Chances are you paid close attention to your cycle when you were trying to fall pregnant, so ovulation pain (known among members of the medical fraternity as mittelschmerz) was a signal that it was a good time of the month to start trying (or keep at it). But, if you’ve already had your kids, you probably don’t think about it much − especially if you’re using hormonal contraception.
Here’s why you actually need to take note (and possibly schedule a gynae appointment).
Although endometriosis is often a silent condition with silent symptoms, it can also be accompanied by ovulation pain, dizziness, constipation, headaches and painful sex. It’s of particular concern if you’re trying to fall pregnant.
In this case, the pain occurs because the cysts may burst during ovulation (ouch!). It’s especially prevalent if you suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is definitely something you want to have checked out. Happily, a change in diet often proves highly effective in managing PCOS – you can start by cutting down on sugar.
Sexually transmitted diseases
It’s not something we want to think about, but STDs (especially chlamydia) can lead to inflammation. In fact, pelvic inflammatory disease is often caused by inflammation of the fallopian tubes and scarring − a fallout from chlamydia.
If you’ve had surgery like an appendectomy or a C-section, ask your doctor to look out for scar tissue and adhesions. This can be extremely painful, because the ovaries will be restricted during ovulation if they stick to another organ, such as the bowel.
Again, you’re most likely to be affected by bacteria if you have undergone a medical procedure like a C-section or natural labour. Transfer of bacteria into the pelvic cavity isn’t difficult and catheters are notorious culprits. The result is Inflammation and infection, ultimately leading to pain during ovulation.
It’s important to note that many of these conditions may affect your fertility going forward, making it difficult to conceive more children even if you found it easy to fall pregnant the first time.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.