When to take pregnancy test after possible implantation bleeding

What to Expect from Negative Pregnancy Tests After Implantation Bleeding

Implantation bleeding is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and happens when the ball of cells, that will eventually become the embryo (known also as the blastocyst), attaches itself to the uterus. This attachment can disturb the lining of the uterus to the point where slight bleeding may occur. This is a natural process, which simply means everything is progressing as it should be. While implantation bleeding is one sign of early pregnancy, there are several others. Another way to confirm that you might be expecting a child is to take a home hCG test. There are instances, in which implantation bleeding has already occurred, but yet the desirable second line is not visible. We’ll tell you the reasons, why this might happen. Mostly it has nothing to do with the test itself being defective. The negative result is also not sure fire proof that you are not actually pregnant. Read on to learn, why this might be the case.

Implantation bleeding is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy and happens when the ball of cells, that will eventually become the embryo (known also as the blastocyst), attaches itself to the uterus. This attachment can disturb the lining of the uterus to the point where slight bleeding may occur. This is a natural process, which simply means everything is progressing as it should be. While implantation bleeding is one sign of early pregnancy, there are several others. Another way to confirm that you might be expecting a child is to take a home hCG test. There are instances, in which implantation bleeding has already occurred, but yet the desirable second line is not visible. We’ll tell you the reasons, why this might happen. Mostly it has nothing to do with the test itself being defective. The negative result is also not sure fire proof that you are not actually pregnant. Read on to learn, why this might be the case.

Common Early Pregnancy Symptoms

A woman’s body is great at giving her clues that she might be pregnant. Even before you were due for a regular menstrual period, implantation bleeding may occur. This will usually be just a slight spotting, typically occurring around a week before your period would be normally be due. The bleeding is generally sparse and can last for as short as a few hours to about two or three days. Many women may even interpret this spotting as just a light discharge between periods, or as the start of early menses. But aside from this sign, if the body is really pregnant, you’ll soon figure it out, with or without a hCG test.

A missed period is obviously a sign of successful conception, but even before than happens, a woman may start noticing a few other things. Breasts may become tender and feel fuller or heavier. You may experience nausea or morning sickness. Certain smells that never bothered you before may repel you. You may find that you need to urinate more frequently, even if you haven’t increased your intake of liquids. You may also feel very tired, or be experiencing some unusual changes in mood. Another common early pregnancy symptom is dizziness upon rising quickly from a lying or sitting position.

Pregnancy Tests and Their Accuracy

If you feel you’ve experienced implantation bleeding and now want to confirm the pregnancy, you can always perform a home stick-test. Such “device” works by detecting the hCG in the urine. A woman naturally has a small amount of this hormone in her urine on any day, but this number increases greatly after conception. In order for the pregnancy test to read the result as “positive”, the hCG level must be at least 5mIU. The majority of home tests, which are available today, are treated as “fair”, with some boasting a 99% accuracy rate. Some of them claim they can detect a new state of being an “expectant” as early as three to four days before menses, while others claim to detect it as early as the day after missing a menstrual period.

Always make sure to follow the directions on the test package, and even while some say you can collect your urine at any time of day, the first morning urine always has the highest concentration of hCG and will likely give the best and the earliest result. Some brands use a urine collection cup, while other tests look like a thin strip with markers. The ones, labeled “early pregnancy tests”, will likely give the most accurate results during the first weeks after conception. Different brands vary in sensitivity (as in how early they will detect a new state), ease of use, and price. If you want a foolproof pregnancy test method, visit your health care provider for a blood test. It will detect an embryo developing even if the HPT is negative.

Why Some Tests Are Negative During Implantation Bleeding?

So you’re fairly certain you’ve experienced implantation bleeding, took a hCG test to confirm the pregnancy, but got a negative result. How could this be? Was the test defective? Did the test lie to you? Chances are that you took the test too soon after implantation bleeding, before the hCG hormone had plenty of time to reach high enough levels to be detected. If it is below 5mIU, you could still be pregnant but it is simply too early to indicate this fact. Nevertheless, the capabilities of home tests are limited. The good news is, you usually only need to wait a matter of a few days in order for the hormone to build enough to be detected and to receive a positive result. Its level doubles every 2 days.

