Mittelschmerz is a condition that many women experience during a menstrual cycle. In general, the condition occurs along toward the middle of the cycle, roughly fourteen days before the beginning of the next menstrual period. This condition is characterized by pain that develops along one side of the lower abdomen and seems to come and go for several days. What is occurring is a short period of pain, usually known as middle pain, during ovulation.
There are a couple of common reasons why mittelschmerz may take place. The first has to do with the release of eggs during the process of ovulation. If there is follicle growth present that causes the surface of the ovaries to stretch, there will be some degree of pain and discomfort. Mittelschmerz can also occur, when there is a rupture of the follicle that in turn causes irritation to the abdominal lining.
A woman who is experiencing mittelschmerz is likely to feel at least one of several symptoms. Most commonly, there will be a dull aching sensation that is very similar to that of a cramp. Some women will feel a sharp pain that appears for no apparent reason and then goes away as quickly as it came. There may also be a small amount of bleeding or discharge.
For the most part, home remedies will make it possible to manage the incidence of mittelschmerz for the few days it takes place. Over the counter pain relievers such as naproxen, acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin can often dull any aching and also help alleviate the sudden occurrence of short bursts of sharp pains. When possible, soaking in a hot tub will also help to ease any discomfort. Even the use of a heating pad placed over the side of the abdomen where the pain is originating should help to ease the symptoms.
Some women find that using birth control pills can help when mittelschmerz occurs each cycle, or is particularly painful. Because the pills help to prevent ovulation, they in turn prevent the development of physical situations that trigger the pain caused by this condition.
It is important to note that the mittelschmerz only takes place during ovulation. Generally, the pain is noticeable but is not sharp or debilitating. When pains occur at other times in the menstrual cycle or if the pain during ovulation seems to be excessive, it is usually a good idea to see a doctor immediately. Often, the origins of the additional discomfort are temporary and can be treated effectively by medication.