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Spotting de nidation, c’est quoi ?

What is nest spotting?

In the days following the fertilization of the egg by a sperm, one in three newly pregnant women may lose a few drops of blood . This is implantation spotting, also called implantation bleeding. It comes from the moment when the egg takes its place in the uterus and adheres to the uterine lining – some of the latter can break apart and cause pain and light bleeding. How can we be sure that this is nest spotting? Is it possible to bleed while pregnant? Is it serious to bleed when you think you are pregnant? We talk about it in this article!

Let's start at the beginning, what is implantation?

Implantation is the process by which a fertilized egg attaches and implants itself in the wall of the uterus. It takes place between 6 and 12 days after the sexual intercourse which caused fertilization. It is a crucial stage in the very beginning of pregnancy in human beings, it determines the continuation of the pregnancy.

After being fertilized by a sperm and beginning cell division, the fertilized egg migrates through the fallopian tube to the uterus. There, it will implant itself in the wall of the uterus, within the uterine mucosa: this is implantation. Once implanted, it begins to release chemical signals that allow the formation of the placenta. After implantation, the process of embryonic development continues, with the formation of embryonic tissues and growth of the embryo.

What is implantation bleeding and what causes it?

Implantation spotting, also called “implantation bleeding” or “implantation bleeding” is a light vaginal bleeding that occurs 6 to 12 days after sexual intercourse leading to fertilization.

If you are trying to get pregnant, this bleeding is not bad news: it is even an undeniable sign that pregnancy has started . As its name suggests, it is linked to the implantation of the egg into the uterine lining. The latter being particularly irrigated with blood vessels and sensitive, implantation may cause slight bleeding.

Nesting spotting is distinguished from the rules by:

  • Its flow: it is very light, we are talking about a few drops of blood;
  • Its duration: it lasts from a few hours to three days maximum;
  • Its occurrence: it occurs 6 to 12 days after ovulation, while periods occur 14 days after the latter;
  • Its color: it is not bright red and can be dark brown or even black (if the blood has had time to oxidize before reaching your underwear or on the contrary very light (if the blood has mixed to your other vaginal discharge).

⚡Not observing implantation spotting is not a sign of absence of pregnancy. Today it is estimated that one in three women experiences implantation bleeding: it is therefore entirely possible that you are pregnant without having observed this bleeding.

Is it painful?

Although some women report a small pinching sensation in the lower abdomen, similar to what they feel during ovulation, implantation bleeding is generally painless. If you usually experience pain during your period, this can be a good way to identify that you are experiencing implantation bleeding rather than your period.

Am I necessarily pregnant?

Implantation bleeding is a pretty clear symptom that a pregnancy is occurring: a fertilized egg is attaching itself to your uterus to develop there.

However, there can be other reasons for vaginal bleeding outside of your period – we've covered that in another article. Before imagining yourself pregnant, consider these other reasons and wait to observe other symptoms of a potential pregnancy (delayed periods, breast tenderness, etc.). You can also take a pregnancy test, which will confirm your pregnancy safely and definitely.

To avoid waiting too long, know that there are early pregnancy tests, which can be done up to 6 days before the expected period, i.e. at the time of implantation bleeding. The reliability of their result is less important (there are more false negatives and you could still be pregnant) but can give you an initial answer.

When does implantation bleeding occur?

Implantation bleeding occurs between 6 and 12 days after fertilization. All right. But how do we know when this fertilization took place?

Fertilization is induced by two phenomena:

  • Ovulation: there cannot be fertilization without ovulation. If you track your cycles accurately , you generally know when your ovulation occurs. Several symptoms can tell you when it is occurring. If you don't track your cycles, know that ovulation takes place 14 days before your period: if you know the expected date of your next period you should know approximately when your last ovulation took place;
  • Presence of a sperm: there cannot be fertilization without a sperm being involved. It is estimated that a sperm can live up to 5 days in the uterus and fallopian tubes... knowing this, we'll let you do your calculations.

Differentiate implantation bleeding from other spottings

Whether you are expecting a pregnancy or on the contrary you are dreading it, the appearance of bleeding a few days after intercourse and a few days before your expected period is surprising. To find out whether, yes or not, you are experiencing implantation bleeding, we offer you elements to better identify your vaginal bleeding.

How to recognize bleeding

To differentiate your vaginal bleeding, you need to look at four characteristics:

  • Their flow: how much is the bleeding? A few drops, a light flow, a heavy flow?
  • Their duration: how long does your bleeding last? A few hours ? A day ? Several days ?
  • Their occurrence: when does your bleeding occur in relation to your menstrual cycle?
  • Their color: Bright red bleeding is often associated with heavy bleeding, while darker or lighter bleeding is often lighter.

The rules

Periods occur at the end of the menstrual cycle , 14 days after ovulation. They generally last between 2 and 5 days and can be more or less abundant: each woman is different! Generally, you know your periods well and will therefore be able to identify bleeding related to your periods or different from them. We will therefore quickly go over the rules.

Ovulatory bleeding

In some women and during certain cycles, ovulation is accompanied by a little bleeding. It is most often a small blood vessel that ruptures when the egg is released from its ovarian follicle. The bleeding is very light and can last from a few hours to two days. It is accompanied by a small twinge in the lower abdomen as well as several symptoms, the symptoms of ovulation . It strongly resembles implantation bleeding except that it does not take place at the same time: ovulatory bleeding takes place at the time of ovulation, i.e. 14 days before the period.

