Do you have ovarian pain? Learn about its symptoms and causes, what it is and why it appears during menstruation, ovulation and what diseases can also cause it. Everything you need to know if you are worried about your ovary pain.
Although it may be very common to coin the term ovarian pain as such, the reality is that, originally, ovarian pain did not really exist, mainly for a basic reason: they are organs that have no sensitivity. That is, the ovaries do not cause the pain.
However, obviously, that does not mean that other complications that are related to the woman’s reproductive system can cause that pain.
In this sense, as indicated by many specialists, ovarian pain can be caused by different conditions, diseases and disorders, ranging from cysts to tumors, through other more common issues such as menstruation or dysmenorrhea.
Symptoms of ovary pain
Ovary pain is usually identified as such because it tends to hurt the lower abdomen (just below the navel region) and the pelvis.
This pain can be temporary, acute or chronic depending on its cause, although in general, if it is temporary or acute, it tends to disappear in a short space of time.
As far as chronic pain is concerned, it can appear little by little and much more slowly, and can last from weeks to several months.
Causes of ovarian pain
As we explained earlier, ovarian pain does not exist as such, so it is necessary – and essential – to quickly go to a gynecologist, general practitioner or obstetrician to help us identify the cause.
Menstruation or period
There is no doubt that the pain caused by menstruation tends to be one of the most commonly consulted complaints in gynecology, becoming in fact the most common pain.
But why does the pain arise with each menstruation, each time the period arrives each month? The cause must be found in the prostaglandins, which consist of a set of substances that cause contractions of the uterine muscles.
Although feeling some pain and discomfort during menstruation is totally normal (especially slight cramps or having the sensation of dull pain), when menstruation is so painful that it needs or requires medical treatment, it is known as dysmenorrhea.
Dysmenorrhea (very painful menstruation)
Another common cause of ovarian pain is dysmenorrhea. Or, what is the same, the appearance of excessive or very strong pain during menstruation or period.
That is, it is a painful menstruation which is estimated to affect about half of women at some point in their lives. It is a type of pain that affects a woman’s quality of life, preventing her from carrying out normal day-to-day activities.
Therefore, it is an ovarian pain that requires medical treatment, a treatment that must be personalized.
Dysmenorrhea usually appears towards the end of adolescence, with a more pronounced peak towards the age of 20, tending to decrease until it gradually disappears over the years. However, when dysmenorrhea appears after the third decade of life (around 30 years of age), the cause is always organic, with a primary underlying pathology causing it.
Adenitis is the term by which pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is also known medically, a condition that consists of inflammation of both the ovaries and the fallopian tubes, annexes of the uterus.
The main causes that cause the appearance of adenitis are usually found in bacterial infections, especially gonococcus (pathogens of gonorrhea), since viruses are usually less common.
Ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that develops outside the uterus (womb), being life-threatening for the mother if not treated in time. Among the most common symptoms that usually appear include the presence of abnormal vaginal bleeding, lumbago and back pain and absence of periods.
In addition, there may be intense pressure on the rectum, mild cramping that is located on one side of the pelvis, as well as pain in the lower abdomen (or in the pelvic area).
Ovarian pain without menstruation
You are probably wondering if ovarian pain can appear even without having a period. And the truth is that it is something absolutely normal, since ovarian pain without periods appears after ovulation and not at the same time.
For this reason, it is associated with pain in the kidneys, or with stomach pain, which means that in reality these discomforts would have other possible causes, such as painful ovulation if the discomfort appears in the middle of the ovulation cycle.
You can learn more about it in our article on Ovarian pain without menstruation, where we learn a little more about ovarian pain without menstruation.
Why do the ovaries hurt? Its main causes, in summary
Among the most common or usual causes of ovarian pain, we find the following:
- Painful ovulation and irregular menstruation (medically known as dysmenorrhea).
- Adenitis: pelvic inflammatory disease caused by an ascending infection of the body from the end cervix.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: pregnancy that implants outside the uterine cavity, usually in the fallopian tubes.
- Endometriosis: when there is presence of endometrial tissue outside the uterine cavity.
- Cysts: usually due to rupture of the cyst.
There are also other less frequent causes, although much more serious, such as a tumor.