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Ovulation Bleeding: What Does it Mean About Your Fertility?

You may wonder whether the spotting you see at the midpoint of your cycle is ovulation bleeding or something else. If you’ve done any Googling, you’ve seen this form of spotting referred to as mid-cycle bleeding, ovulation spotting, and intermenstrual bleeding. 

But what is it — and what does it mean? Ovulation bleeding is somewhat common and usually nothing to fret about. Most of the time, it’s a sign your menstrual cycle is working as it should.

What does it mean when you bleed during ovulation?

Ovulation bleeding happens shortly after ovulation in the middle of your cycle, about 10 – 16 days after your period. It’s due to a rapid surge of the hormone estrogen at ovulation, followed by a swift plunge in estrogen. 

That said, other factors besides a dip in estrogen may cause mid-cycle bleeding, which we’ll get to.

Is it normal to spot during ovulation?

It’s somewhat common, occurring on a more or less regular basis in up to 9% of healthy, menstruating women — although a 2012 paper found it occurred in just 4.8% of women during the study period, which covered two menstrual cycles. One leading OB/GYN told Medscape she sees ovulation bleeding fairly often — in 10 – 30% of menstruating women in clinical practice.

(There’s frustratingly little research on the menstrual cycle, and clinical research represents a snapshot in time of a sample of women, making it difficult to say how common ovulation bleeding is with any degree of certainty.)

What causes ovulation bleeding?

To understand it, we first need to backtrack to the process of ovulation. Ovulation, which lasts a few minutes or hours, is triggered by a cascade of hormonal responses in your body. Estrogen is one of the most critical hormones in ovulation. 

Estrogen is low at the beginning of your cycle, around the time you have your period. Then it rises through the first part of your cycle, eventually reaching a peak where it signals the release of luteinizing hormone, which tells the ovaries to release an egg. 

With a surge of luteinizing hormone comes a sharp plunge in the level of estrogen. The swift drop in estrogen destabilizes the endometrium, the lining of the uterus, and may cause a bit of the lining to shed. 

When your entire endometrium sheds, that’s how you have a period. But just a bit of shedding leads to ovulation bleeding.  

Is ovulation bleeding healthy?

Research in the American Journal of Epidemiology found higher levels of estrogen, luteal progesterone, and luteinizing hormone (LH) around ovulation in regularly menstruating women who experienced mid-cycle ovulation spotting. 

In this sense, consider ovulation bleeding a sign your hormones are working as they should.

How can I tell it’s ovulation bleeding?

There’s probably no definitive way to know if the bleeding is due to ovulation or another cause, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hunt for clues to understand what’s happening. 

Check to see whether the bleeding is accompanied by signs of ovulation, such as:

Experiencing some of these signs and ruling out other potential causes of mid-cycle spotting may help to confirm that the bleeding is related to ovulation. If you don’t see these signs, then mid-cycle spotting could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • Hormonal contraception 
  • Pregnancy
  • Uterine growths (polyps, fibroids)
  • Infection
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Cancerous changes

What is the color of ovulation bleeding?

It’s different from period bleeding. It was described as small amounts of  clinically evident bleeding or blood-stained discharge in a widely used doctor’s manual called UpToDate®. Typically, it’s reddish, brown, or pink in color. 

How long can ovulation bleeding last?

It’s brief. It lasts 12 – 72 hours at most, unlike a period, where your flow may last up to a week, although 4-5 days is considered “normal.”

Does ovulation bleeding happen before or after you ovulate?

It usually appears very shortly after ovulation. The bleeding is triggered by a sharp drop in estrogen after the release of an egg. 

You may also experience other signs of ovulation (rise in BBT, fertile cervical fluid) around this time in addition to bleeding or spotting.

Can ovulation bleeding be heavy?

It’s not like your typical period. Instead, it’s more accurately described as spotting. 

