Do you ever get soreness or ache on one side of your lower abdomen around the time of your period? Ovulation pain, also referred to as mittelschmerz, is felt in the lower abdomen or middle of the pelvis on the same side as the ovary that is releasing an ovum (immature, unfertilised egg).
A gradual cramp or a sudden, sharp twinge of discomfort is also possible. It may last only a few minutes or go on for one or two days. When it occurs, some women may also experience a little vaginal bleeding.
When does ovulation happen?
Ovulation typically takes place once every month, two weeks or so before your next period.
If any of the following applies to you:
- on the contraception pill
Some women don’t have regular ovulation. When you initially start having periods, this is typical. Additionally, it may occur during perimenopause (the lead-up to menopause). Ovulation can be impacted by hormonal abnormalities as well, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Symptoms of ovulation pain
Up to 40% of women report feeling uncomfortable or in pain during ovulation. From a few minutes to 48 hours, the agony may continue.
Ovulation discomfort can manifest in women in a variety of ways, such as uncomfortable pressure, twinges, acute sensations, cramps, or severe pain in the lower abdomen.
Managing ovulation discomfort
Ovulation pain can be controlled in a variety of effective ways.
Here are a few remedies to lessen the discomfort. One can:
- Take a warm bath to unwind, or lie in bed with a heat pack or hot water bottle.
- Ask your GP (doctor) or pharmacist for advice before using painkillers or period pain medications (such as anti-inflammatories).
- take a birth control pill which prevents ovulation.
How painful is the ovulation process?
Ovulation may result in a persistent, aching ache on one side of your lower belly, moderate twinges, or a sudden, intense discomfort two weeks before you anticipate getting your period.
Depending on which ovary releases an egg, you can experience pain on a different side every month or on the same side for multiple months in a row.
Remember that experiencing abdominal pain at any other time throughout your period is not indicative of ovulation. You could be experiencing abdominal or pelvic pain or menstrual cramps. Consult your doctor if it is severe.
Treatments for uncomfortable ovulation
Taking a hot bath or taking an over-the-counter pain reliever like paracetamol can typically help to ease painful ovulation.
Ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) may also be helpful, but you shouldn’t use them if you’re trying to conceive because they can prevent ovulation.
Ask your doctor about other treatments if you’re experiencing a lot of pain.
Ovulation discomfort can be fully eliminated by birth control methods that prevent ovulation, such as the contraceptive pill or contraceptive implant.
When to consult a physician for ovulation-related pain?
If you develop a new or sudden, intense pain in your lower abdomen, or if the pain lasts longer than a few days, see your doctor to rule out illnesses like appendicitis or an ectopic pregnancy.
Additionally, if any of the following occur along with your stomach pain:
- nausea and diarrhea
- constipation or diarrhea
- A positive pregnancy test or early pregnancy symptoms
- Ovulation bleeding between cycles in the cervix
- Unusual or foul-smelling vaginal discharge
Pain during ovulation is typically nothing to worry about. In fact, understanding the ovulation symptoms, which include ovulation pain, can speed up the process of becoming pregnant if you’re trying to conceive.