What is Ovulation Bleeding?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
A diagram of the female reproductive system.
A diagram of the female reproductive system.

Ovulation is a body process through which a woman’s ovary releases an egg for fertilization. In most cases, this occurs without any obvious symptoms, and women are often not even aware that it is happening. Sometimes, however, a woman may notice minor bleeding or spotting around ovulation time, which is referred to as ovulation bleeding. Most of the time, pain isn't associated with the bleeding, but some women do note pain in the abdomen during ovulation. Usually, bleeding around ovulation time is harmless and may be caused by an estrogen-level drop, but a woman may be advised to consult with a doctor if she suspects she is having ovulation bleeding for the first time.

Women who bleed during ovulation may want to use panty liners to protect their clothing.
Women who bleed during ovulation may want to use panty liners to protect their clothing.

Ovulation bleeding usually occurs around the middle of a woman’s cycle. Most women don’t experience it, but those who do often notice it around the 14th, 15th, and 16th day of the menstrual cycle. In many cases, ovulation bleeding isn’t a gush or even a flow of blood. Instead, it may appear as a spot on a woman’s underwear. Many women who bleed during ovulation wear panty liners to protect their clothing, but do not bleed enough to need pads or tampons.

Though rare, if a woman bleeds during ovulation, it'll happen about halfway through her menstrual cycle.
Though rare, if a woman bleeds during ovulation, it'll happen about halfway through her menstrual cycle.

When a woman has bleeding related to ovulation, it may not show up as bright red blood as she would expect to see during a menstrual period. Instead, it may look brownish. Some women have this type of bleeding for a couple of hours of each cycle, and the bleeding often appears as a brownish stain on the underwear. Others may have ovulation bleeding for a day or two, however, and see brownish discharge with occasional spots of red. It is rare for a woman to experience heavy bleeding at this point in her menstrual cycle.

Severe bulimia may stop ovulation bleeding.
Severe bulimia may stop ovulation bleeding.

Some women also have pain, which is referred to as mittelschmerz, along with bleeding during ovulation time. The pain is typically felt on either side of the abdomen and may change sides from cycle to cycle in relation to the ovary that expels the egg in a given month. The pain may last for up to 24 hours and is often described as sharp and crampy. Many women report that physical activity, including walking, increases their pain at this time.

Scientists are not 100 percent sure of the cause of bleeding during ovulation. It may occur as the result of a slight drop in estrogen, however. Some scientists think the bleeding may also come from the ovary when a woman’s mature egg breaks through.

Most girls start to menstruate between the age of 10 and 15 years old.
Most girls start to menstruate between the age of 10 and 15 years old.

Ovulation bleeding is harmless and there is no need for treatment. If a woman is noticing it for the first time, however, she may do well to consult a doctor. This is just a precaution a woman may take since irregular vaginal bleeding can sometimes be a sign of a more serious issue.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

Discussion Comments

amypollick

@anon279653: If you're concerned, you need to see your doctor. It probably is just a little ovulation bleeding, but it's got you worried, so you need to talk to your doctor about it. That way, you know you're all right.

anon279653

I need some advice, please. I had my period nearly two weeks ago and I'm currently ovulating and I had unprotected sex two days ago with my partner, but I've noticed brown sticky stuff on my underwear and I'm also bleeding but it's light and is nothing like my period. Is this normal because this hasn't happened to me before so I'm a little concerned that something is not right.

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    • A diagram of the female reproductive system.
      By: chart
      A diagram of the female reproductive system.
    • Women who bleed during ovulation may want to use panty liners to protect their clothing.
      By: Art Allianz
      Women who bleed during ovulation may want to use panty liners to protect their clothing.
    • Though rare, if a woman bleeds during ovulation, it'll happen about halfway through her menstrual cycle.
      By: Africa Studio
      Though rare, if a woman bleeds during ovulation, it'll happen about halfway through her menstrual cycle.
    • Severe bulimia may stop ovulation bleeding.
      By: Sylvie Bouchard
      Severe bulimia may stop ovulation bleeding.
    • Most girls start to menstruate between the age of 10 and 15 years old.
      By: Maya Kruchancova
      Most girls start to menstruate between the age of 10 and 15 years old.