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Implantation Cramps VS Period Cramps

implantation cramps vs period cramps

Differentiating between implantation cramps and period cramps can be quite confusing, especially when you are trying to conceive. I remember thinking every little twitch was implantation cramps. But, now after getting pregnant twice I can completely differentiate between them (implantation cramps vs period cramps).

In this post, the following will be discussed. 

  • What is implantation?
  • What are implantation cramps?
  • When does implantation occur?
  • Where do implantation cramps hurt?
  • What do early pregnancy cramps feel like?
  • How long do implantation cramps last?
  • What are the signs of successful implantation?
  • When to take a pregnancy test after you feel implantation cramps?
  • Implantation Cramps VS Period Cramps
  • When should you see a doctor?

What is implantation?

An egg is released from the ovaries every month. Usually, if a woman has not had sexual intercourse, the egg leaves the body with period bleeding. If sperms have reached the fallopian tube, one of them can fertilize the egg. The fertilized egg then moves down the tube and keeps dividing and growing. Once it reaches the blastocyst stage, it attaches to the lining of the uterus. This attachment is called implantation.

implantation cramps vs period cramps

What are implantation cramps?

Implantation cramps are cramps that are caused by the attachment of a fertilized egg to the lining of the uterus. Thirty percent of women report feeling implantation cramps. It can sometimes come along with implantation bleeding. This bleeding is much less than a normal period. It can be called spotting and can be pink or brown in color. The color doesn’t really matter. What matters is that it should be light, not heavy bleeding. It should not contain blood clots, and it should last from several hours to three days.

When does implantation occur?

Every woman is different because the cycle length and day of ovulation is not the same for every woman. If you take a typical 28-day cycle, implantation cramps can be felt four to eight days before ovulation. Most women noticed these cramps six to twelve days after ovulation.

Where do implantation cramps hurt?

Implantation cramps are mostly felt in the pelvic area, lower abdomen, in the middle of the uterus or on the left or right side of the uterus. I personally felt it on only one side of my uterus.

What do implantation cramps feel like?

Early pregnancy cramps feel different for every woman. You can describe it as mild cramps that you feel after ovulation. It sometimes feels like there is something pinching you from inside or pulling. It could also be felt as tingling or prickling sensations. Some women don’t even notice it because it doesn’t really hurt.

I personally felt pinches on the side of my uterus, and it kept happening. I thought I was ovulating late at first.

implantation cramps vs period cramps

 How long do implantation cramps last?

Many women reported a different period of time. It could last for a few minutes to a few days.

With my first son, I felt it a few hours throughout the day. It would come for an hour, then I would feel nothing for another hour and then the feeling comes back. For my second pregnancy, I felt it the entire night and it hurt a bit more than my first. That pregnancy unfortunately ended in a miscarriage. My third pregnancy, it felt like something was pinching me for about four hours. It didn’t hurt. It was just noticeable. Every woman would say something different, but it generally lasts for less than three days.

What are the signs of successful implantation?

Feeling implantation cramps is a good sign. Spotting is also a great sign. If these cramps also come with early pregnancy symptoms like feeling sick, increased temperature or no period, implantation has likely successfully occurred.

How long after implantation can you test?

It takes a while for hcg to build up in urine. HCG levels begin to increase after implantation has occurred. So, give it some time to be detected. You should wait four to five days after feeling cramping. I took a test two days afterwards because I couldn’t wait lol and I saw a very, very faint positive. If you get a negative, wait a few more days before giving up.

The more you wait before taking the pregnancy test, the more accurate the result will be. So, if you can wait a week after a missed period, you would probably know for sure whether you are pregnant or not using a simple at home pregnancy test.

Implantation Cramps VS Period Cramps

So, how can you differentiate between these two types of cramping? From experience, I can tell you there is a huge difference between the two. Implantation cramping feels more like pinches and are very mild. They shouldn’t hurt much. They shouldn’t affect your daily life. Implantation cramps should occur four to eight days before your period, whereas period cramps usually begin one to three days before your period.

Implantation cramps are usually lower in the pelvic area than period cramps. After feeling implantation cramps, you may begin to feel other early pregnancy symptoms, like upset stomach, tender breasts, diarrhea or constipation, and higher basal body temperature. If you miss your period, you should just take a pregnancy test. Click here to learn more about early pregnancy symptoms. 

Click here to learn how to immediately relieve constipation during pregnancy.

When should you see a doctor?

You should see a doctor if the cramping is very painful or there is too much bleeding. If you have any severe symptoms, call your doctor right away. You should also take a pregnancy test after a few days of feeling implantation cramping.

Click here to learn the difference between an evap line and faint positive. Many women can’t tell the difference.

If the test is positive, you should call your doctor and schedule an appointment. Usually, this appointment is scheduled during your eighth week of pregnancy.

Click here to learn everything about the first trimester. Subscribe to receive all the pregnancy planners. They are for FREE!

Leave a comment about what you are feeling and please come back and comment whether you were pregnant or not. Let us help each other.

implantation cramps vs period cramps

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Heather Behrends
3 years ago

I got implantation cramps every time and could tell I was pregnant days before I could take a test!

3 years ago

This is amazing! I experienced implantation cramping with both my babies and I was unsure what it was!

3 years ago

Very informative article!

3 years ago

This is the first time that I’ve heard of implantation cramps. Thank you for the helpful guide especially for expecting women!

Gervin Khan
Gervin Khan
3 years ago

I have never experienced implantation cramps with my previous pregnancies. That time, I already knew in my heart that I am pregnant because I skipped my period, and experiencing all the symptoms of a pregnant woman.

3 years ago

Didn’t really experience implantation cramping with either of my child, but I knew deep inside I was pregnant. With my second, I was telling everyone that I feel pregnant. I got tested at an urgent care and they said I wasn’t. Two weeks later, it was confirmed that I had been pregnant for a few weeks. I just knew.

Anasha Khan
3 years ago

As I read this post I couldn’t stop and ponder if I had experience implementation cramping with my two kids. If I did It was definitely something I ignored.🤷🏻‍♀️ This is a great article for women trying to conceive so that they can identify changes to their bodies.

Samantha Laycock
3 years ago

I never experienced implantation cramps or bleeding. I really didn’t even know this was a thing. Thank you for sharing.

Sonia Seivwright
3 years ago

Thank you for sharing this. I have been having cramps but don’t know what it was. I’m so happy I read this.

Angeline Gormley
Angeline Gormley
3 years ago

Thank you for this info! We are TTC and I am always watchful for signs.

3 years ago

This is great information that all women should have! Thank you for sharing this.

3 years ago

i don’t think i experienced implantation cramping.. but this is definitely useful information for all women so they can learn to identify and distinguish between the different issues we face

3 years ago

I never experienced Implantation cramping, but my babies were both surprises!

Forever My Little Moon

I never experienced implantation cramping, but I do get terrible cramps during my period.