Why do I feel ovulation pain on one side only(left/right) and sometimes on both sides? What does it mean and how long does it last? Should I be concerned if I suffer pain every month? How do I relieve the pain?
Ovulation pain is often felt on the right side, the left side or both sides. Whether you experience it on the left, right or both sides, it is the same ovulation process taking place. If you are wondering why you feel the pain, here are your answers.
Meaning & Symptoms
Ovulation is the process that start with a release of a mature egg from the ovary, the movement of the egg down the fallopian tube in preparation for fertilization.
Signs that confirm ovulation include the following;
- More cervical mucus; when one is ovulating, they will feel wetter than normal and for longer periods of time.
- Egg-white cervical mucus; this type of cervical mucus is the best for the transportation of sperm to the egg for fertilization. This mucus can occur for a few days before the ovulation takes place and last for a few days afterwards.
- Higher and softer cervix location; after your periods, your cervix feels closed, low and hard. However, when you are ovulating, your cervix feels open, high and soft.
- Breast tenderness; due to the increase in the amounts of the hormone progesterone around the ovulation time, most women will experience tenderness in their breasts either before or after the ovulation.
- Light spotting; the bursting of the egg from follicle is often accompanied with a light pink or light brown spotting that should not last for more than a few days.
- Higher sex drive; your sex drive will often peak during the ovulation stage. This, coupled with the egg-white cervical mucus, make it easier to get pregnant during the ovulation period.
The release of the mature egg is often thought of as bursting of the ovaries. The bursting process is often signified with some pain in the abdomen in the form of ovulation pain or ovulation cramps. This pain is considered normal and harmless.
Why does it occur on one side or both sides of the abdomen? The female reproductive system is in a T-shape with the flanks being the fallopian tubes and the extremes the ovaries. Each ovary takes part in the ovulation process but they rarely alternate in ovulating.
Therefore, the time when one ovary is ovulating will lead to pain on that side of the body. As you will learn shortly, in some cases, both ovaries may have ovulation at the same time resulting to pain on both sides
These signs may not occur all at once as some women experience ovulation differently. If you observe any other symptoms besides these ones, you could be having another issue that needs the attention of a doctor. Dizziness and heavy bleeding, for example, are rarely associated with ovulation.
The characteristics of ovulation cramps include;
- The pain is felt around the middle of the menstrual cycle.
- Pain inside the hip bone in the lower abdomen.
- Depending on the ovulating ovary, the pain can be felt in the left or right or both sides of the abdomen.
- The pain can also alternate between the left and right side or go on several times in a row on a single side. It is a random process.
- The pain is also different in different people. Among the most common manifestations of this pain are cramps, sharp pains, twinges and uncomfortable pressure. The intensity of the pain is also varied.
- The pain may last from a few hours to two days.
It should be known that, while ovulation pain is referred to as ovulation cramps, it differs in various ways from menstrual cramps.
- Menstrual cramps are more intense when compared to ovulation cramps.
- Menstrual cramps will start with a low intensity then increase with time. On the other hand, ovulation cramps will remain at a low level of intensity.
- Menstrual cramps occur at the end of each menstrual cycle while ovulation cramps take place in the middle of the same cycle.
- While ovulation cramps take at most two days, menstrual cramps will be felt throughout the release of the menses.
How long does Ovulation Pain Last?
The pain lasts from a few minutes to two days(48hours). As you’ve already learnt it should not worry you since it is not an abnormality and benign. See you gynecologist if takes longer with unusual symptoms
One Side-Left or Right
As stated previously, ovulation pain is a result of the ovary rupturing to release a mature egg. If one feels pain on the left side of the abdomen, it is a sign that ovulation would be taking place in the left ovary only.
Right side only
Feeling ovulation cramps on the right side is more common among women than the left side. While there are many explanations as to why it is this way, the most basic one is that the right ovary tends to be more active than the left one hence will have ovulation more times than the left one.
What does ovulation pain on both sides mean?
Ovulation on both sides is a sign that both ovaries are ovulating at the same (or approximately the same) time. The usual case during ovulation is that only a single ovary will release an egg that is mature enough to be fertilized. The ovulation process can take place on either side of the abdomen which means the pain can be felt on either side.
Ovulation occurs randomly from the left and right side of the body. Contrary to popular belief, ovulation does not occur alternatively between the two sides. One side can produce an egg for three menstrual cycles while the other stays dormant.
In some cases, ovulation can occur in both ovaries at the same time. Such a case will involve ovaries in either side of the abdomen rupturing their follicles to release a mature egg each.
If ovulation occurs on either side, it may happen at different times. This is because the eggs in the ovaries may have started being incubated at different times hence their ovulation could be some time apart. It may just be a few hours apart or even a day apart.
Does ovulation pain on both sides mean twins?
Ovulation on both sides may mean twins or not. The fact that both ovaries are releasing mature eggs means that both can be fertilized at the same time to give two embryos that will grow together to be born as twins. However, there are a few things to know about this type of twins and their possible occurrence.
- They will be fraternal twins if they are born from bilateral ovulation. Fraternal twins are those that are born at the same time but share few features. Given that each twin will be born from an egg-and-sperm combination that he independent from the other one, they will not share many traits.
