What is Ovulation Pain, How to Feel Better and When to Call your Doctor

ovulation painWomen are lucky. Many of us get to experience the beauty of carrying children and giving birth, breastfeeding, etc. But then there are the downfalls to being able to do that.

Periods. Every month, for close to or more than a week, women must deal with the bleeding, cramps, bloating, and general feeling of blah just to let us know that we are in fact, not pregnant.

A text message or phone call would be sufficient. But there are some women who don’t get periods due to their birth control choices which is a nice reprieve.

However, there are also women who deal with those same feelings a second time during the month, and that would be during ovulation.

For the technical definition, ovulation is when the egg is released and travels to the fallopian tube to be fertilized so one could get pregnant.

Without ovulation, no eggs are getting released, and the possibility of pregnancy is taken away. But for those that are ovulating, sometimes pain comes along with it.

While for some this could be normal you might also want to know when to get checked out for other issues that could be the cause of those pains as well.

Let’s take a look at what could be some of the reasons for it, as well as some remedies.

What is Ovulation

This is the time in a woman’s cycle when the hormones stimulate a follicle to release an egg.

This can happen anywhere from days 12-14 in the cycle, which is also the time when you have the highest levels of estrogen in your system.[1]

While this is based on a normal 28-day cycle, some women have longer or shorter cycles and that can change the day you ovulate.

Tracking your periods helps to determine when that will be, or at least the approximate timeframe based on your average period length.

In general, if there are no additional problems, or if you are taking a combination hormone contraception, women will experience ovulation once a month until they go through menopause[2], which can start as early as the early 40’s.

What is Ovulation Pain

Also known as mittelschmerz “middle pain” (it’s German, and German words seem to illicit anger), is known as the pain in the middle of your cycle.[3]

The ovulation pain is felt, about two weeks prior to your next period, right in the middle of cycle. While some don’t even know they are ovulating, others deal with this pain on a regular basis.

But even though you might have the pain for one month, you might not have it for the next. Bodies are strange.

But if you are experiencing this, you aren’t alone considering one in five women will experience these annoyances with their body and pain every month during ovulation.[4]

Some of the symptoms of ovulation pain will be a pain in the lower abdomen by the hip bone, will be on one side at a time depending on what ovary released the egg (which may change from month to month), and it can vary from minor to sharp.[5]

Other Causes of Lower Abdominal Pain

There is really no known cause that one can say is the absolute reason for all ovulation pain that a person experiences.

One reason could be that your ovary is being stretched prior to the eggs release, or it could be when it actually ruptures and releases the egg.[6]

Another cause for pain during ovulation can be endometriosis [7], which is a serious condition that you’ll want to get looked at.

Another cause of ovulation pain could be an ovarian cyst, an ectopic pregnancy, other gastrointestinal problems (like an ulcer, gastroenteritis, and inflammatory bowel disease) and appendicitis.[8]

While it might not be any of these, everything is in the same area so if something is different you’ll want to look at other possible causes for pain in the same area.

A potential cause that you might not think about could be scar tissue from a previous surgery such as an appendectomy or a C-Section as the resulting healing could have restricted the surrounding area and the ovaries.[9]

Who knew that having a C-Section could be the cause of ovulation pain. This is something most wouldn’t have even thought of.

How Long Can It Last?

It can last for a various amount of times for different people. Some women experience it for a few moments. As quickly as it appears, it disappears.[10]

This might be the least of timeframe (except for those who don’t experience it at all. Other’s can have it last for a few hours, and some up to 48 hours.[11]


There are some simple remedies for lower abdominal pain, and they are pretty similar to those that one might use when you are actually going through your period.

One of those could be using an anti-inflammatory medication that will help to reduce the inflammation[12] (hence the name) and thus the pain.

If you aren’t on a hormonal birth control, you could also discuss with your doctor about starting one (if there are no other reasons why you aren’t using those) as those will suppress ovulation.[13]

Paragard, for example, wouldn’t be one that could help because this does not suppress ovulation, and many women (even the writer of this article), experience heavier periods and cramping than before they used one of these.

Additionally, you can use heat packs or a warm bath (how relaxing, unless you have kids who want to join you), or just try to rest in bed and stay comfortable.[14]

Sometimes the fetal position is the most comfortable. It’s really about finding what works for you.

Some women also like to do some relaxing yoga, and YouTube can provide a plethora of videos specifically tailored to period pain (which may work in the same way) but it’s also about breathing through it and relaxing your body.

If the pain is from scar tissue, some find it helpful to take part in physical therapy or myofascial massages[15] because it can help to release the tissue and give the surrounding area more room.

When to Talk to Your Doctor

If it used to be something that you could just deal with to becoming something that is causing you severe, want to rip your ovaries out, pain, then talk to your doctor.

Just because we are women doesn’t mean that we have to deal with infuriating pain once or twice a month. Save that for childbirth.

If you’re feeling non-menstrual pain for the first time and its severe, you might need urgent medical attention because that could be a sign of a ruptured cyst, an ectopic pregnancy, or pelvic inflammatory disease.[16]

Also If the pain is associated with vomiting or severe diarrhea, that’s not a normal sign.[17] Anything sudden and new could be a cause for concern and warrants a call to your doctor.

If you are experiencing this pain and it’s not subsiding, get it checked out, especially if you have had it for more than three days or is very severe in nature. Ovulation doesn’t last that long and something that you feel more than that can indicate a problem.

Knowing your body is key because when you know what you feel like each and every month a change will surprise you, will be a lightbulb saying, hey this isn’t normal.

Don’t push that feeling away. Take heed in your sixth sense and get it looked into. They could tell you it’s nothing, but if it is something you can get it caught earlier rather than later.

Remember, you don’t have to suffer. Find what works for you and if isn’t call your doctor, there is no harm in doing that.


  1. Cari Nierenberg via Live Science. What is Ovulation? [link]
  2. Koin Miller via Self. What You Should Know About Mittelschmerz, aka Annoying Ovulation Pain. [link]
  3. Better Health Channel. Ovulation Pain. [link]
  4. See above #2
  5. See above #3
  6. See above #5
  7. See above #2
  8. See above #5
  9. See above #5
  10. Tehrene Firman via RedBook Magazine. 11 reason You’re Having Pain During Ovulation—And How to Deal With it. [link]
  11. See above #7
  12. See above #5
  13. See above #7
  14. See above #2
  15. See above #3
  16. See above #10
  17. See above #14
  18. Very Well Family

Image: Pixabay

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  1. Hasiat July 25, 2018
    • Daniela August 4, 2018