Cramping Pain During or After Ovulation? [Here's Why]

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Philip Druce

By Philip Druce, Founder of Ovulation Calculator

Cramping pain around the time of ovulation?

When you are trying to conceive, every ache and pain is put under the microscope.

...could it mean you are pregnant? Is something wrong?

In reality, many of the feelings you have during your cycle are normal and they were probably present before you were trying to conceive - they are just much more noticeable now.

But what about cramping 1 day after ovulation, or even 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 days after ovulation? Is that a normal part of your cycle or an indication of pregnancy? Read on to find out.

Ovulation Calculator asked 9,670 women if they experienced any pain during or after ovulation that felt like cramping and 50% said yes. See the survey results below.

Cramping pain survey

There are over 3 million reported cases of ovulation pain each year in the US... but many more women suffer in silence and don't talk about it!

Ovulation and Mittelschmerz

Cramping pain during ovulation actually affects about 20% of women (one in five). Some women experience very painful ovulation.

Here's what happens...

The follicle (capsule containing the egg) is surrounded by follicular fluid in the ovary. When you ovulate, the egg, fluid and some blood are released from the follicle and ovary.

Causes of ovulation pain

There are a few theories as to what causes this pain;

The following images will help you understand these three causes.

Ovulation pain cause by theories

The pain is referred to as Mittelschmerz, which comes from the German words for "middle" and "pain." As this phenomenon describes a pain that occurs in the middle of the cycle, the name makes perfect sense. Contrary to popular belief, the presence of mittelschmerz in a cycle does not indicate pregnancy. It simply indicates ovulation.

However, there is one important distinction. Mittelschmerz occurs during ovulation. This is normally about 15 days before your next period, depending on your cycle and luteal phase length. If you are tracking your cycle closely, have never experienced pain or cramping during ovulation, and are certain that your cramping occurred after ovulation, it may be an indication that you are pregnant (more on this below).

Mittelschmerz affects 1 in 5 women and is most common between the age of 14 and 40.

Mittelschmerz age affects

Ovulation pain symptoms

A pain on one side of your lower abdomen and pelvic area that occurs about 15 days before your next period is due.

Cramping pain symptoms

The pain can be described as a sharp and sudden abdominal pain or a dull and cramping like pain. In some cases the pain can be severe, but it is usually mild. Most women experience the pain for a short period of time (a few minutes to a few hours), but for some women the pain can last days (two to three days).

Scientists, researchers and doctors cannot explain why some women experience this pain and others don't. It could simply boil down to genetics.

The pain can be agonizing for some women and can be confused for appendicitis. This pain will only stop occurring at menopause, or during pregnancy.


Ovulation pain treatment is not normally needed as the pain is not harmful. However, for severe cases of ovulation pain, it's recommended women take pain relievers that you can get over-the-counter.

Cramping pain treatment

Cramping pain AFTER ovulation

Most women ovulate about 14 to 16 days before the start of their period. If you are closely monitoring your cycle and the signs of ovulation, you should know when you are ovulating.

Cramping pain after ovulation

If you experience cramping after ovulation, it is possible that you are feeling the effects of implantation. About 20% of pregnant women report that they feel cramping after ovulation. This is a very positive sign that you may be pregnant, but please understand that not all women experience cramping at implantation. So if you do not feel cramps after ovulation, you could still be pregnant. Take the Implantation Bleeding or Period Quiz.

Other causes of cramping after ovulation

Pregnancy is the most common reason why women experience cramps after ovulating, but that uncomfortable feeling could be due to other things. A menstrual period causes cramps in most women, and although you are not likely to get your period so close to ovulation, it is possible. If you are cramping from your period, though, you should see normal period symptoms follow soon after the uncomfortable feeling sets in.

Endometriosis is another possible yet uncommon cause of cramping that could occur after ovulation. So, if you are experiencing cramping after ovulation and it is not a pregnancy or your menstrual period, you may want to schedule a visit to your gynecologist.

Endometriosis can be a painful condition that may interfere with your ability to conceive, so it is important to involve your doctor early on if you think this may be a problem.

Other ovulation symptoms

Cramping pain is just one of 12 ovulation signs.

Knowing when you ovulate will greatly increase your chances of pregnancy

Join the Discussion!

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  1. Perol Sep 26, 2018
    My ovulation was 17th sept. And From 18th sept 2018 till now still feeling cramping on both sides with full/swollen breast ..breast aching, but now 26th sept i still feel d breast aching slight nipple pain but with more abdominal pain on both sides. Fatigue, morning sickness,,, feeling so dull. Any good news about this?
  2. Chameka Oct 05, 2018
    i dont no if i am pregnant my period is in nine days but i feel bloated pain in my upper and lower stomach and i dont feel like myself sore breast sometimes i feel like little movements at the lower part of my stomach should i take a pregancy now or wait the nine days out ?
  3. ST Oct 09, 2018
    I get pains on my left side not only when I ovulate, but then about a week after I ovulate as well. Doc has told me this is part of PCOS. Cysts are growing bigger :(
  4. Synthia Oct 30, 2018
    I have my period two time this month, is that normal? How Im gonna know my fertile day? I wanna know please somebody helps me .
  5. ST Nov 04, 2018
    I have had ovulation pain on my left side for a week straight. I will likely have this pain through the second day of my period.

    Can endometriosis prolong and exacerbate the pain? I go through this every single month now! I am diagnosed PCOS but not endo, though I highly suspect I have endo since I get uterine cramps for 20 days of the month.

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