Implantation, one of the first stages of pregnancy, is the process in which the fertilised egg burrows into the uterine lining. When this happens, you are officially pregnant, and if all goes well, you'll have a healthy baby in about nine months. You should know some symptoms of implantation if you are trying to conceive or think you already may be pregnant.
When a fertilised egg digs into your uterus, it naturally causes some cells in the uterine lining to shed. Your body won't use these cells, so you end up bleeding in the same way you do during menstruation. Most of the time, implantation bleeding is extremely light. Some women miss it entirely, or just see a little blood when they use tissue after using the toilet. Other women have implantation bleeding that is heavy enough to look like a regular period. In either case, according to the American Pregnancy Association, the bleeding may be accompanied by some cramping, because the uterus, which is a muscle, is being stimulated through the implantation process. The APA notes that implantation bleeding usually happens six to 12 days after conception.
When a fertilised egg implants in the uterus, it signals hormonal changes in your body so that the egg can grow properly and won't be attacked by your immune system as an invader. Suddenly, you have to support the energy it takes to make these changes happen. If you don't get more rest or eat properly, according to BabyCenter, you may find that you are more tired than usual. This can range anywhere from feeling a little less peppy to being so tired that you nod off and don't feel rested after a full night's sleep.
Women's Health explains that, when you aren't pregnant, you shed the lining of your uterus through menstrual bleeding every month. When implantation has occurred, the egg requires this lining, so you can't get rid of it the way you normally would. If you don't have any bleeding around your normal period date, implantation may have occurred. Sometimes it's hard to tell if you've truly missed a cycle, because other factors, such as stress and diet, may impact the timing of your menstruation. In general, it's a good idea to take a pregnancy test if you're more than a week late, especially if your cycles are regular. If the test is positive, you would be around three to five weeks pregnant, depending on the length of your cycle and exactly when you ovulated and conceived.