Any sort of bleeding or spotting that is not within your menstrual cycle can be concerning. There are many reasons why a woman may bleed during different times in her cycle. One of the causes can be from ovulation. Ovulation bleeding typically happens about two weeks after your period last started.

Causes of Ovulation Bleeding or Spotting

Scientists do not know exactly why a woman sometimes or regularly bleeds at ovulation. One of the main theories is the emergence of follicles on the ovary. The hormones in the body produce about 20 follicles. All of these contain immature eggs. Only one of the follicles will mature and be released at ovulation. The mature follicle bursts out from the ovary and may cause pain, also known as mittelschmerz, and bleeding for some women.


Ovulation and Follicle Rupture


Another theory, why some women have spotting around ovulation, is due to the changing levels of estrogen right before ovulation. Right before a woman ovulates, her estrogen level spikes. This increase of estrogen may cause the light bleeding that happens for some women.

What Does Ovulation Bleeding Look Like

If you are having ovulation related bleeding, it will be very different from the bleeding you experience when your period arrives. It will be a very light flow or spotting. 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 a day or two.

Ovulatory Bleeding and Spotting as A Fertility Sign

If you are actively trying to conceive, ovulatory bleeding can be a sign that having sex “right now” would be in order. If you are sure that the bleeding is due to ovulation and not a more serious issue, you can plan your baby making sex accordingly. Of course, there are more reliable ways to determine ovulation. Ovulation predictor tests will let you know ovulation is coming a couple of days before your ovulate. This give you a bit more leeway about when you can have sex. Remember, sperm can survive up to 5 days so you don’t HAVE to have sex the day you ovulate. Of course, the closer to ovulation you have sex, the better your chances of getting pregnant. If you have timed intercourse correctly, you may want consider using a pregnancy test in about 10 days!

Concerns about Bleeding Around Ovulation and Through Your Cycle

Bleeding during ovulation is completely normal. However, in some cases, it can be an indicator that something else is going on.

  • 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.  They will be able examine you to find the cause of the bleeding. It could be something different than ovulation.

  • Reasons why you might have bleeding mid-cycle, not related to ovulation, 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.

As with all things body related, if you have a concern about what is happening talk to your doctor. They can help explain things to you or help you find out what is going on.