Ovulation & Back Pain


Many women experience pain during their menstrual period. However, approximately 20 percent of women also experience abdomen and back pain mid-cycle, around the time of ovulation. When this back pain occurs during your cycle, there are few things you can do to ease the pain and be more comfortable.


  • When you are experiencing an extremely painful ovulation, it is referred to as mittelschmerz. This is a German word that means, "middle pain." Most often the pain is located in the abdomen, but can spread to the back and pelvis. While it can be extremely painful, back pain associated with mittelschmerz is almost never serious and is considered normal.

Ovulation Pain

  • Many women experiencing ovulation pain will feel a sharp pain in their abdomen that slowly fades into a dull ache. This pain in the abdomen can also spread to the pelvis and the back, often creating a dull ache of back pain during ovulation. If you are experiencing ovulation pain you will have symptoms like pain on either side of the abdomen, pelvis and back. This pain can also occur during intercourse, while working out and can be accompanied with some gastrointestinal symptoms. Nausea and some spotting may also occur.

How Often?

  • Some women have painful ovulation every time they go through their cycle. However, most women experience back pain associated with ovulation less often. If you have mittelschmerz, you will most likely have painful ovulation every third or fourth month. This pain usually lasts for six to eight hours, but can last as long as 24 to 48 hours.


  • Painful ovulation is thought to be caused by a small outflow of blood when your ovaries release your monthly egg. This blood causes an irritation, which ultimately causes you pain in your abdomen and back. The amount of pain that you experience each month is thought to depend on the amount of blood that escapes.

Relieving Ovulation Pain

  • Drinking plenty of water, using a heating pad on the stomach or back, or soaking in a warm bath can help to relieve ovulation back pain. Some women also use over the counter drugs to relieve the pain. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe birth control pills that will stop you from ovulating, thereby reducing your pain. If you are also vomiting blood, have a high fever, swollen abdomen or difficulty breathing see your doctor right away.

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