Ovulation pain: help and causes

Ovulation pain: help and causes

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Many women experience abdominal pain before, during or after ovulation. These are often referred to as “middle pains” and can occur in different forms and intensities. Accordingly, some sufferers suffer from a strong, spasmodic pull in the lower abdomen for a day or two, while in other cases the symptoms are only weak and persist for a few minutes. In most cases, middle pains are harmless because it is a completely natural phenomenon that occurs in connection with ovulation.

Usually, no medical treatment is required, instead the symptoms can often be quickly alleviated with various home remedies and herbal remedies. Nevertheless, if you experience persistent and / or very severe pain during ovulation, you should always consult a doctor as a precaution to rule out other possible causes such as a bladder infection or appendicitis.

What is ovulation?

The term "ovulation" (also called "ovulation" or "follicular jump") describes the ejection of the mature, unfertilized egg from the ovary into the fallopian tube. This event marks the point in the menstrual cycle when the woman has her so-called "fertile days" and is therefore ready to conceive. Every month about 10 to 20 ovules (follicles) mature in the ovary, of which, however, normally only one develops into the so-called “dominant” or “ready to jump” follicle. This finally releases the egg into the fallopian tube, from where it migrates towards the uterus and can be fertilized for the next 24 hours. In more rare cases, several dominant follicles mature, which means that fertilization e.g. dizygotic twins can arise. The remaining follicles die, but they continue to play an important role in the menstrual cycle through the production of the hormone estrogen.

Ovulation takes place around the middle of the female menstrual cycle, i.e. on a regular 28-day cycle on the 14th day after the first day of the last period. However, this is only an average value, which is why it can be assumed that the majority of women actually ovulate on another day of the cycle. In addition, the time can also vary from month to month, with a cycle between 25 and 35 days being considered “normal” from a medical point of view.

Symptoms of ovulation pain

Almost half of women of childbearing age are affected by ovulation complaints, which are medically referred to as "middle pain" or "intermenstrual pain". These can last only a few minutes, but can also last for several hours or even up to two days. In addition, middle pain can occur in the middle of the cycle in some women every month, in others it can also be interrupted in between or can be experienced in varying intensity. The pain is described as a stinging or pulling, which can sometimes be light, but also strong and cramp-like. In contrast to menstrual pain, the symptoms during ovulation usually only appear on one side, depending on which ovary is currently active. In some cases, slight bleeding, sensitive breasts, nausea or back pain also occur in parallel with the lower abdominal pain.

How long does ovulation pain last?

The symptoms can vary from woman to woman and can last from a few minutes to hours to two days. Accordingly, the middle pains cannot be used for the concrete determination of fertility, but in combination with fertility tests or the basal temperature measurement can be quite useful for family planning. However, it should be borne in mind that intermenstrual pain usually sets in about two days before the basal body temperature rises, sometimes even earlier. It should also be borne in mind that the symptoms do not always have to indicate ovulation, but can also have a number of other causes, such as a urinary tract infection. Therefore, missing or finished pulling or stinging in the abdomen should never be used as contraception.

Causes of middle pain

What causes the pain during ovulation has not yet been fully scientifically clarified. However, it is often suspected that these are caused by the bursting of the egg (follicle). This is a fluid-filled cavity in the ovaries, which contains a single, initially undeveloped egg. During ovulation, the follicle bursts and ejects the egg, which is then caught by the fallopian tube. Another theory relates to the increasing size of the dominant follicle, because as it expands to 25 millimeters shortly before the jump, the tension that results can also cause pain in the ovary. In addition, it is conceivable that blood or tissue fluid from the ruptured follicle can cause local irritation of the peritoneum and, as a result, stinging, pulling pain.

