Spotting during ovulation: everything you need to know!

Are you experiencing light bleeding when your period isn't due for another two weeks? This is called spotting.

What is ovulation spotting?

Ovulation is a natural phenomenon that generally occurs around the 14th day of the cycle for women not taking hormonal contraception. While for most women, ovulation occurs unnoticed, some women may experience mild symptoms during ovulation.

These may include pain in the lower abdomen, a change in the appearance of the white discharge: it may become more elastic, transparent and egg-white in appearance, and sometimes even a slight discharge of blood, more commonly known as spotting.

They can sometimes be mistaken for menstruation. It is estimated thataround 5% of women experience spotting during ovulation. However, spotting discharge is different from menstrual flow. They are less abundant and mostly darker. It's also possible toovulate during your periodalthough this is rare!

Why does bleeding occur during ovulation?

Bleeding occurs during ovulation for a very specific reason: it's due to the expulsion of the oocyte (or future ovum) from the ovarian follicle. During this release, the follicle ruptures abruptly in the ovary, which can lead to bleeding, called spotting.

Blood loss during ovulation may also be due to major hormonal fluctuations during this period: during ovulation, progesterone levels rise to support and strengthen the endometrium. But if this level isn't high enough when estrogen production drops, then light bleeding can occur.

This can also be a sign of ovulation to take into account when calculating your cycle.

Is ovulation spotting a cause for concern?

Ovulation spotting is a perfectly natural phenomenon that occurs in some women. The duration and abundance of spotting varies from woman to woman, but it should never last more than a few days or be too abundant. Otherwise, it may be a sign of an underlying pathology.

If regular bleeding heavier than spotting occurs outside the menstrual period, it's best to consult a specialist to make sure there's no underlying cause.

Differentiating between ovulation bleeding and other types of bleeding

Bleeding can occur at different times of the cycle.

Ovulation spotting and implantation spotting

The implantation spotting also known as implantation bleeding, differs from ovulation spotting in that it occurs in the second half of the cycle. It occurs 6 to 12 days after fertilization. Nidation corresponds to the moment when the egg is implanted in the wall of the uterus, whereas before it was in the fallopian tube. Nidation spotting lasts no more than 1 to 2 days. It should not be confused with menstruation. Nidation bleeding is generally lighter in color.

Spotting during implantation occurs in around one in four pregnancies. It can therefore be a sign of pregnancy! Don't worry: nidation discharge is in no way a sign of complication for your pregnancy.

Pregnancy spotting occurs every month during the first 3 months of pregnancy, on the expected date of menstruation. These are also known as anniversary spottings. Again, don't worry, this bleeding has no impact on the progress of your pregnancy.

However, if you notice heavier and longer-lasting bleeding, consult your doctor, midwife or gynaecologist.

Ovulation bleeding and menstruation

Spotting should not be confused with menstruation.

Spotting is bleeding that lasts only a few days (1 or 2) and is very light. Blood loss appears 14 days before the expected arrival of menstruation. Here's how not to confuse ovulation bleeding with menstruation.

How can I prevent ovulation spotting?

In the event of spotting, even if the flow is very light and only a few drops are involved, it's a good idea to protect your lingerie to avoid staining it.

The menstrual panties are an excellent solution for spotting. They absorb and protect you at different times of your cycle, and can also be used in the event of heavy white discharge, for example.

Is it necessary to consult a doctor about bleeding during ovulation?

There's no need to consult a doctor in the event of spotting, as bleeding during ovulation is not serious. However, in certain cases, for example

  • If it lasts more than ten days;
  • If you bleed regularly;
  • If you experience pain or cramps;
  • If you have had unprotected sex.

Consult your doctor or healthcare professional. Only your doctor can suggest a suitable treatment or tests to make sure there is no pathology.

Ovulation spotting FAQ

Is it normal to bleed during ovulation?

Around 5% of women experience blood loss during ovulation. Ovulation spotting is normal and not cause for alarm if the bleeding is light and punctual, lasting 1 or 2 days. If bleeding is heavy and lasts ten days or more, consult a specialist.

What are the other symptoms of spotting during ovulation?

Other symptoms may occur with or without spotting, such as

  • slight pain in one side of the lower abdomen
  • Tension in the lower abdomen or lower back
  • A feeling of bloating
  • An increase in libido
  • a change in cervical mucus, which becomes more abundant and transparent like egg white
  • An increase in body temperature, especially when waking up in the morning.