Spotting after ovulation is light bleeding that occurs in the time following release of an egg from your ovary. It is a common phenomenon experienced by a good number of women. It can occur from a day to a week to 12 days after your ovulation is over. The spotting often of a pink color and is very light. At times, brown bleeding after ovulation can occur to signify various aspects including a pregnancy or disease. Whichever day you see the scanty bleeding after ovulating, here are the possible reasons.
Can you spot after ovulation?
The general expectation is that there should be no spotting once you have had your periods. However, it is not a rarity to observe some form of spotting especially of a brown or pink color. This discharge is different from that experienced during menstruation given that it is light and does not contain the red-colored blood clots that are observed in a period.
The spotting can occur from 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, days to a week and even on the 8th and 9th days after the ovulation. While the spotting may be a surprise to some women, it should not warrant panicking especially after you learn of the reasons why it occurs.
What does ovulation spotting look like?
To draw a line between ovulation spotting and menstruation, one has to look at the color and amount of discharge. With ovulation spotting, the color ranges from light pink to brown. It does not contain red blood clots and, if they are there, they will be very few.
On the other hand, menstruation will be a deep red color and very heavy such that it requires a sanitary towel or tampon to keep clean.
If you see such a color and according to your menstrual cycle it is around ovulation time, then all is well. However, if you feel any vaginal itchiness or a dark brown discharge that has a foul smell to it, then a visit to the doctor is warranted.
Bleeding after ovulation Causes
There are many reasons behind the light pink spotting after your ovulation. There is no way to know exactly what it is unless a medical doctor has done an examination of your condition. While the plain discharge should not alarm you, any other signs may indicate a different condition. The following are the likely causes of the spotting after ovulation;
1. Pregnancy (means you are pregnant)
When a light pinkish discharge is noted a few days after ovulation, the first thought in women is often pregnancy. To some extent, that could be the first sign of being expectant. However, the signs are not all black and white and more factors have to be considered before coming to a conclusion.
- First, did you have unprotected sex around the ovulation time? If yes, then your chances of having conceived are high.
- The second reason, and the most concrete of them all, is to wait for the next period. If it does not appear, you may be pregnant. However, you should give it a few more days then take a pregnancy test as you may just be exhibiting a case of a delayed period.
Among the signs that will accompany a pregnancy during this time will be the light pink spotting and cramps. The bleeding would then be referred to as implantation bleeding and the cramping as implantation cramping. The bleeding and the cramping will be lighter and less severe compared to those of a period respectively.
The implantation bleeding and implantation cramps occur when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall. The attachment involves burrowing to some extent hence the spotting. The actual color of implantation bleeding is light brown or light pink. This type of spotting should occur about 7 days after the period.
2. Cervical ectropion
Cervical ectropion, also referred to cervical erosion, is when the gland cells that should appear in the cervical canal appear outside the same canal. It is often a harmless condition unless accompanied by another one such as an infection.
The gland cells are more fragile compared to the cells that cover the cervix. They thus easily bleed out when irritated in any way such as during sexual intercourse or medical examinations like a cervical smear.
Cervical ectropion is related to estrogen, one of the hormones that play an important role in the menstrual cycle. Estrogen is in abundant amounts in those taking oral contraceptive pills, pregnant women and young women in general. While most cases of cervical ectropion never require treatment, there are times when you may experience bleeding or a vaginal discharge. If the discharge happens too often, see a medical doctor for help. Cervical ectropion will not cause cancer of any kind to the patient, however.
How is the ectropion treated? If the cervical ectropion has escalated to a medically unsafe level (by too much bleeding, for example), you may need to have it removed. Some of the methods used in treating it include the burning technique (cautery) which employs diathermy (electrical current) under local anesthesia.
Endometriosis is a condition by which the tissue which should grow inside the uterus grows outside of it. That tissue is the endometrium. Among the organs involved during endometriosis are the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and the tissue on the pelvis wall. Pelvic organs rarely fall victim to endometriosis.
