1 in 5 women experience Mittelschmerz

Could you be one of those women?

Mittelschmerz is, essentially, painful ovulation. Have you ever had a sharp, stabbing or aching pain on one side (sometimes both sides) of your lower abdomen around the time of your ovulation (roughly 10-14 days before your period)? That could be mittelschmerz. It can last as short as a few minutes or as long as a couple days. The pain can be more severe for women who have experienced invasive procedures to their abdomen or reproductive organs, such as surgery to remove an ovarian cyst. It’s a normal process and it does not necessarily mean something is wrong. If you are experiencing symptoms of mittelschmerz, it is important to compare these symptoms to that of an ovarian cyst or other abdominal condition. If pain persists long than 1-2 days or is not correlating to your ovulation, seek medical evaluation.

So now you know what this pain is, what can you do about it? For most women, the pain is not bad enough to require any treatment. Plus, it usually diminishes very quickly. And what a blessing to know when you are ovulating! That makes birth control much easier! I know that I have sharp stabbing pains very briefly on the morning of my ovulation, and it is no longer noticeable within an hour. The pain is sharp enough to catch me off guard, but not enough for me to desire anything to help cope with it. However, some women experience severe pain, to the point that doctors used to mistake mittelschmerz for appendicitis! If you are experiencing significant pain, there are a few things you can try.

non-medicine:

-heat. because the pain is (supposedly) muscular in nature, putting a hot pad on the site of the pain can relieve tension.

-stretching or moving positions. as a doula i always recommend this and assessing your mental state to help cope with pain before relying on medicine. If women every day can get through labor pains solely using different positions, breathing techniques, or focusing/meditating on something, it’s worth giving it a shot for this. Depending on the kind of pain, laying on one side or switching sides could help, getting on hands and knees, or supporting the lower back with a pillow (with a hot pad!) may help.

-improving your nutrition. this can do wonders for any problem. one site recommends eating more oily fish, nuts and seeds, beans, seafood, whole grains, green and leafy vegetables. on the other hands, try avoiding coffee, tea, chocolate, sugary refined foods, alcohol and fatty foods. this will not create immediate results, but could help over time.

homeopathy:

**I am not medically qualified to prescribe any sort of homeopathic medicine or otherwise. These are remedies I have read about that are associated with this condition, please talk to your health care provider before taking anything**

Colocynthis– used as a remedy for mental cramps, abdominal pain, cramps among other things

Sabina– used as a remedy for extreme uterine pain that extends into the thighs

-other suggestions can be found a Think Natural or Dr Lockie. You can find these products at your local health foods store or market in the health and beauty section. be sure to read the directions carefully to assess your symptoms and the right homeopathic remedy for you.

medcine:

-butylscoplamine- this is a rather strong medicine used for conditions of spasmodic indigestion pain from conditions like Crohn’s Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndromen. In Germany it is offered over the counter and this study discusses its common use for extreme cramping. In summary, the majority of the women in this study used this medication for extreme cramping pain and, in this short term study, they did not experience significant negative side effects from using it this away. Be sure to talk to your health care provider before using this product!!

In summary, mittelschmerz is a normal condition that occurs at the time of ovulation and can occur regularly in some women. For some the pain is quite tolerable, for others the pain is extreme. There are many ways to cope with pain, and above are some at home remedies you can do on for own, some homeopathic remedies that may help, and a medicine that has been used by some women to help with the pain. I recommend starting with the least invasive (non-medicine) techniques first and then working up to homeopathy or medicinal remedies.

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