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Are these just normal mid-cycle pains, or should I call the doctor?

By Anonymous May 5, 2011 - 8:00pm
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Last month, I think about 15-17 days into my menstrual cycle (not sure exactly, I don't keep perfect track) I started feeling a sort of not-exactly-pain, more like slight pressure (hard to explain) on the right side of my lower abdomen. It lasted 2-3 days, then went away. Well, yesterday, it came back, same side, same "slight pressure" feeling. I did some Googleing and I figure it's mittelschmertz / mid-cycle pain. However, I'm 22 years old and I've never had any sort of mid-cycle pain before that I remember. I was just wondering if this is normal mid-cycle pain or if it sounds like symptoms of something more serious. I read on Wiki that your lymph nodes can swell, maybe it's that? I haven't been to the doctor since grade school, so I'm always paranoid of secretly having some dread disease that's killing me. If I could get an answer from someone who knows what they're talking about, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

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Hi Anonymous,

Mittelschmerz occurs during ovulation, when the follicle ruptures and releases its egg. It's estimated that 1 in 5 women experience ovulation discomfort. Some have mittelschmerz every month, while others have it only occasionally.

While the exact cause of mittelschmerz is unknown, here are possible reasons you may feel pain:

Just before an egg is released with ovulation, follicle growth stretches the surface of your ovary, causing pain.
Blood or fluid released from the ruptured follicle irritates the lining of your abdomen (peritoneum), leading to pain.

OTC meds such as Tylenol, should help ease the pain. But this is completely normal and unless the pain is severe, does not require medical attention. Sometimes, if you feel like it is causing too much discomfort, you can visit your doctor and ask for birth control pills which will prevent mittelschmerz (since you will not be releasing any eggs).

All the best!


May 6, 2011 - 7:20am
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