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You are here: Home > Fertility & Trying to Conceive > Conception

What is Ovulation Spotting?

by Katlyn Joy | January 12, 2011 3:44 PM
143 Comments


For someone pursuing pregnancy, understanding the fertility process is vital. Knowing when ovulation occurs is key in timing intercourse and hopefully achieving fertilization. There are different ways to determine when ovulation occurs from testing and high tech methods, to listening to your body and watching for regular signs. Ovulation spotting is one of those signs that might help you determine the optimum time for baby making.

What is Ovulation?

Ovulation is the process of the ovary releasing an egg which is mature, which then travels down the fallopian tube and awaits fertilization. While women are born with millions of immature eggs, typically only one egg is released each month ripe and ready for fertilization.

Ovulation usually takes place in the middle of the menstrual cycle, which varies from woman to woman. Most of the time, women experience ovulation between day 11 and 21. While signs of ovulation may remain consistent for a woman, the exact day in her period may vary each month. She may even ovulate without having a period at all.

Signs & Symptoms of Ovulation

Some women experience something called mittelschmerz, which is German for middle pain. This pain or ache is located near the ovaries and will occur mid-cycle around the time of ovulation.

Another way to determine ovulation is charting your basal temperature, which will rise during ovulation. Also, checking your cervical mucus can also help pinpoint ovulation timing. Around ovulation, the cervical mucus will become slippery, and egg white in consistency and more wet.

Causes of Ovulation Spotting

It's believed ovulation spotting occurs due to hormones causing the ovarian follicle surface to weaken. With the weakening, a hole or stigma forms in the surface, which permits the passage of the egg. Blood may appear due to rupture of the stigma. Another cause may be the rise in estrogen accompanying ovulation.

Appearance of Ovulation Spotting

When ovulation spotting occurs, it will appear brownish or pinkish rather than red in most cases. It may be mixed with the egg-white type cervical mucus. Heavier bleeding or spotting is not likely to be associated with ovulation, however. Also, many women do not experience ovulation spotting at all even though they may have normal ovulation and cycles.

Timing Sexual Intercourse

It's a good idea to try sexual intercourse when ovulation spotting occurs and for a few days afterward for best chances of conception. Charting temperatures or using a home ovulation predictor test will help as well.

Other Reasons for Mid-cycle Bleeding

When a woman is on birth control she can experience breakthrough bleeding. Uterine fibroids can also cause bleeding between periods. Hormonal imbalances can lead to bleeding as well.

What Ovulation Spotting Is NOT

Don't confuse ovulation spotting with implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding is when the fertilized egg implants in the uterus, sometimes causing some spotting. This will occur after ovulation near the time of an expected period but is typically much lighter than a period.

Have you experienced ovulation spotting? Please share your symptoms and thoughts with others by commenting below.


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Implantation of a Fertilized Egg

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Showing 1 - 10 out of 113 Comments
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Guest Jul 11, 2017 09:26:55 AM ET

I had my period on 27 june. lasted 4 days and my cycle is 31/32, on my 2nd ovulation day i started bleeding and this has never happened. what does this mean?

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LMarie May 30, 2017 03:42:47 PM ET

My ovulation dates were the 24-29 with spotting starting the 27th and a little still on the 29th. intercourse 27, 28 & 30th with still light pink spotting. has anyone become pregnant by using the spotting as an ovulation sign? did i miss my fertility window as my start date to my period was 12-13th this month and 13th last month just for some info on estimation. this is the first time i have spotted a few weeks after my period and had a miscarriage back in august. any advice is appreciated. thank you.

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Natasha May 22, 2017 07:58:01 AM ET

I have spotting on 10 day of cycle...what does it mean?

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Thapelo Apr 19, 2017 12:38:28 AM ET

Hi everyone, we have been ttc for more two years in 2016 january. i did laparoscopy surgery, they found that my tubes were not blocked. after i went to consult to my new gyna, he said i have pcos, he prescribed ino folic acid, i started using it on 16 of january 2017, my cycle wa 32 days long. now i'm confused because since february, my cycle was 26 days. since march i have spotting on day 16 just one day and on day 21 is just one day, pinkish and brownish blood smelling like old blood on a pad. i have experienced the spotting even this april. please help i really need a baby. i'm 35 years old with one child.

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Lyss Mar 19, 2017 07:36:36 PM ET

Anyone still on here?

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Leticia Jan 20, 2017 12:27:48 PM ET

Hey, on the 26th, me and my bf we were playing around only rubbed his penis on my vagina..so on the 1st, had my period until on the 7th..so now my breasts are becoming big,feeling nauseous,even moody..so i'm afraid and that i am pregnant. can i be?

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Guest Jan 19, 2017 05:02:29 PM ET

I've experienced some spotting pinkish/brown, however it is on the day of ovulation. has anyone experienced this???

Guest May 16, 2017 07:14:31 AM ET

Yes! my husband and i have been trying to conceive for 8 months now and this week is my ovulation week . i started spotting for the very first time during my ovulation week. i want to hope it's implantation bleeding but from what i've been reading it looks like it just may be "ovulation spotting" but it's just odd to me that that is the first time that has ever happened!! keep me updated!

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Anita Jan 19, 2017 12:06:07 PM ET

I started my period december 25th and i'm ovulating. today i went to the bathroom and wiped my self and saw some blood but not in my pad. could i be pregnant, because i really want to have a baby.

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alexis Apr 7, 2015 11:01:28 PM ET

So this is more of a question... one i've been trying to figure out myself. i am 19 years old. i have been with my finance for two years now. we do not use protection, and i am not on birth control. i have had my period on time since we have been together, except for last month when i got it a couple days early. i am now about 5-6 days after my ovulation dates, and a week before my next period. i am bleeding again. first it started out as a little bit of brown blood on my toilet paper. now on the second day, it was more red but light. i have to use a pad now but it's getting lighter. whats going on?

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Ashley H. Apr 6, 2015 03:18:32 PM ET

I need a little advice. my husband and i have been trying ttc for over a year, and i was put on provera by my obgyn four months ago to regulate my cycles. well, my cycle started on march 28th and ended april 3rd. we had unprotected sex on the 31st. yesterday, i had some pinkish spotting, and we had intercourse again. i haven't experienced spotting like this before. what could cause it? any helpful information would help. thanks!

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