It may be so light that you only notice it when you wipe after using the bathroom, or it may be a trickle that requires wearing a menstrual product. When a research team investigated the menstrual cycle, they defined ovulation spotting as a light flow that required a sanitary pad.

Can I spot during ovulation without realizing it?

Yes—sometimes it can be virtually undetectable. Scientists called this “occult ovulation bleeding.” Occult, in this case, doesn’t refer to witchcraft, but instead means hidden from the eye.

Up to 90% of menstruating women may regularly experience occult ovulation bleeding, according to an old, but still widely referenced paper in the doctor’s manual UptoDate. In these cases, the only way to identify it is by analyzing a vaginal swab in a lab.

Is ovulation bleeding a good sign when you’re trying to get pregnant?

It may be a plus if you’re trying to conceive. 

A 2012 study linked mid-cycle bleeding to ovulation, noting that women with mid-cycle bleeding were not anovulatory. Being anovulatory means you did not ovulate, which is something you don’t want if you’re trying to get pregnant. (Even if you’re not TTC, ovulatory cycles are an important part of women’s health for women who aren’t on hormonal birth control.)

Is ovulation spotting a sign of pregnancy?

Ovulation spotting isn’t a sign you are pregnant. Ovulation happens earlier in your menstrual cycle, while implantation happens 8 – 10 days after ovulation.

You’ve likely heard lots of chatter about implantation bleeding, a phenomenon that supposedly occurs as the blastocyst attaches to the uterine lining, but ovulation bleeding isn’t an implantation symptom. 

Science has largely debunked implantation bleeding. A prospective study looking at early pregnancy in 221 women found no evidence of implantation bleeding, instead noting that most luteal phase spotting in conceptive cycles occurred 5 days after implantation.

The luteal phase is the stage of your cycle after ovulation. Bleeding in this phase occurs more frequently in cycles when a woman is not pregnant (and can sometimes be a sign of luteal phase defect, which may make it harder to conceive). In the vast majority of cases, this bleeding is unrelated to implantation. Instead it’s due to declining levels of progesterone, the hormone that maintains the uterine lining. 

The dip in progesterone triggers the beginning of your period. A few days before your period is due, progesterone levels can start to slide, and this might lead to light bleeding or spotting prior to your period.

What’s the difference between ovulation spotting and a period?

Ovulation bleeding is a much lighter flow than menstrual bleeding, which is heavy enough to require a pad, tampon, or menstrual cup. The typical period produces a total blood loss of 2 – 3 tablespoons, while ovulation spotting causes little measurable blood loss.

Ovulation bleeding is more fleeting than your period. A period lasts about five days, but ovulation bleeding, in contrast, is just a few days at most.

This is why it’s super helpful to track your cycle. If you know when you ovulated, you’ll be able to figure out whether the bleeding is due to ovulation, or if it’s a sign your period is due shortly, or something else. 

Consider trying one of a variety of methods to track your cycle if you’re not already.


By Nicole Knight |

Tags: ovulation, spotting

View sources

Dasharathy, SS, Mumford, SL, Menstrual Bleeding Patterns Among Regularly Menstruating Women, American Journal of Epidemiology, 2012.

Harville, EW,  Wilcox, AJ, Vaginal Bleeding in Very Early Pregnancy, Human Reproduction, 2003.

Belsey, EM, Farley, TM, The Analysis of Menstrual Bleeding Patterns: A Review, Contraception. 1988.

Bromberg, YM, Bercovici, B, Occult Intermenstrual Bleeding About the Time of Ovulation, Fertility and Sterility, 1956.

Nicole Knight

Nicole Knight is a California-based freelance healthcare writer and award-winning journalist. Her bylines have appeared in the Guardian, Los Angeles Times, and Rewire.News, among others. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Find her on Twitter @nicolekshine.

Sours: https://www.avawomen.com/avaworld/ovulation-bleeding/

  • More facetime with your obstetrician
  • Thanks to the fact that you're having more than one baby, your pregnancy is now considered high-risk no matter how healthy you are. With that high-risk label come more doctor's visits. You'll also get more screen time with your babies via ultrasounds.

