Pregnancy or Period? A Look at Light Bleeding

After you’ve chosen an egg donor, waited for fertilization, and undergone an embryo transfer, the wait to find out whether the process was successful can be frustrating. Don’t automatically assume that light bleeding means you aren’t pregnant—it might not be your period. Implantation bleeding or spotting occurs when a fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine lining. It doesn’t require medical treatment, but a celebration of your mom-to-be status may be in order.

Comparing Implantation Bleeding to Menstruation

Implantation bleeding is often confused as being menstrual bleeding, but there are subtle differences. Typically, spotting from a period turns into a heavier flow after a couple of days, although every woman is a little different. Implantation bleeding will remain very light. This spotting doesn’t contain blood clots, and it usually looks light pink or brownish, whereas menstrual blood tends to be a brighter shade of red. If you did become pregnant with egg donation, you’ll notice that the spotting occurs intermittently, and only lasts a couple of days.

Identifying the Accompanying Symptoms

Menstruation is characterized by cramping that might initially be mild before becoming severe. Implantation spotting can also cause cramps, but they tend to be faint, and they don’t become more severe. Implantation bleeding can be accompanied by sore breasts, sensitivity to smells, mood swings, headaches, and an elevated basal body temperature.

Assessing the Timing of the Bleeding

About 10 days to two weeks after ovulation, the fertilized egg can attach to the uterine wall. Implantation bleeding occurs when the attachment of the egg breaks down small blood vessels within the tissue. Since menstruation occurs 14 days after ovulation, it’s easy to see why women often get the two mixed up.

Knowing When to Test

After having an embryo transfer during your IVF cycle , the clinic will let you know when to return for a blood pregnancy test. Usually, this appointment will be in two weeks. Some clinics advise women to avoid home pregnancy tests, as these aren’t as accurate.

For fertility solutions near Houston, Texas, call (877) 983-0046. Fertility Resources of Houston implements thorough donor screening processes to help couples benefit from anonymous egg donation. We pride ourselves on personalized, sensitive care and a strict adherence to patient confidentiality.