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Mittelschmerz: Pain during ovulation

22 Jan, 2023

Mittelschmerz: Pain during ovulation

If you experience pain in your lower abdomen around the middle of your menstrual cycle, this may be so-called mid-menstrual pain. We'll explain below what mid-cycle pain has to do with ovulation, how it feels and what can be done about it.

The most important facts about mittelschmerz at a glance

  • Mid-menstrual pain is also called intermenstrual pain
  • The pain occurs around the middle of the menstrual cycle, when women are ovulating.
  • Mid-cycle pain can vary in intensity and duration and does not necessarily occur in all women.
  • Together with other parameters such as basal body temperature, mid-cycle pain can help calculate fertile days.
  • If the intermenstrual pain is very severe, various measures can help to relieve it.
  • Since abdominal pain can also be a symptom of a disease, affected women should have themselves examined to be on the safe side.

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What is the cause of mittelschmerz?

The exact cause of mid-menstrual pain is still unclear. However, there are some possible explanations as to why mid-menstrual pain, also known as intermenstrual pain, occurs.

Shortly before ovulation, there is an increase in luteinising hormone. This causes the follicle to burst, releasing the egg that has matured during the follicular phase.

It is assumed that the resulting pressure causes the mittelschmerz. Other possible triggers are irritation of the peritoneum due to bleeding during ovulation and cramps as the fallopian tubes contract during ovulation.

What does mittelschmerz feel like?

Mittelschmerz can feel different from woman to woman and can vary in both length and severity.

While in some women the mittelschmerz is limited to a short twinge or pulling sensation, in others it can last longer and be accompanied by severe cramping.

Does intermenstrual pain affect all women?

Intermenstrual pain is common in women. However, not everyone is affected. Estimates suggest that mid-menstrual pain occurs in about one in three women.Period briefs

In addition, not every ovulation may manifest itself with pain. So it's not unusual for you to have only occasional mittelschmerz or none at all.

How can mittelschmerz be treated?

Basically, mittelschmerz does not necessarily need to be treated. If your pain is mild and goes away after a short time, it shouldn't affect your daily life too much anyway.

If, on the other hand, the pain is more severe, it may make sense to do something about it. In principle, the same measures that have proven effective for treating menstrual pain have also proven effective in this context.

For example, try the following things to counteract your mittelschmerz:period pants

  • A hot water bottle on your stomach and a little rest can help to relieve the pain.
  • A hot bath can also help you relax if you are experiencing abdominal cramps around ovulation.
  • If necessary, treat yourself to a massage or try relaxation exercises.
  • If you do not want to have a baby at the moment, taking birth control pills may be an option.

If you have very severe mittelschmerz, taking painkillers may help. However, you should discuss this with your gynaecologist because of the risks involved.

Calculating fertile days with the help of the ache in the middle?

To calculate your fertile days, the mittelschmerz alone is only of limited use. However, in combination with other signs, it can help you determine your ovulation (and therefore your fertile days).

To do this, keep an eye on your cervical mucus and check your basal body temperature. If you do this every menstrual cycle, you will get a pretty good sense of when your fertile days are.

This information can then help you to increase your chances of successful conception, for example, if you want to have a baby and get pregnant.

Other causes of abdominal pain

Please note that pain in the abdomen is not always a harmless middle pain. Therefore, you should definitely contact your gynaecologist if you have severe and long-lasting pain in your lower abdomen.

Possible causes are, for example:

  • Crohn's disease
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney stones
  • Gastrointestinal inflammation

Pain in the lower abdomen due to endometriosis

Apart from this, pain in the lower abdomen can also be a symptom of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue forms outside the uterus that resembles the lining of the womb.

The condition can be very painful for affected women. In addition to pain in the abdomen outside of the period, for example, severe menstrual pain and heavy menstrual bleeding are also possible endometriosis symptoms.

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As you can see, so-called mittelschmerz is nothing unusual. Many women are affected by it. It is a completely harmless side effect of ovulation.

Depending on how severe the mittelschmerz is, various measures can help to alleviate the discomfort. Since other causes of abdominal pain besides ovulation are also possible, an appointment with the gynaecologist is always advisable in case of doubt.