Bleeding for no reason mid-cycle? Then it could be that you have had ovulation bleeding. In today's blog post, we're going to dive deep into bleeding during ovulation - why it happens and what we can do about it.
What is ovulation and when does it happen?
What happens at ovulation is exactly as it sounds, that an egg is released from the ovary and then travels to the fallopian tube to be fertilized by a sperm, which then leads to pregnancy. Alternatively, the egg is not fertilized, which then leads to you having a menstrual bleed, period. In order to have a "real" period, you need to have ovulated, otherwise it is a so-called withdrawal bleed. Now you may be wondering, how do I know if I have ovulated or not? The best way to know is to measure and confirm a rise in your basal body temperature. Here you can read everything you need to find out how to measure your body temperature in the best way, which thermometer you can use and much more!
Ovulation usually occurs around day 14 of a 28-day cycle (very few women have a 28-day cycle). For example, if you have a 32-day cycle, ovulation can occur around day 18-20, but if you have a shorter cycle of 26 days, ovulation can occur around day 12-14, for example. So exactly when you ovulate depends on how long your menstrual cycle is. For example, if you have ovulation problems such as PCO or PCOS, your cycle may be longer, which means that you will ovulate later. If you have a strong and healthy ovulation, your next period will come about 12-16 days after your ovulation. If you have a short luteal phase (shorter than 12 days), it may be a sign of weak ovulation .
Remember to protect yourself if you don't want to get pregnant in the days leading up to and during ovulation, because it is during these days that you are fertile (and thus can get pregnant). Signs that you are approaching ovulation can, for example, be an increase in secretions (you have more discharge than before and you feel more "juicy" down there), the cervix is more open and increased sex drive.
Why do I bleed during ovulation?
Bleeding during ovulation can be caused by several different factors. Most often, the bleeding is a result of the rapid changes that occur in your hormones during ovulation. Some studies have shown that those who bleed during ovulation may have higher levels of luteal progesterone and luteinizing hormones at this particular time of the month. Before ovulation, our estrogen rises and then drops after the egg has been released from the ovary when our dear progesterone instead takes the lead and increases. It is this change between estrogen and progesterone that can cause this type of bleeding. It is often the dip in estrogen that causes the ovulation bleeding before estrogen and progesterone rise again.
How do I know it's ovulation bleeding?
It can be difficult to identify what counts as ovulation bleeding. Any light bleeding that occurs outside of your regular period is considered spotting (or breakthrough bleeding as it is also known). This type of bleeding is lighter than the period itself. Another sign that it could be ovulation bleeding is the color of the blood. With ovulation bleeding, the color is often light pink or light red. The light color is because it has mixed with the cervical fluid, which increases in connection with ovulation.
So, if you are experiencing bleeding around 12-16 days before your expected period and the bleeding is light or pink in color, it is very likely that you are having ovulation bleeding.
Do I need to worry?
When it comes to ovulation bleeding , about 3% of all women experience it every month. If this is the case for you, it's probably nothing to worry about as it's part of the rapid changes in your hormones.
If instead you start having recurring bleeding in your menstrual cycle (which is not your period) with no explanation, we recommend you get it checked out to make sure everything is correct. It's nothing unusual to have spotting (and nothing you probably need to worry about) but if it starts recurring out of "nowhere" it's important to get it checked out so you can feel completely at ease.
If you also experience other changes in your usual bleeding pattern, you should contact healthcare professionals. It can be changes in blood volume that they become heavier or lighter, excessive bleeding, painful periods, pelvic pain or other symptoms. If you feel the need to be checked by a doctor, don't hesitate to get in touch.
Does ovulation bleeding affect my fertility?
There is no evidence that those who have ovulatory bleeding have an increased risk of problems linked to their fertility. Those who have higher levels of luteinizing hormone and luteal progesterone are more likely to experience ovulation bleeding. But the association of having higher or lower levels of these hormones has not been shown to make a person more or less likely to become pregnant.
What can I do about ovulation bleeding?
To ensure that it is precisely ovulation bleeding that you are experiencing, it can be good to track the symptoms you are experiencing. Use a calendar, diary or app. It will help you see your general bleeding pattern and if you choose to visit a doctor, it is good information to be able to give them. It will also help you be more prepared for upcoming bleeding each month.
Ovulatory bleeding can be managed similar to a regular period. If you only experience a small amount of blood, you may not want to use a tampon as it can dry out the vagina if there is too little blood to absorb. It is then advantageous to choose a bandage or panty cover to avoid stains in the underwear. Otherwise, just go ahead and enjoy your month as usual!
Note: This blog post is for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure. If you have health problems, it is important to discuss them with an expert.
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