June 14, 2024
Spotting during ovulation

Spotting or Bleeding During Ovulation [Definitive Guide]

Imagine getting up in the morning, using the bathroom, and then realizing that you are bleeding. If your menstrual period came to a stop about a week beforehand, you would not be expecting to get your period until the following month. Because your period is not due, you are probably wondering why you are seeing some blood in your underwear and on the toilet paper while you are wiping. Spotting during ovulation can cause you to wonder what is going on with your body, especially if you have recently been focused on trying to conceive. Light pink discharge may mean something different when you have it right before you get your period and another when you are attempting to conceive.

Whether you have unintentionally ruined a pair of your favorite underwear, messed up your favorite pants because the spotting occurred when you least expected it or stressed over what you would see while using the toilet, you can easily find out the answers to the different questions you have.

You should know more about the ovulation period, the type of spotting that occurs when a woman is ovulating, the possible causes of ovulation spotting, and what you can do to address it. Before that, let’s talk about ovulation and spotting.

The Ovulation Period

When bleeding happens before or after your menstrual period arrives, it is referred to as spotting. It can happen a week or two after your period has ended. The cause of the random spotting between menstrual cycles varies from woman to woman. It may be caused by ovulation, an irritated cervix, or even a condition that is known as endometriosis. These are just a few of the different reasons that a woman might start spotting between her periods.

Some women will experience spotting when they are ovulating. The ovulation period occurs when an egg is released. It is the time when a woman is most fertile. While many women will experience some spotting during the ovulation period, others will not experience it at all. The light bleeding will typically start a few days before the ovulation process even begins.

An Estrogen Increase

When a woman is on her period, her estrogen levels will normally stay the same. However, as the cycle comes to an end, she may experience an increase in estrogen levels and a thickening of her uterine lining. It is common for estrogen levels to increase directly before ovulation takes place.

The tissue from the uterine lining starts shedding as the level of estrogen drops. At some point during ovulation, the egg is then released, and some follicles may come out from one of the ovaries, ultimately leading to some light bleeding.

When to Expect Spotting from Ovulation

A woman will normally start ovulating several days after her period has officially stopped. It can take a woman up to three weeks to begin ovulating after her period has ended. Not all women have the same ovulation period, especially since some women have longer menstrual cycles than others.

When a woman is going through that ovulation period, she is going to start producing more fluid that comes from the cervix. It is normal to see this cervical fluid when using the bathroom.

The fluid looks a lot like an egg white. It is mostly clear and is quite wet. Some women like to use a panty liner when they are experiencing this kind of discharge in their underwear.

Some women naturally have a bit of blood mixed in during their ovulation period. It is good to know of the different situations in which a woman may experience some unusual bleeding. These situations include:

  • Spotting when ovulation is set to occur
  • Spotting directly after the ovulation takes place
  • Spotting a few days before your period begins
  • Spotting before and after your period

You may experience some sort of bleeding at different times for all kinds of reasons. Both pregnancy and ovulation are causes of random spotting between menstrual periods.

When you want to get pregnant, the spotting you are noticing could be a good indicator that it is the right time for you to attempt to get pregnant because you are getting ready to ovulate.

You must remember that once you ovulate and produce the egg, there is only a small amount of time to have it fertilized with the sperm. You have around five days to get pregnant during each cycle. If you can figure out when you are ovulating, you can increase your chances of conceiving.

How to Tell If You Are Ovulating

In addition to the spotting, some women will notice several of these symptoms when they are ovulating:

  • Heavier discharge
  • The fluid from the vagina starts to resemble egg whites
  • Sudden urge to have sex
  • Change in cervix position
  • Shift in basal body temperature
  • Dull pain around the abdomen area
  • Sore breasts
  • Bloating of the stomach
  • Light bleeding
  • High levels of luteinizing hormone (LH) as indicated by an ovulation monitor
  • Heightened sense of sight, smell, and taste

If you are monitoring your symptoms, you may have an easier time trying to pinpoint exactly when you are ovulating. Once you know that ovulation is taking place, you can decide to get intimate with your partner with the intentions of trying to conceive a baby.

What Does It Look Like When a Woman Bleeds during Ovulation?

If you start bleeding when you are ovulating, you should not have too much blood to deal with at all. Most women will experience some light pink spotting or even a bit of brown spotting, which indicates that the blood that is being released is old blood. You may even experience some mild cramping of the stomach during this time when you are spotting, but it should not resemble that of your actual menstrual cycle.

If you start bleeding heavily and are having some severe cramps like you normally would when you are on your period, there is a good chance that your period has simply started a bit earlier this month than you were expecting it.

The bleeding that starts to occur during ovulation will not feel heavy or look nearly as dark as the flow you would experience when you are on your period. If you feel like something is not right, you should contact your gynecologist to discuss any of the symptoms you are experiencing to see if there is anything you can do to get relief. However, if you are only bleeding lightly, the bleeding should start to subside within just a few days.

Is It Normal to Experience Spotting during Ovulation?

