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How Long After Implantation Bleeding Can I Test (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 7 days

Implantation bleeding can be defined as the bleeding or light spotting that occurs around 10 to 14 days after conception. It is observed in some women and its occurrence differs from person to person. Implantation bleeding is an indicator of successful conception but can also be easily mistaken as a light period.

Implantation bleeding follows the process of implantation during which a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall and gets embedded into it. The embryo then produces several hormones to prepare the body for pregnancy. The pregnancy hormone or hCG is the hormone that gets detected in pregnancy tests after a few days of conception.

How Long After Implantation Bleeding Can I Test?

It may take up to 10 days post ovulation on average to observe light spotting or implantation bleeding in some women. Implantation bleeding is also sometimes accompanied by light implantation cramps due to high hormonal activities in the body. One may also experience higher body temperatures due to an increase in progesterone levels.

The signs of successful implantation include:

  • Bleeding or spotting
  • Cramps
  • Increased body or basal temperature
  • Sore breasts
  • Missed period
  • Frequent urination

Different types of pregnancy tests can be taken to ensure successful implantation. One can take these tests anytime after a missed period or wait until implantation bleeding is observed. Pregnancy tests detect the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG that is produced by the body only after successful conception.

Pregnancy tests work by detecting hCG in urine or blood. hCG reaches detectable levels in the blood after 4 to 5 days of implantation bleeding. The different types of pregnancy tests include:

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Blood Test

A blood test can be used to detect pregnancy after 4 to 5 days of implantation bleeding. The hCG levels increase and almost double after every 48 hours of implantation bleeding, and thus one may expect accurate results.

At Home Urine Pregnancy Test

At-home pregnancy tests are easier to perform but may yield false results. The hCG levels in urine require more days to become detectable for a pregnancy test. It may take 6 to 7 days for hCG levels to become detectable in urine after implantation bleeding.

In summary:

Pregnancy TestTime Needed
Blood test4 – 5 days
Urine test6 – 7 days

Why Do I Have to Wait For So Long To Test After Implantation Bleeding?

About one-third of women in the world experience implantation bleeding. It is a good sign for those wanting to conceive a child. One is needed to wait for a few days after implantation bleeding to reach a detectable amount of the hormone hCG in the blood or urine to obtain accurate positive results.

Women experience different hormonal changes in the menstrual cycle. During the follicular stage of the menstrual cycle, the body releases hormones that induce the maturation of eggs in the ovaries. The same hormone also causes the thickening of the uterine wall to prepare for implantation between the second to the fourteenth day of the menstrual cycle.

From the eleventh to the twenty-fourth day of the menstrual cycle, the body enters the ovulation stage triggered by the luteinizing hormone (LH). A change in the consistency of the cervical mucus is also observed during this stage to facilitate sperm movements. As the sperm fertilizes the egg, it gets embedded in the thickened uterine wall and further develops into an embryo.

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The developing embryo produces human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG that plays an integral role in the detection of pregnancy. A desirable amount of the hormone can be found in blood or urine mostly after 5 to 7 days of implantation bleeding. The implantation bleeding lasts for up to 14 days after conception.

Conclusion

Implantation bleeding is a normal process during which one may experience light vaginal bleeding or spotting. It is an indication of successful implantation and helps one confirm pregnancy through various tests. Vaginal spotting is not experienced by all and thus, it is also sometimes mistaken for a light period.

It is recommended to wait for at least 4 to 5 days after implantation bleeding to obtain accurate blood results for pregnancy tests. Similarly, one must wait for 6 to 7 days to obtain reliable results for an instant urine pregnancy test.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/humrep/article-abstract/18/9/1944/708284
  2. https://academic.oup.com/clinchem/article-abstract/47/12/2131/5639410