Mittelschmerz is a German word which means middle and pain. This is a pain that occurs during the ovulation phase of your menstrual cycle. It is also known as painful ovulation. This pain generally occurs on one side of your lower abdomen and is experienced during your mid-cycle, roughly before two weeks of your next menstrual cycle.

Is Mittelschmerz A Sign Of Endometriosis?

Mittelschmerz may sometimes be related to endometriosis. However, your doctor may ask you to chart down everything related to your menstrual cycle- your dates, the time when the pain begins, the location of the pain etc. your doctor may also ask you to undergo different tests if she is suspicious of any severe condition like endometriosis or likewise. Endometriosis is capable of causing pelvic pain during any time in the cycle. However, it tends to be more during the menstrual cycle and also, near ovulation.

Sometimes the pain in women with endometriosis is so severe during ovulation that they cannot have sex during that time, and it becomes difficult for them to time their sex for conceiving pregnancy. Hence, if there is ovulation pain that is severe or bothers you for a length and in every cycle, it is advisable to get yourself checked to rule out endometriosis.

Symptoms Of Mittelschmerz

Mittelschmerz pain is seen to be lasting anywhere between few minutes to a few hours. It may even continue for a day or more than that, in some cases. Other symptoms related to Mittelschmerz are as follows-

  • Pain is usually at one side of the abdomen. This relates to the ovary that releases the egg in one particular month. If there is a repetitive pain on only one side of the abdomen, it may be indicative of only one ovary releasing the egg every month, compared to the other
  • 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

Causes Of Mittelschmerz

Mittelschmerz pain occurs around the period of ovulation. This is when the follicle ruptures and releases an egg. Women usually have it occasionally, however some may get it every month. Though the exact cause of this condition is not yet known, there are a few possible reasons as to why this pain occurs-

  • Just before the ovulation, the follicle grows
  • The growth of the follicle stretches the ovarian surface and this stretching may be the reason for the pain
  • When the follicle ruptures during ovulation, some blood or fluid is released from the ruptured follicle
  • This fluid or blood may cause an irritation on the lining of the abdomen (known as peritoneum), which may cause pain
  • Mittelschmerz occurs only during the ovulation phase in your cycle
  • If there is a pain at any other time during your cycle, it most likely isn’t Mittelschmerz
  • During the periods it may be menstrual cramping (known as dysmenorrhoea)
  • At any other time, it may be due to any other pelvic or abdominal condition
  • If the pain is severe to the point to make you debilitated or land you in an emergency room, it is advisable to seek some urgent medical help

Mittelschmerz is a pain occurring in the lower abdomen, that is usually one-sided. This pain occurs around the time of the ovulation and is also known as ovulation pain. Mittelschmerz is usually not serious and goes away without any treatment. However, if it is severe for you or does not seem to go away, it might be a sign of something far more serious like endometriosis. It is advisable to get yourself checked by your physician to rule out the possibility of any other serious health condition.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: February 7, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'll help you live each day to the healthiest