Home Women's Health Ovulation Bleeding: what to know

Ovulation Bleeding: what to know

What can I do about ovulation bleeding?

by GP
ovulation bleeding

When we talk about ovulation bleeding, most women think of their monthly periods. However, around 5% to 15% of women experience bleeding or spotting in between cycles. This can be due to several reasons. Most of the time it’s nothing to worry about, but other times it may indicate a health problem or pregnancy. In this article we will be talking about ovulation bleeding and spotting, bleeding before/after ovulation, and how different it is from your period.

What is ovulation bleeding?

Ovulation bleeding generally refers to bleeding that occurs around the time of ovulation, which is when the ovary releases an egg.

In the days leading up to ovulation, estrogen levels steadily rise. After the release of an egg, the estrogen levels dip, and progesterone levels begin to increase.

This shift in the balance between estrogen and progesterone levels can cause light bleeding, which is usually much lighter than in a regular period.

In most cases, it does not cause any other symptoms.

If a person experiences other symptoms, such as cramping, alongside the bleeding or it lasts longer than a few days, something other than ovulation bleeding may be the underlying cause.

People who do not regularly ovulate may have unusual bleeding patterns, such as bleeding very lightly for many days or only getting a period every few months. Numerous medical conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, can cause irregular cycles.

How to Identify Ovulation Bleeding

Ovulation spotting can occur in the middle of your cycle and usually outside your regular periods. That said, it is much lighter than your regular period as it lasts for one or two days. It is also light pink or dark brown in color.

That said since period flows are heavier, they require you to wear a sanitary pad, tampon, or menstrual cup. It usually lasts for 5-7 days and occurs every 21-35 days.

Some women may also experience mild menstrual-like pain during ovulation and an increase in cervical mucus discharge that becomes thin and stretchy.

You may also experience other symptoms of ovulation such as:

  • Breast soreness and tenderness.
  • Lower abdominal or pelvic pain.
  • Increased sexual desire.
  • Bloating.
  • Changes in your body basal temperature.
  • Increased heart rate.

Now that we have covered the factors that can help you identify ovulation bleeding, we can move on to the next section.

When Does Ovulation Bleeding Occur?

When you are ovulating, an ovary releases an egg, and this occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle, between 11 to 21 days after the first day of your last period. Women do not always ovulate on the same days, as this depends on the length of their cycle.

We recommend tracking ovulation if you want to get pregnant – some women also do this if they want to prevent pregnancy. However, ovulation spotting can also be a sign that you can conceive.

The thing is that an egg is only available for 12-24 hours for fertilization, and you are fertile for five days each month, as sperm can live in the body for three to five days. This means that you can still get pregnant if you have unprotected sex four days before your ovulation, but the chances of becoming pregnant the day after you ovulate are low.

Spotting after ovulation can also be implantation spotting, which occurs when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterus’s inner wall. This is one of the earliest signs that some women experience when they get pregnant, resulting in light brown or pink spots, which lasts for two days.

Why would I be bleeding during ovulation?

Ovulation bleeding happens most often as a result of quick fluctuations in hormones that occur during ovulation. studies have found that those who experience ovulation bleeding may have higher levels of luteal progesterone and luteinizing hormone around this time of the month. In the lead-up to ovulation, estrogen levels rise and then drop after the release of the egg. This is when progesterone levels begin to increase, and this shift between estrogen and progesterone can sometimes cause spotting.

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How do I know if that’s what this is?

Good question. It can be difficult to identify what counts as ovulation bleeding. Any light bleeding that happens outside of your regular periods is considered to be spotting, and this is usually much lighter than a period. One indication that you’re having ovulation bleeding is the color of the blood. The color of blood changes depending on the speed of the blood flow, and ovulation spotting is likely to be light pink or light red in colour. This shows the blood has mixed with the cervical fluid which increases when ovulation occurs.

If the bleeding you’re experiencing is light, pinkish in colour, and happening around 12-16 days before your period usually begins, it’s possible that this is ovulation bleeding.

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Some people experience ovulation bleeding as standard every month, and if this is the case for you, there’s probably nothing to worry about. It’s just a regular part of hormone fluctuations, and as long as there are no accompanying symptoms concerning you, you can treat this as part of your typical menstrual cycle.

If you have begun bleeding between periods without an explanation, there could be another reason for this, and while it may not be anything serious or worrying, it’s always best to get checked by your GP to make sure.

