What Is Implantation?
The term “implantation” refers to the beginning of a pregnancy when the fertilized egg travels through the fallopian tube and implants in the endometrium (uterine lining).
Because the developing fetus gets nutrients from the endometrium to help it grow, this period is critical. During implantation, some women may experience symptoms, while others may experience none at all. Light brown or crimson discharge, as well as implantation cramps, can be signs of implantation.
What Is Implantation Cramping?
Implantation Cramps is one of the symptoms you may encounter after implantation. Because these cramps can resemble your monthly PMS cramps, it’s critical to know the difference, particularly how implantation cramps feel and how long they stay.
When Does Cramping Occur?
It’s crucial to understand how fertilization works in order to know when implantation cramps occur.
During the stage known as conception, sperm joins the egg when you ovulate. While the egg is still in the fallopian tube, conception takes place. Following conception, these joined cells multiply to form a blastocyst. The blastocyst must next move down the fallopian tube into the uterus before implantation, where it will connect with the uterine lining. The pregnancy hormone hCG is released after implantation and gradually rises until it may be identified on a pregnancy test about 14 days after ovulation (DPO).
This lengthy procedure, as you may assume, might take many days. Implantation takes 6–12 days, with the most common time being 8–9 days following conception. Late implantation is defined as implantation that happens after 10 DPO. Around this time, you may have cramping and other implantation symptoms, so pay careful attention to your body around 6 DPO and beyond for evidence of implantation.
Where Do You Feel Implantation Cramps?
Implantation symptoms begin in the uterus, just like period cramps. It’s likely that you’ll experience them in the same spot as your monthly period cramps, which can be disconcerting.
If you’re also experiencing implantation bleeding, you could be wondering if you’re experiencing period cramps or implantation cramps. To distinguish implantation cramps from period cramps, pay attention to the timing of the cramps: implantation cramps often come between 6 and 12 DPO, but period cramps usually do not appear until 14 DPO or later.
The majority of women get cramps in their lower abdomen. If your uterus is retroverted or retroflexed, however, you may experience cramping in your lower back instead. Because the uterus faces the opposite direction from normal, period pains may feel different if you have a retroverted or retroflexed uterus. A retroverted or retroflexed uterus is nothing to be concerned about: it’s a biological variation as common as different eye colors.
What Do Implantation Cramps Feel Like?
Implantation cramps are described by women as a mild to moderate tingling, pricking, or pulling feeling. They may feel like regular period cramps, but they will likely be milder and may not be as powerful or severe. If a woman has particularly painful cramps between 6 and 12 DPO, she should see her OB/GYN because the cramps could be a sign of a medical illness like endometriosis or a miscarriage.
If you have other early pregnancy symptoms in addition to implantation cramping, you’re more likely to be pregnant. Between 6 and 12 DPO, search for the following signs and symptoms of early pregnancy:
- Sickness in the “morning” (this can occur at any time of day)
- Breasts that are swollen or painful
- Nipple darkening
- Food cravings or aversions
- Improved olfactory perception
The rise in levels of the pregnancy hormone hCG causes these alterations. As your hCG levels rise, you may notice that these symptoms become more noticeable. However, you’ve definitely observed that these symptoms sound a lot like PMS symptoms.
Using the Mira Plus tracker to keep track of your exact fertility hormone concentrations will help you distinguish early pregnancy symptoms from PMS symptoms with better accuracy.
How Long Do Implantation Cramps Last?
Implantation happens between 6 and 12 DPO, and implantation symptoms such as spotting and cramping also occur during this period. Implantation pains typically last for a few days, but they can linger for up to a week.
Implantation usually occurs around day 25 of a woman’s cycle. Using this scenario, implantation cramps could occur between days 25 and 32 of your cycle. This implies that, depending on the duration of your average menstrual cycle, you may continue to have implantation symptoms even after you’ve taken a pregnancy test to determine whether or not you’ve conceived successfully.
How Can You Treat Cramping Caused By Implantation?
Implantation cramps should not be so severe that they render you immobile or prevent you from carrying out your usual activities. Nonetheless, they can be aggravating and uncomfortable! There are a few alternatives for coping with implantation cramps if they disturb you.
In general, you can manage implantation cramps the same way you treat period cramps: use a heating pad, or, if that doesn’t work, take an over-the-counter pain medicine like Tylenol (acetaminophen). There’s also evidence that exercise can help: endorphins, which are released during activity, may act as a natural pain reliever.
What Else Could It Be?
When you’re trying to conceive, it’s natural to wish for good news, but cramps around 6–12 DPO don’t always signal you’re pregnant. This cramping can sometimes be an indication of something else.
Most people mix implantation discomfort with PMS cramps. These cramps happen at the same time in your menstrual cycle and are similar in intensity. However, implantation cramps may be less strong. You may also confuse implantation cramps with period cramps, and if your period comes early, you may mistake it for implantation blood and assume your cramps are related to implantation as well.
Although implantation cramps might be unpleasant, they should not be excruciatingly painful. Contact your OB/GYN if you’re having severe cramping between 6 and 12 DPO. It could be a symptom of a health problem like endometriosis, which causes chronic pelvic pain. It could potentially be an indication of an early miscarriage, especially if you’re having severe cramping and bleeding.
Unfortunately, the best approach to distinguishing between implantation symptoms and cramps caused by other factors is to wait. The two-week wait (TWW) is notorious for being difficult, but there is no getting around it: if you want the most accurate results, you must take a pregnancy test before 14 DPO (or the first day of your next expected period).
What about pregnancy testing?
You may be disappointed to learn that pregnancy testing before 14 DPO (or the first day of your next expected period) is less accurate. If you test before 14 DPO, you’re more likely to obtain a false-positive or false-negative result.
Chemical pregnancy, which is a type of early miscarriage, can cause false-positive results. If you get a positive test due to a chemical pregnancy, the test will very certainly come back negative after 14 days.
Before 14 DPO, false-negative results are common, as hCG levels may not have risen high enough for the pregnancy test to detect it in your urine. So, if you want the most accurate pregnancy test results, stay with the TWW!
Even if you’re experiencing other indicators of early pregnancy, it’s still too early to take a pregnancy test because implantation cramps occur between 6 and 12 DPO. If you absolutely cannot wait any longer, you can make an appointment with your OB/GYN to have a blood test.
A blood test can detect hCG more quickly than a home pregnancy test and can detect pregnancy as early as 6-8 days after conception. Nonetheless, you should be aware that many OB/GYNs will not perform the test until your next expected period has begun.