Implantation is a stage of pregnancy where the embryo attaches itself to the walls of the uterus. For couples who have undergone a form of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART), the embryo is formed externally under favourable conditions in the laboratory. After the embryo is formed, it is cultured under observation to determine if it is healthy and has the potential to cause a successful pregnancy.
The next stage involves transferring the embryo into the uterine cavity where the embryo is expected to attach itself to the lining of the uterus after further development.
Implantation, typically, occurs 7-12 days after conception. The cells start to divide in the embryo, developing into a zygote. The zygote implants itself to the uterine walls. As soon as implantation is completed, the zygote releases a hormone called hcG, which is used by pregnancy tests to determine pregnancy.
Common Symptoms of Implantation
The first sign of implantation is implantation bleeding which occurs 6-12 days post conception. If the implantation is successful, spotting or light cramping can be experienced. If unsuccessful, your period will start. Some of the common post embryo implantation symptoms are listed below:
- Cramping and spotting: A brown vaginal discharge for 1-2 days is experienced after a successful implantation. Some women may also experience cramping on the days during implantation.
- Breast discomfort: Tenderness of the breasts can be experienced along with light swelling. It will last a few days during ovulation which is persistent in case of a pregnant woman.
- Changes in food preference: Some women experience an elevation in their olfactory senses or sensation of taste, causing aversions to certain types of foods or intense cravings. This is caused due to the alterations of hormonal levels.
- Temperature changes: A slight increase in body temperature is commonly experienced due to elevated levels of progesterone.
Symptoms such as acne, constipation, fatigue or morning sickness are also common in some cases.
The Right Time to Perform a Pregnancy Test
As pregnancy tests measure the hcG hormone released by the zygote, which increases after every 2-3 days. It can, however, take up to 3 or 4 weeks for a detectable amount of hcG to be released. A pregnancy test can be administered at home for a preliminary result and has to be confirmed with the help of a blood test performed by a doctor.