Ovulation is a part of the female menstrual cycle where the ovaries release an egg or ovum. It is a part of the normal female reproductive system, and occurs once a month till menopause (under normal circumstances) except during pregnancy and breast feeding. Ovulation is often accompanied by lower abdominal pain, cramps and discomfort. It is also known as mid-cycle pain or mittelschmerz (German word for ‘middle pain’). In some cases, it may be accompanied by other symptoms such as back pain, headache, body pain, mood swing, etc. Studies have shown that one out of five women experiences pain during ovulation. Ovulation pain is nothing to worry about unless it lasts for an abnormal period of time or the intensity of the pain is high. Pain accompanied by other serious symptoms can also indicate development of other medical or gynaecological issues such as endometriosis, ovarian cyst etc.
How Long does Ovulation Pain Last?
The duration of ovulation pain varies from women to women. The ovulation pain may last from few minutes to up to 3 days. Some women may experience intermittent pain of various intensities during entire phase of menstruation, while some women may experience pain only during the first or second day. The type, nature and intensity of pain vary from one person to another. Ovulation pain may have the following symptoms:
- Lower abdominal pain around the hip bone area
- Abdominal pain that may be felt 2 weeks prior menstruation
- Right or left sided pain depending on the ovary that releases the egg
- The pain may switch sides during each cycle or may remain constant to one side.
Home Remedies for Management of Ovulation Pain
In most of the case, the pain reduces by itself without any active treatment. Mild pain reduces within a couple of hours. However, if the pain interferes with normal activities of living or too painful in nature; over-the-counter medications such as anti-spasmodic are recommended for providing relief. A large number of natural home remedies are also available, which are known to be effective in reducing ovulation pain. Some of these home remedies are discussed below:
Healthy Diet to Manage Ovulation Pain: Following a healthy diet particularly before and during the menstruation, plays a vital role in maintaining the nutrient and electrolyte balance in the body which in turn can control the pain during ovulation. Green leafy vegetables that are rich in magnesium and calcium can help in reducing bloating associated with pain during menstruation. Fibre rich food helps in keeping constipation during menstruation under control.
Green Tea: Drinking warm green tea during menstruation soothes abdominal pain and it also boosts the reproductive health of the woman. Green tea stimulates production of binding globulin (which is a sex hormone) which calms the body and provides comfort during menstruation thereby making it a useful home remedy to manage ovulation pain.
Adequate Hydration: Besides following a healthy diet, it is also important to provide the body with adequate water and fluid to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can worsen period cramps, and thus it is recommended to consume hydrating beverages and water at regular interval to maintain the fluid level of the body.
Saw Palmetto: Saw Palmetto is a natural herb that is known for its beneficial effects on the reproductive system. It is advised to have 5 – 6 drops of this natural herb every day as a home remedy for maintaining normal functioning of the reproductive system along with controlling pain associated with ovulation.
Physical Activities and Exercising: It is essential to exercise regularly and stay physically active to combat with pain during ovulation. Regular exercising regulates hormone production which in turn can help in controlling pain during ovulation naturally. Simple exercises, such as walking, swimming, jogging etc. can have great health benefits. Yoga is known to improve blood circulation also.
Red Clover: Red clover is another natural herb that helps in maintaining the acid and alkali balance in the body which is known to affect pain during ovulation. Besides this, red clover also helps in regulating irregular menses and benefits the overall fertility health of the woman.
Warm Compresses to Manage Ovulation Pain: Painful ovulation can be due to muscle spasms in the lower abdomen area. Applying warm compresses over this area can help in relaxing these muscles and thus control pain. Warm compresses can be applied using a hot water bottle or bag. Medical gel pouches which can be easily heated in the microwave are commercially available and are quite affordable and effective.
Chaste Berry: Chaste berry is another natural herb and a useful home remedy which helps in regulating hormone production by the pituitary glands. This in turn affects the ovulation and controls the pain associated with it.
Consuming Spicy Food to Manage Ovulation Pain: Spicy food increases the internal heat of the body which can have a calming effect over muscle contraction in the lower abdominal area. This controls ovulation pain and cramps.
Evening Primrose Oil: Evening primrose oil contains certain essential fatty acids that controls the hormone productions and thus controls the pain naturally. It also helps in maintaining the cervical fluid quality and helps in providing adequate lubrication to the mucous membrane.
Though these home remedies are beneficial to control ovulation pain, it is advised to consult a doctor if the condition does not improve or worsens.