Causes of ovulation pain?

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Ovulation pain, or mittelschmerz, is a common symptom for some women, occurring about two weeks after menstruation. The exact cause is unknown, but it may be due to follicular swelling, egg rupture, or contractions. While it is considered normal for some women, it can also be a sign of medical conditions such as PCOS or fibroids.

Many women can tell when they are ovulating due to various symptoms, one of which is ovulation pain. This is usually described as cramps or sharp twinges in the lower abdominal area, on one or both sides, about two weeks after menstruation. Some women even feel nauseous and experience light spots along with the pain. The cramp is referred to as mittelschmerz, which is German for “medium pain,” and can last anywhere from six hours to two days. The exact cause is unknown, but some of the possibilities include follicular swelling, rupture of the egg from the ovary, muscle twitching, or medical conditions.

Before ovulation occurs, the follicles in the ovaries begin to swell. Despite the fact that only one or two eggs are released at once during this process, several follicles grow and swell, which may explain the pain some women experience. If this process is in fact the reason for painful ovulation, it could explain why a fraction of females feel pain on both sides of their abdomen instead of just one.

There is some evidence to support the hypothesis that ovulation pain is caused by the breaking of the egg from the ovary. Since there are no openings in the ovary, the egg literally bursts through the ovarian wall, which can lead to pain. Women who agree with this theory may decide intercourse is better while feeling the pain, as the egg often lives on for 24 hours after being released.

Some medical research shows that contractions can be the cause of the ovulation pain some women feel. For example, right after ovulation, the fallopian tubes are known to contract, which could be painful. Also, the luteinizing hormone released just before ovulation can cause contractions in the ovaries, which can cause some discomfort.

While pain during ovulation may be considered normal for some women, some medical conditions have also been known to cause this type of pain. PCOS occurs when painful cysts develop on the ovaries, ultimately preventing a woman from ovulating regularly. Ovulation pain could also be a sign of fibroids on the ovaries, which can cause both discomfort and possible fertility problems. Therefore, sudden pain around ovulation should be discussed with a doctor during an annual exam so tests can be done to ensure the discomfort is not related to a medical condition.

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