Is It Normal To Bleed During Ovulation?



Any sort of bleeding that is not within your menstrual cycle can be concerning. There are many reasons why a woman may bleed during different time in her cycle. One of the causes can be from ovulation.

What is Ovulation?

Ovulation is the release of an egg from the ovary. The ovarian follicle, during the monthly cycle, releases an egg, generally the largest egg. In rare cases, two or more eggs can be released at a time. The egg is released in the fallopian tubes where it makes its way to the uterus. During this time, the egg can be fertilized, resulting in a pregnancy.  If the egg is not fertilized, it will disintegrate and will released from the body during the woman’s menstrual flow. Many women can confirm ovulation by a rise in temperature, ovulation bleeding, a pain in the abdominal area known as Mittelschmerz and positive ovulation tests.

Causes of Ovulatory Bleeding

When it is time to ovulate, some women experience a small flow or spotting during this time. This bleeding is not a heavy menstrual flow nor is it as dark as a menstrual flow. The coloration is generally a light pink or even a light orange and generally tends to only last for two days. Scientists do not know exactly why a woman bleeds at ovulation but the main theory is the emergence of follicles on the ovary. The hormones in the body produce about 20 follicles. All of these contain immature eggs with only one maturing and eventually being released at ovulation. The mature follicle matures and bursts out from the ovary which may cause pain and bleeding for some women. Some scientists think that ovulation bleeding may be present due to increased hormone production in the body. When a woman ovulates, her estrogen level spikes which may cause the light bleeding that occurs for some women.

Concerns about Bleeding

Bleeding during ovulation is completely normal. However, in some cases, it can be an indicator that something is wrong. If you have more than one bleeding episode in a cycle this could signify that you are not ovulating at all. Bleeding that is heavier than normal or more like a menstrual period could signal a problem like endometriosis. If you have pain that does not go away or the bleeding is long lasting or severe, you will need to check with your care provider to be examined to find the cause of the bleeding. It could be something different than ovulation. Things that can happen include endometriosis, irritable cervix, polyps in the uterus, or cervical polyps. Your doctor will be able to perform procedures,  such as ultrasounds and hysteroscopy, to find the true cause of your bleeding.

For most women light bleeding and some pain around ovulation is completely normal and expected. While the cause is fully understood, many women go through this process and many women use it as an indicator as to when they are fertile, especially if they are trying to get pregnant.

  • Alice

    This is a brilliant detailed article.Im in my mid 30’s and throughout my entire adult life i have never experienced mid cycle bleeding before and it has only happened once to me for the past 2 months and its happening once again to me.I now understand exactly what it is and what the pain is.It must just be me changing as i am getting older and now i know i am so pleased i read this.I have never bothered about making notes about my cycle because i have always been regular as clockwork and always put it out of my mind but im going to be more in tune now with myself.Thankyou.

  • cat

    Mine has been going on since yesterday and at some points it more then just spotting. And it seems like there are peices in it. Idk if that’s normal???

  • Bekka

    I’m having this same problem

  • Shauna

    I don’t know what’s going on, I had a period the last week of dec. Me and my fiance’ had intercourse the last day of my period. Then a week later it seemed like my period came back but it wasn’t an actual period, now I am having light bleeding on the last day of my ovulation. I just had an ultrasound earlier yesterday( looking for cysts ) and I’m thinking that maybe my uterus is irritated from it. I have been having headaches, very tired, breast tenderness and becoming very emotional. I think I may be pregnant but don’t know how with all the breakthrough bleeding happening. I need answers!!!

  • Vickie B.

    Unfortunately, if your doctor was looking for cysts, he must have thought there was something going on. It could be that you have a hormone imbalance that caused the break through bleeding. As you had unprotected sex, it is possible that you are pregnant, but the timing was a little early. Good Luck!

  • mrsblake14

    This is a great article as I am TTC now..this is my first cycle using the clear blue fertility monitor… I had 8 days of high and today it says I’m having a peak day-ovulation.. I started spotting yesterday.. today its a little more than spotting accompanied by some slight pain…I’m thinking it’s just ovulation bleeding..but it’s a little heavier than spotting…should i be concern? Crazy thing about the whole thing is I’m due for my menstrual in a few days??

  • mrsblake14

    This is a great article as I am TTC now..this is my first cycle using the clear blue fertility monitor… I had 8 days of high and today it says I’m having a peak day-ovulation.. I started spotting yesterday.. today its a little more than spotting accompanied by some slight pain…I’m thinking it’s just ovulation bleeding..but it’s a little heavier than spotting…should i be concern? Crazy thing about the whole thing is I’m due for my menstrual in a few days??

  • Vickie B.

    That is odd as ovulation typically occurs about 14 days before your period arrives. It almost sounds like you have a hormone imbalance that is messing with your fertility monitor. If your period does come soon, you might want to contact Clearblue to see what they say about that.

  • mrsblake14

    Thank you for your reply.. It was my menstrual on 10th day I was bleeding more heavily I still tested to see what it would say still gave me my 2nd peak..I’m currently still menstruating and had to purchase a pack of pads..I will contact clear blue to see what they say..but I’ve scheduled an appt with my Dr. to see what’s going on..

