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

What is Ovulation Spotting?

by Katlyn Joy | January 12, 2011

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.

Related Articles

Does ovulation only happen on Day 14?

Implantation of a Fertilized Egg

From around the web


Showing 1 - 10 out of 90 Comments
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alisha Dec 8, 2014 12:03:41 AM ET

Okay so, earlier this year i decided to go on the contraceptive injection. i only had it 3 times and then stopped going. on the last injection, i had a period lasting for about 5-6 days. that was in september, and i've not had a period since. my partner and i have had plenty of unprotected sex since then and every pregnancy test i have took has come back negative. so, i'm not actually sure if i have been ovulating or not. it is now the 7th of december, and i began to start spotting. so does this mean i am ovulating? also, my partner and i had unprotected sex the night before so does this mean i could be pregnant? i hope someone can help me out! if you have had an experience like this before please let me know.

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Guest Nov 19, 2014 09:31:28 AM ET

Hi. me and my boyfriend are trying for a baby, and i've only just come off the pill after 19 months of being on it. i had my period start on the 23th of oct, and finished on the 27th. i had a spot with pinkish discharge on the 3rd of nov, and we had sex every day. now, i'm feeling different and sick 3 nights in a row all around 8 o'clock. yesterday, i had the same pinkish discharge, and my period is due tomorrow. i took a test this morning and it was negative. :0( is there any chance i could still be pregnant, but it's too early for a test to show?

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antara Nov 14, 2014 05:21:25 AM ET

Hi. i'm 26, and weigh 165. my height is 5'3". i have irregular periods. my last period date was the 2nd of nov 2014. i had unprotected sex on the 13th of nov. then, today i noticed brown spotting that started in the morning. them red blood came at the noon time. i'm confused about what is this? it's called ovulation bleeding? i want to conceive so bad.

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Nim Nov 4, 2014 08:27:34 PM ET

Hi. my name is nim, and i have been spotting for 9 days. it started brown, and now it's bright red. i have 15 days until my period, and i'm on day 3 of ovulation. i'm not have any cramps, but i have really bad headaches. what should i do?

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Lizz Oct 17, 2014 05:31:33 PM ET

My last period was on 9/26. my husband and i had sex on 10/6, 10/8, 10/12 through the 13th, as well as today, 10/17. a few hours after, i went to the bathroom and wiped and saw pinkish spotting! could that be implantation bleeding?

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ttc:) Oct 17, 2014 06:52:31 AM ET

I had my period a day late this month. i was bleeding light and off and on. i had intercourse on my period, and when i went to the bathroom the blood was pink and i stopped bleeding. also i've been off my period for two days, and today i started spotting. i took a test after i missed my period, but it was negative, and i started my period the next day. please give me some advice. has this happened to anyone that was actually pregnant?

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Kelly Oct 12, 2014 09:40:57 AM ET

Me and my husband are ttc. my period started on sept 30th. we had intercourse on oct 9th and 11th. on october 12th i am having brownish pink spotting. is it ovulation spotting or implantation?

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Leozenie Oct 9, 2014 09:19:56 PM ET

I had my period on sept. 28, now oct. 9 i am having light pink spotting today. my husband, and i had sex oct 8. i am confused. i don't think i've ovulated yet this cycle. i've never had mid-cycle bleeding before.

Ash Oct 11, 2014 10:47:01 PM ET

Wow, my lmp started on the 28th as well, and i'm having spotting too!

Gladys Oct 13, 2014 01:18:05 AM ET

Oh my, i have a same issue also. i had my lmp sept.27-oct.1, 2014. after 2 days, which is oct.3, 2014 and oct. 9, 2014, me and my husband had sex. on october 10, 2014 in the morning i had brownish spotting, cramps, and was feeling very bloated. yesterday, oct. 11, 2014, i was feeling cramps, was bloated, and had brownish spotting again. i had no spotting the whole day, but that night i went to party, and did dance for couple minutes with my husband. i was feeling cramps, so i went to restroom, and saw pinkish spotting. today, oct. 12,2014, i have some pinkish spotting again, so i decided to just do bed rest today. along with spotting, i'm feeling fatigue and have a small appetite. my menstrual period cycle is normal every 26 days. my fertile days are oct.5-10. is this implantation bleeding or what?

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Whitney Oct 7, 2014 02:05:48 PM ET

I had intercourse on sept 9, 2014. my ovulation date was sept 11, 2014. i had a cycle (or what i believe it to be but not sure cause it wasn't normal) on sept 26-30th. before that, i had an abnormal cycle. i took a pregnancy test, but it was negative. i had intercourse on october 6, 2014 and october 7, 2014. i have experienced spotting. my ovulation date is october 11, 2014. does anyone know what could possibly be going on?

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Munchkin Oct 3, 2014 01:57:00 AM ET

I have the signs of light spotting in every fertile days and ovulation. i'm confused between the two. however, this is spotting and light bleeding with mucus sometimes, and it's sticky. is that ovulation bleeding?

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