Implantation Cramping - Symptoms & Remedies

Implantation Cramps – Signs & When To See Doctor

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sabiha Anjum (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Menstrual cramps are a part of a woman’s life. You know how they feel, how severe they can get, and what you should do to get through those painful hours or days. But do you know about implantation cramps? Don’t get confused between implantation cramps with menstrual cramps. It is important to understand the causes and key differences between implantation cramps and period cramps in order to recognise them. If you are a mum, you must be aware of it. But if not, then read on to know what implantation cramping is, where exactly the pain is located, and more.

Implantation cramps are not same as menstrual or period cramps – they can be one of the early signs of pregnancy. If you are experiencing cramps that aren’t similar to the usual period ones, there’s a good chance that you might be experiencing implantation cramps (and are pregnant).

What Are Implantation Cramps?

As mentioned above, implantation cramps are an early sign of pregnancy. When a woman is about to get pregnant after the conception, her body undergoes quite a few changes from within. When a fertilised egg attaches itself to the walls of the uterus of a woman, it is called implantation. This generally causes abdominal spasms or sharp pain, similar to cramps and are known as implantation cramps.

When Does Implantation Cramping Occur?

When the conception is successful, i.e., when the sperm has managed to fertilize the egg, the embryo is formed. In order to safeguard the embryo within the womb, it is securely implanted within the uterine walls, which melts away the mucous membrane within it, allowing it to securely latch itself on it. This is when cramping is usually noticed.

Not all women experience implantation cramping, so it cannot be said for sure that you will have cramps too. Only 30 per cent of women experience implantation cramping. If the cramping pain occurs around a week to 12 days after ovulation, there is a good chance that implantation has occurred and the pain is an indication of it.

Where Will You Feel the Cramps?

Since implantation is related to the uterus, you will have cramps in the lower part of your abdomen. Pain may also occur in the surrounding areas; you can expect to experience lower back pain. This pain may be typically similar to the pain experienced during ovulation or while on periods.

What Does Implantation Cramping Feel Like?

Implantation cramping is generally associated with a feeling of being tugged or pulled internally within the body, combined with pricks of pain. It occurs in brief spasms and is very mild in nature. Certain women may have light bleeding too along with cramps. This is a consequence of the implantation process itself.

How Long Does the Cramping Last?

There’s only a short window of time when the implantation occurs. Given the fact that the process itself lasts for a couple of days or so, it is assumed that the cramping should fade away after two to three days. In rare cases, some women may experience cramps for around 12-15 days while others may have no cramps at all, even after having successfully conceived. Therefore, there’s no conclusive answer to this, since there is a strong possibility of multiple factors governing the process and its effects.

Are There Any Remedies for Implantation Cramping?

Stress and fatigue are the major factors responsible for worsening pain. Resting for a good amount of time can help your body relax and combat the pain effectively. Lying on the bed and elevating your legs can also bring about some relief from the pain. You should also stop doing strenuous everyday tasks for a few days until the pain fades away. You can practise yoga or perform light exercises to feel better. Meditation can also have surprising effects on pain. You can also take a warm bath or shower, as the heat can help relax your uterine muscles and ease implantation cramps. Any kind of warm compress on your pelvis can also provide relief from pain. Yoga can also be helpful as it will put you in a relaxed state of mind, get your blood flowing, and alleviate your pain. So, try out these remedies to feel better.

Woman with hot water bag

What Are the Symptoms Associated With Implantation?

Although cramping is one of the prominent signs of implantation, there are a bunch of other symptoms that help establish the same conclusively. Certain women don’t feel the cramping at all, or the pain is extremely light but that doesn’t mean they are not implanted. The symptoms of early pregnancy may vary from woman to woman. Some women can experience implantation cramps days after being implanted, while others may not. The other symptoms of early pregnancy you can watch out for include breast tenderness, constipation, missed period, food aversions, nasal congestion, etc. If you don’t experience cramps at all, you can check for other symptoms. If you feel light-headed or tired, it could be because of pregnancy. Your body must be going through a complicated process internally as well. If your breasts feel sensitive, it is a sign of pregnancy. Minor signs of physical and mental conditions appear during the process which isn’t very obvious but can be felt.

Difference Between Implantation Cramps and Menstrual Cramps

Implantation cramps are not the same as menstrual cramps. Implantation cramping happens in small spasms, and at times, it is paired with light blood spots. But this bleeding is a far cry from the usual menstrual bleeding. When a woman has implantation cramps, the bleeding along with it is not intense, and the spots are brown and pinkish in colour. Menstrual cramps, on the other hand, are experienced during a period, which occurs usually once in 28 days or so. Menstrual bleeding may intensify over time and the blood will be a vivid shade of red.

Is Cramping a Sign of Pregnancy?

Implantation cramping can be an early sign of pregnancy but experiencing cramps alone is not enough to establish a pregnancy. As only 30 per cent of women experience implantation cramping, it cannot be taken as a conclusive sign. The embryo is barely discernible in size and needs to grow for some more time. Utilizing the standard home pregnancy test is the best way to confirm a pregnancy. This way a woman can understand whether her cramps are related to implantation or not.

Is There Any Need to Worry?

Implantation is totally a natural process of pregnancy. In fact, minor cramping is a good sign as it indicated that the body is getting ready to protect the embryo and allow it to grow into a healthy baby. However, if at all, you feel that the cramping is unusual or intense and the pain doesn’t seem to subside even after a few days, it is best to get in touch with a doctor and get a professional medical opinion.

When to Call a Doctor

You should visit the doctor if the implantation cramping on one side or both sides is sharp and radiate throughout your pelvis and abdomen. This may indicate ectopic pregnancy, which means the embryo is implanted outside of the uterus. If you experience implantation bleeding cramps and have trouble telling the difference between implantation bleeding and your regular flow, you must contact your doctor.

Implantation cramping is common and there is nothing to worry about if you have cramps. In case you experience implantation cramps, enjoy the fact that soon you will welcome a baby into this world. And if you are not experiencing it and still waiting for the good news of pregnancy, then don’t be sad. There are other possible signs of pregnancy you can watch out for. Don’t stress yourself – stay healthy and happy, and soon you will hear the good news!

Also Read: Cramping Without Periods

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