A few things are responsible for bleeding during ovulation but the cause isn’t clear. For instance, it has been associated with follicles emerging. However, any bleeding during ovulation that appears severe or lasts longer than a few days isn’t normal and you need to see a doctor immediately.

Are you experiencing irregular bleeding episodes? Do they happen every 2 weeks? Well, it’s an indication that you have irregular ovulation or it might be lacking altogether. It might also be caused by polyps present in the cervix, irritation to the cervix, or polyps present in the uterus. Whatever the cause, you need to let a doctor do a physical examination of the irregular bleeding to determine the cause.

Any bleeding during mid-cycle might not be your menstruation. If the bleeding is severe and lasts long and presents symptoms such as pain or acute discomfort, there might be another underlying problem. However, if the bleeding is short and mild without any pain or discomfort, then it’s completely normal.

What Are the Possible Causes of Bleeding during Ovulation?

There is no known exact cause of bleeding during ovulation. However, the main theory going around is the presence of follicles on the ovaries. Some of the possible causes have been listed below.

1. Ovulation spotting

In most cases, this is normal. It’s actually a sign of fertility especially when it happens very early in your ovulation period, but you shouldn’t be spotting during any other times in your cycle. Ovulation spotting only happens during that time and lasts between 1 to 3 days. It looks like fertile cervical fluid with bright red streaks and can appear light red or pink.

Your estrogen levels increase significantly and reduce right before you start ovulating. It gives your body an estrogen withdrawal and a partial shedding of the uterine wall lining.

At this time, progesterone hasn’t kicked in yet to keep the lining in place. However, not all women will see the pink discharge in their cycle. Actually, only about 3% of women experience ovulation spotting. During ovulation, you are very fertile. Therefore, don’t mistake the spotting for menstrual bleeding.

2. Implantation bleeding

Yet another cause of ovulation bleeding is also referred to as implantation spotting. Here, a fertilized egg attaches itself on the inside wall of your uterus. Once the implantation occurs, tiny blood vessels in the uterus can erupt causing you to start spotting.

It appears brownish or pink in color. At least a third of women who conceive will experience implantation bleeding. This type of bleeding appears as late as 12 days after ovulation and most women assume it is menstruation bleeding.

However, it is lighter and can happen only once or over 2 days. It is not heavy like regular menstruation bleeding, so if it appears as such, it’s a sign of pregnancy loss.

Keep in mind that bleeding very early in your pregnancy can also lead to a normal and healthy baby in the end. If you suspect pregnancy, take a test. You can start testing for early pregnancy at home at least 7 or 10 days after your ovulation.

3. Failed to ovulate

Spotting mid-cycle can both be a sign that you are ovulating or you’re not and it’s quite tricky at that. You need to know your basal body temperature to determine whether or not you’re ovulating. You might not ovulate because your ovaries are producing inappropriate amounts of progesterone.

If this happens, your follicles will start growing and your estrogen levels will remain low and the luteinizing hormone will not surge thus you will not ovulate. As a result, the corpus luteum doesn’t form and no progesterone is secreted. Due to all this, you will experience shorter or lighter menstruation.

4. Estrogen decline

At least 1 out of every 10 women will experience light spotting when ovulating due to a brief decline in the levels of estrogen, especially when the ovary releases an egg. This particular type of spotting will happen between 10 to 14 days before your next menstruation.

Spotting can also happen because of the reduced levels of estrogen that happen before ovulation. It happens because of the amount of estrogen responsible for stimulating the endometrium. As a result, you will experience brown vaginal discharge and/or spotting. There might also be some slight pain or cramping.

5. Disruption in your hormonal balance

There are hormones in your body that work together to regulate your menstrual cycle. The process is referred to as HPO or hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and if it is disrupted, there will be spotting mid-cycle. A few reproductive health issues are associated with HPO axis disruption such as endometriosis, thyroid disorders, PCOS, luteal phase defect, ovarian cysts, and uterine fibroids.

Are you experiencing recurring spotting mid-cycle? Have you ever had a hormone profile test performed? If not, you need to schedule it today with your doctor. That way, you can be sure whether a hormone imbalance in your body might be responsible for the spotting.

6. Delayed ovulation

If you ovulate later in your cycle, you might have mittelschmerz. It refers to a one-sided lower abdominal pain caused by ovulation especially mid-cycle. It happens at least 14 days before your next period. The pain can last from a few minutes to hours and will continue on and off for a couple of days.

It happens on the side of the ovary releasing the egg. Mittelschmerz causes mild pain, mild vaginal bleeding as well as spotting. With delayed ovulation, you might also present with a small cyst on the surface of your ovary forcing the egg to break through, thus causing vaginal spotting.

7. Contraceptives

A few hormonal birth control methods have been identified to cause irregular bleeding and spotting. These include the shot (depo provera), the pill, and the implant (nexplanon or implanon), which have all been associated with spotting between periods.

When you first start taking the pill or any of the birth control methods mentioned above, you will experience breakthrough bleeding (bleeding between your periods). That’s because your uterine wall is adjusting to the hormones.

