Do You Feel Pain During Ovulation?


9:17 am January 18, 2012

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Do you have that painful feeling in the abdomen every middle of the month that stays for a while then subsides almost unnoticed? This kind of pain usually happens during ovulation, when your ovaries have released a mature egg cell for fertilization by a sperm. Pain during ovulation is one of its symptoms for some women. Not everyone experiences this kind of pain. Only about 20% of all American women have pain during ovulation. However, it is perfectly normal and shouldn’t be seen as a problem unless it becomes excruciating.

Distinguishing Ovulation Pain from Other Pains

Pain during ovulation is often called mittelschmerz, a German word that means “middle pain.” Mittelschmerz accurately depicts what ovulation pain is – pain in the abdomen that happens in the middle of the cycle, right about the time of ovulation. It usually begins as a sharp spasm on the right or left side of the lower abdomen, depending on which side the mature egg cell was released from, then usually subsides to a dull cramp similar to menstrual cramps that lasts until around eight to 10 hours. For some women, pain during ovulation is sometimes accompanied by nausea, increased urinating, and spotting.

Causes of Pain during Ovulation

Pain is oftentimes your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. However, mittelschmerz is a threat to your system, unless you have a very low pain threshold and cannot handle the pain. In normal circumstances, pain during ovulation is caused by the escape of blood in the ovaries as one of them releases a mature egg cell. The release of blood itself is not painful, but when the blood comes in contact with the abdominal wall, it causes irritation and, therefore, the pain.

However, you should be careful not to mistake mittelschmerz for other kinds of abdominal pain that take place in the lower abdominal area. For example, women with PCOS or uterine fibroids may also experience pain during ovulation, but this pain is not due to the blood leakage but by something else that have to be addressed by a doctor. If what is presumed to be mittelschmerz is accompanied by other bothersome symptoms, such as pain while urinating, fever, and extended periods of pain, the best recourse is to schedule a meeting with your doctor.

Diagnosing Mittelschmerz

To rule out other causes of pain during ovulation, you have to seek the help of your doctor. But first, keep a record of your ovulation dates so you and your doctor can predict the next time you’re going to have ovulation. With records of previous medical problems at hand and perhaps a physical examination of your abdominal area, your doctor can identify whether the pain you feel is certainly mittelschemerz and not a symptom of something worse. Sometimes, if the doctor suspects that other problems persist, he may recommend an x-ray or blood tests to figure out what’s wrong. In other cases, some women have to go through laparoscopic observation, which involves making a small incision below the navel and inserting a small fiber-optic camera into the opening, allowing the doctor to view the organs inside your body through a screen attached to the camera.

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