    While it might seem annoying, those extra doctor's visits are an important way for your doctor to help keep you and your babies healthy throughout your pregnancy. Your doctor may also recommend you add a maternal-fetal medicine specialist to your team of doctors.

  • More folic acid
  • Folic acid helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida. Getting enough folic acid during pregnancy is crucial and can often be easily done by taking a prenatal vitamin. If you're pregnant with only one baby, you only need about .4 milligrams of folic acid each day. For twins, you'll need to up that dose to 1 milligram a day.

    Whether you're pregnant with two babies or four, you should talk to your doctor about folic acid and other vitamin supplement needs.

  • Increased health risks
  • Believe it or not, incubating more than one baby comes with some significant health risks. As a woman who's having a multiple pregnancy, you'll be at higher risk for gestational diabetes. While the effects of gestational diabetes (high birth weight) may not be as pronounced with twins, gestational diabetes also puts you at higher risk for developing diabetes later in life.

    You'll also be more likely to develop preeclampsia during your multiple pregnancy. Preeclampsia is diagnosed by protein in your urine, excess swelling in your feet, hands, and legs, and high blood pressure. Often the first indicator of preeclampsia comes from a routine doctor's visit, so don't skip a visit. Preeclampsia can be dangerous for both you and your babies.

  • Morning sickness can be worse
  • If you thought morning sickness was bad during a single pregnancy, you may cringe to hear it can be worse with a multiple pregnancy. Higher levels of human chorionic gonadotropin produced during multiple pregnancy means your chance of having morning sickness is increased. Thankfully, no matter how sick you get, you should see an end by the time your second trimester rolls around.

  • Increased spotting
  • Miscarriages are more common with multiple pregnancies, so a little bit of spotting can be cause for concern. But spotting is also more common with a multiple pregnancy. In the absence of cramping or large clots, spotting doesn't mean the end of your pregnancy.

    Talk to your doctor if you're having bleeding or spotting. Your doctor can answer your questions and help you determine what's happening with your pregnancy.

  • Gaining more weight
  • Gaining more weight is normal when you're pregnant with more than one baby. After all, you'll have the weight of two babies, plus amniotic fluid, and in some cases, more placentas. While the average weight gain for a normal pregnancy is 35 pounds, twin moms can gain much more, depending on your weight before you get pregnant. Women who start a twin pregnancy at a normal weight can expect to gain between 37-54 pounds. For multiples beyond twins, these numbers go up.

  • You'll need to eat more
  • This might seem like common sense, but growing two (or more) babies requires more food. While you don't want to go wild and gain too much weight, your caloric needs are definitely going to increase. During a pregnancy with a single baby, you only need about 300 extra calories a day starting in the second trimester. If you're pregnant with twins, that number increases to 680 extra calories a day in the second trimester. Pounding junk food won't do it either. Your calories should be coming from healthy sources like proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats.

  • More discomfort
  • You could have guessed it. More babies = more weight gained = more discomfort. Moms pregnant with more than one baby tend to have more back pain, more heartburn, and even trouble sleeping. Talk with your doctor about how to deal with your expanding belly. Support belts and pregnancy pillows might be the key to getting more comfortable.

  • You may deliver early
  • It's not uncommon for mothers of multiples to deliver their babies early. Where a single baby will usually be delivered around 40 weeks, twins are often delivered between 36-37 weeks, sometimes sooner. If your babies are born too early, they may have lower birth weights, respiratory issues, and will likely spend some time in the neonatal intensive care unit.

  • C-sections are more likely
  • You should prepare for a cesarean section even if you don't end up having one. The chances of having a C-section with a multiple pregnancy are higher. If any of your babies are breech, it'll mean you'll probably need a cesarean delivery.