However, if the bleeding persists, you need to consider another birth control option. You might also experience bleeding if you are not using the birth control option regularly and you will require a back-up form of birth control.

8. Taking the morning after pill

Emergency contraception (often referred to as the morning after pill) is also responsible for light spotting. It’s not a side effect but it contains hormones such as progestin (or a combination of progestin with estrogen) that might cause bleeding mid-cycle.

It is normal to spot at this time after taking your morning after pill, but it’s not a sign of your period so you could be pregnant.

9. Using progesterone cream

Using the progesterone cream later in your cycle might cause spotting and change your cycle’s timing altogether. Make sure you are using the cream at the right time. To do this, start by checking the progesterone start date. Here you should count 2 weeks backward from when your period should start because that’s the expected time of ovulation.

If you apply a low or very high dose of progesterone cream, spotting will happen. It will last a day or two, or it might happen every time you use the cream until you start menstruating. That’s how it disrupts the entire timing of your period.

To prevent this, follow the application directions on the label. Even better, you should consult with a healthcare expert who knows the usage of progesterone cream who can do a test to determine the right dosage for your needs.

10. Stress

Emotional stress is often caused by insomnia, worry, anxiety, and depression. Physical stress might be caused by over-exercising, poor dieting, weight loss or gain, and illness. Both of these are known to affect your period cycle because they are reflective of low progesterone levels. When you are stressed, your body will produce stress hormones such as epinephrine or cortisol.

If you experience long periods of stress, your body will make more cortisol using progesterone and pregnenolone for you to survive. Remember, cortisol is integral to your survival compared to having a normal reproductive function.

That’s why your ovaries are affected when you experience ongoing psychological stress. Exercising is a good way to relieve stress but overdoing it will prevent menstruation, causing spotting.

11. First period

For most girls, menstruating during the first few years is confusing. It is also masked by painful feelings such as cramps, irregular menstrual cycles, how to use pads and tampons, among other things. Young girls experience irregular periods as well as spotting during these years.

It’s actually normal. The disruption in your hormones simply forces the uterine lining to shed at the wrong time. Your body is just trying to understand the new process and work out all the kinks because you are becoming a woman.

12. Delayed or partial period

With a normal period, the blood coming out during menstruation includes dead tissue, endometrial lining, and old blood. If you have delayed or partial period, the menstruation doesn’t remove everything but leaves some bit of the lining behind.

The lining left behind can stay in your uterus for at least a month. Finally, it is expelled, leaving a brownish or pinkish color, or what we call spotting. You might be alarmed when this happens but it is actually normal.

However, you are allowed to consult a doctor if you notice anything unusual during your regular menstrual periods.

13. Perimenopausal

When you are approaching menopause, you will start experiencing brown spotting or light bleeding before your period. At this transitional stage, you will experience irregular and heavy periods. You will also experience spotting about a week before your period. Your ovulation happens in the middle of your cycle and menstruation happens 2 weeks after your ovulation.

During this phase, you will also have irregular hormone levels that don’t follow the regular pattern. That’s why during menopause a lot of women experience strange symptoms such as hot flushes because of the hormonal imbalances in their bodies.

Once you hit menopause, your menstrual bleeding stops. However, if you are still experiencing some bleeding, you need to consult your doctor and seek immediate help.

There are a few notable causes of vaginal bleeding during menopause including hormonal replacement. On the other hand, spotting has also been identified as an underlying symptom for cancer or any other conditions that demand serious medical assistance.

14. Vaginal dryness

Also referred to as vaginal atrophy, it is a common cause of spotting. Here, the vaginal tissue is not elastic or moist. Any changes in estrogen will make the vaginal tissue irritated. If there is a disruption in the production levels of estrogen, your vagina will start feeling itchy, irritated, and dry. A lot of women in their menopausal stage experience more vaginal dryness than the rest.

That’s because their ovaries produce less estrogen causing a thinner vaginal tissue layer and reducing the number of lubricating glands present in the vagina. Note that anyone can experience vaginal dryness and it’s not limited to only women experiencing menopause.

For those experiencing it but are not close to the perimenopause stage, the vaginal dryness can be attributed to many factors. These include women who have actually given birth. It also affects those who are on particular types of medication such as antidepressants.

If you still experience menstrual periods, you should not worry about vaginal dryness when it happens. However, if you are menopausal and experience spotting because of vaginal dryness, you need to consult a doctor because there could be an underlying condition that you are not aware of.

Medium-Risk Reasons Why You Have Spotting before Your Period

1. Pregnancy

If you have just become pregnant, then there’s a good chance you may have some spotting. It is quite normal to have some of this bleeding during the first few months of the pregnancy and is largely caused by hormonal changes that will adjust over time.

If you don’t know if you’re pregnant then you can find out by taking a pregnancy test or you can consult with a gynecologist. A medical doctor can help you understand how to best care for yourself during your pregnancy and they can make sure that the spotting is normal or help you understand if there is some problem that needs to be dealt with.

