Ovulation pain, or mittelschmerz, is a lower abdominal pain on one side that occurs in women around the time of ovulation, when an egg is released from the ovary. Mittelschmerz can get worse for some women around menopause.
According to the National Institutes of Health, mittelschmerz may be caused by egg follicle growth stretching the ovary's surface or by irritation to the abdominal lining from blood or fluid released by a ruptured egg follicle. Although mittelschmerz is painful, it is not harmful and is not indicative of any disease.
Mittelschmerz is characterized by a distinctive sharp, cramping pain on one side of the lower abdomen. The pain can last anywhere from a few minutes to 48 hours, and begins in the middle of the menstrual cycle.
Menopause occurs when a woman's ovaries cease egg production, typically between the ages of 45 and 55. Menstruation becomes infrequent, eventually stopping entirely, and the body produces less progesterone and estrogen.
Mittelschmerz and Menopause
According to Dr. Margery Gass at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, mittelschmerz and menstrual cramps may become worse for some women around the time of menopause. Dr. Gass recommends informing your doctor of these symptoms for evaluation and monitoring.
Other Symptoms of Menopause
Menopause may also cause hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, decreased libido, mood swings and vaginal dryness.