    Sours: https://intermountainhealthcare.org/blogs/topics/intermountain-moms/2018/11/what-should-i-expect-when-im-expecting-twins/
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    Bleeding during ovulation

    Last Updated on

    If you experience spotting even when your period isn’t due, it may be implantation bleeding, one of the first indicators of pregnancy. But mid-cycle bleeding or spotting can also be just an indicator of ovulation. Let’s dive deep into this subject and find out more about bleeding during ovulation.

    Also Read: Ovulation Induction (OI) Treatment for Infertility

    What Is Mid-Cycle Bleeding?

    Mid-cycle bleeding is spotting or bleeding that occurs when your periods aren’t due, for example, a week after you’ve got your periods. It can happen due to ovulation, abnormalities in the cervix, endometriosis, etc.

    Many women assume that mid-cycle bleeding is a sign of pregnancy. Ovulation spotting is a good sign of fertility but it doesn’t always mean pregnancy.

    How Does the Flow Look like?

    Ovulation bleeding lasts for one or two days and is light pink or brownish-red. The flow is light and is accompanied by cervical mucus, and mild abdominal cramps.

    Also Read: Ovulation after Miscarriage – Effects and Symptoms

    Possible Causes of Bleeding During Ovulation

    While nobody can pinpoint the exact cause of bleeding during ovulation, here are some probable causes:

    • As the level of estrogen lowers during ovulation, the thickness of the uterine lining decreases and begins to shed the tissue. This can be the origin of the bleeding during ovulation.
    • When an egg is released, the mature follicle bursts out of the ovary, and may rupture, leading to bleeding.
    • Rapid hormonal changes may also lead to ovulation spotting.
    • Other causes include trying new contraceptives, vaginal dryness, vaginal injury, low thyroid levels, PCOS, STD, ovarian cyst, uterine fibroids, polyps, ectopic pregnancy and even cancer.

    Also Read: Can Late Ovulation Affect Your Chances of Getting Pregnant?

    How Ovulation Bleeding and Pregnancy Are Related to Each Other

    Ovulation bleeding indicates fertility and is the right time to try for a baby. Once you’ve confirmed that mid-cycle bleeding is a sign of ovulation and not a serious health condition, you can plan sexual intercourse to boost the chances of pregnancy.


    1. How Is Mid-Cycle Bleeding Different From Implantation Bleeding?

    There are several key differences between ovulation and implantation bleeding.

    • Mid-cycle or ovulation bleeding is characterised by light spotting and can happen if the egg ruptures in the ovary or there is a change in the level of estrogen causing the uterine lining to shed. Implantation bleeding occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself in the uterine lining.
    • Ovulation bleeding is a sign of fertility. Implantation bleeding is an early sign of pregnancy.
    • Ovulation bleeding happens 15 days before a period.
    • Implantation bleeding happens 1 – 2 days before the menstrual due date.

    Also Read: Pregnancy Without Ovulation – Is It Possible?

    2. How Is Mid-Cycle Bleeding and Implantation Bleeding Different From a Normal Period?

    There a few differences between mid-cycle bleeding and a period. Some of them are:

    • Mid-cycle and implantation bleeding is pink, reddish or brown in colour. Period bleeding is bright to dark red.
    • Mid-cycle and implantation bleeding are not as heavy as periods.
    • Both just last for a maximum of two days while periods typically last for four to five days.

    3. What If You Face Severe Bleeding While Ovulating?

    If you face severe bleeding and pain, it can be a serious complication. If you have more than one cycle of bleeding, it is possible that you aren’t ovulating at all. Conditions like polyps in the uterus, endometriosis and irritable cervix may be the reason behind the bleeding. You will need to reach out to a doctor immediately to perform an ultrasound and hysteroscopy and get the right diagnosis.

    Also Read: Cervical Mucus Tracking for Ovulation

    4. Is Mid-Cycle Bleeding a Pregnancy Symptom?

    Mid-cycle bleeding is caused by ovulation and means that you are fertile. Trying to get pregnant when you’re bleeding mid-cycle can increase your chances. However, it’s not a symptom of pregnancy.

