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

What is Ovulation Spotting?

by Katlyn Joy | January 12, 2011
122 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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Comments


Showing 1 - 10 out of 96 Comments
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Tisha Feb 18, 2015 11:04:37 AM ET

I had unprotected sex on jan 24th, 29th, and 30th. i'm so confused because i was supposed to start my menstrual period on the 14th. now, it's the 18, i'm spotting. what does this mean?

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Guest Feb 12, 2015 09:30:38 PM ET

I just had unprotected sex on february 7th, which was five days ago today. i was just spotting. what does that mean?

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alej Jan 15, 2015 09:18:16 AM ET

I have had sex the day before yesterday. yesterday, i began spotting. i was wondering if i could still get pregnant even before bleeding.

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Guest-SLT Jan 12, 2015 09:23:14 PM ET

So, we have been ttc since october. i was on bc pills for 15 years. i've been off them since the end of september. i have the glow app on my phone which says that from 1/10- 1/16 are the best chances for pregnancy. we had sex saturday night. sunday evening, i experienced some spotting. more than what was described in this article. it looked like a regular period, but then faded out after only a couple hours. was this ovulation spotting or probably something else? i have never experienced this before. thanks for any input.

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Guest Dec 28, 2014 02:10:54 AM ET

We are trying to conceive, and it was the first time with our first 3 children (and a miscarriage in between). it's taken us a few months so far. i'm hoping this month will be the one. in the middle of my ovulation cycle (according to the digital ovulation tests), i spotted (one small pink episode on toilet tissue similar to implantation bleeding that i had with my first child). i ovulated/showed peak fertility 2 days later. it has to have been the ovulation spotting, though i've never been aware of this happening to me before. i was pretty confused as i'd never heard about it until reading this article. ito a week later and just had similar spotting. i'm wondering if this could be implantation bleeding or just an irritated cervix? i never noticed any issues like this before ttc, and now all of these weird symptoms are making me a bit crazy. :p

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Guest Dec 18, 2014 12:42:54 AM ET

Ok, i am kind of worried, and don't know what to do. my last cycle was began on nov 27, 2014, and i've been spotting for almost three weeks now. at one point i thought i was pregnant, but the test results were negative. can anyone help me, and explain to me whats going on?!! when i took an at home test, it was five days after my cycle, and took after one that friday to be sure. but, there wasn't any blood in my urine at all. when i wipe, that's when i see blood.

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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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