Some women know when they are ovulating because they can feel a slight pain in their lower abdomen. Other women may bleed slightly in the middle of their cycle. Typical ovulation symptoms and signs include changes in cervical mucus and a small rise in basal temperature. For most women, ovulation occurs about once every month until menopause, apart from episodes of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
About twenty percent of women experience pain and discomfort during ovulation. The duration and intensity of the pain can vary from one woman to the next. Typically, it will last from a few minutes to 48 hours. In most cases, ovulation pain doesn’t indicate any sort of problem. Ovulation pain is also known as mid-cycle pain and mittelschmerz (German for ‘middle pain’).
The exact cause of ovulation pain is not clear/ It may be caused by something called emerging follicle. Hormones prompt the ovaries to produce around 20 follicles. Each follicle contains an immature egg but only one follicle usually survives to maturity. It is theorized that ovulation pain is caused by the expanding follicle stretching the membrane of the ovary. Another cause could be a ruptured follicle. When the egg is mature and burst from the follicle, this can cause pain and sometimes bleeding.
Severe or long-lasting pain during ovulation may sometimes be symptomatic of gynecological conditions including endometriosis. Left untreated, such conditions can adversely affect your health. See your doctor if your ovulation pain lasts longer than about three days or if you have other unusual menstrual symptoms such as heavy bleeding.