Nidation spotting: everything you need to know!

Nidation spotting is a fairly common phenomenon, affecting around 1 in 4 women. This bleeding occurs at the very beginning of pregnancy. This article explains what causes them.

What is implantation spotting?

At the start of your pregnancy, you may experience some blood loss. This bleeding is very small, fairly light-colored and pinkish, and occurs when the egg implants in the uterine lining, also known as the endometrium.

Once fertilized, the egg enters the uterus via the Fallopian tubes. Once in the uterus, it must implant in the uterine mucosa, which, under the action of hormones, is gorged with blood. Once there, the egg must work its way into the uterus, where it will receive nutrients for the next 9 months of development.

However, as the egg implants in the mucosa, blood vessels may be affected, causing some vaginal bleeding. This bleeding remains very light and punctual.

When can implantation bleeding occur?

Implantation bleeding, also known as spotting or early pregnancy metrorrhagia and implantation spotting, occur around 6 to 12 days after fertilization. They are completely benign and affect 1 in 4 women.

How can I tell the difference between implantation spotting and other types of bleeding?

Many other types of blood loss can occur in the course of a woman's life. But how can you tell them apart?

Ovulation spotting

The ovulation spotting takes place around the 14th day and occurs with hormonal changes and when the ovum is released. It does not affect all women - only 5% are affected. What can help you differentiate ovulation spotting from implantation spotting is the timing. If the spotting occurs around day 14 of your cycle, it's much more likely to be ovulation than implantation.

Menstrual flow and periods

It's pretty easy to tell the difference between menstrual flow and implantation spotting. In fact, spotting associated with nidation corresponds to just a few drops of blood, whereas menstrual flow is much more abundant.

The color of discharge should also alert you: during nidation, discharge is clear and pinkish, but not bright red like during menstruation. In addition, implantation bleeding does not last very long: it can last from a few hours to a maximum of three days.


When you're planning to get pregnant and you're subject to bleeding of unknown origin, it's easy to panic. Don't worry, though: miscarriage bleeding is easily recognized by its abundance. It's more like menstrual flow. The spotting is, once again, very light.

However, if you have any doubts about your blood loss, whether it's heavy or long-lasting, consult your doctor.

What are the symptoms of nidation bleeding?

Nidation bleeding is the first sign of pregnancy. However, it is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as :

  • sudden, severe fatigue ;
  • stomach pains such as cramps;
  • sensitive, swollen breasts
  • disturbed bowel movements;
  • nausea ;
  • disgust for certain foods;
  • dizziness and headaches;
  • frequent urination;
  • mood swings;
  • high body temperature;

All these symptoms are due to significant hormonal changes.

How can I prevent nidation spotting?

Not all women experience blood loss due to implantation. But for those who do, it may be a good idea to wear menstrual briefs. Menstrual panties for light flows allow you to protect yourself during your period. They're an alternative to disposable sanitary protection such as panty liners or sanitary towels.

Made from organic cotton, they are non-irritating to the intimate area, free from endocrine disruptors and harmful chemicals.

When to take a pregnancy test after a nidation spotting?

Although blood loss is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy, it is not irrefutable proof of pregnancy. To be sure, we recommend you take a pregnancy test. This test may or may not confirm that it's nidation bleeding, and that a pregnancy is indeed underway.

However, nidation spotting occurs well before the expected date of menstruation, 6 to 12 days after fertilization. In fact, it's advisable to take a pregnancy test only after you've noticed a delay in your period. Why is this? Because blood or urine pregnancy tests detect the hCG hormone, but this hormone is not produced until the 8th day after fertilization. It is initially produced in very small quantities, but gradually increases. For this reason, it is advisable to wait at least 14 days after intercourse, to ensure that the hormone is present in sufficient quantity and does not give a false test result.

There are also early pregnancy tests that can be carried out up to 6 days before the expected date of menstruation, i.e. around the same time as implantation bleeding. Note that the reliability of these tests is lower than that of conventional tests.

Is it necessary to consult a doctor in the event of implantation bleeding?

There's no need to consult your doctor if you're sure that your implantation bleeding is spotting. To be sure, all you need to do is look at the amount of blood you lose (it should be just a few drops), its color (which should be light, pinkish) and its duration. Implantation bleeding lasts only a few days, 3 at most. If it persists, consult your doctor, midwife or gynecologist.

Nidation spotting FAQ

How can I be sure that my bleeding is nidation spotting?

Nidation can sometimes be confused with ovulation, the onset of menstrual flow or miscarriage. To be sure it's nidation spotting, you need to look at the amount of blood lost, its duration and color, as well as any associated symptoms. Nidation spotting never results in a heavy flow, lasts only a few days (3 maximum) and is never as bright red as menstrual blood.

Is nidation spotting a sign of successful fertilization?

Nidation spotting occurs when the fertilized egg attempts to descend into the uterus, via the fallopian tubes, until it implants in the endometrium. Implantation bleeding is therefore not a bad sign; it indicates that a pregnancy is underway and that fertilization has taken place.

Should I be concerned if implantation spotting lasts several days?

Nidation spotting lasts from a few hours to a few days, 3 maximum. If the bleeding lasts longer, consult your doctor. The same applies if the bleeding becomes more and more abundant, if the color varies or if you have associated symptoms other than those mentioned in the article.