Mittelschmerz – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Mittelschmerz is one-sided lower-abdominal pain that occurs in women at or around the time of ovulation. The word mittelschmerz actually means “middle pain,” because this pain is felt during the middle of your menstrual cycle. Most of the time, mittelschmerz doesn’t require medical attention. About 20% of women experience mittelschmerz, some every cycle, some intermittently. This pain occurs during ovulation- the midpoint between menstrual periods, about 2 weeks before a period may begin. The location is determined by which ovary has produced the ovum that month. It can show up on one side of the abdomen one month and switch to the opposite side during the following cycle. Occasionally, in addition to midcycle pain and cramping, some women may experience nausea, and/or light menstrual spotting. It can cause pain and cramping; but it is not serious and usually goes away after about 6 to 8 hours. The pain is not harmful and does not signify the presence of disease. In fact, women who feel this pain may be at an advantage when planning or trying to avoid pregnancy.

Diagnosis of mittelschmerz is generally made if a woman is mid-cycle and a pelvic examination shows no abnormalities. Only 20% – 30% of of women will have mittelschmerz or ovulation pains – and please note that mittelschmerz may occur before, during, or even after ovulation. Women with mittelschmerz rarely need to go to a hospital’s Emergency Department, but some serious medical conditions such as appendicitis and ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the tubes) can mimic the pain of ovulation. In some women, the mittelschmerz is localized enough so that they can tell which of their two ovaries provided the egg in a given month. Because ovulation occurs on a random ovary each cycle, the pain may switch sides or stay on the same side from one cycle to another. Pain at any other point in your menstrual cycle isn’t mittelschmerz. It may be normal menstrual cramping. some cases, a small amount of bleeding or discharge may occur. Some women experience nausea, especially if the pain is severe.

Causes of Mittelschmerz

The common causes and risk factor’s of Mittelschmerz include the following:

The exact cause of Mittelschmerz is not known.

An egg being released from an ovary.

The swelling of follicles in the ovaries.

At the time of ovulation, blood or other fluid is released from the ruptured egg follicle. This fluid may cause irritation of the abdominal lining.

The growth of the ovarian follicle, which can stretch the surface of you ovary, causing pain.

The fluid or blood may irritate the lining of the abdominal cavity, causing pain.

Symptoms of Mittelschmerz

Some sign and symptoms related to Mittelschmerz are as follows:

Lower abdominal and pelvic pain.

Faintness or dizziness.

Light bleeding.

Mild nausea.

Pain occurs on one side of the lower abdomen (can be either side).

Vomiting blood.

Blood in stool.

Pain lasts anywhere from a few hours to 2-3 days.

Spotting of blood.

Treatment of Mittelschmerz

Here is list of the methods for treating Mittelschmerz:

No treatment is usually necessary.

Pain relievers (analgesics) may be needed in cases of prolonged or intense pain.

Hormonal forms of contraception can be taken to prevent ovulation- and therefore ovulatory pain- but otherwise there is no known prevention.

If pain is severe, birth control can be taken to prevent ovulation.

Applying a heating pad to the lower abdomen or taking a warm bath may also help with the discomfort.

If the over-the-counter medications do not control the pain, your doctor may give you prescription anti-inflammatory medication.

Try to drink between six and eight glasses of water every day. Water will help to keep you hydrated, which will alleviate those cramps.