2. Pregnancy loss or delivery

If you’ve experienced a pregnancy loss or you recently delivered a baby, then bleeding will sometimes occur during the first few weeks afterward. Your uterus may not contract fully to the pre-pregnancy size because of some remaining fetal tissue that’s still in the uterus.

This type of spotting is not at all unusual but it should still be examined by your doctor. They can then help you understand if everything is fine or if there is an issue that needs to be dealt with.

3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

This condition is a hormonal imbalance and it causes interference with normal ovulation which can then cause abnormal bleeding. It may also cause spotting to happen in between your periods.

Other problems this condition causes is the outbreak of acne and the growth of unwanted hair. Young women and even teenage girls will commonly have this condition. About 10% of women have PCOS.

Those with the condition have a disruption of their hormonal signals that come from the pituitary gland. This disruption means that the woman won’t ovulate every month and this has an impact on their menstrual cycle. This usually means the woman will have irregular periods and spotting in between those periods.

4. Endometriosis

Not all women with endometriosis will have mid-cycle spotting but many will. It isn’t known exactly why but many doctors believe that a disruption in hormonal signals might be the cause.

When endometrial tissue is influenced by some hormones, it can give out disruptive signals which cause the bleeding to occur. The main thing this condition causes is painful and heavy periods that many women find difficult to endure.

5. Cervicitis

This condition comes when the cervix is irritated or inflamed. The symptoms can be very similar to vaginitis and they include pain while having intercourse, vaginal discharge, spotting, and itching.

If the urine tube becomes infected, it can also cause pain and a burning sensation when you try to pee. Cervicitis can develop because of frequent douching, trauma, or overexposure to some chemical irritants. The condition can also be affected by infections like STDs.

Your doctor can help you treat the condition fairly quickly and usually within a few days. One of the most common reasons for this condition is getting a sexually transmitted disease and that means the best way to prevent this condition is to protect yourself when having sex such as insisting on the use of a condom.

6. Sexual intercourse

When a woman is about to start ovulation, then her cervix will be more sensitive. Intercourse at this time could cause some damage to the cervix and this can result in some light bleeding. If you notice some bright red blood after intercourse, it is a typical sign of this.

7. Abortion or miscarriage

It’s quite common for women to experience a lot of spotting just before they have a miscarriage. When a woman loses a pregnancy in under 20 weeks, this is considered a miscarriage. If you are having unusual cramping, spotting, lower abdominal pain, or back pain, then these may be symptoms of an impending miscarriage.

If the bleeding goes from just spotting to being heavier, including clots, then this is likely a miscarriage. It most commonly occurs within less than six weeks of pregnancy.

Anytime you have any concern about possibly miscarrying you’ll want to consult with your doctor. If a miscarriage is about to happen, there is no known treatment to make it stop. Typically, a doctor will simply watch until it completes or passes.

If you have a surgical abortion, then it’s normal to have some spotting and bleeding afterward for up to about a week. This bleeding is usually not as heavy as a regular period though you might pass some blood clots.

If a woman uses medication to abort the pregnancy, then they will often have some spotting for a couple of weeks and they may have some heavy bleeding. After about two weeks, the bleeding will taper off. They may need to have a follow-up treatment from the doctor because of hormonal changes brought on by the miscarriage or abortion.

8. Cervical erosion

This is a condition that comes from the cells that are inside your cervical canal becoming present on the outer surface of the cervix. This is something that can be found easily with a screening test. This is sometimes called a smear test and the area appears red due to the fact that the cells are red.

This is a condition that you can be born with or it can be developed over time because of hormonal changes. Some women will not have a problem with this condition. Those that do can have spotting and bleed more easily.

9. Vaginal injury

If something is inserted into the vagina and injures it, then it can lead to this condition. Even a tampon or a penis can cause spotting. If your vagina is not lubricated and you participate in intercourse, then the friction can lead to spotting.

If your partner has a particularly thick or large penis and you have a small opening, then it can cause this problem.

When there is deep penetration while having sex, it can cause this type of bleeding. Some bleeding can happen early on in pregnancy as well. If your vagina is too dry and you insert a tampon and you push a bit too forcefully, then it can cause you to spot.

10. Anticoagulants and other drugs

If a drug is taken to thin the blood to stop it from clotting, then it’s an anticoagulant. These can stop clots from happening in your arteries, veins, and your heart. You usually shouldn’t take these unless advised to do so by your doctor.

These drugs can reduce clotting but they can also cause spotting. Other medication such as antidepressants and tranquilizers can have an impact on serotonin and this can also lead to spotting.

If you’re taking an anti-inflammatory medication, then you might also find that you have mild bleeding. Anytime you take something like aspirin or Warfarin then you’re likely to have some spotting.

11. Herbal medicines

There are some over-the-counter medications and herbal medicines that can cause some menstrual problems. Things like soy, ginkgo, and ginseng can cause spotting. This is because they can interfere with estrogen levels or, in some cases, they reduce blood clotting.

If you just started taking these herbs, then you may find you are having some mid-cycle spotting. There are some herbs used for reproductive health that have an effect on the hormonal system and they can help or hurt imbalances. When some herbs are first introduced, they can impact the hormone signaling and this can cause mid-cycle spotting.