Among the symptoms of endometriosis are;
- Excessive bleeding during periods (menorrhagia) and between periods (menometrorrhagia).
- Pain during sexual intercourse; the pain can persist even after the sexual act is over.
- Painful periods (dysmenorrhea); cramping and pelvic pain from endometriosis can begin before the period and be present for several days after the period has come to an end. The pain may be accompanied with pain in the abdomen or the lower back.
- Urination or bowel movement pain; this pain will increase during a period.
- Infertility if the condition is not treated on time.
When in its advanced stages, endometriosis may lack the symptoms such as the discharges and the pain.
4. Cervical problems
The narrow opening from the uterus to the vagina is referred to as the cervix. It serves many roles in the female reproduction system. These include the passage of the sperms to fertilize the egg, the passage of the menses during a period, passage of the baby among many other roles. When a problem occurs with the cervix, one of the symptoms is a discharge with the color ranging from pink to dark brown.
Among the problems that may befall the cervix and release a discharge include infections and other diseases. While some cause the pink to brown discharge, others simply affect the flow from the cervix by varying the color of the discharge. They include;
- Sexually transmitted diseases; sexually transmitted diseases often infect the cervical walls and the cervical area in general with a discharge being one of the symptoms for such. They include gonorrhea, chlamydia, genital herpes, trichomonas, Human papillomavirus (HPV), bacterial vaginosis and others. The HPV virus is the most common cause of cervical cancer.
- Cervical polyps; cervical polyps are little growths on the walls of the cervix. These growths are benign in nature meaning that they cannot cause cancer of any kind.
- Endometriosis; this is a condition which occurs when the endometrium (the tissue that makes up the inside lining of the womb) grows outside the uterine wall.
- Nabothian cysts; Nabothian cysts share several characteristics with polyps in that they both grow on the cervix. However, unlike polyps, nabothian cysts are filled with the mucus which is secreted by the cervical glands. Also, unlike polyps, they rarely have any symptoms. In some cases, they may burst and lead to a discharge of a white or yellow color. When mixed with some blood, the discharge may be of a pinkish or brown color.
While all the fingers may be pointed at different causes of bleeding after ovulation, ovulation itself is often accompanied by some light bleeding called ovulation spotting. The color of this blood will likely be between light orange and light pink with the period being from a day to two.
The reasons for ovulation bleeding include the releases of the mature egg from the ovary and the increased amounts of estrogen. At its peak, the hormone estrogen is known to cause some light spotting such as the one experienced in ovulation spotting.
6. Hormonal imbalance
The hormones responsible for the normal menstrual cycle are estrogen and progesterone. They have opposite effects on the menstrual circle and thus, they need to vary in amounts during the menstrual cycles.
In the normal menstrual cycle, the two hormones reduce and rise in an indirect relationship to one another meaning that, when the amount of estrogen goes up, the level of progesterone will go down and vice versa. However, when their amounts are not regulated well, there arises a hormonal imbalance whose characteristics include bleeding or spotting even between periods.
Hormonal imbalances can be caused by various factors including;
- Problems with the thyroid gland
- The use of hormonal contraceptives
- Birth control pills.
Bleeding after ovulation can also be caused by fibroids or ovarian cysts. The cysts form in the ovary and are filled with a fluid. Their formation is due to the failure of the follicle to break to release an egg. The fluid trapped in the follicle will form the cysts.
The cysts may burst to cause bleeding and pelvic pain. Other symptoms of fibroids include;
- Menstrual periods which may go on for more than a week
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Pressure and pain in the pelvis
- Difficulty in emptying the bladder
- Frequent urination
- Leg pains and backache
Spotting 2, 3, 4, 5 days after ovulating
Spotting that occurs on each day after the ovulation day may have different meanings.
