Bleeding or spotting during ovulation is a natural occurrence. Many women experience it and if you are one of them, am sure you wonder why it happens. You should be glad to know that nothing is wrong with you and that ovulation bleeding is not dangerous, or harmful as long as only light spotting occurs. In fact, its presence indicates fertility!
What is ovulation?
Every month, an egg matures in one of the ovaries. Estrogen levels, which are high at the time, communicate to the body that time for ovulation has come. The brain releases the Luteinizing Hormone (LH). This then tells the follicle that it’s time to release the egg. The egg then is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube where it makes its way towards the uterus to meet a waiting sperm.
It occurs when there is a surge of LH levels, leads to the release of an egg by the follicle. At this time, the uterus lining is thick in readiness for the fertilized egg. If conception does not occur, then the uterine walls shed. The shedding of the uterine wall and unfertilized egg is menstruation time.
If your cycles are irregular or long, then you may not know when you are ovulating. You can, however, use an ovulation test kit to find out. To track your cycles especially if trying to get pregnant, check for changes to the cervical mucus, spotting, and basal body temperature changes. Basal temperature also increases.
What is ovulation spotting or bleeding?
It occurs between the 12th and 21st day of the cycle. Most of the women ovulate monthly, but some occasionally miss it from time to time. Sometimes, during ovulation, a woman will experience pain in the ovarian region. If you experience this, then you can predict it. Some women also experience bleeding or spotting.
Ovulation spotting or bleeding occurs due to a change in hormones resulting in the surface of the ovarian follicle weakening. When the area weakens, a hole of some sort forms, allowing the egg passage. This rupturing of the surface is what causes spots. In some women, elevated levels of estrogen result in spotting.
Older blood present most probably causes the brown spotting during ovulation within a new period. When this blood leaves the body, it changes to brown instead of the usual pink or red shade.
How does it look like?
The spotting color is pink or brown. It’s often mixed with cervical mucus resembling an egg white. In usual cases, heavy bleeding or spotting doesn’t occur, and it would be difficult to notice it when you have a heavy flow of blood. Some women do not also experience this spotting even during normal cycles.
Is it normal?
Spotting during this time can occur either before or after and some people may confuse it with light bleeding. Some people describe the blood noted as being slightly brown or pink. Sometimes it gets mixed up with cervical mucus to look like an egg white discharge.
It is normal to find blood during ovulation on your pants. It is also normal to not find any. However, at the initial stages of your menstrual cycle, estrogen levels are high and result in the thickening of the uterine lining. This makes the uterus prepared for implantation.
After ovulation, during the later stages of your cycle, estrogen levels decrease, and progesterone levels increase. This maintains the uterine thickness until the progesterone levels start dropping just before your periods start. The bleeding, therefore, occurs when you ovulate due to the uterine wall thickening. The progesterone hormone is however not at its peak at the time.
Another possibility could be that spotting around ovulation occurs when the cervix opens up wide. This helps in the easy release of blood that’s accumulated in your body.
Whatever the reason, there shouldn’t be any problem. A problem will, however, arise if you suffer heavy bleeding during this fertile window. Consult a doctor if this happens to find out the reason.
Ovulation vs. implantation bleeding
Ovulation spotting can sometimes be confused with implantation bleeding. It occurs when a fertilized egg causes minimal spotting. This happens between the time after ovulation and when you expect your next period. Usually, implantation bleeding is also minimal and light.
Is it a sign of pregnant
Regular spotting is a sure way to know when you are most fertile. You will notice it when wiping yourself as a pinkish discharge or enough bleeding to require wearing a mini pad.
To increase the chances of getting pregnant, have sexual intercourse during the spotting. You can also do it a few days after the bleeding occurs. The closer you time sex with your partner with ovulation, the better chances you have. Continuing having sex after ovulation also maximizes the chances.
Some women, however, get a few anovulatory cycles (where it does not occur) during the year. This means that the uterus will go through its usual normal phase, but no egg will be released at the follicular stage. This type of cycles tends to be brief when compared to the ovulatory cycles. If your cycles happen like this all the time, then you should visit a doctor so that he gives you something to stimulate the ovaries and aid you in getting pregnant.
Some women also experience ovulation pain and bleeding. This is called Mittelschmerz pain. They experience pain in the pelvis, lower abdomen or back. This happens when the follicle exerts pressure on the pelvic structures. This ultimately ruptures which causes the pain and spotting at ovulation time. If you experience heavy bleeding during this time, then you should be checked by a doctor. The bleeding could be because implantation of the embryo into the uterus has occurred. You could already be pregnant!
When should it cause concern
It’s normal to bleed during ovulation, but some cases could indicate something else happening to your body. They include:
- When a cycle involves more than one bleeding episode. This could be a sign that ovulation isn’t happening at all.
- Pain that does not go away or bleeding that lasts longer and is severe. This could indicate something different.
- Heavy bleeding like when you get your periods could be a sign of endometriosis.
- Other reasons why one may bleed during their midcycle include hormonal imbalances, birth control pills side effects, uterine polyps, and uterine fibroids.
- Other possible causes of spotting include IUDs, cervical or vaginal infections, cancer or low thyroid function.