Can Mittelschmerz Last For Days?
Mittelschmerz is the pain felt by a woman during the middle of her menstrual in the lower abdomen and pelvis region. It is experienced by almost 20% of the women. The intensity of pain experienced varies from person to person. It can range from mild to severe and can last for a few days to several weeks. It is also known as ovulation pain or mid-cycle pain.
Mittelschmerz pain occurs suddenly and will usually fade away in 1 to 2 hours. But sometimes in severe cases it can last longer for a few days. Some women also experience Mittelschmerz throughout the menstrual cycle and symptoms will persist till the next period. It becomes important to get medical advice in cases where the pain exceeds a few days and is accompanied by fever. Lower abdominal pain and discomfort could also be a sign of an underlying disease. The side where the pain occurs depends from which side the egg is released from the ovary. Mittelschmerz can shift every month because ovulation occurs from a random release of eggs from the follicle on either side.
Causes And Symptoms Of Mittelschmerz
Mittelschmerz caused during ovulation can occur due to follicular swelling just before ovulation takes place. During a woman’s menstrual cycle a number of eggs will mature up to the point of release but out of these, only one egg is released from the ovary while the rest atrophy. This leads to swelling of the follicles and can lead to pain simultaneously on both sides of the lower abdomen. The other cause is rupture of the ovarian wall during the time of ovulation. Since the ovaries do not have any openings when the egg breaks through the wall of the ovary it can be painful in some women. To push this egg to the uterus the fallopian tube will contract in a peristaltic manner that can cause pain in some cases. During ovulation there can be contraction in the smooth muscle cells of the ovary and their ligaments leading to pain, which occurs when there is, increased level of f2-alpha prostaglandins. This is mediated by increasing levels of luteinizing hormones in the body. Another reason for ovulation pain is irritation of the lining of the abdominal and pelvic cavity by the fluid and blood that leaks through the ruptured ovarian follicle.
The symptoms of Mittelschmerz include sudden sharp pain that can be mild to severe in intensity on one or both sides of the lower abdomen and pelvic region, abdominal discomfort and cramps, along with minor bleeding and discharge from the vagina. The pain that occurs every month during the middle of menstrual cycle is Mittleschmerz and any other cause for the pain should be ruled to prevent further complications.
Management Of Mittleschmerz
Mittelschmerz does not usually require any medical attention. However in severe cases when the pain does not subside then you might want to visit a doctor. The doctor will confirm the diagnosis of mittelschmerz on the basis of the history and by performing certain tests to rule out other possible conditions of lower abdominal pain and discomfort. When the pain is severe and does not go away on its own then prescription painkillers are given to ease pain and discomfort such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and acetaminophen. In some cases when the pain is relieved by pain-relievers the doctor might prescribe oral contraceptive pills to prevent ovulation. When there is no ovulation, no pain occurs. Some home remedies to relieve the pain include use of heating pads and warm compresses to the abdominal and pelvic region. They help in relaxation of the muscles and thereby ease the pain. Adopting a healthy active lifestyle along with cessation of smoking and alcohol abuse is beneficial for the female reproductive system and overall health of the woman. Stress is another factor that can lead to hormonal imbalances and should be avoided to improve reproductive health.