For some women, this will only happen during the first couple of cycles. Once your body adjusts, then everything returns to normal. Most herbs are most effective if taken consistently and, for this reason, you should continue to take them consistently. Doing so will allow your body to adjust and then you can get the benefits that come from taking the herbs.

12. Urethral prolapse

This is the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of your body and allows the urine to go from the bladder to your opening. When the urethra protrudes through this area, it causes urethral prolapse. This will cause your urethra to become swollen. The irritation can then cause some spotting. Some estrogen cream or a sitz bath can often remedy this.

Potentially High-Risk Reasons Why You Have Spotting before Your Period

1. Uterine fibroids

A fibroid is a non-cancerous tumor which could grow anywhere on the wall of the uterus. If the fibroid affects the interior of your uterus, then it may cause bleeding in between periods. A large fibroid or one which is causing problems can be removed through surgery if necessary.

One study conducted in 2006, looking at 1009 women who were referred for infertility compared with women who had abnormal uterine bleeding, found that 16.2 percent of those who were infertile were found to have polyps, adhesions, or submucosal fibroids. Almost 40 percent of those in the abnormal uterine bleeding group had similar symptoms.

Uterine fibroids are not always a risk factor. Sometimes they cause discomfort or pain, and sometimes there is the risk of complications such as anemia caused by heavy bleeding. If you are suffering from chronic pelvic pain, very long or heavy periods, or spotting between periods, then it is a good idea to seek professional medical advice.

2. Ovarian cyst

Another common cause of spotting between periods is ovarian cysts. These cysts are small, fluid-filled sacs which can develop inside your ovaries. Many people do not realize that they have these cysts until one of them ruptures. If a cyst ruptures, then it could cause pain, discomfort, or spotting.

Ovarian cysts can be a sign of problems with ovulation, which may mean that it is harder for you to get pregnant. If you experience sharp pains on either side of your abdomen and slight bleeding when ovulation would normally occur, then you may have a ruptured ovarian cyst. Usually, doctors will suggest waiting to see if the cyst goes away on its own. If it continues to cause problems, then it can be surgically removed.

3. Sexually transmitted disease (STD)

Cervicitis is another potential cause of spotting, and it can be brought on by certain sexually transmitted diseases, including chlamydia and gonorrhea. These are serious conditions.

Chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and long-term health issues. It is a good idea to get tested for chlamydia every year if you are in a group that is at risk. It is typically asymptomatic in the early period after you contract it. There are some symptoms, such as back pain, nausea, vaginal discharge, a burning sensation when urinating, and spotting between periods.

Gonorrhea is also a serious condition which can cause infertility and can also cause issues with your blood, heart, and joints if it is left untreated. Symptoms of gonorrhea can include vaginal discharge, burning sensations when going to the toilet, spotting between periods, and pain during sex.

There are other conditions which can also cause cervicitis, including genital herpes and trichomoniasis. If you are at risk of STDs, be sure to get tested regularly at your local clinic or through your doctor.

4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID is an infection which affects the reproductive organs and which can be brought on by STDs as well as by the use of douches or an IUD.  People who have an STD and do not get it treated are at the greatest risk of PID as are those who have more than one sex partner, those who regularly use douches, have had an IUD inserted, or have suffered from PID in the past.

If left untreated, it can cause problems getting pregnant in the future. One in eight women with PID struggle to get pregnant, and there are no tests for it at the moment. It can be hard to detect mild PID because the symptoms are quite common.

Common symptoms include vaginal discharge, spotting between your periods, pain in the lower abdomen, fever, bleeding during sex, and burning sensations when you go to the toilet.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then you should see a doctor immediately. It is possible to cure PID if it is noticed early; however, the treatments that are available now will not reverse any damage that the condition has done. The longer you wait before getting treatment, the greater the risk of irreversible damage.

PID is often treated with antibiotics. It is important to finish the course because, if the PID is not completely treated, then it could lead to scar tissue forming inside the fallopian tubes. This could cause long-term pelvic pain, infertility, or increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy.

5. Polyps

Polyps are a non-cancerous growth, and uterine or endometrial polyps may cause spotting during ovulation. Polyps are sometimes found in association with fibroids. They form when there is an overgrowth of cells that make up the lining of the uterus.

Women who have gone through or are going through menopause are at a greater risk of polyps but they can occur in young people as well.

In rare cases, polyps can become cancerous. Uterine polyps usually stay in the uterus but sometimes they can travel into the vagina. Polyps can lead to spotting, irregular menstrual bleeding, infertility, and bleeding after the menopause. It is possible to remove polyps and the procedure is simpler than the one for fibroids.

6. Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is a serious issue where the fertilized egg implants itself inside the fallopian tube rather than inside the uterus. The egg has no chance of survival, but as the tissues grow they can damage the woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes, and they can lead to significant blood loss, which can be life-threatening for the mother.

