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FAQ: What is implantation & what are the signs?
13. Question: What is Implantation - and what are the signs?Answer: Many consider a pregnancy to have taken place with the union of the egg and the sperm - or with fertilization. That fact is, when the egg is fertilized it remains initially "detached" from the mother - just a tiny, free-floating speck in the wide universe of the womb. Following fertilization, the incipient embryo (or blastocyst) is just a cluster of multiplying cells - and the blastocyst must develop and grow through a number of phases and stages before it is prepared to "hook up" with the mother. This hook up or connection is called "implantation".
When the embryo (blastocyst) is ready, it will nestle into the womb or side of the uterus. At this moment of implantation, pregnancy has officially taken place and the placental tissue begins to secrete the hormone hCG. Implantation may take place as early as a handful of days after ovulation or well over a week. On average, one can expect implantation to occur about seven to ten days after you ovulate. This is also the point at which you can take an early pregnancy test.
Signs of implantation are few: Unlike pains associated with the release of the egg (mittelschmerz), there is seldom any kind of cramping or physical awareness that implantation has taken place. In fact, the first sign of implantation may be a positive pregnancy test! On the other hand, some women do experience what is called implantation bleeding, a very light spotting that may occur just shortly after the embryo implants in the uterine lining of the womb. Again, this spotting will be very light, won't last more than a day, and will be typically brown or possibly reddish in color.