When you are trying to get pregnant, you may be hoping your body will give you some early signs. I remember trying to decipher if the things happening to my body were early signs of pregnancy.
One of the things women hear about that is hard to describe is implantation. Are you experiencing unusual cramping and wondering if it could be from implantation?
You may be asking, "how long does implantation cramping last?" or "how can I distinguish implantation cramping from period cramping?". In this article, I have some answers that may help you understand what is happening in your body.
What are Implantation Cramps?
Implantation is when the embryo (or fertilized egg) attaches to the uterine wall. This occurs about a week after ovulation (anywhere between 6-12 days) and is one of the earliest stages of pregnancy.
There are very few ways to tell if you are experiencing implantation, but some women experience minor cramping and spotting.
What Do Implantation Cramps Feel Like?
If you notice a small cramping in the lower abdomen or back, you may be experiencing implantation cramping. However, these cramps are minor and may even go undetected. Very few women notice them at all.
Implantation cramps feel similar to period cramps, but are not ongoing and not as strong. For instance, you may able notice cramping for a few minutes at a time. They also only last a couple of days. If the cramping lasts longer and is consistent, most likely these are not implantation cramps.
What to Look For
When you are trying to get pregnant, it is helpful to keep track of your monthly menstrual cycles and ovulation with a calendar. So, if you experience cramping, check the calendar. Are you feeling cramping shortly after ovulation?
Many women also trying to get pregnant keep track of their basal body temperature. Are you keeping track of your basal body temperature? If you notice a peak in your temperature, you may be ovulating and not experiencing implantation since it should occur after ovulation.
In addition to calendar observations, try to determine how the cramping feels. How strong are these cramps? Are they less mild than period cramps? Are you also experiencing any light spotting? Implantation may be followed by light spotting as well.
Distinguishing Between Period Cramping and Implantation Cramping
Implantation cramping is milder than period cramping and does not last as long. Implantation cramping may only last a few minutes or a few hours at a time unlike period cramps which are consistent and ongoing.
Avawomen suggests that implantation cramps feel like small pinches or even gas, whereas period cramps feel like the abdomen is tightening.
Know Your Body
Pay attention to your own body. If you do not usually experience period cramping and now you notice some light cramping and according to the calendar, the timing is right, then you may be experiencing implantation cramping.
Period symptoms vary from woman to woman, so knowing how your own body feels during this time of the month is helpful. Period cramps are usually accompanied by other PMS symptoms such as bloating and fatigue.
If you notice cramping along with your regular menstrual cycle symptoms, then it is probably not implantation. If your spotting becomes heavy, then it most likely period cramps.
What Experts Say
Some doctors do not believe implantation cramps are strong enough for women to notice. For instance, Babymed suggests, “Uterine cramps are too non-specific to assume that you may be pregnant. Uterine cramps before you miss your period are rarely, if ever, a reliable sign of pregnancy.”
While it can be exciting to try to figure out if you are pregnant when you are anxiously awaiting, try to remember that there are more reliable ways to determine pregnancy.
The best way to know if you are pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If you do notice unusual cramping at the right time, it may be implantation cramping, but you should wait to share the news until you have confirmed with a doctor.
Before We Go
One of the earliest stages of pregnancy is implantation. Some women have noticed light cramping and spotting following ovulation during the course of implantation. If you check your calendar and know your body, you may also be able to identify the implantation stage, which only lasts a couple of days.
Consider these basics when questioning if you are experiencing implantation cramping:
- Is the cramping mild?
- Does it last for a short period of time?
- Is it accompanied by light spotting?
- Have you ovulated recently?
After reading through this article, do you have any questions? Please share your questions or comments in the comment section.