Ovulation spotting is very common and natural, and many women don’t even notice it occurring. However, when it is noticed, concern can easily follow. Most of the time the spotting is very normal and there is no need for concern.
What Does Ovulation Spotting Look Like?
Slight bleeding that occurs during ovulation is called ovulation bleeding. The bleeding may be very little, and only last for a few hours. It can last for up to 2 days, but in that case it will still only be a small amount of bleeding.
Usually a stain of brownish or pink discharge is found in the underwear. While there may be a few pink spots seen, red is not usually present. Heavy bleeding, that is red in color, is not usual during ovulation spotting.
You may also see an increase in cervical mucus with the bleeding. This indicates that the mucous membrane is very thin and stretchy and that the sperm will have an easier time getting through it and making its journey towards the uterus.
While there is not much warning of ovulation spotting, there can be pain the lower abdomen on either side. This is called ovulation pain, and it can last for up to 24 hours. The pain may get worse during movement, even low energy movement such as walking.
What Causes Ovulation Spotting?
Spotting during ovulation is a sign of fertility, so that is good news for anyone trying to get pregnant. There are a few different causes of ovulation spotting, including:
Estrogen withdrawal: During a woman’s menstrual cycle, the level of estrogen stays fairly steady. When the bleeding stops, the estrogen begins to rise in the body and the lining of the uterus starts to thicken. When ovulation is about to occur, the estrogen level can drop very quickly, and if estrogen has temporarily withdrawn, the endometrium (inner mucous membrane of the mammalian uterus) can shrink and cause bleeding.
Accumulated blood release: During ovulation, the cervix opens up and can release any accumulated blood.
Ovarian follicle rupture: When the egg is released, the ovarian follicle can rupture and some blood can occur.
Hormonal changes: It is believed that bleeding can occur as a result of hormone changes that occur during ovulation, such as an increase in estrogen in the body.
Birth control pills: Any hormonal method of birth control can cause the uterine lining to adjust to hormone fluctuations caused by the pill or other birth control method, and that can cause a small amount of bleeding.
Prescription drugs: There are some prescription drugs that can have an effect on a woman’s cycle and encourage spotting. If you are on any prescription drugs, ask your doctor if spotting can be a side effect.
The majority of causes are nothing to be concerned about. It should be taken as a good sign that you are fertile, and that the body is getting ready for ovulation.
Ovulation spotting can happen every month or occasionally. Moreover, it is perfectly normal to go from every month to occasionally, or occasionally to every month. As long as it is occurring during ovulation, there is not much need to worry.
When Should You Be Worried?
There are many natural reasons for spotting during ovulation, so there is not much need for worry. However, spotting is not normally associated with any symptoms besides a small amount of pain and a tiny amount of brown or pink discharge.
Therefore, if you experience heavy bleeding, more than 1 episode of bleeding in a cycle, bleeding for longer than a few days, or feel an intense amount of pain during the bleeding, then you may want to see your doctor.
Moreover, if you feel alarmed by the bleeding or pain, and you are instinctively concerned, seeing a doctor will help alleviate any fears you may have.
Reasons for bleeding, other than ovulation, are endometriosis (happens when the cells from the lining of the uterus appear outside of the uterine cavity), polyps in the uterus (soft growths in the uterus that can be easily removed through surgery), cervical polyps (soft growths on the cervix that can be removed in the doctor’s office), uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors that grow in the uterine wall that can be removed through surgery) or irritable cervix (inflammation of the cervix).
Other reasons may include irregular thyroid function, cervical infection, vaginal infection, usage of intrauterine device (IUD), or cancer. If your doctor is concerned, they will do tests, such as an ultrasound, to determine the root cause of your bleeding.
How To Be Sure It Is Ovulation Spotting And Not Implantation Bleeding
Both ovulation spotting and implantation bleeding look the same (brown or pink) and only lasts for a few days. The only way to decipher what is occurring is by knowing your cycle.
Ovulation spotting, which is a sign of fertility, will occur mid-cycle (12-16 days before your period), while implantation bleeding, which is an early sign of pregnancy, will occur around 7-10 days after you ovulated.
Trying To Get Pregnant? If You Notice Ovulation Spotting, It May Be The Perfect Time
If you happen to notice the spotting as it occurs, and pregnancy is your goal, then The closer you time intercourse to ovulation, the better, and since ovulation spotting occurs around ovulation, having sex during the spotting and a few days afterwards can increase your chances of getting pregnant.
Trying Not To Get Pregnant? Avoid Sex At This Time
Spotting is a sign that getting pregnant is possible, and just as women trying to get pregnant can use it to their advantage, so can women trying to avoid getting pregnant. While this is not a reliable form of birth control, it is a very good indicator that the chances of pregnancy or high, and you should avoid sex for a few days.
How To Alleviate Any Pain During Spotting?
If you are having pain during spotting, it is perfectly safe to take over-the-counter painkillers to control the pain. You will not, however, be able to stop the discharge as it is the body’s way of getting rid of the excess blood.
In the end, ovulation spotting is not usually something to be worried about. It is a very normal part of a woman’s cycle.