Implantation Cramps or PMS cramps

Implantation Cramps or PMS Cramps? What’s The Difference?

For thousands of women, waiting for the first tell-tale signs of a successful implantation can be nerve wracking. While timelines can be attached and dates given that you should expect symptoms should it be successful, unfortunately nothing is ever exact. In fact, after implantation, the egg will generally attach itself to the uterine wall anywhere from seven to ten days right after ovulation if the pregnancy is going to take; however this can happen days earlier or many days after as well.

Since conception needs to occur post ovulation, this means that you’ll either have your period regularly for that month, or you’ll end up with a positive implantation and will have to begin your journey through pregnancy.

Implantation Cramps or PMS Cramps? What's the difference?

So What Are Some Of The Signs Of A Successful Implantation?

  • Spotting
  • Lower back pain
  • Cramping

All of these symptoms sound like PMS cramps right? Additionally, the time frame for the symptoms aligns perfectly for it to be your normal monthly cycle. This unfortunately leads to a great deal of confusion for women and a lot of surprise pregnancy tests when a woman finds out that she is in fact pregnant!

Is There A Difference Between Implantation Symptoms And PMS Symptoms?

Generally, symptoms for implantation occur in around thirty percent of women, so the chances that you’ll experience them are moderate. Unfortunately, many of the more frequent symptoms mirror menstrual cramps and can make it incredibly difficult and frustrating for a woman who is hoping for a successful implantation.

Common PMS Symptoms Include:

  • Backache
  • Pain in joints and muscles
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Problems sleeping
  • Bloating
  • Digestive problems such as diarrhoea or constipation
  • Tender breasts
  • Light spotting
  • Cramping

Common Implantation Symptoms Include:

  • Tender breasts
  • Back ache
  • Bloating
  • Spotting
  • Fatigue
  • Cramping
  • Hot flashes

As you can see, the list of implantation symptoms are almost all on the chart for PMS symptoms meaning that even if you have cramping that is accompanied by other symptoms, you may not able to determine what is the culprit until later when you begin menstruation or, hopefully, begin experiencing the early signs of pregnancy. However, there are slight differences in the cramps that may give you some clue to your situation.

Are My Cramps PMS Cramps Or Implantation Cramps?

The implantation cramps will occur when your uterus is allowing the egg to attach onto it and begins going through the first stages of a successful conception. These will often be intermittent cramps that occur around a week or more after ovulation, and you’ll also experience the hormone rush that causes mood changes, as well as fatigue and often times bloating. Since your menstrual cycle has very similar symptoms and cramping, it can be very confusing, however analyzing the feel of your cramps can help shed some light as to whether or not they are due to the implantation or not.

Implantation Cramps:

Implantation cramps, as experienced by most women, are generally quite sharp and sudden. They occur in the lower abdomen and will occur around a week post implantation and can actually continue throughout the pregnancy if it is successful. Many women also experience a pulling sensation and often feel the rise of the sudden and sharp pain when they make quick movements, such as getting out of a car or sitting up too fast. Additionally, some women report that the pain is only on one side of their abdomen, generally the side on which the egg has attached to.

PMS Cramps:

In comparison, most women experience PMS cramps as dull aches that are constant. Others feel pressure and back aches. This pain can be intermittent, but generally is not sharp and severe like it is with the implantation cramps. Additionally, pain shouldn’t become sharp during quick movements like standing up or getting out of a car unless there are some underlying medical conditions.

Should a woman have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), the PMS symptoms may be sharp, severe, and not an indication of a successful implantation. Additionally, if a woman commonly suffers from dysmenorrhea (severe PMS symptoms), then these symptoms may also be the same as an implantation and will require further waiting to see what other symptoms arise that can be indicative of either PMS or implantation.

If you’re cramps are ambiguous and you’re looking to tell if your cramps are due to PMS or the implantation, then you need to monitor yourself for the early signs of pregnancy. Some of the signs do mirror PMS symptoms, but others such as food cravings and nausea are generally strong indications of a positive conception.

Increase The Chances Of Successful Implantation

After your implantation, you need to do everything possible to maintain great uterine health and increase the chances of the implantation being successful. Even if you are experiencing cramps and some of the other symptoms of a successful implantation, that doesn’t mean you are guaranteed a successful outcome.

Maintain a healthy body, eat highly acidic or highly alkaline foods in moderation, and ensure that you are taking the appropriate vitamins and minerals. There are many herbs out there claiming to help increase your chances of fertility as well as promote uterine health so check with your doctor before taking any, especially before, during, or after your implantation.

The Truth About Implantation Cramps And Other Symptoms

If you’re experiencing cramps after your implantation, don’t automatically assume it is due to your menstrual cycle or the implantation. The reality is that there is no real way to know this early what is causing your cramps. In fact, most women don’t even experience any implantation symptoms at all.

Should cramps be present, with no other symptoms, don’t give up hope even if you are nearing the end of your cycle, even if you can tell that the cramps are more similar to PMS symptoms as opposed to the sharp and sudden cramps of an implantation. Successful implantations can occur ten days or more after ovulation, and since no uterus is the same, each woman’s experience will be different from the next. Do your best to increase the chances of a successful implantation and simply wait because there is nothing you can do until your menstrual cycle comes, or you are confirmed pregnant via a blood test or positive urine test.

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  1. Thanks Lynne.
    I have so many friends thats pregnant now – will tell them to read this one! ?

  2. Cramps and frequently urinate

  3. Its good to know this and read because when you search about implants like i done research on the implanon inplant they actually just provide the positive and good review however if you go ask on a group you get actual feedback from women who had it or using it. Thanks great artical.

  4. Just a matter out of interested. My “monthly” cramps after childbirth are really unbearable. Like 10 times more painfull than before. Do some of you also experience this?

  5. @Doreen I have never suffered with any cramps until I had my baby. After my baby the cramps was severe, I used to take quite a few Ibrufen capsules to relieve the pain. This lasted for the first 2 days of my cycle and then stopped. These cramps have been recurring and I don’t know what can be done to get rid of it completely. I highly doubt that is even possible, my Gynae did inform me that it was a phase and shall pass, this was 3 years ago. I probably am stuck with one of the world’s longest lasting phases. LOL
    This has now just become a norm for me.

  6. Betsie Labuschagne

    I have had cramps since the start of menstruation and at times terrible pain. I still have cramps each month after the birth of my baby, but not such terrible pain and only last for the first few days.

  7. After my miscarriage I had an IUD inserted ever since my period cramping is so severe using medication for it now

    • Lynne Huysamen

      I also had very bad cramps with my IUD, especially the first IUD I had. How long have you had it in that it is still cramping? It does take a little bit of time for your body to adjust, so hopefully it will stop soon. It should not continue to cramp indefinitely and if it does I would think there is a problem.

  8. Im so more clear how it works because with mt last born never knew i was pregnant until late i found out this is tge best advice we all should know

  9. I remember my second son was planned so I was crazy over ovulation dates and making sure I’m tracking and I know the signs of “catching cramps” as we called it. I will never forget the night I conceived the cramps I felt I knew at that night I have fallen pregnant. Good luck lovely ladies on your journey

  10. Very good to know the difference between the two thanks for sharing very enlightening

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