What Is Ovulation Bleeding and What Does It Mean



If you ever experienced bleeding between our periods, you might’ve wondered what it is and why it happens. While not every woman experiences ovulation bleeding, as much as 5% of women do! Read on to learn more about ovulation spotting, why it happens, and how it looks.

What is ovulation bleeding/spotting?

Ovulation bleeding or spotting is light bleeding that occurs when you’re ovulating. The day of ovulation is different for every woman, but it usually happens in the middle of your menstrual cycle. During ovulation, one egg is released from the ovary and starts its travel to the uterus through the Fallopian tubes.

Why am I bleeding during ovulation?

Ovulation bleeding may occur due to the drastic changes in your hormonal levels during ovulation. At that moment, the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is at its highest point in the cycle. Its purpose is to help mature the egg follicle in your the and prepare it for ovulation. Once the egg is fully matured, the luteinizing hormone (LH) will be at its peak and it will result in one egg being expelled from the ovary into the Fallopian tubes (tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus).

How long does ovulation bleeding last?

Ovulation bleeding usually lasts for 1-2 days and is normally light pink or dark brownish in color. Mild, menstrual-like discomfort and a heavier amount of cervical mucus usually go along with it. If you experience bleeding longer than that, it may mean your period has arrived early, or that you’re experiencing implantation bleeding (bleeding that occurs when a fertilized egg is implanted into the uterine wall).

Can you get pregnant during ovulation bleeding?

Yes, you can. As ovulation bleeding happens within the fertile window, you can get pregnant even if you’re experiencing spotting.

Not sure how to know when you’re ovulating?

Fertile days are 3-4 days prior to your ovulation and one day after it. To approximately determine your ovulation, calculate the length of your cycle and subtract 14 and the number you got is the approximate day of your ovulation.

Example: Your cycle lasts for 32 days, subtract 14, which means your ovulation is on/around day 18.

Although this is not a 100% accurate method (the only accurate one determines ovulation through urine), it can give you an approximate date of when you can expect your ovulation to occur.

Ovulation bleeding vs. implantation bleeding

Unlike ovulation spotting, which occurs when your body releases an egg, implantation spotting occurs when a fertilized egg sticks to your uterus’ inner lining. One of the first signs of pregnancy is a late period and implantation spotting. It will affect about one-third of all pregnant women.

Contrary to ovulation spotting, which occurs in the middle of your cycle, implantation spotting occurs a few days before the next period.

Since implantation bleeding happens close to your period, it’s easy to confuse them.
Here are some of the most common differences:

  1. Implantation bleeding lasts shorter than most periods. While periods can last from 5 to 10 days, implantation bleeding lasts for a couple of days maximum.
  2. Implantation bleeding is lighter in color and is closer to a pinkish or light red color, while the period is dark red to brown.
  3. Implantation bleeding is much lighter than a regular period. You won’t experience a heavy flow with implantation bleeding.

What does ovulation bleeding look like?

Ovulation bleeding lasts for one to two days at most and is much lighter in color than a regular period. During ovulation bleeding, the blood is light red or pink and much lighter in flow than a regular period. You may experience other symptoms such as light cramping or pain in one of the ovaries that is ovulating during that cycle.


Ovulation bleeding is a normal occurrence, but it doesn’t affect many women. It happens when the egg is released from the ovary due to the changes in the hormonal levels and can last for one to two days. While it is similar to implantation bleeding, it occurs in the middle of the cycle, while implantation bleeding occurs in the second half of your cycle.