  • lili orozco

    Hi! its 2 weeks before my next period and im having cramps and i spotted a little bit of blood on my panty line, is it ovulation bledding or implatation?

  • Vickie B.

    That would have been ovulation bleeding. Implantation bleeding usually doesn’t show up until closer to when your period is due.

  • m saqib

    hey i had some spotting today and yesterday it shows peak opk and i also had an hsg a week before and it shows endometriosis filling defect is this normal ?

  • Vickie B.

    It could have been ovulatory bleeding. Unfortunately, I don’t have any knowledge of how endometriosis / hsg would have affected your spotting.

  • brandi

    I skipped my period week on my last pack. I am now on the second week of the new pack and I’m cramping bad and spotting bright red. It’s not bad I can see it when I pee and wipe but that’s about all. Is this from ovulation or what could it be. I have been to the doctor no cyst or anything.

  • brandi

    Also its messing with sex what can I do?

  • Reese

    So my husband and I have been TTC for the last few months. Since December my cycles have been an exact 31 days, but this last cycle I had a light brown discharge for a few days right around ovulation. No pain, just the discharge. I’m now 5 days late for my period, but still a negative HPT. Could it be that there’s just not enough HCG to detect?

  • courtney

    I just have a question my cycle typically runs long around 33 or 34 days. So this month around the time I would have been ovulating I had light brown spotting for 2 days (only when I wiped) now one week later and one week before my period is due I have light brown spotting again it’s really light this time barely anything when I wipe. What could this be?

  • Lauren

    This past Friday I had a bit of blood mixed in with a surge of egg white cervical mucus. It was just one gush, then no blood since. It was cycle day 21 and I had been doing OPK tests since CD 10 with no clear positive. Days 16-17 were almost positive, but not quite as dark as the control line. I’ve been trying to conceive for 9 months. Could it be ovulation bleeding or implantation bleeding?

  • Vickie B.

    Sorry, but I don’t know what to suggest. Your doctor might have a suggestion for you? It could be that your period was just delayed for some reason?

  • Vickie B.

    It could be. Did your period arrive yet?

  • Vickie B.

    Were you having unprotected sex this month? The first time could have been ovulatory bleeding and the second implantation bleeding.

  • Vickie B.

    I think it would have been closer to ovulatory bleeding instead of implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding usually takes a little longer to occur.

  • Name

    i Have never experienced any bleeding betwwen periods ever , i started my period on 4/1 and me and my partner had sex on the last day and a few days after and now i am having whats seems to be a light period and i am not sure how to take it or what to do i took a test and it was negative but i have never had two periods in one month, i am very worried and just need some direction.

  • Ashling

    I had my period at the beginning of this month. April 6th to be exact. It was normal like usual. I have been on Microgestin 1/20 Fe for over a year now. Well on Sunday The 19th, me and my boyfriend has sex and then the next day, I noticed I was bleeding and cramping. Is this normal?

  • Vickie B.

    Unfortunately, that is something you need to ask your doctor. Sorry.

  • Sara

    Important article. my period started on 10th april, then i made sex on 21th,23rd,25ht. today is 30th april, i found a small spot of blood. what does it mean? am i having ovulation now or what?

  • Vickie B.

    Ovulation bleeding can occur even if you have never had it before. The progesterone could be improving your hormones so your cycle could be a little bit different than what you are used to.

  • Carrie

    Been TTC for a few months now, I have very irregular periods so been using clear ovulation kits. Had high fertility for last 4 days but today seemed to have got my period? So confused??!

  • Vickie B.

    Could it have been ovulatory bleeding? Did it stop sooner than your period would have?

  • Vickie B.

    Actually if you have 28 day cycles, it could have been implantation bleeding.

  • Ant z

    I get spotting around my ovulation days nearly four month now since Im try to conceive what this means?

  • Nicole Mendoza

    Can u pls help me

  • Vickie B.

    It is normal in some women. It is just a sign that the follicle burst and there was a little blood when the ovary released the egg. For you it’s a sign that you have ovulated. Keeping track of when that happens from month to month will give you a good idea of when you are about to ovulate so you can plan sex accordingly if you are trying to get pregnant.

  • Vickie B.

    With what?

  • Ant z


  • Jill

    I’m 15 and I’m sexually active. My period ended on May 7 and I had sex the 9th and 10th… On May 20th I had darkish brown blood in my panties and it wasn’t much. I should have my next period on June 1st. Is it ovulation bleeding or implantation.

  • Ray Dutchess

    My period came 2 weeks early May 10 I had unprotected sex a couple days before , previous period Was April 26 my period is ALWAYS every 28 days last 3 days .. 2 weeks later May 24 my period was suppose to come it didn’t I just have streaking & very light spotting when I wipe … If pregnant I would be 4weeks 2days today but the test was negative … P.s I believe May 10 was my ovulation date but ovulation had stopped from having depo a year ago

  • maricela

    Hey Jill did u find out if it was ovulation or implantation bleeding? I’m going thru the same thing right now

Last modified: January 11, 2015

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