Mid cycle pain or Mittelschmerz pain is one-sided, lower abdominal pain associated with ovulation. "Mittelschmerz" is a German word that means "middle pain." The condition occurs midway through a menstrual cycle — about 14 days before your next menstrual period.
In most cases, mittelschmerz doesn't require medical attention. For minor mittelschmerz discomfort, over-the-counter pain relievers and home remedies are often effective. If your mittelschmerz pain is troublesome, your doctor may prescribe an oral contraceptive to stop ovulation and prevent midcycle pain.
pain usually lasts a few minutes to a few hours, but it may continue for as
long as a day or two. Pain from mittelschmerz may be:
- On one side of your lower abdomen
- Dull and cramp-like
- Sharp and sudden
- Accompanied by mild vaginal bleeding or discharge
- Rarely, severe
Mittelschmerz pain occurs on the side of the ovary that's ovulating — releasing an egg — in that menstrual cycle. The pain may switch sides every other month, or you may feel pain on the same side for several months in a row.
Keep track of your menstrual cycle for several months and note when you experience lower abdominal pain. If it occurs midcycle and goes away without treatment, it's most likely mittelschmerz.
When to see a doctor
In the vast majority of cases, mittelschmerz requires no medical intervention. However, contact your doctor if a new pelvic pain becomes severe, if it's accompanied by nausea or fever, or if it persists — any of which could indicate you have a condition more serious than mittelschmerz, such as appendicitis, pelvic inflammatory disease or even an ectopic pregnancy.