What Is Intermenstrual Pelvic Pain?

One of the types of pain that can appear during menstruation is intermenstrual pelvic pain. It usually occurs on the 14th day of the cycle, which is when ovulation occurs. We'll review its symptoms and treatments in this article.
What Is Intermenstrual Pelvic Pain?

Last update: 18 December, 2018

Intermenstrual pelvic pain refers to a condition in the lower abdomen during ovulation. It’s fairly common and generally doesn’t require medical assistance.

One in five women suffer from intermenstrual pelvic pain. It usually occurs only on one side of the abdomen.

In most cases, it goes away after a few hours. It can occur before, during or after ovulation.

Cause of intermenstrual pelvic pain

The explanation for this condition has to do with the increased size of the follicle. The follicle is part of the ovary, responsible for producing estrogen and containing the oocytes.

At the time of ovulation, the broken ovule’s follicle releases fluid or blood, which causes irritation and discomfort in the abdominal area.

What are the symptoms?

Intermenstrual pelvic pain often causes the following sensations in women:

  • Pain in the abdomen that lasts between 24 and 48 hours. Generally, this pain occurs on one side.
  • It’s quite a characteristic pain, which the woman will be able to differentiate from others. At times, it can manifest acutely.
  • Its starting point is ovulation. In other words, it occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle.
  • Nausea and vaginal secretion (not blood) may occur on some occasions.
What Is Intermenstrual Pelvic Pain?

What every woman should know about this problem is that it isn’t a sign of a major complication. Beyond the discomfort it generates, the woman isn’t in danger of suffering from a more serious illness.

However, this symptom may be confused with similar ones that are indeed the product of serious conditions.

Treatment for intermenstrual pelvic pain

The condition doesn’t usually demand a particular treatment, nor does it require a consultation with the gynecologist or a trusted doctor.

Analgesic medications can be prescribed to relieve pain. Of course, this is at your doctor’s discretion. In fact, doctors often don’t prescribe pain medication in this case.

If the pain becomes constant, your doctor will likely recommend an examination to rule out other types of problems.

In these cases, the first thing to do is examine the vagina, cervix and uterus. An abdominal ultrasound or transvaginal pelvic ultrasound is usually required.

“Intermenstrual pelvic pain usually occurs only on one side of the abdomen and, in most cases, it goes away after a few hours. It can occur before, during or after ovulation.”

How to alleviate the pain

With some simple actions, women can feel relief. Even when it’s not a sharp pain, this condition can be extremely unpleasant.

Some recommendations include:

  • Rest. Reschedule some of your day’s activities to avoid demanding too much of your body, which is already busy solving the abdominal irritation.
  • Apply heat. Hot water compresses can be useful for this. Use them on your abdomen for 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours, depending on the intensity of the pain.
  • Taking hot water baths can also help decrease pain and soothe muscle spasms.
  • With the previous recommendation of your doctor, take contraceptive pills. Thus, ovulation is avoided and so is intermenstrual pelvic pain.
What Is Intermenstrual Pelvic Pain?

When to go to the doctor

On certain occasions, you’ll need to go to your doctor to make sure you don’t confuse intermenstrual pelvic pain with a sign of a more urgent condition.

Some of those situations include:

  • Pain when urinating or having a bowel movement
  • Redness or burning in the area of pain
  • If it lasts for a number of days
  • When the pain feels different than usual
  • If it’s accompanied by vaginal bleeding
  • If you suffer from fever, vomiting or diarrhea accompanied by the abdominal pain

It’s important to note that there is nothing to worry about when suffering from this type of pain. As long as you follow up accordingly with your doctor and stay in communication with him or her, there shouldn’t be any type of complication.

Finally, it’s worth noting that many women use intermenstrual pelvic pain to avoid unwanted pregnancies. As it occurs during the middle of menstruation, this symptom clearly indicates the woman’s fertile period, which is when the chances of pregnancy are greatest.

Avoiding unprotected sex at this time can help avoid an unwanted pregnancy.



This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.