- Bilateral ovulation is caused by the twin gene which enables on to release more than one mature eggs during each menstrual cycle in what is known as hyper-ovulation.
- The fraternal twins can also be obtained when two eggs are released by the same ovary. In this regard, the ovulation pain will only be felt on one side of the abdomen.
- Even when the bilateral ovulation takes place, it is not a guarantee that you will experience fraternal twins since either one or both eggs may fail to be fertilized at the right time.
Causes of the pain on both sides
Pain during ovulation will be caused by both ovaries releasing eggs at the same time. In short, both the left and right-side ovulation pain is ovulation occurring in both ovaries at the same time. It is a rare occasion that is likely to happen if one has the twin gene.
- When each of the eggs in either ovary grows then ruptures out of the ovaries, they cause some level of pain in the abdomen.
- When both ovaries release an egg, the chances of getting a twin are high especially if both eggs are fully matured before being released.
- If this occurs, the woman will also feel implantation pain on both sides of the abdomen.
The implantation pain will be from the spasms experienced in the fallopian tubes are they push the eggs towards the uterus, and the burrowing of the eggs into the walls of the uterus.
Thus, one of the ways to know if the bilateral ovulation has resulted into twins is where the implantation pain will be felt from.
Besides that, pain on both sides of abdomen can be caused by various other health conditions such as;
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases
- Ovarian cancer
- Kidney stones
Clomid and ovulation cramps on both sides
Clomid is among the main drugs used by women with reproductive disorders such as infertility, irregular menstrual periods and others. Also known as clomiphene, this drug helps a lot of women get pregnant and even have twins.
Clomid works by stimulating the ovaries to incubate more eggs to maturity. Thus, when taking such a drug, the effect will be that ovulation will be occurring in multiples in either ovary.
Clomid is known to increase the chances of getting twins and other multiple births such as triplets and quadruplets. One notable aspect with clomid is that the twins born will mostly be fraternal given that they will be from different eggs and sperms.
Why do I feel ovulation cramps every month?
Some women experience ovulation cramps on one side for consecutive months. While the female reproductive system has an ovary on the left and right sides of the abdomen, they do not ovulate in a perfectly alternating rhythm.
Rather, it is a random process where one ovary can do most of the work even three menstrual cycles in a row as the other one stays dormant.
While you should not be expecting a perfect alternation between the two ovaries, going for too many cycles with only side being active may mean that there is another aspect at play rather than the randomness of the ovaries. It may be that one of your ovaries is dormant or diseased and thus it cannot take part in the ovulation process.
If for six whole menstrual cycles you feel ovulation pain on one side only, pay your doctor a visit as your reproductive system may be harboring an issue you are not aware of. Such problems include;
|Pelvic Inflammatory Disease||Cervical ectopy|
|Ovarian cyst||Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia (CIN)|
|Cancer of the ovary||Vulvovaginitis|
|Polycystic Ovary Syndrome||Cancer of the cervix|
|Uterine polyps||Bacterial Vaginosis|
|Cancer of the uterus||Cancer of the vulva or vagina|
|Prolapse of the vagina and uterus|
Any one or a combination of these diseases may affect your menstrual cycles negatively. Your doctor should be able to carry out a diagnosis based on the symptoms you have.
How to Relieve Ovulation Pain
If you are having pain in the abdomen due to ovulation, you may consider using a remedy that soothes the pain away. While you could easily get a painkiller off the counter and do away with the pain, you can choose a home remedy that doesn’t require a visit to the chemist and, better yet, has no side effects. Among the most common home remedies for abdominal pain include;
- Hot water; placing a bottle of warm water on your abdomen will take the pain away after a while. Just make sure the water is not too hot to use comfortably. Also, taking a hot bath or using a heating pad will solve the same issue.
- Baking soda; baking soda is used in many ways to sooth pain in the abdomen. Simply take a spoonful of the powder and mix in a glass of water. The water can be warm or cold as you please. Those with high blood pressure or those on a low sodium diet should refrain from using the solution.
- Yoga; gentle yoga has been proven to do the trick when it comes to relieving one of the pain in the abdomen. The focus should be on doing it gently with breathing being done deeply and slowly.
- Oatmeal; oatmeal is one of the best foods to use in soothing abdominal pain owing to its properties. Besides that, eating oatmeal helps in regulating the amount of cholesterol in the body, keeping cancer at bay and maintaining blood sugar levels.
- Massage; a gentle massage on the abdomen will also help in doing away with the pain from ovulation. Given that ovulation pain is rarely intense, it is easy to relax the abdomen muscles for the pain to go away.
- Essential oils; using essential oils such as lavender and chamomile is one way of getting rid of the pain felt during ovulation. Simply add a few drops of the oil to your bath and relax in the bathtub.
- Turmeric tea; chances are high that you may be having turmeric tea in your home already. Take a cup or more of this tea in the morning and evening and bid farewell to your ovulation cramps.
- Apples; the apple fruit has many medicinal aspects that make it one of the best solutions to ovulation pain. Eat one or two apples each day and the pain will subside.
Ovulation pain should be mild and not last for more than three days in a row. If they are either intense or last for longer periods of time, it is time to see your doctor for a checkup.