If you’re experiencing cramps while trying to conceive, you might be wondering if they’re implantation cramps or regular period pain. In this post, we take a look at what they are, how long they last and how to get some relief from the pain.
What Are Implantation Cramps?
While not every woman will experience them, for some, implantation cramps are often a telltale sign that they have conceived.
During conception, the sperm fertilizes the egg in one of the Fallopian tubes. Within 24 hours, cells begin to multiply and development begins.
Once successfully fertilized, the egg stays in the Fallopian tube for three days before it starts making its way to the uterus to become a blastocyst.
The Blastocyst then implants into the uterine lining.
It’s this process, known as implantation that can cause the cramps to develop. While these are often mild, they can be accompanied by implantation bleeding or light spotting.
How Long Do Implantation Cramps Last?
Typically implantation cramps last for between 1 to 3 days while the blastocyst implants into the uterus.
Menstrual Vs. Implantation Cramps
As implantation cramps can occur at a similar time to regular menstrual cramps it can often be difficult to tell the difference.
There are a few key markers that will help you tell the difference:
- Intensity of Cramping While menstrual cramps tend to feel intense, implantation cramping feels more like a mild pulling sensation that doesn’t seem to have a pattern to them.
- Duration Unlike PMS pains, implantation cramps don’t usually last longer than three days. If your pains continue past the three-day mark, chances are that they’re PMS related.
- Bleeding Implantation cramps and bleeding often go hand in hand. If you aren’t due on then there’s a chance that it’s an implantation cramp. You can also tell the difference in the bleeding as implantation tends to be browner in colour whereas PMS bleeding is bright red.
As implantation and pregnancy can crossover with timings, make sure you look out for the following signs and symptoms:
- Missed periods,
- A metallic taste in your mouth
- Increased urination
One tried and tested method is that if you experience changes in the mood then it’s PMS rather than implantation cramping.
Relief From Implantation Cramps
While implantation cramps are uncomfortable, they only last a maximum of three days and they shouldn’t require any pain relief.
If you do want to ease relief from the pain, any of the following should help:
- Hot bath,
- Hot compress
- A massage
The Bottom Line
So there you have it, hopefully, you’re now armed with everything you need to what implantation cramps are, how long they last and how to get some relief from the pain. While they are uncomfortable, the good news is that they only last a few days and the pain is manageable.
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.