About how you might know when you are ovulating, and mittelschmerz- the pain experienced by some women mid cycle when they ovulate.
It can be kind of surprising to learn that there are major changes that go completely undetected by your senses. Ovulation does not have to be one of them. And for some women, ovulation is impossible to ignore.
About 20% of women experience some level of pain or cramping during ovulation. The condition is called Mittelshmerz. If you have Mittleshmerz, you feel ovulation. The rest of the population can tune into other changes in their body, but they may not be as obvious as pain on one side of the abdomen.
What is Mittelshmerz?
The word Mittelshmerz comes from two German words for “middle” and “pain.” This makes perfect sense because the phenomenon is a pain that occurs in the middle of your cycle. It is a painful cramping that women experience in varying degrees. Some women experience almost crippling pain while others just feel a dull ache. If you do experience cramping during ovulation, it is best to find a way to get used to it because it will likely be around until menopause. There is no known cure. Read more about cramping pain here.
How Will I Know if I’m Ovulating?
You cannot assume you are ovulating simply because you experience cramping during the middle of your cycle. Especially if you are trying to conceive, you will want to be a bit more accurate. Look for other signs of ovulation to be sure.
Throughout your cycle, consider taking and charting your first morning temperature, called basal body temperature. After you ovulate, you will notice a rise of 0.5 to 1.0 Fahrenheit. Your temperature will remain elevated until your next cycle begins.
You may also evaluate your cervical mucus. In the beginning of your cycle, it will be dry or non-existent. When you are getting closer to ovulation, it will increase and change in texture until it is finally the consistency of raw egg white. This is when you are most fertile, just prior to ovulation.
Another way to determine whether you are ovulating is to use an over-the-counter ovulation prediction kit. These kits test your urine for luteinizing hormone, which would indicate that ovulation is on its way.
If you experience cramping along with any of the ovulation signs above, it is very likely to be Mittelshmerz.
What if I Cramp After Ovulation?
Cramping after ovulation could be a sign of pregnancy. Some women experience cramping when the fertilized egg implants into the lining of the uterus. If you are still uncertain of your cramping’s cause, talk to your doctor. It may be related to a medical condition that could require treatment. And if you are actively trying to conceive, time is of the essence.
What is the Upside of Mittleshmerz?
Cramping pain is not fun. No one wants to hurt, but if you are trying to conceive, you may consider Mittelshmerz a blessing in disguise. Once you have determined that this cramping is related to ovulation, you can use the sensation to help alert you to your fertile period.