Signs of implantation
Fertilization to implantation
The implantation of a fertiziled egg can happen anywhere from 3-12 days after ovulation. In most cases, it happens somewhere between 7-10 days. The journey to implantation is a long one. The process begins when the egg is released from the ovary at ovulation. It is then pushed into the fallopian tube by the movement of hair-like cilia that line the tube. If the sperm is released before or right at ovulation, the egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube. The fertilized egg (zygote) must then begin its journey to the uterus. After about 1-2 days of entering the uterus, the zygote will begin its process of implantation into the uterine lining. From here (if all goes well), it will begin its 9 month process of growing into a baby.
Signs of implantation
Some women feel no signs of implantation, while others do. While the signs of implantation are very similar to those of PMS, it can be quite hard to detect specifically if implantation is taking place. In general, the only way to know for sure is through a pregnancy test. Below are some signs associated with implantation. Many of these symptoms can happen with egg implantation but one or none may occur as well.
Implantation spotting is light bleeding that can occur when a fertilized egg is implanting into the uterus. Implantation spotting does not look like a normal period but it often is confused for one since it occurs around the same time that a period is due.
Implantation spotting is generally lighter than a normal period. It is usually brown or pink in color versus the red color of a full period. It is unlikely to be enough blood to fill a tampon.
Women tend to experience it anywhere from a week to a few days before their period is due. As the fertilized egg starts to burrow into the uterine lining, it will often trigger slight bleeding or spotting. This is normal and is often the sign of pregnancy. However, some women confuse it for their period and neglect to take a pregnancy test. If you think you might be pregnant (due to implantation spotting), take a pregnancy test. If the test is negative, wait until the day after your period is due to take the test again.
Implantation spotting is normal with pregnancy, as is light spotting in the early stages. Implantation spotting occurs in 20%-30% of all pregnancies. This is around the time that you may start to experience early signs of pregnancy as well.
Some women will experience light cramping as the egg implants into the uterine lining. This cramping can feel more or less extreme than PMS. For many women it is located on either the left or right side; possibly due to side of the uterus the fertilized egg implants on.
Some women experience the cramping more in the evening than during the day. Some have it for a few hours only while others will experience it for days.
Overall, these cramps can distinguish themselves from menstrual cramps as they come sooner than PMS cramps would. It can also be a sign of pregnancy if you generally do not suffer from menstrual cramps.
If you have been charting your temperatures, then you might notice a slight shift during implantation. Some women will chart a slight drop in their BBT as the egg implants, that drop would then be followed by a third tier rise in temperature. This would be the body responding to an increase in progesterone. It is common for women to experience a dip in their temperature.
Is there a test to confirm implantation?
There is no test or official way to tell if implantation has occurred. The only way to confirm that implantation has happened is through a pregnancy test. Upon implantation, the body begins to emit a hormone called HCG. This is the hormone that pregnancy tests test for. Given that HCG levels rise each day after implantation, early testing often proves to be negative. Even the most sensitive of tests cannot confirm pregnancy until at least 7-10 days after ovulation, which is often a few days after implantation.
Overall, the best way to work with the not knowing if implantation has occurred, is to be patient. Trying to guess or inspect what the body might be doing is enough to drive any pregnancy-desiring female crazy.