Ovulation is a natural process that is responsible for a woman's menstruation. When the ovulation phase commences, the hypothalamus releases hormones to trigger the pituitary gland that secretes the follicle-stimulating hormone. This hormone aids in maturing of the oocyte inside the ovarian follicle, into an egg which is later expelled out of the body as an unfertilized egg during the menstrual cycle. So, the ovulation can be termed as the most fertile phase for a woman and the best time for her to conceive. However, during this phase, a woman may experience ovulation spotting.
What is Ovulation Spotting?
It can be defined as mild bleeding or spotting before the menstrual cycle starts. If you have been fertility charting for conceiving, this sign would have surely caught your attention. Women experience this condition as when the ovulation starts, the surface of the ovarian follicle is weakened by the luteinizing hormone. The weakened follicle now disintegrates and allows the matured oocyte (ovum/egg) to escape into the fallopian tube. Now, this stage is also known as "mid cycle movement". During this phase, small traces of blood may also happen to pass on with the egg. This process is known as ovulation spotting.
One can identify the signs with the appearance of the residual trace of blood which is not red (as that of the menstrual blood), but is brownish or pinkish in color, intermingled with the cervical mucus discharge. Another sign that may indicate spotting is the changing texture of the cervical mucus. If the mucus is abundantly secreted and is thin, it indicates the onset of the ovulation phase with spotting. Also in this phase, a female may experience an increased libido with a significant increase in the basal body temperature. Besides, a pain in the lower abdomen can be felt which is caused by the bursting of egg from its follicle at the time of ovulation. This bursting activity may cause a light bleeding and is known to cause spotting. This is a sign that helps you know when you are ovulating.
Ovulation Spotting and Fertility
Ovulation spotting usually occurs a couple of days before ovulation phase or in the middle of the ovulation cycle. In fact, once the spotting is evident, it is the best time for the couple to have intercourse, as ovulation is the primary sign of fertility. A female, during this phase may also feel some symptoms like breast tenderness, abdominal cramps, and an increased body temperature. Moreover, a woman may also find sex more appealing.
However, there have been cases where spotting after intercourse has been observed. This may be due to the implantation bleeding. Implantation (i.e., after the sperm has fused with the ovum) bleeding is a meager bleeding that occurs when the fertilized egg implants itself into the uterus. The fertilized egg is surrounded by a layer of tissue, known as trophoblast, which pulls the egg to the inside of the endometrium. This tissue also invades the mother's blood vessels to divert the bloodstream into the egg. At times, this blood can leak and this condition is termed as implantation bleeding. Spotting for 3 days after intercourse can hint at a strong possibility of implantation. Spotting during ovulation raises an alarm of concern, only if the female is affected by anovulation (a case where the ovaries fail to release the oocyte).
Spotting during ovulation is absolutely normal and most of the time, inconspicuous. In certain exceptional cases, it may be due to ovarian cyst formation. Such cases need immediate medical attention, pertaining to whether the cyst is benign of malign. Otherwise, ovulation spotting is an important factor that aids in determining when to get pregnant.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.