If you’ve experienced bleeding between your regular periods, you’re probably wondering if it’s anything to worry about. One possibility is that it’s ovulation spotting.
But what is ovulation spotting? And what does it mean? The good news is that it’s usually nothing to worry about.
What is ovulation spotting?
Ovulation spotting or ovulation bleeding as it’s sometimes referred to, is a light bleed that occurs around the time of ovulation each month, when the ovaries release an egg. Typically, the bleeding only lasts a day or two.
Usually, the light spotting will be more pink in colour, as this is a sign that the blood is mixed with cervical fluid which women usually produce more of during ovulation. However, it can be more red in colour too. It’s certainly very different to your usual menstrual bleeding and will be much lighter and different in colour.
Ovulation spotting can sometimes get mixed up with implantation bleeding. While ovulation spotting happens during ovulation, implantation spotting or bleeding occurs when a fertilised egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus. This can often cause some vaginal bleeding and can be one of the very first signs of pregnancy.
Why does ovulation spotting happen?
A lot of hormonal changes happen during ovulation with higher levels of luteal progesterone and luteinizing hormone in some women.
Although ovulation bleeding only tends to happen in around five per cent of women, it doesn’t impact your chances of conceiving.
And don’t worry if you don’t have ovulation spotting, it doesn’t mean you aren’t ovulating, it just means you’re not someone who experiences mid cycle bleeding.
If you’re concerned about the occasional bleed between periods, it’s always important to get this checked with your GP, just in case.
Signs and symptoms of ovulation
As well as using an ovulation calculator, there are a number of ways to track your ovulation.
- Fertility apps - There are a number of fertility apps that can track your menstrual cycles and discharge changes throughout the month.
- Ovulation predictor tests - These work similar to pregnancy tests in that you pop a strip into your pee to find out if you’re ovulating or not.
- Basal body temperature test - You can buy special Basal thermometers which are used to track your temperature each morning. The higher the temperature, the more likely you are to be ovulating.
- Cervical mucus tracking - Some women experience changes in the consistency and appearance of their vaginal discharge, which can also mean you’re ovulating.
- Saliva ferning test - Another special type of test that uses a microscope to test your saliva.
Find out more about the different ways to track ovulation here.
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