In a woman’s menstrual cycle, it is possible to experience pain in difference phases. Just what causes this? Can the pain be attributed to ovulation? Below we explore breast and back pain with ovulation. We also unveil the ways to relieve pain during ovulation and after.
Can Ovulation Cause Pain?
During ovulation, there are a lot of hormonal changes that the body goes through. These are accompanied by some physical changes too. As the body tries to cope with the changes and as ovulation occurs, pain is experienced on varies parts of the body. This is basically what is known as pain during ovulation.
The pain experienced is bound to go away within a short time. No medical attention is required as the pain is usually manageable. If the pain during ovulation or after becomes so much that it interferes with your daily activity, consider giving your doctor a visit.
Pain before Ovulation
Before ovulation, follicles that are present in the ovary begin to swell up. Though only one of the follicles hosts an ovum to maturation, they all swell to give room for this. These swellings cause the membrane of the ovary to stretch. This is what may cause pain on both sides of the abdomen before ovulation.
Pain during Ovulation
The pain experienced during ovulation is known as Mittelschmerz. This is a German word, which is derived from the words middle and pain. It therefore refers to middle pain.
The pain during ovulation occurs either on the lower back, the abdomen or in the ovaries. It is usually on either of the sides depending on which one released the ovum. The duration for which it lasts is short starting from minutes to two days. The pain may be accompanied by vaginal discharge and spotting.
Not all women experience pain during ovulation or when ovulating. Some may experience it once in a while, while others experience it in all their cycles. Those who experience it regularly can tell when they are ovulating due to the pattern it follows.
No conclusive research has been done to show the causes of pain during ovulation. A number of factors though are suspected to cause the pain. These are:
- The ovaries have no exit through which the egg can go when being released into the fallopian tubes. It therefore has to break through the walls of the ovary. This rupturing of the ovarian walls causes pain as the egg is released through it.
- After the egg has been released, the fallopian tubes contract. This contraction is felt as some pain in the abdomen. Since it also strains the muscles, this pain can be felt on the lower back too.
- As ovulation is taking place, a small amount of blood is shed and other fluids released. These come from the ruptured follicle. The follicular fluid irritates the abdominal lining and pain continues to be felt until the body absorbs or expels the fluid.
To help confirm that pain being experienced is ovulation pain, charting the monthly cycle may be necessary. Abdominal examinations may also be performed by the doctor to confirm that the pain is not as a result of any other thing such as cysts and endometriosis. Where there are suspicions, a scan or blood test will be used. These will either be positive or negative.
Pain during ovulation cannot be avoided as long as ovulation is taking place. The only way to prevent it from occurring is by stopping ovulation. This can be done using birth control pills. If the doctor finds it necessary, they may recommend this to ease the pain.
Pain after Ovulation
For some women, ovulation pain lasts only a few minutes. For others, it lasts up to two days. Any other pain experienced two days after ovulation should not be taken lightly. One should seek medical attention if the pain after ovulation becomes severe.
Breast Pain during Ovulation
As ovulation approaches, estrogen levels rise. During ovulation, progesterone levels also increase. In readiness for a pregnancy, progesterone increases the rate of fluid retention. This stretches breast tissues causing soreness of the breasts. Estrogen on the other hand causes a buildup of breast tissue. These two body changes make the breasts painful and sensitive to touch.
Breast pain when experienced during ovulation is usually located towards the sides of the breasts as opposed to being felt all through it. Breast soreness is also an indication that ovulation is occurring.
To relieve the pain, one can use icepacks which are placed on the breasts. Taking over the counter pain killers can also help. Magnesium supplements can also help in relieving breast pain. Avoiding fatty foods and not taking caffeine also go a long way in managing the pain. When venturing out, ensure a fitting sporting bra is what you wear to ease the pain. Evening prim rose oil is also said to help.
Back Pain during Ovulation
It is normal for women to experience back pain during ovulation. Since the reproductive organs are located between the abdominal muscles and the lower back muscles, any strain that the reproductive system is subjected to affects the back.
When the egg is thrust from the follicle, some follicular fluid and blood is released. The fluid irritates the lower back which leads to pain. This pain remains until all the follicular fluid is absorbed into the body.
When the egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tubes, there is no open route that it follows. It has to force its way out by rapturing the ovarian walls. The stress that results leads to back pain.
There is an increase in the growth of the follicles as ovulation approaches. These stretch the surface on which they are and lead to ovulation pain in the back.
Back pain experienced as a result of ovulation could be accompanied by other signs of ovulation. The pain lasts up to 48hours and is not severe. Spotting, headaches and nausea are some other signs that could be noticed.
Back pain being a normal occurrence in a woman’s cycle can be eased using home remedies. Placing a hot pad on the back or taking a hot bath could be of great help. Some over the counter pain relievers can also be taken.
Where one is not sure, a visit to the doctor may be necessary. He will diagnose the condition and know if the pain is as a result of ovulation or not.
Suggested Further Reading:
- When Does a Woman Ovulate or When Does Ovulation Occur?
- What Happens During Ovulation & After Ovulation
- Symptoms of Ovulation – Physical, Cramps & Pre-Ovulation Signs
- Spotting During Ovulation – Before, Around & After Ovulation
- Post Ovulation Symptoms & How Do You Know When You Are Ovulating
- Ovulation Pain – Signs & Symptoms, Severe, Lower Pain Back
- Cramping After Ovulation – Is it a Normal or A Pregnancy Signs?
- Ovulation after Miscarriage – When, After How Long, Signs
- Ovulation Test – Positive, How to Use Test, When to Take