The symptoms of ovulation pain can include:
- Pain in the lower abdomen, just inside the hip bone.
- The pain typically occurs about two weeks before the menstrual period is due.
- The pain is felt on the right or left side, depending on which ovary is releasing an egg.
- The pain may switch from one side to the other from one cycle to the next, or remain on one side for a few cycles.
- The pain sensation varies between individuals - for example, it could feel like uncomfortable pressure, twinges, sharp pains or cramps.
- The duration of pain ranges anywhere from minutes to 48 hours.
Tests that help determine whether ovulation pain is harmless or caused by infection or disease may include:
- Medical history
- Physical examination, including an internal pelvic examination
- Blood tests
- Cervical cultures
- Abdominal ultrasound
- Vaginal ultrasound
- Exploratory surgery (laparoscopy or ‘keyhole’ surgery).
The pain of ovulation usually goes away within about 24 hours, so specific treatment is not required. Over-the-counter pain medicines -- such as Aleve (naproxen) or Motrin (ibuprofen) -- generally are effective in relieving mittelschmerz. Applying a heating pad to the lower abdomen or taking a warm bath may also help ease discomfort. Women with particularly painful ovulation may find relief by taking birth control pills, which prevent ovulation