Bleeding outside the cycle

Beyond these two bleeds, other vaginal bleeding may occur during the cycle. These are called metrorrhagia and they generally require consulting a doctor:

  • Bleeding linked to diseases: PCOS, uterine fibroids or even endometriosis;
  • Bleeding from a wound: a scratch can cause small vaginal bleeding.

These can occur at any time during your cycle and are more or less abundant, depending on the cause.

Also read: Symptoms of PCOS >


If implantation does not occur properly and the fertilized egg fails to attach to the wall of the uterus, it can lead to early miscarriage . This usually leads to abdominal pain from uterine contractions and bleeding that can be confused with menstruation: many miscarriages occur before women even realize they were pregnant. Bleeding associated with early miscarriage is more severe than implantation spotting and is mixed with menstruation because the uterine lining is generally expelled at the same time as the non-viable fertilized egg.

What symptoms can be associated?

Because implantation spotting is linked to implantation and pregnancy, you may experience symptoms related to both phenomena. Here they are.

Symptoms related to implantation

Implantation is often not accompanied by obvious symptoms and can go unnoticed by many women. However, some women may experience mild symptoms or physiological changes during the implantation period.

Pinching sensation in the lower abdomen

Some women may experience mild abdominal pain or cramping during implantation. This may be due to the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine wall.

Breast tenderness

Some studies suggest that some women may experience mild breast tenderness during implantation.

Vaginal discharge

Changes in the texture and quantity of cervical mucus may occur. Some women may notice pinkish or brownish cervical mucus.


Some women may feel more tired than usual during this time, although fatigue can be a common symptom of pregnancy in general.

High basal temperature

Some women sometimes note a triphasic increase in basal body temperature in connection with implantation, but this is not a universal indication of pregnancy. The triphasic rise refers to a distinct third phase in basal body temperature that occurs about a week after ovulation.

⚡Did you know? Tracking your basal temperature is a good way to track your ovulation as part of a conception project. 🌈 On our e-shop, we offer a connected basal thermometer which will allow you to monitor variations in your body's basal temperature and thus give your pregnancy project more chances.

Symptoms related to pregnancy

Early in pregnancy, symptoms are often imperceptible or mild and some women do not experience them.

Late period

One of the first signs of pregnancy is often a late period. However, late periods occur after implantation bleeding.

Breast tenderness

Breasts may become tender, swollen or painful in early pregnancy due to hormonal changes. If you have tenderness in your breasts during your menstrual cycle, there is a good chance that your breasts will also be sore during your pregnancy. 🌈 On our shop, we particularly like the soothing Tits party treatment from the Nidéco brand : it relieves the tension you may feel in your chest during your menstrual cycle or during pregnancy.


Increased fatigue is common early in pregnancy. Hormonal changes can cause you to feel more tired.

Nausea and vomiting

Often called "morning sickness", morning nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of the first trimester of pregnancy. Some women may not feel them at all while others may experience them throughout their pregnancy.

Food Cravings and Aversions

Hormonal changes can influence food preferences. Some women may have sudden cravings or, on the contrary, food aversions. This may be linked to olfactory hypersensitivity which can sometimes trigger nausea.

Frequent need to urinate

Increased pressure on the bladder from the growing uterus can lead to a frequent need to urinate.

Mood changes

Hormonal fluctuations can influence mood, sometimes leading to mood swings, similar to what you may experience during PMS.

When should you take a pregnancy test?

The pregnancy test, and the blood test that follows a positive pregnancy test, is the only way to determine if you are pregnant. Nesting spotting is an indicator but it is in no way proof! You must wait three weeks after your presumed ovulation (i.e. one week late for your period) to take a pregnancy test.

The difficult wait

However, if you suspect pregnancy and spot what appears to be implantation spotting, it takes place BEFORE the expected date of your next period. Worse, it is generally said that you should take a pregnancy test a week AFTER the due date to be sure of your verdict – and even more so if your periods are not regular!

In other words, if your implantation spotting takes place 6 days after your ovulation, you must wait 8 days until the expected date of your period + 7 days for the delay. However, waiting 15 days in these conditions can prove to be a little complicated. Not to mention that the body sometimes tends to create the symptoms we want to see – hello stress and false hope!

To save yourself a little from this wait, know that there are early pregnancy tests, which can be done as early as 6 days after the expected fertilization date, i.e. at the same time as the implantation bleeding. They are less precise (there are more false negatives) and such an early pregnancy can encounter many difficulties, but it can help you overcome your impatience.

When should you see a doctor?

Implantation spotting is a symptom of early pregnancy that poses no danger, neither for you nor for the rest of the pregnancy, if applicable. Arm yourself with patience and wait for the possible pregnancy: in a few days, through the delay of your period and a pregnancy test, you will know more.

However, it may be interesting to consult a doctor:

  • If the vaginal bleeding you observe is heavy and/or lasts over time, and you are sure that it is not your period;
  • If you take a pregnancy test that turns out to be positive: you must now find the healthcare professional who will support you. You can contact your doctor or gynecologist.

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