Ovulation is considered to be the most fertile period of the menstrual cycle as the ovaries release a matured egg into the fallopian tubes for fertilization. The egg stays in the fallopian tubes for 24 - 48 hours, after which it starts disintegrating, if the egg is not fertilized by a sperm. Ovulation usually occurs 2 weeks after the first day of the menstrual periods. Most of the time, women do not feel anything during ovulation and hence, have to rely on other ways to determine their day of ovulation. However, there are many women who experience pain in their lower abdomen as well as pelvic region when they ovulate. This is a very common occurrence i.e. almost 20% of women experience this problem. Although in most cases, pain during ovulation is not a serious problem, it is important for women to know about this in detail.
The medical term for this problem is Mittelschmerz which is a German word that means 'middle pain' or 'mid cycle pain'. When ovulation occurs, along with the ovum, some fluid as well as a small amount of blood is released from the ovary. Though this blood is absorbed by the body, sometimes, it may irritate the abdominal wall, causing severe pain in the stomach. Many women experience ovulation cramps which are similar to menstrual cramps, while there are others who experience a sharp twinge in the beginning which ends with a dull ache. However, this pain usually goes away after few hours, though sometimes it may continue for an entire day.
Nevertheless, the cause of pain can be a matter of serious concern. Women suffering from polycystic ovarian syndrome or affected by uterine fibroids are likely to experience pain while ovulating. Apart from this, some experts say that there is also a connection between ovulation cramps and endometriosis. When the uterine lining which usually grows on the womb, grows in some other area, this condition is known as endometriosis. In such a situation, along with ovulation cramps, one is also likely to experience pain during periods as well as while having sexual intercourse. Some other problems that can be the reason of pain during the time of ovulation include ectopic pregnancy, chronic pelvic inflammatory disease, gastrointestinal problems, etc.
Many times, ovulation pain is wrongly considered as appendicitis pain and hence, it is important to know what happens when pain occurs during ovulation. As mentioned earlier, ovulation occurs somewhere in the middle of the menstrual cycle and if you experience abdominal pain two weeks after your periods, then it is most definitely ovulation pain. The pain during ovulation can occur both, on the right as well as on the left side of the abdomen. This actually depends on which ovary has released the egg. Also, the pain can change from one side to the other in each cycle. For instance, if you experience pain in the right side in this month, you may experience it in the left during the next month. Apart from this, one may also experience cramping during ovulation, slight bleeding, or spotting.
Some people consider that there is a connection between ovulation cramps and getting pregnant. In other words, for some women, pain during this time is a sign that they are fertile and that it is the best time for them to try conceiving. Though chances of such a link exist, many women find this pain unbearable and often complain that it disturbs their daily routine. Hence, they are looking for ways to treat as well as prevent it.
Although there are no specific treatments that can help in relieving one from the pain experienced during ovulation, some simple methods can help decrease the intensity of the pain. While experiencing this pain, one needs to rest as much as possible. Apart from that, it is also important to drink lots of fluids, especially water, throughout the day. Taking pain killers can also help in getting rid of the pain caused during ovulation. Moreover, taking warm baths or placing hot water bottles or heat packs on the abdomen can also help.
Since the pain can cause extreme discomfort, many people want to know the ways to prevent it. Sadly, there are not many ways to prevent these cramps. The only way in which you can avoid experiencing ovulation pain is by taking birth control pills which prevent the occurrence of ovulation. Nevertheless, this can only be taken by women who do not want to become pregnant. Although ovulation cramps are rarely serious, if the pain persists for a long time, consult a gynecologist to know the root cause of the problem.
Disclaimer:This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.