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

What is Ovulation Spotting?

by Katlyn Joy | January 12, 2011
127 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.


Related Articles

Does ovulation only happen on Day 14?

Implantation of a Fertilized Egg

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Comments


Showing 1 - 10 out of 101 Comments
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Anna Mar 22, 2015 09:49:42 AM ET

Hi. i have had a little cramping and some brown spots on my panties tonight. i am pretty sure it’s not blood (i had my last period 2 weeks ago and my next won’t be in another 2 weeks) and it’s not poop too. i have been paranoid about pregnancy for 3 months now, scared and worried all the time, and i swear its driving me crazy. i’m 18 and i’ve had my last sexual intercourse 3 months ago. i’ve had two consecutive periods after that, but i’m still scared because some women report that they still have their periods a few months even when they’re already pregnant. i took two pregnancy tests and they both came back negative. but, i’m still very very worried and scared, and these brown spots and cramping came up tonight and i’m just really scared. please help. thank you so much.

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monique Mar 10, 2015 05:02:37 PM ET

I had pink spotting with pains 2 days after getting a positive opk. this has never happened before. why is this happening?

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susan paul Mar 10, 2015 11:52:05 AM ET

Hi i am 22 years old and i'm just married. on the 21st and 22nd of january, we has intercourse. my period date was late (about 5 days) that month. after my period occurred my we had sex in february. then one month, i lost my period. then after 9 days in march, i'm felt my breasts larger, back pain, early morning sickness, and night fever. we took a home pregnancy test, but it is negative. we has sex the next day, and my period came. why is this?

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Sarah Mar 5, 2015 06:22:17 AM ET

Hi everyone i came of the depo injection in april of 2014, and have been trying to conceive. for the past year, my periods were irregular and light, sometimes having 2 in a month. my last period from feb 19-24 and was at first heavy and the longest period i've had. i'm tracking when i ovulate, and now on the day that i'm most fertile, i started spotting a dark brown/red with cramps. is this ovulation spotting? if so, is it too late to keep trying? please help. a year to wait is a long time. lol

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guest Mar 3, 2015 02:45:13 AM ET

My partner and i had unprotected sex on the 24-25th of feb. while having intercourse, my partner spotted some bleeding after sex. my period started on the 11th of feb. i usually have a 30 day cycle. i was just worried about the bleeding. can you tell what that could be or why it happened? thank you.

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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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