this early stage due to failed implantation.

In most cases, the woman’s body naturally eliminates the fertilized egg during her menstrual cycle, mistaking it for a regular period.

Pregnancy loss at the implantation stage is usually due to chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilized egg, which prevent it from developing into a healthy embryo.

It’s crucial to remember that these losses are inadvertent and are not a result of anything the woman did or didn’t do.

What Causes Implantation to Fail?

Implantation can fail due to multiple reasons, with the most common one being chromosomal abnormalities in the embryo.

These abnormalities prevent the embryo from attaching to the uterine wall or cause it to detach after initial implantation.

Another contributing factor to failed implantation is the condition of the uterus.

Conditions like fibroids, polyps, or a misshapen uterus can interfere with successful implantation.

Hormonal imbalances such as inadequate progesterone levels, known as luteal phase defect, can also cause implantation failure.

What are the 4 Stages of Implantation?

The process of implantation happens in four stages.

The first stage is known as ‘Apposition,’ where the blastocyst (a ball of cells) aligns itself with the endometrial epithelium, the lining of the uterus.

This step ensures that the embryo is in the right place for implantation.

The second stage, ‘Adhesion,’ involves the blastocyst firmly attaching to the lining of the uterus.

In the third stage, ‘Invasion,’ the blastocyst burrows deeper into the uterine lining, prompting the body to begin producing the hormone known as human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).

The fourth and final stage, ‘Endometrial Reaction,’ sees the uterus beginning to prepare for pregnancy by thickening its lining to provide a supportive environment for the growing embryo.

How do you Deal with IVF Loss?

Experiencing a loss after IVF can be emotionally devastating. It’s crucial to allow yourself time to grieve and process your feelings. Speaking to a counselor or joining a support group can help you cope with the loss.

Remember, experiencing an IVF loss does not mean you can never conceive. Many women go on to have successful pregnancies after experiencing one or more IVF failures. Consult with your fertility specialist about your options moving forward, which could include trying another round of IVF or exploring different treatments.

Is Failed IVF a Loss?

It’s essential to understand that a failed IVF cycle indeed represents a loss. It’s a loss of hope, time, and, often, significant financial investment, and it’s perfectly normal to grieve this loss. Do not hesitate to seek help and support during this difficult time.

Remember, at Parentalife, we are here to support you throughout your journey. Through our guides, courses, and personalized consultancy, we strive to provide resources that will help you on your path to parenthood.

We are with you.

We at Parentalife want to support you throughout the pregnancy and life with kids. We do it with consultancies and courses. If you wish to contact us, don’t hesitate!


Khaskheli M, Baloch S, Baloch AS, Shah SGS. Vaginal discharge during pregnancy and associated adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes. Pak J Med Sci. 2021 Sep-Oct;37(5):1302-1308. doi: 10.12669/pjms.37.5.4187. PMID: 34475902; PMCID: PMC8377920.

About the Author

Severino Cirillo

Health, Wellness and Education Expert. With a degree in Community Health, he is the CEO of Informed Parent and is responsible for validating the blog's scientific information and coordinating the editorial team of experts, consisting of gynecologists, midwives, psychotherapists, and others in pregnancy, perinatal, and parenting wellness and health.