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When does implantation occur?

Wondering, “when does implantation occur?” Let’s get right into it.

Implantation happens after sex. When a woman has sex, the man’s sperm fertilizes one of her eggs. It needs to attach to the lining of her uterus to start growing into a fetus. This attachment process is called implantation.1

Implantation typically occurs about 6 to 10 days after ovulation, which usually happens around the middle of a woman’s cycle.1

Why does it matter?

Understanding the answer to the question, “When does implantation occur?” can be helpful for a woman who thinks she might be pregnant. A woman who knows her cycle might be able to more quickly recognize the early signs of pregnancy (like a missed period), and can decide when to take a pregnancy test. When you learn more about your cycle, you’ll be better equipped to take charge of your own health.

In essence, implantation is a big milestone in the reproductive journey. By understanding this process, you can better navigate your reproductive health. ThriVe+ is here to help equip you so you can make informed choices for yourself.

So when does implantation occur in the context of the rest of your cycle? What are the signs of each, and what do many women feel? Here’s a breakdown:

1. Period (Menstruation): Just like cleaning up the garden before planting new seeds, a woman’s body has a “clean-up” time called a period. This is when the lining of the uterus sheds if there’s no pregnancy.2

Signs: Bleeding, cramps, bloating, mood swings.2

Experience: So, you know when you get that time of the month and you start bleeding? That’s your period. You might feel cramps in your belly, get bloated, and feel all sorts of mood swings.

2. Ovulation: After the clean-up (the uterus shedding its lining in a period), the body gets a new egg ready. This usually happens in the middle of a woman’s cycle. Everyone is different though, and some women have longer or shorter cycles.3 One of the eggs gets released from the ovary, and is ready to meet a sperm and result in a pregnancy.3

Signs: Some women might notice changes in vaginal discharge, body temperature, or experience ovulation pain.3

Experience: Your body’s getting ready to release an egg. You might notice more cervical mucus, like egg whites. Some women feel a bit warmer, and some get a little ache on one side of their belly called “Mittelschmerz”.4

3. Fertilization: When does implantation occur? This step is key. If a sperm meets the egg, it’s fertilized, meaning it’s ready to grow into a fetus. This can only happen if you’ve had sex. Fertilization usually happens within a day or so after ovulation. If you are trying to avoid getting pregnant, the only way to totally prevent it is to postpone sex for now.

Signs: None on the outside.

Experience: Fertilization is the very first step in pregnancy. Usually the first signs of pregnancy come later in the process (like implantation bleeding and changing hormones).5 .

4. Implantation: Now, the fertilized egg searches for a place to settle down and grow. It finds a spot in the lining of the uterus and sticks there. This is called implantation. It happens about 10 to 14  days after conception (when the egg and sperm meet).5

Signs: Some women don’t experience any symptoms. Others might experience light spotting or mild cramps.5.

Experience: So, sometimes after the egg meets sperm, it sticks to your uterus lining. You might see a bit of light bleeding or cramping.5

6. Pregnancy: Once the fertilized egg is snug in the uterus lining, it starts to grow into a baby. When does implantation occur? It just did! This is the start of pregnancy.5

Signs: Missed period, nausea, vomiting, sore breasts, tiredness, frequent urination.5

Experience: If you miss your period, that’s a big sign. In the early stages of pregnancy, you might feel sick to your stomach, have tender breasts, feel super tired, and need to pee (what feels like!) every five minutes.5

If you’ve missed a period and think you may be pregnant, make an appointment to come see us at ThriVe+. We offer no-cost services and a pre-abortion screening to help you navigate this time. That includes medical-grade pregnancy tests, ultrasound, and STD testing.

Why should you have an ultrasound if you’re considering abortion?

It’s not super common, but it’s possible that a fertilized egg can implant outside of the uterus. For example, sometimes an egg becomes implanted in a fallopian tube.6

When this happens, it’s super important to get medical attention right away. The abortion pill would not resolve this.7 That’s why you need to have an ultrasound when you find out you’re pregnant. An ultrasound would show where the pregnancy is developing, to keep you safe.

Implantation is straightforward for most women. But in those cases of ectopic pregnancy, it’s crucial to get checked out right away. If you think you might be pregnant, please come see us for a no-cost pregnancy test and ultrasound. After that, you’ll be better equipped to decide what comes next for you. We aren’t here to pressure you or judge. We’re pro-woman. And that means empowering you to make the best choices for yourself. 

Sources:

1https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/multimedia/fertilization-and-implantation/img-20008656

2https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/in-depth/menstrual-cycle/art-20047186

3https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/expert-answers/ovulation-signs/faq-20058000

4https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mittelschmerz/symptoms-causes/syc-20375122

5https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853

6https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ectopic-pregnancy/symptoms-causes/syc-20372088

7 https://www.aafp.org/pubs/afp/issues/2006/0515/p1703.html

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