Ovulation pain right

In most cases, middle pain is a very "normal" and therefore harmless side effect of natural ovulation. In contrast to problems during the period, the symptoms typically appear either on the right or left, depending on the ovary from which the egg is ejected. If you feel the pulling or stinging on the right side, a doctor should be consulted in any case, because precisely in this case other causes must also be considered. This primarily includes inflammation of the appendix appendicitis or the fallopian tubes and ovaries (adnexitis) as well as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy) can also lead to severe, unilateral abdominal pain, which is often accompanied by bleeding, mild fever and increased sensitivity to the abdominal wall. If this is not recognized early, in severe cases the oviduct can tear and this can lead to life-threatening bleeding into the abdomen. In this case, however, the pain usually occurs suddenly and in the entire lower abdomen, as well as other symptoms such as sweating, exhaustion, dizziness, pain during bowel movements or diarrhea as well as a breakdown (collapse) or circulatory failure due to the severe internal bleeding.

Other possible causes of moderate pain include kidney stones, inflammation of the stomach and small intestinal mucosa (gastroenteritis) or food poisoning.If left-sided pain in the lower abdomen, inflammation of bulges of the intestinal wall (diverticulitis) should also be considered.

Treatment of middle pain

Since the middle pains usually occur naturally in connection with ovulation and are harmless to health, they generally do not require any treatment. If the symptoms are very pronounced, taking painkillers may be helpful, but usually various home remedies and naturopathic remedies already offer effective help for acute relief. If the pain persists longer and / or is experienced as very severe, the affected woman should urgently see a gynecologist. The same applies if the type of pain changes or other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, intermenstrual bleeding or dizziness occur so that the cause of the complaint can be clarified exactly.

Home remedies for ovulation pain

In the case of pulling or stinging pain during or after ovulation, various home remedies can quickly provide relief. The supply of heat has proven particularly useful, e.g. a hot water bottle or a warm cherry stone pillow is placed on the abdomen. Many women also find a hot bath very beneficial, although the addition of essential oils in the sense of aromatherapy can significantly increase the effect. Oils that are generally relaxing and antispasmodic, such as lavender, lemon balm, juniper or clary sage, are particularly suitable here.

The so-called "chaste tree" (Vitex agnus-castus) can also help to alleviate the symptoms, since it has a calming effect on the hormonal balance. It is taken either as a liquid or dry extract in the form of capsules or tablets, the taste of which is quite similar to that of normal pepper. However, you should always speak to a doctor before taking it, since in rare cases side effects such as an itchy rash, headache or gastrointestinal complaints can occur. Since ovulation pain can also be aggravated by deficiency symptoms, the targeted administration of minerals such as magnesium can also be helpful, and many women also benefit from lady's mantle (as a tea or tincture) or the yeast, an antispasmodic medicinal plant.

In addition, homeopathy offers effective remedies, such as beladonna or arnica, although the appropriate globules, dosage and duration of treatment should always be discussed with an experienced homeopath or naturopathic doctor in advance. In addition, Schüssler salts can be used for cramp-like pain during ovulation. Salt 7 (Magnesium phosphoricum), which is used as the so-called “hot sieve”, has proven particularly useful here. This is a particularly intensive application, for which 10 tablets are dissolved in a cup with hot water and then drunk in sips. However, care should always be taken not to use a metal spoon to stir, as this can react with the magnesium and accordingly change the effectiveness of the agent.

If the complaints can still be endured, exercise or sporting activity or a gentle massage can also be very helpful, because tensions in the abdomen or buttocks or a shifted vertebra can also be associated with moderate pain. In general, care should be taken to do as much good as possible when pulling or stinging during ovulation. For example, it is often helpful to take care to eat only warm food and drinks during the fertile days, as cold foods often increase the pain. Stress should also be avoided urgently so that the symptoms can be effectively alleviated. There are a variety of exercises and procedures for reducing stress, such as Yoga or autogenic training, through which the middle of the body can be strengthened and cramps can be released. In the case of severe and / or prolonged ovulation pain, a doctor should always be consulted as a precaution, so that the cause can be clarified and health risks avoided. (No)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese


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