What Can I Do to Relieve Ovulation Pain?

Mittelschmerz: Pain During Ovulation

Ovulation is the time in a woman’s menstrual cycle when one of the two ovaries releases an egg, which is either fertilized by sperm or discharged as vaginal secretion. Ovulation occurs midway through the menstrual cycle and during this time, some women complain of abdominal or pelvic pain.

Ovulation pain is also known as “ mittelschmerz “, which comes from the German words for “middle” and “pain” and literally means pain in the middle part of the menstrual cycle. The pain usually lasts about 24 hours, the time when the egg passes through the fallopian tube. Sometimes the pain can be noted on the left lower side or right lower side of the abdomen depending on which ovary side releases an egg.

The pain can be explained in several ways. Firstly, the growth follicle may cause the stretching of the ovary just before ovulation. Secondly, at the time of ovulation, fluid or blood is released from the ruptured egg follicle, which may irritate the lining of the abdomen.

Pain and discomfort may vary from woman to woman. While some women have a high tolerance for pain, experiencing only a slight twinge during ovulation, others experience a high degree of discomfort usually lasting from just a few minutes to a couple of hours. In addition, dizziness and nausea are typical, especially if pain is severe. In some cases, vaginal bleeding or discharges may also be present.

Mittelschmerz is not harmful and does not indicate health problems; on the other hand, it can help women become more aware of when ovulation is occurring.

Preventing Ovulation Pain

Ovulation pain is a normal sensation produced by the passage of the egg through the narrow fallopian tubes, and unless ovulation is not present, there is no way to prevent mittelschmerz, unless you opt for birth control pills. Synthetic hormones in contraceptive pills can stop ovulation, thereby passage of the egg cell is hindered, and so too will any ovulatory pain.

Relieving Ovulation Pain

No specific treatment is required for ovulation pain as this only occurs for a short time. Nevertheless, there are ways to make this time of your monthly cycle much easier. Take plenty of time to rest until the pain is gone, taking warm (not hot) baths to feel relaxed, and drink plenty of fluids to keep you properly hydrated.

For women with severe ovulation pain, over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen or aspirin, and a heating pad applied over the abdomen will usually provide relief from the pain of mittelschmerz. You can also try pain relievers that are marketed for menstrual pain such as Midol.

However, if the pain becomes severe and intolerable and pregnancy is not something you want to achieve for now, then oral contraceptives can be prescribed by a physician.

Other Symptoms to Watch For

On the other hand, if the pain does not go away within two or three days, or you experience vaginal bleeding or discharge, then the U.S. National Library of Medicine advises to consult a doctor immediately for this may indicate an underlying gynecological problem that  may be unrelated to the menstrual cycle. Symptoms that should be watched for include: vomiting or vomiting blood, blood in stool, increased pain, feeling faint or dizzy, high fever, difficult or painful urination, swollen abdomen or difficulty in breathing.

  • Sherifat

    Thanks very useful

  • dee

    Thanks so so much. i was in severe ovulation pain but this article gave me ideas on what to do.

Last modified: June 3, 2014