Ovulation Spotting is defined as a very light bleeding that may accompany ovulation - though it is rather uncommon fertility indicator and can be easily missed (even if it occurs). Unless you are fertility charting and observing daily changes in cervical mucus, you may not even be aware of this secondary fertility sign.
The source of "ovulation spotting" is traced to the rupture of the ovarian follicle when the egg is released. When you ovulate, luteinizing hormone causes the surface of the ovarian follicle to weaken and disintegrate. This leads to the formation of a hole, or stigma, through which the egg will ultimately "escape" into one of the fallopian tubes. At this "midcycle moment", a residual trace of blood may accompany ovulation when the stigma ruptures.
The trace amount of blood that may appear due to the rupture of the follicle will not be red (like menstrual blood), but will rather exhibit a brownish or pinkish color. For example, you may see just a faint streak of pinkish blood intermingled with cervical fluids during your daily CM check.
During this "fertile phase" of your cycle, cervical mucus will likely be transparent and stretchy, like egg white. If you do happen to discover a small amount of blood at this time, note this light bleeding on your fertility chart as a possible indicator of ovulation. If this is indeed O-spotting, you should see your bbt temperature rising shortly thereafter. This bleeding should not last long, and if it persists for more than a few days, contact your doctor.
Ovulation spotting should not be confused with implantation bleeding (which will typically take place about a week after you ovulate). Implantation bleeding (also typically characterized by a light brown or pink spotting) is caused by the fertilized egg burrowing into the endometrium. While ovulation spotting may be viewed as a natural fertility indicator, implantation bleeding is considered an early pregnancy sign.
It should be emphasized that ovulation spotting is not one of the more common or reliable indicators of fertility. Like mittelschmerz (or midcycle pains), you should be aware of the possibility that these fertility signs may appear, even though many women will never experience these physiological symptoms.
To pursue a visual metaphor, there are a number of other ways to "spot ovulation" - or at least predict when ovulation will take place. Along with using a basal thermometer, you can observe daily changes in the texture and color of cervical mucus, as well as follow the rise and fall of the position of the cervix iteself. Into your daily fertility charting rituals, you can also selectively integrate effective testing methods like an ovulation microscope, urine ovulation tests, or a digital fertility monitor to anticipate when you will be at peak fertility.
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