Ovulation Pain: What Nobody Talks About

When you think about the menstrual cycle, what’s the first thing you think about? Periods? PMS? Well, what about ovulation? “My Favorite Period Tracker Apps” You know, the process that happens each month where you release an egg waiting to be fertilized by sperm. What if I told you that some women experience painful ovulation? What if I said that I experience EXTREME pain during ovulation? I’m going to be talking about my experience with painful ovulation and why it should be talked about more often.

I’ve had painful ovulation for as long as I can remember. I originally went on birth control at age 15 due to painful ovulation because of a large ovarian cyst I had at the time. “Birth Control Pills: The New Candy And Why I Stopped” I thought that when I eventually would come off birth control that I would no longer have pain since the cyst would be gone. But no, I was wrong.

Let’s talk about ovulation for a second. Ovulation is estimated to happen around day 14 of a 28 day menstrual cycle. The egg is released from a follicle, which is then supposed to dissolve. If it doesn’t dissolve, it can leave a cyst on the ovary. These are harmless and usually go away on their own. Other times, they cause pain and may need to be removed if large enough. The process of ovulation happens pretty much undetected in most cases. There are the usual signs of ovulation, like: discharge that resembles egg whites (clear and stretchy), increased sex drive, cramps, and sometimes even increased gas. Then some women like myself have lower abdominal pain on one side (the side of which ovary is releasing the egg). The proper term for this pain is called “Mittelschmerz”, basically meaning middle (middle of the menstrual cycle) The pain can range from mild to severe in some cases. The pain can also last from minutes to hours (days in my case).

 Definitely use a period tracker to predict your ovulation date!

Definitely use a period tracker to predict your ovulation date!

My ovulation pain ranges from mild to severe all in one cycle. Sometimes the pain lasts 1 day, other times it can last up to a week! I’ve noticed a pattern, I get mild pains about 3-4 days before my expected ovulation date (according to my period trackers), and then on the day before ovulation I get SEVERE pain. The pain is so bad that it hurts to walk, use the bathroom, and even moving in bed is EXCRUCIATING. The mild pain is like a constant dull pressure and ache on one side of my pelvis. It eventually becomes severe, where it literally feels like someone is stabbing me. This lasts about 12 hours or so before it eases up and ovulation has officially passed. So, what do I do to help with the pain? Honestly, nothing. I don’t take pain meds, I’m all natural and just wait it out. It sucks that there’s no way to prevent it from happening. I don’t always experience pain with each cycle, so I’m often left guessing if this cycle will be good or not. The only thing I proactively do is visit the gynecologist for periodic sonograms of my ovaries every 6 months. I do this to check if I have developed any ovarian cysts due to my past history. I definitely want to catch them when they’re small rather than large like when I was 15.

Do you experience ovulation pain? If so, how do you treat it? If you don’t, count your blessings! I want this to be talked about more often: it is OK to have some ovulation pain. If it continues for a while or becomes severe like in my case, definitely go see your gynecologist. You want to make sure you don’t have a condition like fibroids, endometriosis or even an STD. Stay in touch with your body ladies!