Every month, a sizeable chunk of women find themselves holding their abdomen and wondering why they are cramping and experiencing pain so far out from their period.
Is it normal? Is it a very belated side effect of a more painful period? And do others experience it too?
The answer to all of these questions is yes. Experiencing monthly pain outside of your period cycle is totally normal.
This is what’s going down.
What is it?
This pain, occurring around the time you ovulate, has a particularly fancy name. It’s called mittelschmerz, a German term for “middle pain”.
According to the Mayo Clinic, mittelschmerz occurs midway through a menstrual cycle — about 14 days before your next menstrual period.
The pain usually occurs in the lower abdomen and pelvis, either in the middle or to one side.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, the exact cause of mittelschmerz is not known. However, it’s believed to be caused by the normal enlargement of the egg in the ovary just before ovulation. In addition to that, the pain also may be caused by the normal bleeding that comes with ovulation.
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What are the symptoms?
Naturally, the depth of pain that’s associated with mittelschmerz varies from woman to woman. The Cleveland Clinic states the pain can range from a “mild twinge to severe discomfort” and can last up to hours.
“In some cases, a small amount of vaginal bleeding or discharge might occur. Some women have nausea, especially if the pain is very strong,” they state.