Ovulation Cramps

Many women experience cramps when they ovulate. There are some theories as to why this occurs but it seems to be quite a common occurrence. Usually these cramps will happen about two weeks prior to the onset of the menstrual period and can last anywhere from 10 minutes to two days. In some cases a woman may only experience cramping on one side and every other month. This is perhaps because there is something going on with one of her ovaries.

What Does Ovulation Cramping Feel Like?

Usually cramping during ovulation feels just like a slight period cramp. Sometimes it can just feel like a very dull aching pain in the lower abdomen and other times it can be much more pronounced. This will depend on the cause and whether or not there is some underlying medical condition that is causing the cramping. If you notice that you are experiencing what feel like period cramps in the middle of the month, when your period is still a couple of weeks away this is probably ovulation cramping.

Ruptured or Emerging Follicle

When an egg is released from the ovaries it is pushed out through a follicle. In some cases a woman will feel this happening. This is because the area is being stretch so that the egg can be released. This type of pain is very similar to that of a period cramp. In addition, if a follicle should burst or release an egg quickly this may also cause a sharp cramp like pain.


Endometriosis is a condition that causes the endometrium or womb to grow into other areas of the body like the bowel. Most women who suffer from this condition will know because there are many symptoms associated with it. For one thing women who have this condition usually report heightened discomfort or even pain during sexual intercourse. In addition, endometriosis causes much worse period cramps than what is considered normal. This condition can certainly have an impact on the amount of cramping present during ovulation.


When there is some kind of infection or even an ovarian cyst present a condition called salpingitis could occur. This basically means that the fallopian tubes become inflamed. When this happens a number of things could happen. Many tubal or ectopic pregnancies are a result of salpingitis. In addition, this condition makes it harder for the eggs to pass through the tubes which will usually result in painful ovulation.

Chronic PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)

The main cause of PID is some kind of sexually transmitted disease. However, with that being said there are other infections such as those which arise from an ovarian cyst that could lead to serious and chronic pelvic inflammatory disease. When this condition is present it will more than likely cause extremely severe period cramps in addition to very painful ovulation cramps. The term chronic indicates that the condition does not go away or continues to redevelop frequently.

Ovarian Cysts

Many women suffer from ovarian cysts without ever realizing it. These are small pockets that are filled with liquid that develop on the ovaries. There may be several cysts or just one but usually which ever side of the ovaries contains the cyst/cysts will be the side that gives you the most problems. If you are experiencing ovulation cramping on a specific side then you may want to talk to your doctor about performing some simple tests to see whether or not there may be cysts present.

Missed Appendicitis

There are many issues that can cause a woman to suffer from cramps that feel very much like they are period related. Unfortunately, these symptoms can easily be mistaken for ovulation or period cramps. One condition which poses real danger is appendicitis. This can mimic ovulation pain but the only thing is it will usually be accompanied by vomiting and nausea. If you have pain in the left side of your abdomen along with nausea and vomiting then seek medical attention right away.

Gastrointestinal Issues

You may be experiencing some sort of gastrointestinal issue like perhaps inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD, a perforated ulcer or even gastroenteritis. Often women suffering from gastrointestinal issues will also confused the pain they are feeling with period cramps or ovulation cramps. These issues are usually treated easily as long as they are diagnosed early enough. This is why it is important to let your health care worker know if you are feeling any kind of pain that is not normal for you.

Most women know their bodies well enough to know when something is not right with them. If you have always had pain free ovulation and have suddenly developed cramping, then you will probably want to have that checked out. However, chances are you have always felt a slight amount of cramping during ovulation which probably would indicate that the cramps are quite normal for you. The best rule of thumb when dealing with your reproductive system is that when you are in doubt, seek a professional opinion.

1 Comment

  1. I can find only one fault in this article and that is that your appendix is most commonly on the right side of your body not the left. Otherwise very helpful.

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