Women have already resigned themselves to experiencing menstrual cramps as part of their monthly package but ovulation cramps too? yes, there’s also that, unfortunately.
If you experience abdominal pain or cramps two weeks before your period or in the middle of your cycle, it’s ovulation pain. It is also called “Mittelschmerz”, drawn from the German words “middle” and “pain.”
You experience mittelschmerz when the follicle -a tiny sac that carries the egg -ruptures during ovulation and releases the egg. Ovulation pain can range from slight twinges a dull ache and discomfort on either side of your lower abdomen. It can also be intense, causing cramps and pain that radiates to the back. This may last for a few minutes but can continue for hours.
It is worthy of note that any other pain during your cycle is not connected to ovulation cramps. If you feel severe abdominal or pelvic pain, consult with your doctor.
How to spot ovulation cramps
Ovulation pain symptoms may include:
- Pain or cramps on one side of the lower abdomen or pelvis depending on the ovary releasing eggs
- Nausea and chills if the pain is severe
- Mild vagina discharge
Is ovulation cramps normal?
Pain or cramps during ovulation is entirely normal. 1 in 5 women will experience ovulation cramps.
How to understand your body’s signs
If you’re trying to get pregnant, experiencing ovulation cramps is a plus. Cramping in the middle of your menstrual cycle signals that you’re ovulating—according to experts, having intercourse right before, on, or immediately after ovulation considerably increases your chances of conceiving.
In the same vein, it may also help women who are not trying to get pregnant. Pain during the middle of your cycle alerts you of your fertile window so you can take proper precautions. However, using this as your sole method of preventing pregnancy is not advisable but back it up with your regular birth control measures.
That said, you should not experience ovulation pain if you’re on birth control pills that contain oestrogen and progestin). This also goes for people who have I.U.D.s.
Track the pain’s timing to determine if it’s linked to ovulation. If you consistently experience it two weeks before your period, then ovulation cramps.
How to handle ovulation pain
Ovulation pain is usually treated with over-the-counter painkillers. Stay away from ibuprofen if you’re trying to get pregnant, as some studies ( though not conclusive) suggest that it increases the chances of miscarriage.
Also, apply abdominal heat to your tummy and take a warm bath. The heat helps to increase the flow of blood and relax tensed muscles.
When to worry
Ovulation pain is usually nothing to worry about; it is helpful if you’re trying to get pregnant.
It’s normal for the pain to occur some months in your menstrual cycle. Regular painkillers will relieve you. However, if the pain is severe, it might be a warning sign for other health conditions such as appendicitis, ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, S.T.I.s, and pelvic inflammatory disease.
See a doctor if the pain is severe and lasts for days.