In rare instances, implantation bleeding may have occurred, but the blastocyst may have failed to thrive, resulting in a very early miscarriage that would likely go undetected by someone, who hadn’t yet thought they were pregnant. Chances are that the bleeding would then be dismissed as a regular menstrual period. In some cases, when a woman feels she has experienced implantation bleeding, it may not be this at all. Sometimes there is just a bit of blood that remained in the uterus. It just happens to be expelled around the time frame when implantation bleeding would likely occur.

None of these instances have anything to do with the pregnancy test “lying” to you, but are rather just the limitations of the test as to how early it can detect the hCG hormone. In the other cases, there is no longer a state to be detected, or there never was a conception in the first place.


If you feel certain you have experienced implantation bleeding, but your pregnancy test came out negative, you may still actually be pregnant. If you are not having any signs of trouble with your new state, wait a few days more and then retake the test. The most reliable results you can get after calling your doctor. He or she will schedule a blood test and an ultrasound to confirm or rule out pregnancy.

New Health Advisor

You become pregnant when the fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine wall. You may experience some pain along with bleeding when the implantation takes place. Throughout your menstrual cycle, you may experience vaginal discharge with bleeding. Sometimes, the bleeding starts at the wrong time, and this might indicate an underlying health condition.

If you think you have just experienced implantation bleeding, you may want to take a pregnancy test to confirm it. Many women have several questions regarding implantation and implantation bleeding.

Can Implantation Bleeding Have Small Clots?

No, that is never the case. In fact, you are only going to experience light vaginal bleeding. The bleeding will not be heavy or have blood clots. You should see your doctor immediately if you notice small blood clots.

Under normal circumstances, implantation bleeding is pink or brown in color. It is going to be light because of the small size of the ovum. In some cases, the bleeding is so light that it does not even flow out of your vagina. Some women only have a few drops of blood when implantation occurs.

It is also possible to have implantation bleeding during your first pregnancy and miss it completely while carrying your second child. Even if it is present, it is very light and thin in consistency.

When Does Implantation Bleeding Occur?

Implantation can take place 6-12 days after ovulation. It implies that you may have implantation bleeding a week before your period. Sometimes, it occurs around the same time your period is due, and that is the reason why some women take implantation bleeding as a light period, especially when they also have a cramping sensation.

Take a Pregnancy Test to Know It for Sure

To determine if you have experienced implantation bleeding, it is better to take a pregnancy test, especially when you have other pregnancy symptoms, such as fatigue, nausea, etc. However, you need to keep in mind that sometimes a pregnancy test might not yield positive results because you take it too early.

These tests measure the levels of hCG hormone in your body that goes up after the egg implants itself into the womb. The process can take some time, which is why taking a pregnancy test a little too early may not yield correct results. You have to consider other symptoms as well and take another test if you miss your period after experiencing light bleeding.

How Long Does It Last?

Implantation bleeding may not last longer than a few minutes. In some cases, it may last for a few hours to a couple of days. If it persists for more than three days, you should seek immediate medical attention because it could be a sign of vaginal infections. It might also be a sign of a miscarriage.

Can You Experience Cramping with Implantation Bleeding?

Can implantation bleeding have small clots? You already know the answer, but you may be wondering if it can cause cramping sensation or not.

Yes, it is possible to have some cramps when the implantation takes place. It is common and can occur a week before your missed period. It may also vary in severity, as some women do not feel much but others say it feels as uncomfortable as menstrual cramps.

What If You Have Heavy Implantation Bleeding?

As mentioned already, it is very rare to have heavy implantation bleeding, and in most cases, it indicates underlying medical problems. Heavy discharge with strong cramps during implantation may indicate an ectopic pregnancy. It can also happen when the fertilized ovum attaches itself to the ovaries, abdomen, cervix, fallopian tubes, or other uterus tissues.

In such cases, you are going to experience some other symptoms, such as shoulder aches, dizziness, bloody discharge, pelvic pains, and blood with clots. If you continue to experience these symptoms along with heavy bleeding for more than three days, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Can implantation bleeding have small clots? No, clots are signs that you should inform your doctor. It is also a good idea to talk to your doctor if you experience at least one of the symptoms mentioned below:

  • You have heavy bleeding that continues for several days, especially when you have confirmed that you are pregnant.
  • You have heavy bleeding after you have reached menopause.
  • You experience prolonged, heavy bleeding in your normal menstrual period.
  • You have vaginal discharge along with symptoms, such as acute pain and dizziness.

