A lot of people who suffer from ‘monthly woes’ are curious to know the answer to the question: ‘How long does ovulation pain last?’ In this article, we will try to answer this question, as well as offer you some general information about it, including what might be causing it and how you can make it more manageable.
Ovulation pain symptoms
People might experience ovulation pain when the egg releases from one of the ovaries. This happens during ovulation, which is usually a monthly occurrence, apart from the times when the person is breastfeeding or pregnant.
Is ovulation painful for all people that experience it? As a matter of fact, no. Only one in five of those who ovulate might experience discomfort and pain. Now, when it comes to determining how long it might last, it is all very personal. Most of the time, it is either a sharp pain that lasts for a few seconds or minutes, or a dull ache that can last up to 48 hours. However, if you are experiencing it for longer than three days, you need to go to the doctor.
So how do you tell that it is ovulation pain and not anything else? Well, here are the symptoms to look out for:
- The pain is somewhere around the lower abdomen area, inside the hipbone.
- It occurs around two weeks before you should be getting your menstruation.
- You feel it on one side of your body (ovulation pain both sides is very rare but possible).
- As we have mentioned before, it is either short and sharp, or prolonged and dull. You might also experience uncomfortable pressure, cramps and twinges.
If you are experiencing other symptoms, such as high body temperature, swollen abdomen, nausea, difficulty in breathing or anything of the sort, it is most likely not ovulation pain and you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Ovulation pain causes
To this day, scientists cannot actually agree on what causes ovulation pain. According to most popular theories, it is caused by:
- The emerging follicle. Ovaries produce around 20 follicles thanks to hormones. Each of the follicles contains an ovum (immature egg), but only one usually surovives long enough to get to maturity. It is said that the pain could be caused by the expanding follicle that stretches the ovary membrane.
- The ruptured follicle. The pain might be caused by the burst of the mature egg from the follicle. It might even cause some slight bleeding. The abdominal lining (peritoneum) gets irritated by the fluids or blood that come from the ruptured follicle, thus causing pain.
Whether it is the first reason or the other, the outcome is the same — uncomfortable feelings that can last a few minutes to two days. However, if you want to lessen the effect ovulation pain has on you, continue reading for some tips on how to deal with it.
What to do when you are experiencing ovulation pain
If you are suffering from monthly ovulation pain and you are certain that it is not something else, here are some tried and true methods that can make you feel better:
- Place something warm on your lower abdomen. Anything will do: from a hot water bottle and warm bath.
- Have enough rest. Try to relax if you can. If possible, stay in bed for as long as you can.
- Try hormonal contraceptives if you are not planning for a baby. They stop ovulation, so you will not experience ovulation pain. This option should be talked over with a doctor.
- Use regular pain relievers. However, do not go overboard, read the instructions carefully and do not take more than is recommended.
- Ask your doctor to recommend you some anti-inflammatory medicine. It might help with the pain.
If the pain does not go away, it is as good time as any to pay a visit to your doctor. Do not just put on a brave face and endure the pain, you might just make it worse. So take care of yourself and you will get through this.