Implantation Cramps – 11 Simple Facts To Know & When To See A Doctor

When implantation cramps occur, it is easy to assume that your period is guilty. However, having implantation cramps before the end of your menstrual cycle may indicate the presence of pregnancy. Although most women never know they exist, it’s actually quite common.

Here are few things you need to know about implantation cramping

What Are Implantation Cramps?

As explained by “Dr. G. Thomas, MD, lead ob-gyn at Memorial Care Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California”, when fertilization of an egg occurs in the fallopian tubes, the fertilized egg then migrates to the uterus, where it is burrowed into the lining. “This can cause mild cramps or scratches in the very low mid-abdomen,” as said by Julie Lamppa, a certified midwife at the Mayo Clinic.

When Do Implantation Cramps Occur?

Each woman is different, but implantation cramps occur, if you have a 28-day cycle, between days 20th and 22nd from the first day of your last period.

“You might think your menstrual cycle is a little early,” says Dr. G. Thomas, “It feels like your period is coming.”

How Long Do Implantation Cramps Last

It varies in every woman, but cramps can be expected to last between a day to three days before disappearing. Some women may experience minor twinges while others may feel intermittent pains that come and goes away within those three days.

What Does The Implantation Cramps Feel Like?

Implantation cramps feel like menstrual cramps, says Dr. S. Ross, a Gynecologist, and obstetrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Ross, California. You may experience intermittent discomfort in the pelvis.

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Although Implantation cramps may be an early symptom of pregnancy, knowing the difference between it and period cramps will help detect them better.

Avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin. This is because they can successfully cause abortions or increase the risk of miscarriage, as shown by a study in 2003.

Where Do You Feel The Cramps In The Implants?

You’ll probably feel more cramping in your pelvis or in the middle of your pelvis, says Ruiz, but they shouldn’t be too intense. You won’t also feel implantation cramps on one side only. “If you feel moderate to severe cramping or pain, especially if it’s located off to the side versus midline, you need to contact your provider,” Lamppa says.

It could mean nothing, but it could also be a sign of early pregnancy loss or an ectopic pregnancy, which is a pregnancy that is formed outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes.

Implantation Cramps vs Menstrual Cramps

It can be difficult to differentiate the two. “The difference between an implant and menstrual cramps is a positive pregnancy test,” says Ross.

Although, “Compared to menstrual cramps, implantation cramps should be shorter and not severe,” Lamppa said. “There may be no cramps at all or too little to notice. It’s Okay. It doesn’t affect the success of your pregnancy.”

Menstrual cramps occur when you’re having your period, which is once in every 28 days unless there is a pregnancy. Menstrual cramps occur when the uterus contract to remove the uterine lining. Substances called prostaglandins are associated with pain and inflammation, trigger the contraction of muscles of the uterine, and cause a process known as menstrual cramping.

How To Recognize Implantation Cramps?

Not everyone has cramps during implantation. For those who have, cramps can be mild or moderate.

Some show feelings such as:

  • Tingling feeling
  • Pricking, and
  • Pulling.

This can help to distinguish it from menstrual cramps.

It is unusual for implantation to occur with severe cramps. So if anyone has cramping pain between periods, she should be examined by her doctor. Implantation usually occurs in 6 to 12 days after ovulation if you are pregnant. This is when a person normally would expect her period to start. When there’s the fertilization of the egg, the body prepares to absorb and protect the endometrium. Mild bleeding or staining may be associated with cramps in the implants. This is called implantation bleeding and is lighter than a normal period.

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Are cramps and bleeding common?

Not everyone has cramps and bleeding during pregnancy. One-quarter of respondents to the 2010 survey has bleeding during their first trimester. Only 8% had heavy bleeding while 28% of patients with spotting and mild bleeding also reported pain and 54% of patients with severe bleeding also had pain.

Are Implantation Cramps Early Signs Of Pregnancy?

Early pregnancy symptoms can include extreme fatigue, headaches, and increased body temperature. Cramping or bleeding from the implant can be an early sign of pregnancy. It is easy to confuse menstrual cramps or a mild period with implant symptoms. Due to the similarity of symptoms between menstruation and implantation, it is useful to know other first signs of pregnancy.

Other early signs of pregnancy:

  • Swollen, tender, heavy or fuller breasts.
  • Total fatigue
  • Morning sickness and vomiting.
  • Food aversions or cravings.
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Increased body temperature
  • Missed period.
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Mood changes, e.t.c.

How To Ease Implantation cramps

“Implantation cramps are usually mild and require little intervention,” says Lamppa. However, if you feel uncomfortable, there are a few things you can do to relax:

Take a warm bath or shower – The warmness can help relax the uterine muscles and ease some cramps.

Use a heating pad – Lamppa says that any kind of hot packs in the pelvis can help. I know you’ll be wondering if it’s safe to use a heating pad in pregnancy. Yes, it is safe to use a heating pad during pregnancy because it does not increase the internal temperature. But to be safe, make sure the heating pad is below 100 degrees Fahrenheit and use it for short periods of time, e.g. 10-15 minutes on some areas.

Use over-the-counter pain relievers – “If you need medicine, acetaminophen is probably the safest option,” says Lamppa. “It is recommended to avoid drugs such as ibuprofen or Motrin in early pregnancy.”

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Symptoms of implantation cramps may also include bleeding or spotting, which is perfectly normal, says Ruiz. However, if you have severe cramps or heavy bleeding, contact your doctor immediately. You may need some tests to detect what’s really going on.

When To See A Doctor

If you think you might be pregnant, it’s a good idea to have a home pregnancy test. A good time to do this is 1 to 2 weeks after noticing the first signs of pregnancy. Pregnancy tests can be purchased at supermarkets, health food stores, and online.

When a fertilized egg is implanted into the wall of the uterus, the body has already begun to form the placenta. In this case, the level of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)  in the body begins to increase.

About 2 weeks after implantation, hCG levels are high enough for the pregnancy test to be positive. If you get a positive pregnancy test, the next step is to schedule an appointment with your doctor. The doctor can verify if the home test is correct.

Anyone who already knows that they are pregnant and are having excessive bleeding or cramps should speak to a doctor. These symptoms may indicate a problem with the pregnancy. Sometimes painful cramping or bleeding may occur among people even when they aren’t pregnant, in this case, it is recommended to discuss the problem with your doctor.

Conclusion

Implantation cramps and mild bleeding can be the first symptom of pregnancy. However, it is easy to mistake these symptoms for menstrual cramps or light bleeding. Therefore, it is important to know other early signs of pregnancy.

Taking a pregnancy test at home and having your doctor confirm the results is the best way to ascertain pregnancy. After pregnancy is confirmed, a person may consider continuing with the pregnancy or not. Discuss every option with your doctor.

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