Painful ovulation or menstruation cramps?
How to know what is causing that unwelcome pain
Painful ovulation occurs around two weeks before your next period
The pain usually goes away on its own within 24 hours
Birth control pills may be used to relieve extreme pain in some women
If monthly menstrual cramps were not enough for you, many women also experience painful ovulation. Know how to tell the difference between the two pains, what to do if you have painful ovulation, and when to see your doctor.
In order to understand what painful ovulation is, you should have a full understanding of what ovulation is, in general. Ovulation occurs when a follicular cyst swells and ruptures to release an egg. The fallopian tubes contract to help the egg travel. The blood and other fluids that the ruptured follicle releases sometimes enter the pelvis. As this happens, you may experience irritation, dull aches, or sharp pains, as well as some spotting or discharge.
How to know if it is painful ovulation
If you have a period that follows a fairly regular schedule, you should be able to distinguish between painful ovulation and menstruation by the time it occurs. Ovulation typically occurs about midway between periods, or about two weeks before your next cycle.
The location of the pain is also an important sign. If you are experiencing painful ovulation, you will usually feel the pain on one side of your lower abdomen. If you have an irregular period or feel confused about the location of the pain, reach out to your doctor, or be sure to mention it at your next annual appointment.
How to prevent or treat painful ovulation
Ovulation pain typically does not last for more than a day. As it goes away so quickly and is not found to be dangerous, there is usually not any medical treatment given. However, there are a couple of things ladies can do at home to help ease the pain.
Over-the-counter pain relief medications, like ibuprofen or Aleve, help fight inflammation and, therefore, pain. Using a heating pad or taking a hot bath may relieve some of the pain. Resting may help your body through the process faster.
Ovulation occurs when a follicular cyst swells and ruptures to release an egg. The fallopian tubes contract to help the egg travel. The blood and other fluids that the ruptured follicle releases sometimes enter the pelvis. As this happens, you may experience irritation, dull aches, or sharp pains, as well as some spotting or discharge. These aches and pains are what is known as painful ovulation.
If you have extreme ovulation pain and cannot seem to ease it, you might find that birth control pills help you. This is because they can prevent ovulation.
Signs that you should call your doctor
While painful ovulation is usually nothing to worry about, it is vital that you pay attention to any other symptoms you experience at the same time. Some signs that you should see your doctor include:
- running a fever
- pain that lasts longer than a day
- pain when you urinate
- sensitive, red or burning sensations on the skin around the pain site
- if you missed your last period
These are the most significant signs that you should talk to your doctor about but not the only ones. Pay close attention to any unusual things you experience during ovulation. If it concerns you in the least, do not hesitate to call your doctor. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Also, be sure to keep your yearly gynecologist appointment during which you and your doctor can discover and discuss any minor issues before they become major ones.
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