    5. Can Brown Spotting During Ovulation Help You if You Are Trying to Conceive?

    Brown spotting during ovulation means that the time is right to try for conception. However, if you notice brown spotting with vaginal irritation, it points to a pathological issue. You need to seek medical advice.

    Ovulation bleeding is common in some women and there is no reason to be alarmed about it. It doesn’t usually require treatment. However, if you have mid-cycle bleeding with heavy spotting and severe cramps and discomfort, it may be due to other complications. You should consult a doctor for an ultrasound to know the cause of the bleeding.

    Also Read:

    Ovulating More Than Once a Month – Is it Normal?
    Late ovulation causes and symptoms: is it common?
    Is it Possible to Get Pregnant Without Ovulation?
    How to Check Your Cervical Mucus and Detect Ovulation

    Anisha Nair

    Sours: https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/ovulation-bleeding-and-pregnancy-how-are-they-related/

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    Spotting twins ovulation

    What Is Ovulation Bleeding?

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    Ovulation and spotting

    Ovulation spotting is light bleeding that occurs around the time that you ovulate. Ovulation is when your ovary releases an egg. Not every woman will experience ovulation spotting. In fact, found only about 5 percent of women have spotting in the middle of their cycles.

    Read on to learn more about ovulation spotting, including how to identify it and when it occurs, plus other signs that you may be ovulating.

    How to identify ovulation spotting

    If you notice spotting around the middle of your cycle, it may be ovulation spotting. Spotting is light vaginal bleeding that happens outside of your regular periods. Typically, this bleeding is much lighter than what you’ll experience when you have your period.

    The color of the blood can provide clues to the cause of the spotting. That’s because the color changes depending on the speed of the blood flow. Some women describe ovulation spotting as light pink or red in color. Pink spotting is a sign that the blood is mixed with cervical fluid. Women typically produce more cervical fluid at the time of ovulation.

    Ovulation spotting usually lasts a day or two.

    When does ovulation spotting occur?

    Ovulation usually occurs anywhere between 11 and 21 days after the first day of your last period, though it may occur sooner or later in some women, depending on the length of your cycle. Ovulation can also happen at various times during a woman’s cycle and may take place on a different day each month.

    Tracking ovulation can help improve your chances for becoming pregnant. Some women also track ovulation as a way to prevent pregnancy. If you’re trying to get pregnant, light spotting during ovulation may be a sign that you can conceive around this time of your cycle.

    Keep in mind that an egg is only available for fertilization for about 12–24 hours during ovulation. But, because sperm can live in the body for three to five days, your fertile window of opportunity is about 5 days each month. That means if you have unprotected sex four days before you ovulate, you may still become pregnant. However, if you have sex the day after ovulation, you are unlikely to become pregnant unless you have a very short cycle.

    Why does ovulation spotting occur?

    Ovulation spotting may be caused by rapid hormonal changes that occur during ovulation. In , higher levels of luteal progesterone and luteinizing hormone (LH) around ovulation were seen in women who experienced ovulation bleeding.

    Having higher or lower levels of these hormones does not mean that you are more or less likely to conceive.

    Other signs and symptoms of ovulation

    You may notice other signs and symptoms of ovulation, including:

    • increase in cervical fluid
    • cervical fluid that looks like egg whites
    • change in the position or firmness of the cervix
    • change in basal body temperature (a slight decline in temperature before ovulation followed by a sharp increase after ovulation)
    • increased sex drive
    • pain or a dull ache on one side of the abdomen
    • higher levels of LH, which can be measured with an ovulation test
    • breast tenderness
    • bloating
    • an intensified sense of smell, taste, or vision

    Paying close attention to these symptoms may help you narrow down your window to conceive.

    Ovulation spotting vs. implantation spotting

    While ovulation spotting happens around the time that your body releases an egg, implantation spotting occurs when a fertilized egg attaches to the inner lining of your uterus.

