Ovulation pain is usually a pain on one side of the abdomen around the time when a woman ovulates. Ovulation is a phase of the menstrual cycle that involves the release of an ovum (egg) from one of the ovaries. This process usually occurs once every month till menopause, except for episodes of breastfeeding and pregnancy.
Nowadays, ovulation pain is really common, so for some women, it may be a shock to hear that this pain is actually not normal. We agree that many women feel ovulation and it is no big deal – but acute, stabbing, debilitating and severe pain is not normal at all. Painful ovulation is a red flag that you probably have some underlying health problems that need to be addressed.
Ovulation Pain Symptoms
The symptoms of ovulation pain may include:
- Mild pain in the lower abdomen (inside the hip bone);
- The pain usually occurs about 2 weeks before the menstrual cycle is in arrears;
- The pain is typically felt on the left or right side (depending on which ovary is releasing an ovum);
- The pain can switch from side to side, or remain just on one side;
- The sensation of pain varies among women – for instance, it can feel like twinges, cramps, sharp pains or uncomfortable pressure.
- The pain duration typically ranges anywhere from minutes to two days.
Causes of Ovulation Pain That Should Not Be Ignored
In most cases, this pain is not dangerous. But, severe and persistent ovulation pain, as well as other pains in the lower abdomen, may be symptomatic of different medical conditions, such as:
- Ovarian Cyst
Ovulation pain is usually a sign of cysts on the ovaries. During the ovulation time, these cysts can form, or burst. Women who have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) usually experience ovulation pain as a result of multiple ovarian cysts. These cystic ovaries are appearing due to hormonal imbalance, often associated with insulin resistance. It would be highly beneficial if you eliminate grains and sugar (that can cause inflammation in the body).
It is an inflammatory disorder that affects the fallopian tubes and ovaries. This condition can cause discomfort during the ovulatory time. Some other symptoms include migraines, dizziness, pain during intercourse, constipation, headaches and more.
It is an inflammation of the appendix, which is a tube-shaped sac in the lower end of the large intestine. Appendicitis is a condition that can many times be confused with painful ovulation. You need to seek medical help if you feel pain on the right side of your stomach and you are having vomiting and nausea.
A woman may have bacteria into the pelvic cavity that can cause a great inflammation and infection, causing this kind of pain. These bacteria can be introduced through surgery, catheters, or childbirth.
- Ectopic pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy which progresses outside of the womb, typically in one of the fallopian tube. In general, symptoms can include abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, and cramping. In case you have these symptoms, you need to seek medical help immediately.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STI’s)
Another reason for painful ovulation is STI’s. For example, chlamydia – can cause scarring, inflammation in the tubes and pelvic disease. It can also block the fallopian tubes with pus ( a condition known as hydrosalpinx), and cause inflammation and pain.
- Other gastrointestinal issues
Painful ovulation can be symptomatic of various gastrointestinal problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease, gastroenteritis, and perforated ulcer.
How to Prevent Ovulation Pain?
You should consult with your GP to make sure that your ovulation pain is not caused by any medical issue. If you have a normal ovulation pain the following suggestions can help you reduce the pain:
- Relax – if you pain is really bothersome; you should rest in bed whenever you could.
- Warm tea – it can help you reduce the pain and calm your abdomen.
- Heat packs – you can use hot water bottle by placing it in the lower abdomen area; the warmth will help reduce the pain;
- OTC – over-the-counter medicine can help you get rid of the pain; however, Your Health Tubers suggest to avoid OTC and try some of the other suggestions first, so if they are not helpful, then you can take a pain-killing medication.
- Hormonal contraceptive pills – these pills can prevent painful ovulation because they stop this process. You need to talk about this option with your GP.
When to Visit Your Doctor
You need to visit your doctor if you experience painful ovulation that lasts more than 3 days, or if you have symptoms as:
- Vaginal discharge or heavy bleeding
- Severe nausea or vomiting
- Painful urination
- Abdominal swelling
- Redness and inflammation of the skin on the pelvis or abdomen
Chances of getting pregnant are high if a couple has sexual intercourse in the time before, during and after the ovulation. There are women who rely on ovulation pain in order to aid them to plan a pregnancy. But, it’s not wise to rely on ovulation pain if you’re trying to escape pregnancy. You should always use some other methods of birth control.
About 1 in 5 women has ovulation pain that could last from 15 minutes to 48 hours. This kind of pain is generally harmless, but could sometimes indicate different medical conditions. If you have a normal ovulation pain a warm cup of tea or hot compresses can help you reduce the pain. Visit your GP if your experience painful ovulation more than 3 days or is linked to other uncommon menstrual symptoms, as vaginal discharge or heavy bleeding.