Spotting 1 day after ovulation
The spotting observed on the first day after the ovulation is usually just ovulation spotting. This occurs due to the bursting open of the follicle to release a mature egg. It should not be confused with implantation bleeding as most women wrongfully think.
Spotting 2 days after ovulation
If bleeding occurs on the second day after ovulation, there would still be no sure sign of a pregnancy besides it being ovulation spotting. Ovulation spotting may occur or it may not occur as it is dependent on the person.
Spotting 3 days after ovulation
After ovulation, the egg will take between three to four days to travel the length of the fallopian tube to the uterus. In some women, cramps and some light spotting may be observed.
Spotting 4 days after ovulation
The fourth day after your ovulation is when the egg reaches the uterus. In this case, if you see any spotting on the 4th day after ovulation, you will likely be pregnant. The reason for this is that you might have ovulated earlier than usual and did not know hence the pregnancy. The only way to know is to wait for your periods. If they are present on their due date, then you will not be pregnant. If they are absent for up to a week after their due date, take a pregnancy test.
Spotting 5 days after ovulation
Spotting 5 days after your ovulation date is a strong sign that you are pregnant. Besides a miscalculation of the actual date of the ovulation, the spotting will confirm that any other signs being felt such as cramping are due to implantation.
Spotting 6 days after ovulation
Between the 6th and 7th day after ovulation, implantation is bound to take place. This will only be true if there has been a fertilization of a mature egg. If you find yourself spotting 6 days after your ovulation date, it is highly likely that you are pregnant and that what you are experiencing is not ovulation spotting but implantation bleeding. A majority of women also report of cramping during this same stage of their pregnancies.
If you take a pregnancy test at this time, the results coming out will be negative as the HCG hormone will still be in very small amounts. The perfect test should be taken a week afterwards.
Spotting a week after ovulating
According to the menstrual cycle, the 7th day after the ovulation date is also 7 days to your next period. If you spot on this day, then it is almost a guarantee that you are pregnant. What you would be experiencing would be implantation spotting.
The newly fertilized egg, now called an embryo, would be attaching itself to the uterine wall where it will grow to a full baby for the next nine months.
Spotting 8 days after ovulation
From the 8th day after ovulation onwards, the spotting observed will be that of implantation bleeding. This is very close to your monthly period and, if no other spotting has occurred before this day, it is easy to mistake this kind of bleeding with an early period.
To know if the spotting is a period or implantation spotting, you will need criteria for it. Look for the following aspects;
- Color; implantation bleeding will be pink to light brown in color while your menses ought to be red in color.
- Consistency; menses will start small in amount then keep increasing as the days go by. Implantation spotting will either maintain the small amounts or be intermittent in nature.
- Level of pain; cramps for periods will be more intense with time unlike in implantation.
- Amount of discharge; implantation discharge is often very little and may not be existent at all in some women. Periods are characterized by a heavier flow.
Brown spotting after ovulation
The presence of a brown discharge after ovulation can be due to several reasons. They include;
- A pregnancy especially if there was unprotected sex during the fertile period.
- A pathogen especially if the blood clot goes on and off and it has an unpleasant odor.
- Cervical cancer can also be the cause for the brown discharge.
- Taking hormones will also increase the chances of having brown spots.
- The use of oral contraceptives has also been linked to a brown discharge from the vagina.
To reach a conclusion on this matter, always consult your doctor for a thorough checkup that may reveal the actual course of the disease.
Pink bleeding after ovulation
A pink bleeding after ovulation can mean either ovulation or implantation or both. The first pink spotting is often that of ovulation. This is when the egg is released by the ovary. The second time, it will be implantation bleeding.
The two incidences are however not written in stone given that one or both may not cause spotting in some women. If you have observed the pink spots before and still had your periods, you likely saw your ovulations. Watch out for a second one that is close to the period as that is a strong sign of the actual pregnancy.
Whenever you see any discharge that does not seem to be healthy or feel itchy in the vaginal area, you need to see a doctor immediately however small the itch may be.