    Implantation spotting is one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. About one-third of pregnant women will experience it.

    Unlike ovulation spotting, which usually occurs mid-cycle, implantation spotting happens a few days before your next period should occur.

    Because implantation bleeding happens around the same time you might expect your period, you may mistake implantation bleeding for your period. Here are the differences:

    • Implantation bleeding is light pink to dark brown in color. Menstruation bleeding is usually bright to dark red.
    • Implantation bleeding is much lighter in flow than your period.
    • Implantation bleeding only lasts for half a day to a couple days. Periods typically last longer than this.

    You may also experience the following symptoms in addition to implantation bleeding:

    • headaches
    • nausea
    • mood swings
    • light cramping
    • breast tenderness
    • low backache
    • fatigue

    Implantation bleeding isn’t something to worry about and doesn’t pose any danger to an unborn baby.

    Spotting vs. period

    Spotting is different than the bleeding you experience when you have your period. Typically, spotting:

    • is lighter in flow
    • is pink, reddish, or brown in color
    • only lasts for a day or two

    Bleeding due to your menstrual period is usually heavy enough to require a pad, tampon, or menstrual cup. The average period lasts about five days and produces a total blood loss of about 30 to 80 milliliters (mL). They typically occur every 21 to 35 days.

    When should you take a pregnancy test?

    If you think you may be pregnant, wait until the first day after your missed period to take a pregnancy test. If you had ovulation bleeding, this may be about 15 to 16 days after the bleeding occurred.

    Taking a test too early may result in a false-negative test. Pregnancy tests measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. This hormone rises rapidly when you’re pregnant, but in the very early days of pregnancy, the levels will be too low to detect in your urine.

    If your test comes back positive, make an appointment with your OB/GYN to confirm the results. If your test is negative and your period still hasn’t started, take another test a week later. If your test is still negative, make an appointment to see your doctor.


    Ovulation spotting only occurs in a small number of women. You can still ovulate without experiencing spotting. If you’re trying to conceive, track your menstrual cycle and watch for other signs of ovulation, such as changes in cervical mucus and basal body temperature. Keep in mind that your body temperature rises after ovulation, so this is not the best approach for predicting your fertile window.

    You can also use an ovulation tracking app or an ovulation test. Ovulation tests work similarly to pregnancy urine tests, except they test for LH in your urine. LH increases just before and during ovulation. These tests are useful for identifying your fertile window and increasing the chances of pregnancy.

    Shop ovulation tests.

    If you’ve been trying to conceive for more than a year — or for more than 6 months if you’re over 35 — talk to your doctor. They can do tests to see if you’re ovulating as expected, or if you or your partner have trouble with infertility.

    Sours: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/ovulation-bleeding
    Carolina Bibbo, MD, Discusses Twin Pregnancy Video - Brigham and Women’s Hospital

    Ovulation/Implantation Spotting & Twins

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    December 2015 Moms

    New Discussion

    I have been reading up on these two subjects this time around.  I have never had mid-cycle bleeding or spotting during a regular cycle.  The only time I ever did was when I had an ectopic but it was pretty obvious that go around that something was off.  This cycle I had one day mid cycle, around CD 14, where I had light pink discharge for 1 day.  Then about 6 days later I had 1 day of light pink discharge again.  None since then either.     

    Anyways, since I am considered "advanced maternal age" at 35, I have this overwelming feeling it could be twins.  My best friend got pregnant with twins at 37.  What I read is that the older you get, the higher your chances are for twins.  And if you have spotting it could either mean you released more than one egg or you could have implanted more than one egg.  

    Kind of freaks me out a bit :-)  Especially with the really heavy feeling I have in my uterus, I keep thinking twins.  Just a feeling of course.  Ultrasound scheduled for the 20th!    

    What are your thoughts on this subject??  Anyone else feel like it could be multiples for them too?  


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    Sours: https://forums.thebump.com/discussion/12557148/ovulation-implantation-spotting-twins

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