After sperm meets egg, the fertilized ova will begin its journey to the uterus. Once there, the egg will attach itself to the uterine wall. This attachment is referred to as implantation. Soon after implantation, the placenta forms to both protect and nourish the rapidly dividing cells. Implantation typically occurs about nine days after fertilization; the journey through the fallopian tube typically takes just over a week. While this process may occur without any signs or symptoms, other women may experience a wide variety. In fact, about 30% of women will experience some sort of signs like this. Let’s take a look at some of the common indicators of implantation.
- Light Bleeding Spotting may occur when the egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. It can be easy to mistake this light bleeding for the beginning of a period. It’s important to monitor the bleeding; if it remains light and quickly tapers off then its likely implantation bleeding. If it becomes heavier it may in fact be your menstrual cycle.
- Cramping Implantation can also cause mild cramping. The cramps would be similar to those experienced during your period. Cramps associated with implantation are usually mild; for intense cramping you should consider making an appointment with your healthcare provider.
- Fatigue Once your egg attaches to the uterus, your body immediately begins working overtime. You’re likely to experience fatigue within days of this occurring. If your sleeping schedule hasn’t changed and your daily routine is the same but you begin feeling extremely tired, this can be a good indication of the early stages of pregnancy.
- Mood Swings Some women begin experiencing mood swings very early in pregnancy due to the increasing hormone levels in their body. If you notice a shorter temper or that merely looking at a Kleenex can bring on tears, this may be because you’re an official mommy-to-be.
- Headaches Of all the implantation signs, this is the hardest to attribute to just implantation. Headaches can be caused by stress, diet, or any number of other factors. However, if you experience them in combination with any other symptoms, they may be a sign that you’re in the first few weeks of pregnancy.
Many of these signs can be difficult to distinguish from regular premenstrual symptoms. In fact, many of the signs and symptoms of implantation are nearly identical to PMS. There are only two real ways to determine if what you’re experiencing are signs of implantation: missing your period and/or taking a pregnancy test. If you experience these symptoms and then miss your period, you are likely to be pregnant. Home pregnancy tests are very accurate when used correctly. If you’re late, taking a home test two weeks after a missed period often returns accurate results. Waiting two weeks gives your body time to produce the hormone hCG, which pregnancy tests measure to determine pregnancy. The longer you wait past a missed period, the higher the levels of this hormone will be and the more likely the test will be able to identify it in your urine.