While implantation bleeding is a natural occurrence, you should not overlook any additional symptoms you may be experiencing. Never ignore what your body is trying to tell you by behaving differently. Talk to your doctor if you find something abnormal or strange. It is better to seek medical attention as soon as possible because most conditions that cause heavy bleeding can be treated easily when diagnosed in early stages of pregnancy.

Positive Pregnancy Test: When and How Long After Implantation

A pregnancy test can show a positive result a few days after implantation has occurred. Most women who want to get pregnant are very keen to take a home pregnancy test (HPT) to see if the result is positive. Depending on your body and the levels of hCG hormone, early pregnancy can be detected by a pregnancy blood test as soon as 3-4 days after implantation. Usually, a urine home pregnancy test takes a few days longer to detect a pregnancy and may show a positive result as soon as 5-7 days after implantation.

Even if the home pregnancy test result is negative, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not pregnant. How soon an early pregnancy can be detected depends on the levels of the hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This hormone is produced during pregnancy. Blood and urine pregnancy tests check for elevated levels of hCG which start to rise right after implantation. A positive urine home pregnancy test will undoubtedly mean that you are pregnant and should visit your doctor for hCG blood test.

Most home urine pregnancy test kits advise that you should wait until the first day of your missed period before taking the test. This is when levels of hCG will usually be high enough for the majority of pregnancy testing kits to show a positive pregnancy result if you have conceived. However, some urine pregnancy testing kits are more sensitive and may be able to show a positive result and detect early pregnancy quite soon after implantation.

If you have already waited for a few days after your missed period to take a pregnancy test, and it is still negative, chances are that you are not pregnant.

You may want to take a pregnancy test, but you probably have questions such as: How long after implantation can I test? How long do I have to wait after a missed period before I take a test? In this article, you will find out how early you can detect pregnancy using at-home pregnancy testing kits. You will also learn about the other early signs of pregnancy that can help determine if implantation has taken place.

How Long After Implantation You Need to Take a Pregnancy Test

How early you can take a pregnancy test depends on a number of factors such as the sensitivity of the home pregnancy test (HPT), levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your body, and the regularity of your menstrual cycle.

A pregnancy test can only become positive when an egg is fertilized after ovulation. According to the American Pregnancy Association, ovulation happens about 11 to 21 days from the start of your last period. 1 At ovulation, an egg is released and lives for up to 24 hours in the fallopian tubes waiting for a sperm that lives long enough to fertilize it. Some signs of ovulation include discharge, light abdominal cramping, and some ovulation spotting.

When the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of your uterus, implantation occurs. As soon as implantation happens, your body produces hCG and the pregnancy hormone can be detected in a pregnancy test. At the same time, you may have other signs of implantation such as light spotting that lasts a day or two, mild cramping, tender breasts, and an increased need to pee.

The length of time after implantation you need to take a pregnancy test to check if it’s positive or not depends on the sensitivity of the pregnancy test that is carried out. The two types of pregnancy tests to check for early pregnancy are:

  • Urine hCG pregnancy test kits that you use at home and show up a mark to indicate a positive pregnancy test or a negative test result.
  • Pregnancy blood tests at the doctor’s office to check for hCG in blood serum in order to detect a pregnancy.

Urine hCG test – when is it positive after implantation?

Some of the most sensitive urine pregnancy test kits can detect early pregnancy in less than a week after implantation. The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, found that urine pregnancy testing kits will usually show a positive result 3-4 days after implantation. By 7 days (the time of the expected period) 98% of pregnancy testing kits will be positive. 13

Urine pregnancy test kits have an hCG sensitivity of 25 mlU/ml (sensitivity of 25 units per litre). The American Pregnancy Association say that a reading of more than 25 mIU/ml in urine indicates pregnancy. 2

The levels of hCG are detectable a few days after implantation. For example, a report published in a German medical journal said that sensitive pregnancy testing kits can detect hCG as early as 4 days or even 10 days before your next period is due. 3

According to Dr. Nivin Todd on WebMD, implantation occurs 3-4 days after the egg is fertilized. This may result in implantation bleeding which can be one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. Dr. Todd says that hCG levels will show up in most urine tests from as early as 7 days before you expect your next period. 4

Sometimes, urine home pregnancy tests show up “false-negative” results because not enough hCG hormone has been detected yet. This means that you could still be pregnant even though the pregnancy test shows up as negative. However, in a few days, the pregnancy test will become positive in women if implantation has taken place.

