Cramping with ovulation.
Cramping with ovulation: is it normal?
Last updated: 4/1/2021
Is cramping with ovulation normal?
Well, you may experience mild cramps or pain around the time of ovulation, but not every woman will have cramping pain during that time.
Additionally, even if you regularly experience cramps with ovulation, you won’t necessarily feel them every month.
This sounds confusing enough, it begs the question – how to identify ovulation pain?
What are ovulation cramps?
Your ovary releases an egg about midway through your menstrual cycle. Simply put, this is ovulation.
In some women, ovulation creates a sensation of cramping or pain once a month on one side of the abdomen. If a woman has these cramps every month, the sensation may switch sides from month to month, depending on which ovary releases the egg.
Cramping with ovulation may happen before, during, or shortly after the release of an egg.
Table of Contents:
Who has ovulation cramps?
Not every woman has ovulation cramps.
Some women don’t experience cramping every month or don’t have the same amount of discomfort.
My wife, however, gets a one-sided pain in her lower abdomen when she ovulates. One month this pain is on the left, another month is on the right side. But what makes them similar is the fact, that they can feel like stubbing.
Normally, it happens about 14 days before her period, when an ovary releases an egg as part of the menstrual cycle.
However, despite what your mother, sister, friend, or doctor say, that ovulation pain is often normal and it’s just another side effect linked with periods, you should never ignore it!
Ovulation cramping may occur if:
- The follicle where the egg develops stretches the ovary.
- The release of blood irritates surrounding tissues of the ovary.
But there may be another reason – you may have endometriosis, and hear me out – my wife has it!
Some of you may be asking endo what? Never heard of it! Others on the other hand may be familiar with this awful illness.
Endometriosis affects at least 10% of the female population worldwide but is extremely difficult to diagnose and the struggle that women have trying to get a diagnosis often results in them suffering mental health problems, as was the case for my wife.
M began to experience cramping with ovulation and stubbing, sharp pain well before her diagnosis, which takes on average 7 to 8 years!
Her pain was usually on either, left or right-hand side of her tummy, depending on which ovary was releasing the egg at the time. It could last just a few minutes or continue for a day or two.
Unfortunately, women are thought to endure pain.
This is wrong!
When your body says no and acts in an unusual way than normal, you should never ignore it. You should see your GP if the pain is severe and you’re worried.
Saying that a big number of doctors aren’t educated about endometriosis, and that is the reason for the diagnosis taking so long.
Ideally, it would be a good idea to keep a diary before your visit in order to let your doctor know exactly what happens during your menstrual cycle, and why are you cramping with ovulation and how your period pain feels, and how long it lasts…
Guess what, you’re in luck! We’ve got you covered!
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The cramping pain.
The sensation of cramping with ovulation can range from mild discomfort to intense pain.
The primary symptom of ovulation cramping is pain on one side of the abdomen, but this is also true for endometriosis.
The characteristics of cramping with ovulation are as follow:
- pain or cramping on one side of the abdomen
- pain or cramping that starts midway through the menstrual cycle
- pain or cramping that switches sides, month by month
- pain that is sharp and may be severe
But again, these are the same symptoms of endometriosis, and they mustn’t be ignored.
Pain serves as a warning sign that some sort of damage to your body occurred. In other words – pain is your friend, not your enemy. And why people react negatively to pain? Because it’s unpleasant.
Pain meant to be unpleasant, otherwise, you wouldn’t take notice of potential damage that could occur in your body.
So, pain is your friend my friend! You must treat it as such and not ignore it, even if other people try to tell you that it’s normal.
Listen to your body and you won’t get hurt. That also applies to cramping with ovulation.
I mentioned endometriosis as the possible reason behind the pain during your ovulation because the cause of this illness is unknown, and yet ovulation with cramps is one of the early signs of endometriosis.
A common theory is that the endometrial tissue is deposited in unusual locations during the female menstrual cycle. It’s an abnormal growth of cells.
It is most commonly found on other organs of the pelvis but the exact cause of endometriosis has not been identified.
The hardest part to deal with is that most women have no visible symptoms in the first stage, but painful periods and painful ovulation are common.
Both symptoms can last from months to years and their negligence may delay the diagnosis of endometriosis early on before it develops resulting in a pretty bad quality of life.
This is why on average, it takes 7 to 8 years to diagnose it. When women do experience painful periods and cramps with ovulation for years, it is usually very late and quite often, as it was the case for my wife, women are diagnosed with a terrible stage 4 endometriosis.
Endometriosis can be a difficult condition to deal with, both physically and emotionally.
Please, don’t ignore simple symptoms like cramps with ovulation or pain. They aren’t normal when the pain is stabbing.
What frustrates me the most as a man is a fact that some male doctors don’t treat women with the same approach as male patients.
Not knowing themselves how menstruation meant to feel, they say things along the lines of “period should be painful”, “it’s normal”, “it’s what women go through”, or “have you been anxious lately?”
My wife feels pain during ovulation, has cramps with ovulation, before her period, and also during her period.
M also experiences digestive issues and muscle spasms in her pelvis and lower back, all of them seem to radiate from cramps with ovulation.
She wasn’t aware of the symptoms of the diseases herself, so she never mentioned the possibility of it to her doctor.
But what struck her was the fact that she missed these unusual symptoms of painful periods and cramps with ovulation because she was told not to take notice of it.
Admittedly, her doctor should have recognized the symptoms, because she had all of them, not just a few.
Unfortunately, doctors failed her and told her she had perimenopausal symptoms and PMS because of her age and she was sent to a gastroenterologist about her digestive issues.
