Cramping and Ovulation

Cramping isn’t uncommon during a woman’s cycle, but it’s most likely to occur closer to menstruation rather than near ovulation. Cramping is common during your period and the week before, but it’s less common during ovulation. Still, some women do experience a connection between cramping and ovulation.

How ovulation works

To understand where this kind of cramping could come from, you need to think for a minute about how ovulation works. During ovulation, an egg is released into your fallopian tubes. If it’s not fertilized, it starts to disintegrate. It will eventually break down and pass from your body during your period.

Recognizing ovulation cramping

This process is painful for about one in five women. This pain resembles cramping, although it should normally feel different from menstrual cramps.

Most often, ovulation pain will occur in your lower abdomen. It will happen around two weeks prior to your period. It will usually be on one side or the other, because it’s only occurring on whichever side releses an egg. This cramping may last for a couple of hours or as long as a couple of days.

The causes of ovulation pain

There are a number of things that can cause ovulation cramping. It might be a ruptured or emerging follicle. It could be a symptom of another problem, including endometriosis, ovarian cysts, or even appendicitis.

If you have pain every month during ovulation, you should talk to your doctor. It may be indicative of another medical problem, which can often be treated. Your doctor can do an exam, use blood tests, ultrasounds and more to help diagnose what exactly is going on.

Ovulation pain isn’t always an indication that you have a fertility problem. Some of the causes of ovulation pain – such as endometriosis or PCOS – can contribute to fertility problems, of course.

Talking to your doctor and getting to the root cause of ovulation cramping will help increase the likelihood that, if there is a fertility concern going on, you will have the necessary tools to address it.


Last modified: February 10, 2013