You can test for pregnancy using a urine pregnancy test as early as a week before your next period is expected. Even if the results are negative, you shouldn’t lose hope. Take another urine pregnancy test after 5-7 days to see if it becomes positive. According to Lab Tests Online, if you are pregnant, an early positive urine pregnancy test will be reliable 10 days after your missed menstrual period. 5

Blood hCG Level and early pregnancy test

A pregnancy blood test will be positive 2 or 3 days before a urine pregnancy test. Pregnancy blood tests check the levels of the hCG hormone and they are more accurate than urine pregnancy tests as they can show the exact levels of hCG.

Doctors also use hCG levels to determine how many weeks you are pregnant and to monitor your health during pregnancy.

A blood pregnancy test will become positive very soon after implantation. According to Dr. Melissa Conrad Stöppler on MedicineNet, positive pregnancy blood test result can show up as early as one week after conception. Because implantation happens 3-4 after conception, you might get early pregnancy blood test results that are usually positive within 3 or 4 days after implantation. 6

In very rare circumstances, you might have a “false-positive” pregnancy test result. Dr. Stöppler says that medication, tumors, or other conditions can show up as a positive pregnancy test when there is, in fact, no pregnancy.

Pregnancy Test Soon After Implantation – How Accurate Is It?

A positive pregnancy test is almost certainly correct and is usually very accurate. However, you always need to follow the instructions of the home pregnancy test correctly.

Doctors from the National Health Service say that if the pregnancy test results are positive, then you are probably pregnant. However, a negative test result is less accurate and isn’t necessarily an indicator that you’re not pregnant. Sometimes, taking the pregnancy test too soon after implantation doesn’t allow for high enough levels of hCG hormone to develop. 7

Pregnancy tests can show a positive result when the concentration of the pregnancy hormone (hCG) is high enough to be detected in a blood test or urine sample.

According to Dr. Traci Johnson on WebMD, there are 6 factors that can affect how accurate a pregnancy test is soon after implantation. Some of these are: 8

  • When the urine test was taken. It is usually recommended to take the test first thing in the morning. This is because the concentration of hCG will be higher and makes a positive pregnancy result more likely.
  • When you ovulate. Each woman’s menstrual cycle is different and ovulation may not always happen exactly when planned. Although the average time of ovulation is mid-cycle, your body can release an egg as soon as day 11 of your cycle and as late as day 21.
  • When implantation happens. It can be difficult to know exactly when implantation happens. A fertilized egg takes between 6 to 12 days after ovulation to implant itself in the uterine lining. 1
  • How soon after implantation you take the test. There needs to be enough concentration of hCG for a positive pregnancy test result. It may take time for pregnancy test results to become positive if you have successfully conceived.
  • The sensitivity of the pregnancy test. Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that some pregnancy testing kits are more sensitive than others. Therefore, some may require a higher amount of pregnancy hormone hCG to show a positive pregnancy test result. 9
  • Blood and urine hCG levels. There are also various factors that can affect pregnancy hormone levels. For example, if you drink too much fluids, you might not get a positive pregnancy reading when taking a urine test soon after implantation.
  • The European Journal of Epidemiology says that smoking and being overweight can also negatively affect hCG levels. This makes it harder to test for early signs of pregnancy soon after implantation. 10

    However, if you are pregnant, then pregnancy test result is usually positive within 7-10 days after you have missed a period.

    How to Test for Pregnancy Soon After Implantation

    Most women use at-home urine pregnancy test kits because they are cheaper and quicker than making an appointment with your doctor for a pregnancy blood test. These will test positive for pregnancy when hCG levels reaches at least 25 mIU/ml.

    To use a urine pregnancy test soon after implantation to check if it tests positive, this is what you should do:

  • Wash your hands with water and soap.
  • Remove the testing kit from its packaging and sit on the toilet seat.
  • Depending on the type of test, you either need to urinate on the testing stick or into a small plastic cup.
  • The urine sample should be from midstream, so you should pee a little before collecting urine in the cup or placing the stick in the urine stream.
  • If you are using the urine collection method to test for pregnancy, follow the instructions on using the dropper.
  • Now, it’s time to wait. The best thing is to do something to distract yourself for the 5 minutes or so it takes the test to show positive or negative.
  • Check the results.
  • What do Pregnancy Test Results Mean After Implantation?

