Mittelschmerz is a lower abdominal pain that is usually seen to be occurring at one side of the abdomen. This pain occurs around the time of ovulation and hence, is also known as ovulation pain.


Does Mittelschmerz Happen Before Ovulation?

Mittelschmerz can happen just before, during or just after ovulation. However, it is seen just before ovulation in most cases. Just before the ovulation takes place, the follicle grows and may stretch the ovarian surface. This stretching may result in the pain before ovulation. During the ovulation, the follicle ruptures and a fluid or blood is released from the ruptured follicle. This blood or fluid may irritate the lining of the abdomen and thus may be the cause of pain. Different studies have shown different results related to the timing of ovulation and the ovulation pain. Some studies show that the ovulation pain occurs just before the ovulation happens and some other studies show that the pain occurs at the exact time of ovulation. However, it can be said that many women experience ovulation pain before ovulation.


Causes Of Mittelschmerz

The marked cause of Mittelschmerz is not known. However, there are a few speculations as to how this pain occurs.

  • Every month, one follicle grows, then ruptures and is released by the ovary.
  • When the follicle grows, it stretches the surface of the ovary
  • This stretching may be the reason for the pain
  • At the time when the follicle ruptures, it yields some blood or fluid
  • This fluid may cause irritation to the lining of the abdomen (known as peritoneum), which may be the reason for the pain

Symptoms Of Mittelschmerz

Mittelschmerz happens around the time of ovulation. Mittelschmerz pain can last anywhere between a few minutes to a few hours. It may even continue for a day or more than that. Other symptoms that may be related to Mittelschmerz are as follows-


  • Pain is usually seen at one side of the abdomen. Every month, one ovary releases an egg during ovulation. The pain relates to that side of the abdomen
  • The pain may switch sides every month depending on which ovary is releasing the egg
  • Pain is dull and resemble a cramp
  • Or the pain may be very sudden and sharp
  • The pain may or may not accompany mild vaginal bleeding
  • There may be some vaginal discharge
  • This pain is severe on very rare occasions

Diagnosis Of Mittelschmerz

  • Mittelschmerz is not very difficult to diagnose
  • This pain occurs around the time of ovulation
  • Ovulation occurs around the mid cycle, that is before two weeks of the next cycle
  • Hence, any pain around this time, that is usually one sided and not very bothersome, can be diagnosed as Mittelschmerz

If the pain is very severe to the point of making you inactive and it lasts for a long duration, then it is advisable to seek medical help urgently

Treatment Of Mittelschmerz

  • Most women getting Mittelschmerz do not require treatment
  • It is a harmless pain, that stays only for a few minutes to maximum one day; two days in rare cases

However, if Mittelschmerz makes you too uncomfortable, to the point of making you debilitated and restricting your daily routine activities, your doctor may prescribe one of the following medicines for you-

Pain Killers-

  • These medicines are available over the counter and can help in relieving the discomfort and pain caused due to Mittelschmerz
  • These may include medicines like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, naproxen sodium etc.


  • These are birth control pills
  • These pills prevent ovulation
  • Thus, they can prevent ovulation pain, that is Mittelschmerz, from happening

However, it is advisable to take these medicines only after proper consultation with your doctor

Mittelschmerz is a lower abdominal pain, that is usually seen to be occurring at one side of the abdomen. This pain occurs around the time of ovulation and hence, is also known as ovulation pain.

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Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 7, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer


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