Many women report having abdominal discomfort around the time of ovulation and some even claim they can feel the actual process of ovulation. No, they aren’t crazy, the pain is actually called Mittleschmerz in the medical community. Mittleschmerz is the German word for “middle pain.”
Why does ovulation pain occur?
The maturing egg sits in a follicle on the ovary, bathed in follicular fluid. When ovulation occurs, it is believed that some of that fluid, as well as a minute amount of blood, leaks out of the follicle and into the abdominal/pelvic cavity. That fluid can be extremely irritating.
If you notice abdominal or pelvic discomfort that occurs around the time you ovulate, keep track of the pain. When does it occur? Where in your abdomen does it occur? How long does is it last? Does anything relieve or worsen the pain? Ovulation pain usually occurs on the day you ovulate and goes away pretty soon afterward. Most women report feeling it on one side or the other (depending on which ovary is involved), though some women report generalized abdominal discomfort and bloating.
Can you treat ovulation pain?
Ovulation pain usually lasts anywhere from a few minutes to several hours and should go away on its own. Use of over-the-counter analgesics, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can be helpful. You can also try resting, using a heating pad over your abdomen or taking a warm bath.
Can you prevent ovulation pain?
If you are not trying to get pregnant, ask your doctor about the birth control pill, which prevents ovulation and therefore eliminates the discomfort associated with it.
Should you call the doctor?
You should only call your doctor if you experience severe pain that lasts longer than a day or two, or you have missed a previous period. Also, if you notice any of the following symptoms – fever, pain with urination or vomiting – call your doctor.