Is Spotting a Sign of Implantation?

By: Kacie Shrock, RN, BSN | October 10, 2022

If you are in the two week wait or the time period following ovulation before your next expected period arrives, you may be noticing every little symptom and wondering if you’re experiencing PMS or early signs of pregnancy – including spotting or light bleeding. 

Spotting is one of the implementation signs

What is Implantation Spotting?

While the implantation happens, the attachment of the embryo to the uterine wall can break down some of the blood vessels in the area, causing some mild bleeding.

Implantation usually happens about 6-10 days post ovulation, making it common for some women to mistake implantation spotting for the start of their period

What Does Implantation Spotting Look Like?

  • Blood that is brown or light pink.
  • Light flow, typically not as heavy or long as your normal period. 
  • Not accompanied by clots or tissue in the blood.

How Common Is Implantation Spotting?

Surprisingly, implantation spotting is not all that common! Only about 25% of women experience bleeding in early pregnancy, including implantation spotting.

So, if you do not experience any spotting or light bleeding during your two week wait, that doesn’t mean there’s no chance of pregnancy. 

What Are Other Common Symptoms of Pregnancy

Besides implantation spotting, which can be an early sign of pregnancy, there are a few other signs you can look out for. While a lot of these symptoms are very similar to PMS symptoms, they could also be related to early pregnancy. 

  • Fatigue
  • Cramping
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Food aversions 
  • Missed period 
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When to Take a Pregnancy Test?

Pregnancy tests detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is the pregnancy hormone that increases after implantation. About 4-5 days after implantation spotting hCG should be detectable in the blood, however it may need an extra day or two to show up in the urine on an at-home pregnancy test. Just remember that every woman is different and may have experiences slightly outside of this window. 

A guideline for when to take a pregnancy test


Mild spotting near the end of your two week wait may be a sign of early pregnancy. Not all women will experience this early pregnancy symptom, but some do mistake this for the start of their period. If you are experiencing mild spotting that is light in flow and only lasts a day or two, take a pregnancy test in the next 4-5 days! 

If you’re concerned about vaginal bleeding or are experiencing bleeding in early pregnancy, always follow up with your healthcare provider for an evaluation. Some mild spotting and bleeding can be absolutely harmless during your first trimester, but it is always recommended to be evaluated by your provider just to be safe, especially if you are having bright, red heavy bleeding or passing clots. 

Interested in having a Premom Medical Advisor review your current chart? Head over to Ask An Expert and request a chart review

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About author


Kacie Shrock is a registered nurse who specializes in fertility and reproductive health. She has always had a passion for women's health and she supports women and couples virtually across the world while on their journey to their dream families. Schedule a consultation with Nurse Kacie right through your Premom app!


Su R-W, Fazleabas AT. Implantation and establishment of pregnancy in human and nonhuman primates. Advances in anatomy, embryology, and cell biology. Published 2015. Accessed October 10, 2022.

Hasan R, Baird DD, Herring AH, Olshan AF, Jonsson Funk ML, Hartmann KE. Patterns and predictors of vaginal bleeding in the first trimester of pregnancy. Annals of epidemiology. Published July 2010. Accessed October 10, 2022. Accessed October 10, 2022.

John P. Cunha DO. How soon will a pregnancy test read positive? eMedicineHealth. Published September 30, 2022. Accessed October 10, 2022.

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