Ectopic pregnancies can be asymptomatic or may initially be mistaken for a normal pregnancy. The first signs of ectopic pregnancy are often spotting or light vaginal bleeding. If you experience severe pelvic or abdominal pain, shoulder pain, fainting, or light-headedness, then you should see a doctor immediately.

7. Adenomyosis

This is a non-cancerous growth which can happen if endometrial tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. As this tissue thickens, breaks down, and bleeds, it can appear to be a normal menstrual cycle.

However, the condition can cause spotting between periods and lead to heavier periods or continued post-menopausal bleeding. The cause of the condition is not clear, but it appears that postmenopausal women are at greater risk of it. There are treatments which can relieve the pain, but the only known cure is to have a hysterectomy.

8. Malignant cancers

In some cases, spotting can be a sign of malignant ovarian, cervical, or endometrial cancer. The most common of the gynecological malignant cancers is endometrial cancer, which comes from the glandular tissue that is found in the uterine lining.

Unfortunately, by the time most patients experience symptoms, cancer has metastasized. Common symptoms include fatigue, abdominal swelling, bloating, indigestion, and gastrointestinal issues, as well as vaginal spotting.

Ovarian cancer is another common issue, caused by the growth of abnormal cells in the ovaries. Women with ovarian cancer often experience bloating, abdominal or pelvic pain, difficulty eating, and feeling full more quickly. They may also experience urinary symptoms or abnormal spotting.

Cervical cancer is usually detected through smear screenings or pelvic examinations. Vaginal spotting is one of the first symptoms that people tend to notice. Heavier vaginal bleeding or discharge is a symptom, as is lower abdominal pain.

It is important that women get frequent checkups and that they see a doctor if they are experiencing any symptoms that are unusual for their bodies because early detection of cancer is very important for giving the patient the best possible chance of successful treatment.

Vaginal spotting between periods can have many different causes. Sometimes, the cause is a normal part of life, and sometimes it is something which could be serious or life-threatening. Get to know your body, understand your symptoms and what is normal for you, and be sure to see your doctor regularly.

Understanding the Relationship between Ovulation Bleeding and Pregnancy

Once you begin to notice you’re experiencing ovulation bleeding, it is likely an ideal time to try and conceive. The reason for this is the fact that it’s an indicator of your fertility and it is one of the best opportunities for you and your partner to try and have a baby.

You might want to check with your doctor first just to make sure that the bleeding is not because of some other serious cause. You can also learn other ways to recognize this predictor. When you’re able to plan intercourse around the days just before ovulation, it can improve your chances of getting pregnant.

Difference between Ovulation Spotting and Implantation Spotting

Ovulation spotting occurs when your body releases an egg, whereas implantation spotting happens when an egg that’s been fertilized attaches to the lining of the uterus. One of the earliest signs of pregnancy is implantation spotting. Approximately 33% of women who are pregnant will experience this type of spotting.

Typically, when you have slight bleeding during ovulation, it happens mid-cycle, whereas when it’s due to implantation, it takes place a few days before you expect to have your next period.

The fact that this type of bleeding happens close to the time you’re expecting your next period is sometimes misinterpreted as the onset of early menstruation. There are some differences you can look for to recognize the difference. For one, bleeding from implantation is light pink or dark brown in color. Bleeding caused by menstruation is typically bright or dark red.

Your period flow will typically be heavier than what you will experience with implantation bleeding. Bleeding caused by implantation can last as little as half a day and up to a couple of days. The average menstrual cycle lasts longer than that.

Additional symptoms you may experience are the following:

  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Cramping
  • Moodiness
  • Fatigue
  • Tender Breasts
  • Low Back Pain

The good news is that implantation bleeding is not something you need to worry about and it doesn’t indicate any type of danger to the baby. However, if you notice you have some brown spotting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re pregnant. If you think you might be, then the best way to know is to take a pregnancy test.

Difference between Spotting and Your Period

Your period flow will typically be medium to heavy and comes at the end of your cycle and at the start of a new one. Spotting comes before or after normal ovulation and during other parts of your cycle. One shouldn’t be confused for the other.

You usually need to use something like a tampon or pad during your menstrual period. For an average woman, this normal cycle will last at least 5 days and can produce a blood loss of 50 ml or more. The average woman will experience this cycle every 21 to 35 days.

Brown-colored blood can appear at the very beginning or near the end of a normal menstrual cycle. If it happens right at the beginning, then it could simply be an indicator that this cycle will be somewhat delayed. For this reason, it’s not always an indication of pregnancy.

Can I Get Pregnant during My Period?

This is a point that is easily confused. The reason is that it is not possible to get pregnant while having your period, but it is possible to get pregnant from intercourse that happens while on your period.

The reason this happens is the fact that sperm can live for several days inside the vaginal region. Some women will ovulate soon after finishing their period and if this happens, then conception is possible. It’s also possible to become pregnant during mid-cycle and when having ovulatory bleeding.

How Do I Know When I Should Take a Pregnancy Test?

Once you suspect that you’re pregnant, you should take a pregnancy test on the first day after your menstrual cycle should have begun. Those that have ovulation bleeding can have it happen 15 to 16 days after that has occurred.

