What is Ovulation Spotting?by Katlyn Joy | January 12, 2011 3:44 PM
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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