Some women get abdominal pains 14 days after their monthly period which happens to be caused by the releasing of the egg from the ovary and can signal fertility at some cases. Ovulation pain is an advantage to those couples that are trying to conceive because it is simple to know when your ovulating.
Ovulation pain differs from menstrual cramps that come on just before or during a woman’s menstrual period. It’s easy to recognize ovulation pain because it has a number of symptoms that are different from menstrual cramps.
The six signs of ovulation pain are:
- It’s one-sided.
- It comes on suddenly and without warning.
- It’s a sharp pain, twinge, or cramping rather than a dull ache.
- It often lasts only minutes, but may last a few hours or even up 24 hours.
- It may switch sides from month to month.
- It occurs about two weeks before your menstrual period starts.
Mild bleeding (spotting) or vaginal discharge may occur during this time. Some women may also experience nausea, especially if the cramping is severe. Mid-cycle pain is most common in adolescents and women in their twenties, but it can occur all the way up to age 45.
Understanding Your Body’s Signals
Women who experience ovulation pain may actually be at an advantage if they’re trying to get pregnant. Cramping in the weeks before your menstrual period is a sign that you’re ovulating and probably fertile. You’re most likely to conceive if you have intercourse right before ovulation, on the day of ovulation, or immediately after ovulation.
On the other hand, mid-cycle pain may also help women who would rather not get pregnant. But while avoiding intercourse during times when you feel ovulation pain can be an effective back-up to your regular birth control method, don’t rely on it as your sole method of preventing pregnancy. Sperm can live up to five days in a woman’s body. So you could get pregnant from unprotected sex on the days before you feel mittleschmerz pain.
Preventing and Treating Mid-Cycle Pain
For minor or brief ovulation pain, treatment is usually not necessary. For cramping that lasts more than a few minutes, over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, and others) or naproxen (Aleve and others) will usually relieve the discomfort. Applying a heating pad to the site of the abdominal pain or taking a warm bath can also help. Heat increases blood flow, which relaxes tense muscles and eases cramping.
If your mid-cycle abdominal pain happens every month and is particularly bothersome, hormonal contraception (birth control pills, patches, or the vaginal ring) is an option because it prevents ovulation. And without ovulation, you can’t have ovulation pain.
Mid-cycle abdominal pain that is extreme or lasts longer than a day should be evaluated by a doctor. Appendicitis, ovarian cysts, and ectopic (tubal) pregnancy can sometimes mimic ovulation pain, although pain from these conditions is typically much more severe.
A medical exam and diagnostic tests can rule out other causes for abdominal pain. But in the vast majority of cases, abdominal pain or cramping in the middle of the menstrual cycle simply means that you’re ovulating and the pain will disappear soon.