If you take the test too early, it could show a negative result even when you are pregnant. The pregnancy test you take measures how much HCG is in your urine. When you get pregnant, this hormone rapidly rises. But if you test too early, this hormone will still be at low levels and the test will show negative.

If your test shows you’re pregnant, then you will want to arrange for an appointment with an OB-GYN. If you happen to test negative but find your menstrual cycle doesn’t start, then you should test again after about one week’s time. If you continue to not start your menstrual cycle but you also continue to test negative, then you should still see your doctor.

Is There Anything I Can Do to Stop Spotting between My Periods?

There are things that can be done for those who experience irregular bleeding in between their regular cycles. The first step is to understand the root cause.

If you find that your progesterone is dropping during the luteal phase, then it is a factor that will need to be addressed. If you find that you are spotting just before your period or after ovulation, then you’ll need to keep track of when it happens.

1. Account for when it happens within your cycle.

Also, take notice of how long it lasts and keep track of the color. If you experience any other symptoms, take note of that as well.

2. Be certain you are actually ovulating.

If you’re low on progesterone, then you’re not going to ovulate consistently. To keep track of this, you want to keep a record of your basal body temperature to see if your temp rises at mid-month and track your cycle with an app.

If you have enough progesterone, your body temperature will change noticeably one to two days after you ovulate. It’s also possible to use an ovulation predictor kit but this doesn’t tell you if you ovulated. It only tells you that you’ve had a rise in luteinizing hormone which comes about a day to a day and a half before ovulation.

If you experience any stress around that time, then it could trigger a delay in ovulation and that could, in turn, take away the chance to get pregnant.

3. Check with your doctor.

Have your progesterone tested around the 20th day of your cycle which is about a week after you finished ovulating. If for some reason your ovulation was late, then simply count 7 days after it finished and then do your test.

The progesterone in your saliva should test at between 75 to 270 pg/ml. Your blood progesterone level should be between 15 to 33 ng/ml. Anytime you are concerned about having problems with your reproductive system, you should get tested. Discuss possible remedies with your doctor.

4. Try some ways to increase your progesterone levels.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to accomplish this. Eat lots of food rich in magnesium such as spinach, kale, and collards. You should also consume flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds.

You can eat more of these by including them in salads and smoothies as well as on top of other dishes. You may also want to consume 200 to 400 mg daily of magnesium glycinate.

Some of you may want to try cycling the seeds you consume. This is sometimes done throughout a woman’s monthly cycle so that they get the nutrients they need to maintain a good hormonal balance. To help control cortisol, you can try Rhodiola Rosea. A typical dose is 200 mg twice a day for up to three months.

5. Make an appointment with an acupuncturist.

When a hormonal imbalance is causing spotting, an acupuncturist can sometimes help. They look deeply at the specific cause and use a combination of acupuncture and herbs to help. You can also talk with your regular doctor about potential medical options.

Using a combination of modern and alternative therapies can often help you achieve the goal you want.

When to Contact Your Health Provider

Even though some spotting in between periods is not at all unusual, you may want to consult your doctor if it happens more than a couple of times in a row. You should do this just to be certain that there’s no imminent medical concern.

If you start to bleed more than once during a cycle, it could be an indication you are not ovulating. If you have excessive bleeding, then it could indicate endometriosis. If you experience pain when you urinate or its especially smelly, you should be concerned.

If you have a rash or itching, then you’ll want to see your doctor. If you discover you’re pregnant, then you should immediately go to the doctor. If you have already gone through menopause and you find yourself spotting, then you’ll want to visit a physician.

Anytime you have unusually heavy menstrual cycles or you have pain or feel dizzy you’ll need to go to a health care provider. If bleeding continues much longer than it should, then you will need to check with a healthcare professional to see what’s going on.

If you have mid-cycle bleeding and it’s not related to ovulation, then it could indicate endometriosis, polyps, or an irritable cervix. There are tests that your doctor can do to determine the cause of the bleeding. Quite often there will be a fairly simple explanation and it will often go away on its own. Even so, it’s best to speak with a health care professional.

What to Do If You Have an Infection or Uterine Issues

If you’re spotting from conditions such as adenomyosis, fibroids, or endometriosis, the following are some things that you should seek to do:

1. Get tested.

Getting tested means that a simple ultrasound or even a hysteroscopy can be used as your doctor checks for polyps, fibroids, and several other issues. However, if you’re undergoing a hysteroscopy, your doctor can collect a sample of your uterus lining and polyps can also be removed.

2. Check your estrogen levels.

When it comes to determining a probable cause, you should get your estrogen levels tested. This is done to ensure that your overall estrogen level isn’t too high when compared to that of your progesterone.

However, in the case where estrogen is dominant for you, you can either take a broccoli extract which aids in ensuring that your liver is supported during phase 2 of detoxification and you can also use a reputable vitamin B supplement. This is simply due to the fact that your liver requires a sufficient source in order to properly detox from too much estrogen.

