Nidation spotting: everything you need to know!

Nidation spotting is a fairly common phenomenon, affecting about 1 in 4 women. They are bleedings which occur at the very beginning of pregnancy. This article explains what causes them.

What is implantation spotting?

It is common for you to experience some blood loss in early pregnancy. This bleeding is very small, fairly clear, pinkish in color and occurs when the egg implants in the uterine lining, also called the endometrium.

Once fertilized, the egg reaches the uterus through the fallopian tubes. Once in the uterus, it must implant in the uterine lining, which is full of blood due to the action of hormones. Once there, the egg has to dig its way to be implanted and receive nutrients for the next 9 months of development.

But, during the implantation of the egg in the mucosa, blood vessels can be affected and create some vaginal bleeding. This bleeding is very light and punctual.

When can implantation bleeding occur?

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

How can you tell the difference between implantation spotting and other bleeding?

Many other kinds of blood loss can occur during 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 the hormonal changes and when the egg is released. It does not affect all women, only 5% of them are affected. What can help you to differentiate ovulation spotting from implantation spotting is the time when it occurs. If the spotting occurs around the 14th day of your cycle, it is more likely to be ovulation than implantation.

Menstrual flow versus period

It's pretty easy to tell the difference between menstrual flow and implantation spotting. This is because implantation spotting is only a few drops of blood, whereas menstrual flow is much more abundant.

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


When you plan to get pregnant and are subject to bleeding of unknown origin, you can quickly panic. Don't worry, the discharge due to a miscarriage is easily recognizable because of its abundance. It looks more like menstrual flow. The spotting is, again, very light.

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

What symptoms accompany implantation bleeding?

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

  • Sudden and severe fatigue;
  • Stomach aches such as cramps;
  • a sensitive and swollen chest;
  • a disturbance of the transit;
  • Nausea;
  • Disgust for certain foods;
  • Dizziness and headaches;
  • frequent urges to urinate;
  • mood swings;
  • a high body temperature;

All of these symptoms are due to significant hormonal changes.

How can I prevent nidation spotting?

Not all women experience implantation spotting. But for those who do, it can be interesting to wear menstrual panties. Menstrual panties for light flows allow you to protect yourself during your period. It is an alternative which will come to replace the disposable hygienic protections which one knows like the panty liners or sanitary towels.

Made of organic cotton, they are non-irritating for the intimate area, without endocrine disruptors and without harmful chemical substances.


When to do a pregnancy test after a spotting?

Although blood loss is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy, it is not a definitive proof of pregnancy. To be sure, we recommend that you take a pregnancy test. This test can confirm whether or not it is nidation bleeding and that a pregnancy is taking place.

However, implantation spotting occurs well before the expected date of menstruation, 6 to 12 days after fertilization. It is recommended that a pregnancy test be performed only after a delay in menstruation. Why is this? Because pregnancy tests using blood or urine samples detect the hCG hormone, but this hormone is only produced from the 8th day after fertilization. It is initially produced in very small quantities and will gradually increase. For this reason, it is advisable to wait at least 14 days after intercourse so 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 done before the expected date of menstruation, up to 6 days, therefore at about the same time as the implantation bleeding. It should be noted that the reliability of these tests is less than that of conventional tests.

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

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

Nidation spotting FAQ

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

Sometimes implantation can be confused with ovulation, the onset of menstrual flow or a miscarriage. To be sure it is an implantation spotting, you should look at the amount of blood loss, its duration, its color, and also at the associated symptoms if any. An implantation spotting never results in a heavy flow, only lasts a few days (3 maximum) and is never as bright red as menstrual blood.

Is implantation spotting a sign of successful fertilization?

No. Implantation spotting occurs when the fertilized egg wants to travel down into the uterus through the fallopian tubes and implant itself 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 the 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. You should also consult your doctor if the bleeding becomes more and more abundant, if the color changes or if you have any other symptoms than those mentioned in the article.

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