    Positive pregnancy results usually mean that you are pregnant. Most home pregnancy testing kits show the results by means of a line to indicate a positive or a negative result. Dr. Traci Johnson on WebMD says that even if the line for a positive pregnancy test result is very faint, it still means you are pregnant. 8

    If your pregnancy test is positive, then it means that you should make an appointment to see your doctor. The earlier you can arrange for prenatal care, then the better health you and your baby will enjoy during pregnancy.

    Negative pregnancy results may not necessarily mean that implantation hasn’t happened. You could still be pregnant because you tested too soon after implantation or you took the test the wrong way. Dr. Traci Johnson recommends retesting for a positive result in a week to check for pregnancy.

    If the HPT still tests negative over 10 days after your missed period, you should speak to your doctor. A late or missed period could be a result of a hormonal imbalance as well as emotional stress, excessive weight loss or gain and problems with pelvic organs. 12

    Early Signs of Pregnancy Very Soon After Implantation

    Even before an hCG pregnancy test becomes positive, you may have some signs of implantation that show up before a pregnancy test confirms that you are pregnant.

    Implantation spotting. Many women experience implantation spotting as one of the earliest pregnancy signs. Implantation bleeding looks like very light spotting that could be a rusty brown or light pink color. Spotting associated with implantation usually last up to 2 days.

    Implantation cramping. Around the time when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining you might experience mild cramping. Implantation cramping usually happens just before or just after you notice implantation spotting.

    Breast tenderness. Doctors from the American Pregnancy Association say that your breasts may become sore when implantation happens. In fact, your breasts may appear swollen and tender even as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception. 11

    Other signs of implantation or early pregnancy that you might notice before a pregnancy test tests positive are frequent urination, food aversions or cravings, backaches and headaches, and mood swings.

    If you notice these signs of pregnancy, and you know that you had intercourse around the time of ovulation, you should take a home pregnancy test. If the results are negative, they may become positive several days later as pregnancy hormone (hCG) increases.

    Everything You Need to Know About Implantation Cramping

    Pregnancy happens when an egg is fertilized by sperm in the fallopian tubes. Once fertilized, the cells start to multiply and grow. The zygote, or fertilized egg, travels down into the uterus and becomes what’s called a morula. In the uterus, the morula becomes a blastocyst and eventually burrows into the uterine lining in a process called implantation.

    Although some women report feeling cramping or pain during the implantation process, not everyone will experience this symptom. Here’s more about implantation cramping, as well as other early pregnancy signs and when you might want to take a pregnancy test.

    The symptoms of early pregnancy can vary greatly from woman to woman. Some women experience mild implantation cramping several days after ovulation, while others do not.

    Why might you feel cramping? To achieve pregnancy, the fertilized egg must attach to the uterine lining. Once the egg travels down the fallopian tubes and becomes a blastocyst, it begins the process of implantation in the uterus. Implanting gives the blastocyst a blood supply so that it can start growing into a fetus.

    Along with cramping, you may experience what is called implantation bleeding or spotting. This usually happens 10 to 14 days after conception, around the time of your usual period. Implantation bleeding is usually much lighter than your regular menstrual period bleeding.

    What other symptoms are possible?

    There are many other early pregnancy symptoms you can watch for. It’s important to note that although some women may have all of these and be pregnant, the reverse is also possible. Many of these symptoms can also be caused by hormonal changes or other conditions.

    Early pregnancy symptoms can include:

    • Missed period: A missed period is one of the most telltale signs of early pregnancy. If yours is relatively regular and you notice it’s late, you may be pregnant.
    • Breast tenderness: You may notice that your breasts swell or feel tender as your hormones change.
    • Moodiness: If you find yourself more emotional than usual, hormonal changes may be to blame.
    • Food aversions: You may become sensitive to different tastes or smells, especially with food.
    • Bloating: While bloating is common before starting your period, it’s also a possible sign of pregnancy. Any hormonal change can trigger bloating.
    • Nasal congestion: Hormones may make the mucous membranes in your nose swell and feel runny or stuffy. You may also experience nose bleeds.
    • Constipation: Hormonal changes can also slow your body’s digestive system down.

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