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Are Ovulation Cramps Normal?

Are Ovulation Cramps Normal?


Roughly 20 percent of women experience what is known as mittelschmerz, the German word for “middle pain” or cramping during ovulation. This memo can come in the form of a series of cramps or twinges of pain on one side of your lower abdominal area. A reminder that fertility is approaching, cramping is thought to be the result of the egg maturing and releasing from the ovary.

What Does Ovulation Pain Feel Like?

Some women describe ovulation cramps similar to menstrual cramps while others agree that the pain is more like a pinching on one side of the abdomen. If you keep track of your ovulation date from month to month, you may notice that you feel pain on a different side every month; most women do not ovulate from the same ovary each month but it is possible to experience ovulation cramps on the same side for a couple months in a row.

When Does Ovulation Cause Cramps?

The release of the egg from the ovary is known as ovulation. During your monthly cycle, an egg is released typically two weeks after the start of your previous menstrual cycle. Once released, the egg travels down the Fallopian tubes where it meets awaiting sperm and fertilization. If the egg is not fertilized, it continues to pass from your body during your menstrual period, roughly two weeks after ovulation. It is typically when your ovary releases the egg that you may experience ovulation cramps.

How Often Does Ovulation Occur?

Depending on the cycle, you may feel pain two weeks before your menstrual period is due although it varies from woman to woman. Most women ovulate in the middle of their monthly cycle, usually on day 12 through day 14 if their cycles are based on a 28-day month. You may only feel pain on one side or another, depending on which one of your ovaries released the egg. Cramping may last from anywhere between a few minutes to 48 hours or more.

What Causes Cramping During Ovulation?

Researchers have speculated about what causes ovulation pain. In many instances, the pain may arise from the emerging follicle or a ruptured follicle. During ovulation, the ovarian follicle breaks as it releases the egg; this may be the cause of the build-up of fluids that cause ovulation pain. Additionally, the body’s levels of progesterone are at its peak during ovulation; many believe that the hormone is responsible for causing pain and twinges. For most women, ovulation pain is normal and disappears within a day or so. However, if you experience abnormal or severe abdominal pain, it could be a symptom of a more serious condition such as chronic pelvic inflammatory disease, appendicitis, ovarian cysts, and endometriosis.


Sources: 7/8/2013


Better Health Channel-State Government of Victoria
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