Ovulation & Back Pain

Lower back pain around the middle of your menstrual cycle may occur when you ovulate. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), about 20 percent of women experience this pain. Lower back pain associated with ovulation is known as “mittelschmerz,” which comes from the German words for “middle” and “pain.” Usually it is not severe -- if you notice this pain it may be a clue that you are ovulating.

Track your cycle to determine if you are experiencing “mittelschmerz." (Image: Tom Le Goff/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Location

Ovulation pain is felt on one side of the lower back. (Image: LarsZahnerPhotography/iStock/Getty Images)

Ovulation pain is felt on one side of the lower back, and can range from a slight twinge, to a more widespread pain throughout the lower back. It can last for a minute, or up to 24 hours. This pain is normal, and should not be cause for concern unless it is severe or lasts longer than 24 hours. In order to determine if you are experiencing ovulation pain, you can track your cycle or speak with your physician.

Cause

Back pain during ovulation is caused by the ovary’s release of an egg. The egg bursts through the ovary tissue, releasing follicular fluid and blood into the fallopian tube. While many women don't feel anything, you may feel this event as a slight twinge or pain in the lower back.The pain is usually felt on one side of the body -- the side on which the ovary has released the egg.

Relief

. A hot water bottle or hot bath can provide relief. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Lower back pain from ovulation is usually mild enough to manage without treatment, but you may need to take over-the-counter pain medication. A hot water bottle or hot bath can also provide relief. Some women with very painful ovulation take birth control pills to avoid ovulation altogether.

Diagnosis

Contact your physician if you experience other symptoms. (Image: Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Ovulation back pain is usually felt around day 14 of your cycle. Cycles differ between women, but this is typically the time when an ovary releases an egg. Usually, it is felt distinctly on one side of the body. This pain is normal, but if it lasts longer than 24 hours or is severe, it is a good idea to contact your physician. You should also contact your physician if you experience other symptoms, because lower back pain can also indicate something more serious such as endometriosis or ovarian cysts.

Warning

Contact your health care provider if you experience intense symptoms. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Contact your health care provider if you experience vaginal bleeding, a change in the location or severity of pain, fever or chills, redness, swelling or symptoms lasting longer than 24 hours. If you experience these symptoms and you are pregnant, seek medical attention right away.

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