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8 Things to Know about Implantation Cramping

If you are trying to get pregnant, you probably get excited by any little sign that might indicate it happened. Implantation cramping, for example.

As more and more attention is paid to the conception procedure and to the early signs of pregnancy, implantation has come under intense scrutiny. Women are now watching out for the exact moment when the egg latches on to the womb. The slight cramping. The spotting. While those could be signs of menstruation, they could also be signs of implantation.

What You Need to Know about Implantation Cramping

Curious about how you can know so early on without medical devices and tests?

1. What is implantation cramping?

Hoping to get pregnant, most women pay closer attention to their bodies. Some even expect to feel that exact, magical, miraculous moment when the fertilized egg, or the embryo, attaches itself to Momma’s womb. In doing so, it can sometimes cause mild cramping and spotting.

Although it is not the norm, some women experience these sensations. Medically speaking, the action itself should not be easily felt as the embryo itself is only 2 millimeters. However, studies show that around 30% of all pregnant women have experienced such very early signs of implantation.

2. What does implantation cramping feel like?

Cramps are a regular occurrence for most women. There are ovulation cramps, premenstrual cramps, menstrual cramps, and even post-menstrual cramps. So what make these cramps any different? What does implantation cramping feel like?

First, it is supposed to be a mild sensation. If you experience intense cramping and bleeding between menstrual cycles, contact your doctor. Implantation cramping, although some women feel it, is for most women imperceptible. Otherwise, it is described as a sensation of pricking, pulling on the side or even tingling.

While its intensity should be low, the sensation also depends on each woman’s pain threshold. Some women may refer to it as being unpleasant, but most will say that it is mild and bearable. After all, it is a process that usually goes undetected.

3. What does implantation cramping look like?

Your pregnancy begins at the implantation of the embryo. This takes place at a cellular level, which is why so few women are actually aware of it.

As the egg is released from the ovaries, it is fertilized by the sperm then travels down your fallopian tubes into the uterus. Once there, it attaches and embeds itself into the uterine lining. As it burrows into the uterus to create a safe and stable foundation for growth, it breaks blood vessels on its way – hence the light bleeding/spotting.

4. Implantation bleeding vs. period bleeding

Apart from slight cramping sensations, there can be some bleeding involved, too. However, implantation bleeding is very different compared to your regular period bleeding. As mentioned above, bleeding is caused by the slight rupture in your womb lining as the embryo settles in.

This tiny scratch on the surface of your uterus may cause some blood to be shed in the process. The blood then travels down and can come out brown or pink. There should be little blood involved, and the bleeding can only be associated with the implantation moment. As soon as it is over, the bleeding stops, and it never intensifies.

If your blood is bright red and the flow keeps intensifying, it is menstruation and not implantation bleeding.

5. Where do you feel implantation cramps?

As you might expect, you will mainly feel these cramps in the lower part of your abdomen. However, other body parts can be involved at the moment as well. Some women have experienced implantation back pain, which is very similar to the back pain you feel during ovulation or during your period. This is typically still pain originating in your reproductive area. It’s simply radiating to your back.

Other women have experienced cramps on one side. Once again, these symptoms are very similar to what usually happens inside a woman’s body in a typical month. These small cramps were associated more with a feeling of pulling or tugging. Should these sensations between menstrual cycles become intense, contact a doctor.

6. When do implantation cramps start?

From what we have covered so far, is seems that these cramps and the overall sensations associated with the implantation moment, do not differ much from the regular cramping sensations. The timing, however, can still be a sign. So, when do implantation cramps start? Normally, 2-7 days before your period. This is the timeframe for the egg to attach. Therefore, as long as you have light cramping, experience some brown or pink bleeding that does not intensify, and it is almost a week before your period, then you might be pregnant.

7. How long does implantation cramping last?

Implantation only lasts until the embryo is done attaching itself to the uterus wall. The entire process lasts only 1-3 days. Once the process is over, the cramping is over and so is any occasional bleeding. Anything that continues past this window of time should be referred to a doctor. The cramping itself is brief, like a short tug. It can last for a few seconds, a few minutes, it can go away for a day, or it can come back.

8. What other symptoms are associated with implantation?

If cramping is too light and you can’t tell if implantation has happened, look for lightheadedness, fatigue, or breast sensitivity. Once implantation occurs there is a general yet imperceptible change in your physical and psychological condition. If you’re noticing these subtle changes around the time of ovulation or just after, you might be pregnant!

And while we understand your excitement in looking for signs of pregnancy, remember that most women don’t detect their pregnancy for weeks or months. Being aware of the exact moment your little baby begins forming can be magical. Just don’t feel bad if you miss it. And try not to obsess about it!


Even if you feel implantation cramping, you’ll still need a proper test to confirm you’re pregnant.


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