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Implantation bleeding?

By Anonymous June 6, 2010 - 6:31pm
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My last period was from May16-21 and I had protected sex (we used a condom AND he pulled out) on June 2, which was 18 days after the start of my cycle. The length of my cycle varies from month to month (it's been anywhere from 26 to 35 days) so I don't know exactly when I ovulated. However, I noticed the "egg white" consistency cervical mucus on May 27, 28, and 29th, the largest amount being on the 28th - 5 days before I had sex. I have read online that women ovulate during this time and are most fertile when they have the most mucus, but I have also read that ovulation occurs right AFTER this mucus is gone. That being said, my first question is when exactly does ovulation occur: during this stage or immediately afterward? Is it possible I would have been ovulating when I had sex? Now onto the second question.... I've read that implantation bleeding/spotting occurs 6-12 days after ovulation, and that it appears as a small spot of pink or brown discharge. Yesterday, June 5, I noticed a very small amount of brown discharge when I went to the restroom, and today, June 6, I noticed a somewhat larger amount. It looked like the discharge I usually get right before my period, but today is only the 22nd day of my cycle, so I don't think that could be it, especially since it appears I just ovulated about a week ago. Since I don't know the exact date I ovulated, I don't know exactly how long it's been since then, but it's well within the 6-12 day range, I should think. So my second question is: could this be implantation bleeding? Is there any other explanation for it? I have never spotted in my 7 years of menstruating, so this is very puzzling and frightening to me. I know condoms aren't completely effective, so I realize that there is a chance I could be pregnant but it seems so unlikely. I'm just looking for some facts here, about when exactly ovulation occurs during the egg white cervical mucus stage, whether or not I was fertile when I had sex, and what my spotting could be if not implantation bleeding. Any information would be greatly appreciated and would help put my mind at ease.

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I am so curious why you know so much about your cycle, and why you are tracking your CM (cervical mucus), ovulation dates, cycle lengths, etc?

To answer your questions:
1. Yes, you could have had sex while you were ovulating, as it is possible to ovulate at any time of your cycle. Since you are tracking your CM and cycle days, you are correct that when you experience the most CM, then you are most likely around ovulation time. CM around ovulation is described as "abundant, thin, clear and egg-white consistency".

You are also correct that you are most fertile when you experience the most mucus, as this is most likely around the time you are ovulating. Your other statement/question: ovulation occurs after mucus is gone, is not necessarily correct...I explain why below.

Ovulation is not an exact science, and even the "ovulation predictor kits" that women invest a lot of time and money in are only as good as their names suggest...they are only "predictors" and can not "pinpoint" or "guarantee" the exact moments of ovulation. Please know that your entire cycle, including ovulation, is a PROCESS, and not a one-time, one-moment occurrence. Most information-sources say that ovulation occurs in the middle of your cycle (day 14, whereas day 1 is the first day of bleeding with your period, in a perfect 28-day cycle), primarily to give woman the general idea that ovulation occurs, usually, in mid-cycle. Please know that ovulation can occur much earlier or much later in your cycle, and this can change from cycle-to-cycle. In your particular case, for this one specific cycle, it does make sense that you were ovulating around the time of May 27-29, since it was around days 12-14 and you had a CM "surge". The exact, precise moment of the mature egg being released from your ovary, traveling down your fallopian tubes, waiting to be fertilized for about 24 hours...this exact moment is unknown, as it is a series of "moments", but can be estimated within a day or two with tracking and monitoring. Does that all makes sense?

2. What you experienced is most likely not implantation bleeding, as it would only be a one-time occurrence. You noticed spotting on two different days, two different times. Today is day 22 of your cycle, and although you have not had spotting before...this cycle you may! Woman's cycles really can change without notice; they can be shorter or longer in duration; include spotting or no spotting; they can change in color (red, pink or brown); they can change in heavy or light flow. You said you have never spotted before in the 7 years that you have menstruated, but I am wondering if you have always paid this close attention to every detail of your menstrual cycle? Our bodies are always changing and adapting/reacting to the environment around us. If you have experienced excess stress, recent illness, new medication...these are all reasons for a slight cycle change. It could also have just changed with no reason and no underlying medical condition or pregnancy!

You are correct in that the fertilized egg would implant within about 10-14 days after ovulation (and after unprotected sex), around the time of an expected period. It takes this long for ovulation to occur, the fertilized egg to travel from the fallopian tubes into the uterus, to implant in the uterus.

Does this answer all of your questions?

Let us know when your period begins, as it sounds like you are not pregnant (do you want to be, even though you are using protection)?

June 6, 2010 - 7:28pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

Original poster here again. I have had more spotting today (6/10) and yesterday (6/9). So, to clarify, I had spotting on days 21, 22, 25, and 26 of my cycle. Is this normal? I don't know anything about spotting or how often it occurs.

June 10, 2010 - 11:16am
(reply to Anonymous)

Hi, Anon,

Even with the extra spotting, I am still with Alison -- by using both a condom AND having your partner pull out, it is extremely, extremely unlikely that you could be pregnant.

My guess is that you're having a hormonal blip this month for some reason and you're having a bit of breaththrough bleeding. I know that it's not something you've experienced before, but it does happen to many women. I realize this is frustrating! Especially when you have irregular periods. But spotting can be caused by stress, hormones, low thyroid levels (which is probably not the case with you since this is the first time it's happened), even vaginal infections.

Since this is a one-time thing, I wouldn't worry too much. I think you're just going to have to wait it out and see when your period comes. I know that's no fun! But try not to stress or focus on it too much. That can actually delay things further. Hormones are funny things.

June 11, 2010 - 9:05am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Diane Porter)

I got my period yesterday! I'll just blame the spotting on hormones for now, but I'll be paying close attention to see if it happens again next month.

June 14, 2010 - 10:44am
(reply to Anonymous)


Thanks for the update!

We're so glad you got your period! That's a huge relief when you're so worried about a possible unplanned pregnancy.

Here's hoping next month is normal and no problem. Don't hestitate to write back if you have any more questions, OK?

June 15, 2010 - 9:05am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Diane Porter)

Im actually a guy and I was hoping I could ask a question cause Im freaking out. My girlfriend and I had sex while she was on her period, it started on the 21st of October and sex was on the 23rd. While it was unprotected, I pulled out far before I was going to cum. She has taken two pregnancy tests, one around the first of November and one on the 14th, the day she was supposed to get her period (she has a 25 day cycle)-both were negative. She got very slight bleeding on the 15th and 16th, but it stopped and started. My question is how likely is it that this would be implantation bleeding? We are both freaking out and she is under stress because neither of us are in a position to have a baby. Any help would be appreciated.

November 16, 2010 - 4:05pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

she was also somewhat sick during the last week, and her allergies were flaring up, I am hoping that this, combined with the stress, is what is causing her to be late...

November 16, 2010 - 6:06pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Alison Beaver)

Thank you so much for all the information! I feel like I should know as much about my body as possible. I really want to understand how everything works, and I know it's very important to have this sort of information if I'm going to be sexually active. I don't want to be pregnant at this time or anytime soon, and I really hope you're right in thinking I'm not. You made a good point - perhaps I haven't paid close attention every single time, and there is a possibility that this could have happened before when I was younger and wouldn't have noticed or worried about it at all. I can't think of anything that could have triggered a change this time, so hopefully it's just one of those cases where there isn't a reason. I'll be back here soon to let you know if and when my period starts.

June 6, 2010 - 9:58pm
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