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Ovulation spotting

Sometimes women could experience ovulation spotting – it is just very short spotting which coincide with ovulation days (13-14-15-16 days of menstrual cycle depending on cycle duration). In general, ovulation spotting can be a result of sharp hormonal changes during ovulation which triggers mature egg leaving the dominant follicle. Actually the ovulation spotting can be considered a sign of fertility (readiness for conception). In most cases ovulation spotting occurs 2-3 days around the ovulation day and consists of small amount of colored spotting (pink or brown).

Sometimes these few drops of blood cause unreasonable useless panic. In vast majority of cases ovulation spotting is not a problem. Actually it is completely normal phenomena and it can happen more often than you can imagine – it is a sign that your reproductive system is working properly and it is positive fertility indicator. Many women even don’t know that they can benefit from this mid cycle spotting for becoming pregnant fast (trying to conceive) or for preventing unplanned pregnancies.

Ovulation is when the mature egg is released from the ovary and begins to move towards the Fallopian tube (ready and expecting to be fertilized). This process usually happens in the middle of regular menstrual cycle. In case of classical 28 day menstrual cycle the ovulation normally occurs around day 14 but could also happen on 13, 15 or 16 days of cycle (depending on hormonal levels and hormonal fluctuations).

Ovulation spotting causes

First theory

According to this theory, mid cycle (ovulation) spotting occurs because of ovulation process when egg leaves the follicle and starts its journey to Fallopian tubes. Ovulation is happening because of influence of luteinizing hormone (LH) which works on the ovarian follicle surface – making it weaker and helping the egg to get out. When actually the follicle ruptures (ovulation happens), egg starts travelling down the Fallopian tube (on side of ovulation) it coincides with small bleeding (connected to follicle rupture). This limited bleeding called ovulation bleeding or ovulation spotting.

Second theory

According to this theory, mid cycle (ovulation) spotting occurs because of hormonal changes and fluctuations which usually happen around the time of ovulation. Increasing estrogen levels trigger LH surge that signals the mature egg to burst from dominant follicle. Ovulation coincides with sharp drop of estrogen which causes uterine lining limited bleeding (until sufficient increase of progesterone levels).

Ovulation spotting characteristics

Ovulation spotting

Ovulation spotting

Ovulation spotting timing – middle of menstrual cycle;

Ovulation spotting duration – few hours or 1-2 days;

Ovulation spotting color – pink or brown;

Ovulation spotting volume – few drops or light discharge;

Ovulation spotting can be combined with sharp or short pelvic pain.

Ovulation spotting vs implantation bleeding

Timing is different – mid cycle (ovulation) spotting occurs in the middle of menstrual cycle and implantation bleeding usually appears few days before expected menstrual period or instead of menstruation;

Volume is different – the amount of blood is more during implantation bleeding;

Duration is different – commonly mid cycle (ovulation) spotting lasts hours or one day but implantation bleeding lasts few days;

Accompanied symptoms are different – during mid cycle (ovulation) spotting women could experience some pelvic pain and during implantation bleeding women could have nausea, morning sickness, breast tenderness, abnormal smelling and increased appetite;

Mid cycle (ovulation) spotting is a sign of fertility and implantation bleeding is early sign of pregnancy.

Mid cycle spotting other possible causes

  • Hormonal dysfunctions (polycystic ovarian syndrome, thyroid disturbances, premature ovarian failure, endometriosis, diabetes, different types of amenorrhea);
  • Benign tumors (uterine fibroids, uterine polyps);
  • Birth control pills or missed pills;
  • Intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs);
  • Cervical abnormalities (cervical polyps, cervicitis, vaginitis, cervical infections or cervical cancer);
  • Stress (severe psychological or physical stress).

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