3. Take turmeric.

Yes, turmeric helps. As such, you should aim to include it in your diet. In fact, everyone should seek to include turmeric in their diet since it provides several benefits such as reducing inflammation, pain and even helping to bring on a lighter period. However, turmeric should be consumed along with healthy fats.

In the case where you are spotting because of some type of infection, specifically one that involves bacteria, you can try the following:

1. Be sure to immediately visit your doctor.

This way, you’ll get tested and a proper diagnosis can be made.

2. The cause or source of your infection should be dealt with.

In several cases, yeast infections, as well as bacterial infections, come from your gut. In order to help with this, fermented foods should be added to your meal such as sauerkraut and you can even consume a bone broth.

3. Make sure your treatment is effective.

This simply means that you should use another form of treatment. These include the following:

  • Ultimate Flora Vaginal Support which contains a good source of probiotics
  • Purefem suppositories which are not only cheap but work exceptionally well
  • FloraFemme suppositories which are somewhat costly but works great
  • VH Essentials suppositories, a bit expensive but get the job done

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some answers to the questions you hesitate to ask about ovulation and that little bleeding you experience around this time.

1. Can I still ovulate without noticing any signs of the white, stretchy cervical fluid?

The simple answer to this is YES. A woman can ovulate even though she doesn’t experience what is known as the “stretchy egg-white” fluid that we think comes along with ovulation.

However, it should be noted that everyone can experience their own type of fluid; typically, ovulation soon follows after she experiences more wet fluid. In addition, if no sign of this fluid is produced, various other natural substances come together to aid with increasing the production of cervical fluids.

2. If my ovulation test kit indicates that it is positive, does this mean that I’m ovulating for sure?

The answer to this is both YES and NO. Predictor kits can be used to detect luteinizing hormone also known as LH. This hormone usually exists in high levels before ovulation. As such, these kits do detect LH; however, they cannot ensure that it’s because of ovulation.

In the case where a woman has high levels of LH, she can also have other conditions such as perimenopause if she is over 40, premature ovarian failure, and even polycystic ovarian syndrome.

In addition, women who suffer from luteinized unruptured follicle syndrome also experience high levels of LH. As such, if you suffer from any of these, your result can be that of a false positive.

3. When I was supposed to ovulate about 10 days ago, I spotted for about one day. What does this mean?

At times, women do indeed experience some spotting close to or at the time of ovulation. And this happens due to the decrease in estrogen levels.

It should be noted that this, in no way, signifies that you will have trouble conceiving. So don’t panic. In addition, you can still become pregnant if you had intercourse at any point during this phase.

4. What does it mean if my cervical fluid is stretchy for more than a day?

Most women tend to experience this fluid some days before they have actually started ovulating, and it can also be seen after the process has finished.

If you are observing your cervical fluids, you can do so within a 24-hour period as you check for the most amount of wet fluid. In essence, this occurs when an egg is ready or available for fertilization. However, if you have intercourse even a few days before, you can become pregnant.

5. What type of infection can cause my discharge to be brown?

When it comes to experiencing a brown discharge, this can be caused by a bacterial infection known as bacterial vaginosis. This usually results in an extremely fishy scent, which is accompanied by a brown discharge. However, this can be observed in some women who are pregnant and it results in a bacterial imbalance within the vagina.

6. Could a brown discharge be a sign of perimenopause?

In some cases, when a woman is close to menopause, she will experience spotting and even a brown discharge as her hormones begin to change. However, only after she crosses the age of 40 will she experience early stages of menopause.

7. What can I do if I experience a brown discharge?

In most cases, brown discharge is purely harmless and you shouldn’t worry at all. And if your brown discharge isn’t followed by any type of discomfort, then it’s more than likely benign. However, if you are indeed experiencing this on a regular basis, you can always pay your doctor a visit to further determine the cause of your discharge.

The Takeaway

For most women, spotting during mid-cycle is a valid and frequent concern. For a lot of us, we did grow up knowing that we were only supposed to experience any type of blood like discharge during our periods and not just at any point during the cycle. While this is mainly true, there have been quite a few exceptions to this old rule.

Spotting during ovulation does occur in quite a few women and it doesn’t mean you are about to get your period. If you are at a point in your life where you want to have children, be sure to check and monitor your cycle so that you’ll know when you’re ovulating.

These can be done as your body changes for ovulation. In addition, if you experience severe pain and a longer period of bleeding, this can be a sign of a bigger problem.

In the case of a shorter bleeding period and not much pain, this can be completely normal. So, if at any point you feel unsure about anything, be sure to visit your doctor. It is better to be evaluated at an early stage to ensure that your health is being taken care of.

  1. A prospective evaluation of uterine abnormalities by saline infusion sonohysterography in 1,009 women with infertility or abnormal uterine bleeding. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028206030585


Helen is the founder and chief creative officer of ParentsList. Helen is a mom of three, two boys and a girl, her youngest. She’s a stay-at-home mom who just happens to love writing on the side. She loves spending time with her children, especially on warm, cozy Sunday afternoons when everyone’s just relaxed and enjoying each other’s company.

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