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Is There Anything a Woman Can Do to Prevent Implantation Bleeding During Early Pregnancy?

Around one third of pregnant women experience some degree of implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding occurs as a result of the fertilized egg attaching itself to the lining of the uterus. This type of bleeding is generally very light and typically takes place around ten to fourteen days (although some sources say between six to twelve days) after conception. Many women have questions as to whether or not they can prevent implantation bleeding, and about whether or not it presents a danger to the pregnancy. Here we try to answer some of these questions and concerns.

What Exactly Happens During Implantation Bleeding?

After a female’s egg is fertilized, it becomes a little ball of cells known as a blastocyst. This is what eventually becomes the embryo and develops into the fetus, or baby. As this fertilized egg, or blastocyst, makes its way down the Fallopian tubes and into the uterus, it needs to find the perfect spot to settle into for the next nine months of pregnancy. The blastocyst also has an outer layer of cells that provide nutrients to the developing embryo and will later on become a part of the placenta, known as the trophoblast tissue. As this trophoblast tissue burrows into the mother’s uterus, it may damage a few blood vessels in the uterus which causes a small amount of blood to leak from the cervix, which later exits through the mother’s vagina. This is that blood which you see during implantation bleeding.

Around one third of pregnant women experience some degree of implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding occurs as a result of the fertilized egg attaching itself to the lining of the uterus. This type of bleeding is generally very light and typically takes place around ten to fourteen days (although some sources say between six to twelve days) after conception. Many women have questions as to whether or not they can prevent implantation bleeding, and about whether or not it presents a danger to the pregnancy. Here we try to answer some of these questions and concerns.

What Exactly Happens During Implantation Bleeding?

After a female’s egg is fertilized, it becomes a little ball of cells known as a blastocyst. This is what eventually becomes the embryo and develops into the fetus, or baby. As this fertilized egg, or blastocyst, makes its way down the Fallopian tubes and into the uterus, it needs to find the perfect spot to settle into for the next nine months of pregnancy. The blastocyst also has an outer layer of cells that provide nutrients to the developing embryo and will later on become a part of the placenta, known as the trophoblast tissue. As this trophoblast tissue burrows into the mother’s uterus, it may damage a few blood vessels in the uterus which causes a small amount of blood to leak from the cervix, which later exits through the mother’s vagina. This is that blood which you see during implantation bleeding.

Why Women Often Talk About This Problem

Many women who have been planning a pregnancy may be disheartened to see implantation bleeding, mistaking it for the beginning of a regular menstrual period. They may feel that they have failed to become pregnant at this point. Likewise, if a woman was not intending to become pregnant, she may think she is not carrying a child and just starting her monthly period. For those women who already suspect or actually know they are pregnant, the implantation bleeding may cause alarm, because they may think that they are miscarrying the baby. This can cause a great deal of stress. The woman may think there is something wrong with the pregnancy or fear that it is in jeopardy.

Signs of Implantation Bleeding and How to Distinguish It

After noticing implantation bleeding, consider when your last menstrual period was and if it would be due around this time. Also, stop and remember one more thing: the last time you had intercourse. Determine how many days it has been since. The bleeding may or may not resemble usual menstrual blood, and may be darker in color and less in amount. In fact, there can be anything from actual spotting for a short period of time, usually a matter of hours, or simply as little as one small spot of blood. The reason for the blood appearing darker is that it has to travel from the uterus and work its way down the vagina before you notice it. The total amount of bleeding is small, and usually subsides within a couple of days at most, whereas a menstrual period will increase in heaviness and last longer.

What Else to Expect with Implantation Bleeding

Obviously, in order to experience implantation bleeding, one has to be pregnant. If you suspect this bleeding could be what it really is, an early sign of pregnancy, take time to consider some of these other possible signs. If you’ve experienced nausea and find that you are overly sensitive to certain smells, this could also be a sign of pregnancy. You may also experience mild cramping as the egg implants and changes while taking place in the uterus. Sore and tender breasts are also another early symptom of pregnancy, along with an unusual level of fatigue. Frequent urination or the sudden onset of constipation when you are otherwise regular in your bowel habits may also be indicative of pregnancy. Dizziness, especially upon sudden movement, such as quickly rising from a lying down position, along with changes in mood may also be experienced during the early weeks of pregnancy.

There is some debate as to whether or not these other common pregnancy symptoms can be experienced before the fertilized egg is successfully implanted in the uterus. But, as with each pregnancy every woman is different, so listen to your body and what it is telling you, as it could definitely give you clues. Many women just “know” almost immediately that they have conceived.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Implantation Bleeding?

There is really nothing that can be done to keep implantation bleeding from occurring, as it is treated as a normal part of pregnancy. Even if you are actively planning a baby, there is no special diet, no vitamin supplements, or anything else to do to keep from experiencing this phenomenon. Implantation bleeding is actually just a sign that everything is progressing as it should be, even though it may cause alarm.

What to Do if You Experience Implantation Bleeding

If you experience implantation bleeding, try to remain calm and wait it out. If you are not having pain or severe cramps, excessive or heavy bleeding, the chances spotting will pass within a day or two with no further incidents are high. If you feel that it may be something more than implantation bleeding, or have other questions, be sure to call your health care provider with any concerns. If they feel you might be experiencing anything more serious than normal implantation bleeding, they can schedule an ultrasound to check on the developing pregnancy sac and baby. The ultrasound can go a long way towards comforting a worried mother-to-be.

Conclusion

Although implantation bleeding cannot be prevented, it is usually not dangerous and there is nothing to worry about. Should it occur, try to relax and take it as easy as you can, and generally everything will be back to normal within a day or two. Follow normal pregnancy guidelines – avoid heavy lifting and high intensity activities. Again, call your obstetrician if you have questions. After noticing the scant amount of bloody discharge, you may wish to use a panty liner to prevent it from getting on your clothes. A full pad is generally not necessary, and a tampon should never be used while pregnant. Hang in there and remain calm, and most likely everything will work out just fine.

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