It was only when she started hemorrhaging blood that they got worried and she saw a general gynecologist who removed some polyps from her womb and said that was the cause.
But the bleeding didn’t stop! M started to experience excruciating pain in her right side and she became very anemic.
When cramping with ovulation or period occurs, quite often it means that something isn’t right!
When your menstrual cycle doesn’t feel right, it may manifest itself in different ways…
I noticed that when M has stronger cramps with ovulation, her period reacts in the same manner – giving her more pain than usual, and heavier periods, which causes Iron deficiency and my wife feeling extremely fatigued for days to come.
Is ovulation pain normal?
Let’s understand first, why ovulation pain happens, and when it’s a reason to see the doctor?
Roughly 50% of women experience ovulation pain at least once in life. About 20% of women get ovulation cramps every month.
This isn’t the case for endometriosis, not in my wife’s case for sure. She experiences period cramps and stabbing pain every ovulation.
So, if you experience intense or prolonged pelvic pain may be a symptom of endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease. If the pain prevents you from having sex or going about your daily life, that’s not normal and it’s most definitely endometriosis.
But what else could be causing ovulation pain?
Ovulation pain doesn’t necessarily occur at the exact moment of the egg releasing from the ovary. It may occur a few days before or after.
Most women experience a dull feeling that lasts for a few hours or even over a couple of days. Other women experience sudden, sharp pain, lasting just a moment.
As I previously mentioned, cramping with ovulation and stabbing pain most likely could be the signs of endometriosis.
Even though the ovulation pain is typically mild, it has been known to land some women in the emergency room.
Every woman experiences pain and/or cramping with ovulation differently.
You may notice that the pain is more frequent on one side versus the other.
It may depend on the month. In my wife’s experience, most of the months her pain is on the right side.
While you may have been taught that the ovaries take turns in ovulating, this isn’t true. It’s actually normal for one side to ovulate more often than the other.
My wife’s repeated pain was stronger on the right-hand side which led to a discovery of an ovarian cyst.
Pain should never be ignored, especially during cramping with ovulation.
Everyone experiences occasional aches and pains. That’s just a part of life. Sudden, acute pain is an important reaction of your nervous system that helps alert you of possible damage to your body.
When an injury occurs, pain signals travel from the injured area up to your spinal cord and to your brain. It all takes a split of a second.
If you didn’t experience pain, the damage that occurs expands and takes a more severe form. It could even lead to death.
Imagine being bitten by a snake. If you don’t feel the bite, your body gets poisoned, ultimately leading to death.
So, pain is your friend my friend!
You mustn’t treat pain like your enemy. Pain isn’t pleasant but is good for your overall health and even if pain during ovulation with cramping is small, you should not ignore it!
What may be the cause of cramps and pain during ovulation aside from endometriosis?
Well, no one can be sure what causes ovulation pain, but there are a few theories. It could be:
- Swelling or rupturing of a follicle on the ovary. This releases some extra fluid, which may lead to a dull ache.
- The egg itself, bursting out of the follicle can cause the sharp, sudden pain some women feel.
- Spasms of the Fallopian tubes or uterus as ovulation approaches.
Endometriosis can cause pelvic pain at any time, but it can be quite severe during your menstrual cycle and near ovulation.
That’s always the way my wife experiences her cramps with ovulation or period. Very painful.
Some women with endometriosis experience such bad pain before and during ovulation that they can’t have sex, which makes timing sex for pregnancy difficult.
Other symptoms of ovulation pain include:
- Infection of the fallopian tubes leading to intense ovulation pain
- Fibroids and ovarian cysts causing mid-cycle aches
- Ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, which can cause severe pelvic pain
Ovulation pain vs cramping with ovulation.
Some women report cramps during embryo implantation which takes place a few days to a week after your ovulation, so it is not the same as ovulation pain.
Women feeling cramps experience real pain, but whether this pain is embryo implantation, ovulation, or something else is difficult to tell.
If you need to avoid taking painkillers, remedies that are good for menstrual cramps can help with ovulation pain, so consider a warm bath, rest, or a heating pad.
You can be brave like my wife or like her have a better pain threshold, and it’s tempting to hope that pain will go away, but severe pain at any time of the month should be checked out.
A trip to the doctor may seem like a hassle, but it’s well worth it!
If you have abdominal pain or cramping in the middle of your menstrual cycle, you may be experiencing “mittelschmerz”, a word derived from the German for “middle” and “pain.”
Mittelschmerz occurs when the follicle ruptures and releases the egg.
This mid-cycle pain can range from a minor pinch over a few minutes to more severe cramping that lasts for hours.
Some women don’t feel anything at all when the egg is released from the ovary. Other women feel cramping with ovulation a couple of weeks before their period.
Overall, about 20% of women experience some type of ovulation pain.
Let’s wrap it up!
Whenever a woman goes for a medical exam and diagnostic tests are done, and in the vast majority of cases, they may be wrong because they are not educated enough about endometriosis.
Abdominal pain or cramping with ovulation in the middle of your cycle doesn’t simply mean that you’re ovulating and the pain will disappear soon.
That’s what doctors may tell you that pain with ovulation is normal.
No pain is ever normal!
Treat it with respect, listen to your body, follow your gut feeling (there’s truth in this saying – the gut is our second brain), and you will avoid being hurt.
Endometriosis is a very devastating disease that ruins not only the lives of the women who suffer from it but also their partners, and overall their relationship.
Who am I?
Hi, I’m Lucjan! The reason why I decided to create this blog was my beautiful wife, who experienced a lot of pain in life, but also the lack of information for those who support their partners… [read more]
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