When a woman is trying to get pregnant she needs to have intercourse as close to ovulation as possible. There are several physical signs of ovulation including cramping on one side of the abdomen, tender breasts and an increase in cervical mucous. Some women also experience some light spotting after ovulation.
This small amount of bleeding is thought to be an indication that the woman is very fertile and ready for conception. Since the bleeding is so light it is easily missed (if it occurs) by most women unless they are actually keeping a fertility chart and keeping a close eye on daily changes in cervical mucous.
So what causes spotting after ovulation?
There are a couple of possible explanations for the spotting that occurs from ovulation. In the first instance, spotting can be caused by hormonal changes that occur during ovulation. When ovulation occurs, the follicles begin to grow and to mature which causes them to produce more estrogen. The increase in estrogen causes a flood in the hormone involved in ovulation, luteinizing hormone or LH. This sudden flood of LH is a signal to the mature egg to be released from the follicle. Just before a woman ovulates her estrogen levels rise sharply and this is also thought to cause light spotting.
Ovulation spotting can be traced to the ovarian follicle rupturing as the egg is released from the follicle. The surface of the follicle is weakened and will begin to disintegrate when it is exposed to luteinizing hormone. As the follicle disintegrates, a hole forms, providing a place for the egg to move through and travel down the fallopian tube. Residual traces of blood can occur at this point of the rupture of the hole. This blood may not be the same color as menstrual blood, but can be either pink or brown. Pink blood is usually mixed with cervical mucous and brown blood is older blood that has been sitting for a while.
The other possible cause of spotting after ovulation occurs when the egg ruptures through the follicle as ovulation occurs. Some believe that as the egg bursts from the follicle it causes a little bit of bleeding. Some women might notice a little bit of brown spotting and this is an indication of older blood from ovulation.
When does this spotting occur?
Spotting can occur just before ovulation or after ovulation and can appear as very light bleeding or pink or brown spotting. The blood can also be mixed with cervical mucous which looks like egg whites. If you experience spotting around the time that you are expecting to ovulate, then it is very likely that it is caused by the occurrence of ovulation.
What should you do if you experience spotting after ovulation?
Ovulation spotting will usually last for a couple of days, so if you are trying to get pregnant then it is a good idea to start trying for conception around this time. Ovulation spotting can be a good indication for you to begin having regular intercourse. If you want to pinpoint the exact occurrence of ovulation, you might find it helpful to use an ovulation prediction test. The mucous of the cervix becomes thinner and stretches as the time for ovulation is approaching. Once ovulation has occurred the cervical mucous will dry up and then the spotting will stop.
If you are trying to conceive, the closer that you time intercourse to your time of ovulation, the better. Keep having intercourse for several days after the ovulation spotting just to ensure that you are as close to ovulation as possible. The best way to predict the actual time of ovulation is with a basal body temperature chart. Take your body temperature in the morning before you get out of bed to get the most accurate basal body temperature. You will need to purchase a basal body temperature thermometer because it has the capability of recording body temperatures to the tenth degree and is the most accurate thermometer for charting. When you start to add your BBT to a chart you can easily see patterns during your menstrual cycle which should help you to pinpoint an accurate time of ovulation.
Spotting after ovulation should not last for very long, but if it continues for more than a few days it is a good idea to get in touch with your doctor just to make sure that everything is alright. Spotting after ovulation and implantation bleeding are not the same thing. Implantation bleeding usually occurs around a week after you ovulate. Although it is not a reliable indicator of fertility, this type of spotting is something that should not be ignored if you are trying to get pregnant.
Other reasons for spotting after ovulation
Another reason that spotting after ovulation can occur is from a cyst that has ruptured. This is not a bad thing, it is just your body’s way of getting rid of the cyst and is completely normal. It is always alarming to see a little bit of blood, but most of the time it is completely normal.
Uterine fibroids are relatively harmless but should be observed. These fibroids leech blood because they are attached to the uterus and this can cause a woman to feel fatigued. This is because her iron stores can be depleted.
Spotting can also be caused by endometriosis. Endometriosis occurs when the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows on the outside of the uterus. This displaced tissue can involve the bowel and pelvis and still acts as normal uterine tissue by breaking down and bleeding during the normal menstrual cycle. It cannot exit the body as normal tissue does during menstruation, so it can form into cysts which can irritate the surrounding tissue, causing scar tissue and binding organs together.
If you have endometriosis, you will experience severe pain, and in particular during your period. You may also experience fertility issues associated with this disorder. If you are experiencing spotting and it concerns you, do not hesitate to contact your medical practitioner and make an appointment to get things checked out.