Reach out to a healthcare professional if you are also experiencing other changes in your usual pattern of bleeding. This could be changed in the amount of blood (becoming heavier or lighter), any excessive bleeding (soaking a tampon or pad every 2 hours, or any large clots), painful periods or pelvic pain, or another symptom that you believe needs to be checked by a doctor. It’s better to be on the safe side and check over anything unusual.

There is no evidence to suggest that those who experience ovulation bleeding are more likely to experience fertility issues. Those who have higher levels of luteal progesterone and luteinizing hormone are more likely to experience ovulation bleeding, but having higher or lower levels of these hormones has not been found to make a person more or less likely to conceive.

What can I do about ovulation bleeding?

To make sure that what you’re experiencing is in fact ovulation bleeding , you may find it helpful to start tracking any and all symptoms you have using a calendar, diary, or app. This will help you ensure you have a note of the general pattern of bleeding if you choose to visit the doctor, to give them all the information. This will also help you be prepared for bleeding each month.

Ovulation spotting can be dealt with in much the same way as a period can, but if you’re experiencing only a small amount of blood you may not want to use a tampon; this can dry out the vagina if there’s not enough blood to soak up. Instead, opt for a sanitary towel or a liner to catch anything before it stains your underwear. Otherwise, go forth and enjoy your month as normal!

People who experience the following should speak to a doctor:

  • changes in the usual pattern of bleeding, for example, periods being less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart
  • bleeding becoming much heavier or lighter than usual
  • excessive bleeding, such as soaking a tampon or pad every 2 hours or passing large blood clots
  • additional symptoms, such as painful periods, difficulty getting pregnant, pelvic pain during or after sex, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, or chest pain
  • bleeding after menopause

A person should seek urgent medical attention if:

  • they have had a positive pregnancy test or believe that they are pregnant
  • the bleeding is extremely heavy, soaking through a large pad or tampon every hour
  • they develop a fever or other symptoms of an infection
  • they have a bleeding disorder and experience heavy bleeding that does not stop

Other types of bleeding

Ovulation bleeding is just one of many types of atypical vaginal bleeding. While bleeding that relates to ovulation is usually harmless, it is important to ensure that there is no underlying medical cause.

Some hallmarks of bleeding during ovulation include:

  • The bleeding happens around ovulation. On average, ovulation occurs 14 days after the last period began, although many people ovulate earlier or later. People can use ovulation testing kits or monitor their basal body temperature to help pinpoint the time of ovulation.
  • The bleeding occurs only once each month at around the same time.
  • The bleeding stops on its own within a couple of days and is not heavy or painful.

Bleeding that does not follow this pattern could be due to:

  • Implantation bleeding. After a sperm fertilizes an egg, the egg must implant in the lining of the uterus. Implantation usually occurs about 10 days after ovulation. Some people experience light spotting, called implantation bleeding, around this time.
  • Preganancy-related bleeding. Bleeding early in pregnancy is common, and it can be due to a number of causes, ranging from a relatively harmless condition called a subchorionic hemorrhage to a potentially life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.
  • Anovulatory cycles. Anovulatory cycles are monthly cycles during which a person does not ovulate. A wide range of medical conditions can cause a person not to ovulate. Irregular bleeding is common during an anovulatory cycle.
  • Structural abnormalities. Structural problems with the uterus or ovaries may cause unusual bleeding. For example, a person with endometriosis or uterine polyps may bleed between cycles.
  • Kidney or liver disease. Kidney failure and liver disease may cause problems with blood clotting, leading to abnormal bleeding.
  • Hormone treatments. Various hormones, including birth control pills and fertility drugs, may cause bleeding between cycles.
  • Drugs and medications. Some prescription medications, such as anticuvlant and antipsychotics, can cause abnormal bleeding.
  • Pituitary diseases. The pituitary gland helps regulate hormones that affect the menstrual cycle, including estrogen and progesterone. Conditions that affect the pituitary gland, such as Cushing’s disease, may cause unusual bleeding.
  • Infection. sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, may cause the cervical tissue to become inflamed and bleed easily.
  • Tumors. Ovarian tumors, especially those that produce estrogen, may cause unusual bleeding. Although rare, abnormal bleeding may be a symptom of cervical or endometrial cancer.

In people with very irregular cycles, it can be difficult to tell the difference between irregular bleeding and the normal monthly period. Anyone whose periods do not follow a predictable pattern should talk to a doctor.



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