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!

Last modified: January 11, 2015

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