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Ovulation pain refers to the pain and discomfort that a woman experience during her menstrual cycle. The exact cause is unknown though experts believed that it may be the result of the follicle emerging and stretching the membrane of the ovary. Another theory is that slight bleeding from a ruptured follicle could have irritated the abdominal lining and triggers pain.

The pain during ovulation can also be a symptom of an underlying medical problem such as:

  • Cyst – Ovarian cyst, dermoid cysts, cystadenomas, and endometriomas are some of the common types of cysts and might cause pain.
  • Salpingitis – Inflammation of the fallopian tubes.
  • Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – Inflammation following an infection.
  • Endometriosis – The lining of the womb (endometrium) grows in other locations, such as the bowel.
  • Ectopic pregnancy – A pregnancy that develops outside of the womb.

The pain is typically felt in either left or right side of the lower abdomen, just inside the hip bone. The pain can last from minutes or longer and may come in many forms. Some women may experience pain in a form of twinges, cramps, uncomfortable pressure or sharp pains.


To diagnose ovulation pain, your doctor will review your symptoms and ask for your medical history. He or she will also perform a physical exam including an internal pelvic examination. He or she will then order further testing to know what causes your symptoms, including:

  • Blood test
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Vaginal ultrasound
  • Cervical cultures
  • Exploratory surgery (Laparoscopy or ‘key hole” surgery)



To ease the pain caused by ovulation, you may use pain reliever medications. You may also take anti-inflammatory drugs but see your doctor or pharmacist first for recommendations. Applying a heat pad to the affected area or taking a hot bath may also help reduce the pain.

Birth control pills can prevent ovulation pain because they stop ovulation. Talk over this option with your doctor.

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