What is Mittelschmerz?

Mittelschmerz occurs in some women approximately two weeks before they are due to start menstruating and it is also called painful ovulation. The pain is usually mild, but some women have intense pain for several hours.When the ovary releases an egg, the membrane on the outside of the ovary expands and this action causes pain. Blood is also discharged as the egg leaves the ovary. The blood inflames the abdominal tissues and this can also cause a person to feel pain.

What are the Symptoms of Mittelschmerz?

Women who experience mittelschmerz will feel pain in their lower abdomen halfway through a menstrual cycle. This pain will be felt on one side of the abdomen during each month but the specific side that is painful can change with each cycle.

The pain that is felt is often described as sharp and the abdomen will cramp. The duration of the pain varies for each individual and some women will have pain for only a few minutes, while others may cramp for as long as two days. Women should consult with a physician if they have a high fever, vomiting, painful urination or a burning sensation on their skin where they feel the abdominal pain.

How is Mittelschmerz Treated?

Women who suffer from mittelschmerz can treat this condition by taking a store bought pain reliever. Heat may help to alleviate the pain and individuals can place a heating pad on the lower portion of their stomach or soak in a bath of warm water. Physicians often prescribe birth control pills for women who have very painful ovulation each month. These pills put an end to the pain by stopping the occurrence of ovulation.

Women who have constant pain in this area of their body should visit a medical professional and schedule an ultrasound to find out if other health issues are causing the pain.

Last Reviewed:
October 07, 2016
Last Updated:
August 31, 2017