Mittelschmerz, also referred to as mid-menstrual cycle pain, can be described as a one-sided, lower abdominal pain related to ovulation. It occurs midway through a menstrual cycle (about 14 days before your next menstrual period).
The pain usually lasts a few minutes to a few hours, but it may continue for as long as a day or two. It is a dull, cramp-like pain that occurs on one side of your lower abdomen. Sometimes, it can be sharp and sudden which is accompanied by mild vaginal bleeding or discharge. Usually, the pain occurs on the side of the ovary that's releasing an egg (ovulating). You may experience pain on the same sides or it may switch to the other side.
Women should keep track of their menstrual cycle and keep a note of when they experience abdominal pain. If you are experiencing it mid-menstrual cycle and goes away on its own, it could be mittelschmerz.
Most cases of mittelschmerz don’t require medical attention. For minor mittelschmerz discomfort, one can resort to over-the-counter pain relievers and home remedies. If your mittelschmerz pain is troublesome (if abdominal pain is accompanied by fever, pain with urination, abnormal bleeding or vomiting), call your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe an oral contraceptive to stop ovulation and prevent mid-cycle pain.
Also, let your doctor know if mid-cycle pain lasts longer than a day or if you missed your last menstrual period.
Read more articles on Mittelschmerz.