Q:

What is the difference between implantation bleeding and a period?

A:

Quick Answer

A menstrual period occurs when the uterus sheds its lining, while implantation bleeding occurs when a fertilized egg burrows into the uterine lining. A menstrual period takes place when a woman is not pregnant, while implantation bleeding can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy.

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Full Answer

According to the Mayo Clinic, implantation bleeding takes place approximately 10 to 14 days after conception. It is much lighter than a period, and it only occurs for 2 to 3 days. Implantation bleeding occurs around the time that a woman expects her period. As a result, some women mistake implantation bleeding for their period.

The uterine lining thickens in preparation for a possible pregnancy. If there is no pregnancy, this lining must be discarded via menstruation. A period lasts for 3 to 5 days on average and is heavier at the beginning.

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