Last updated on July 27th, 2018 at 12:53 am
Question: What causes left or right ovary pain during period?
One problem a lot of women encounter every month is stomach pain during menstrual period.
Menstruation pain may be discomforting especially when it’s sharp and affecting your daily activities- work, academic pursuits and social life.
When you are 9 or 10, you rarely will experience any change in your mood, abdomen or the way you look. But soon after, when you get your first menstrual period, a lot of changes will start happening.
The months after your “first ever” menstrual cycle may be difficult to understand, as you may get vague symptoms with irregular periods.
However, you may soon notice abdominal cramps that may start before your period and persist during period. These cramps on the right or left side of your abdomen will occur for many reasons.
The commonest is your uterus contracting to push out endometrial blood that comes out as your menstrual period. The hormone, prostaglandins, play a role here. It helps stimulate uterine contractions to force out your period.
Most times, during your period, this contraction causes pain in your lower abdomen; and can also radiate to your back, left or right side of your belly.
For most ladies that experience severe cramps during menstruation, it’s mostly because of prostaglandins effect. However, there are other reasons; some would even require surgery to ease off pain completely.
Other causes of pain during periods are a large ovarian cyst that ruptures and bleeds, ovarian torsion, pelvic infections, gall bladder infections, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and adenomyosis.
This article explains the causes of ovary pain during periods, when to worry and how to ease severe symptoms.
What causes ovary pain during period?
If you are struggling with left or right ovary pain during your period, here are common causes
1. Normal menstruation
During menstruation, it’s not surprising for women to feel pain in their abdomen. More than 50 percent of women will have mild, moderate or severe pain in their abdomen. It’s quite common, so don’t feel you are alone.
During your monthly period, the endometrium that covers the lining of the uterus breaks down and is washed out as period. This is possible because of prostaglandins that cause contraction of the uterus.
During uterine contractions, blood supply to the endometrium is cut off, resulting in the death of endometrial cells that finally passes through your vagina as period.
Prostaglandins level varies from woman to woman. In women that experience severe painful periods, prostaglandin levels are very high.
Also, another reason you may have an excruciating period pain is a narrow cervical canal. This may cause you to feel pain when clots and endometrial tissue pass through
Other factors that could make you have painful periods are a lack of exercise and stress.
What to do if you experience a painful period?
If you are having period cramps in your abdomen, it’s not abnormal. In younger women, especially women who are yet to experience childbirth, pain may be severe.
Talking to your doctor is an easy way out. However, you can try medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, and ketoprofen. These drugs help block the secretion of prostaglandins, thereby, reducing pain.
To work effectively, it’s encouraged that you start taking these medications at least 2 – 3 days before your period starts.
2. Ruptured ovarian cyst
If you are experiencing pain in your abdomen, a malfunctioned ovary can be the cause.
Your ovaries are whitish egg-like structures that can be found both sides of the abdomen. They are involved with the production of hormones that help control your menstrual cycle. The ovaries secrete estrogen and progesterone.
The primary function of your ovaries is to release an egg during ovulation. This egg is developed within follicles that are located in your ovaries.
During ovulation, one of your ovaries randomly expels an egg due to rupture of the ovarian follicle.
However, in some women, this rupture fails to happen and forms cyst that can become very big. A large cyst may rupture and cause bleeding into your abdomen resulting in severe pain.
It’s unlikely you will have pain if you have an ovarian cyst. However, if you do, a severe sharp pain after stress, exercise or sexual intercourse could be due to an ovarian rupture.
What to do?
Inform your doctor right away. If it’s a functional cyst, in few days time, you should be okay.
3. You have endometriosis
If you are having a sharp pain on the right or left side of your belly during menstruation, it may be due to endometriosis.
Endometriosis occurs when your endometrial tissues (that are usually located within the uterus) are displaced to other parts of your body.
Commonly, it can be found in the ovaries, abdomen and rarely in the brain and liver. This unusual location of your endometrial tissues occurs because of retrograde menstruation where endometrial cells move in the reverse direction while menstruating.
Blood now flows through your fallopian tubes into your ovaries and abdomen. Symptoms you will experience are
- A sharp lower, right or left tummy pain
- Heavy bleeding during your periods
- Pain after sexual intercourse
- Back pain
Unlike endometriosis where endometrial cell are found in other parts of the body, women with adenomyosis will have endometrial tissues located within the uterine muscle
If you’ve had a D & C, myomectomy (fibroid removal) or operation to deliver your baby in the past (caesarian section), severe pain during menstruation may be due to adenomyosis.
Common symptoms are
- Pain in the back and lower abdomen
- Heavy bleeding that won’t stop for weeks
What to do?
If you’ve completed having kids, there is an option to remove your uterus (hysterectomy). This is because, since endometrial cell are lodged in the muscle of the uterus, removal will ensure cure.
On the other hand, this option may not be available if you still wish to conceive. Pain medication and hormone therapy will subside pain.
5. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Another reason for pain during menstruation is a pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which occurs when lower genital tract infections located on the vagina start moving up through your cervix and affecting your womb, fallopian tube, and abdomen.
PID is a common reason for infertility amongst young women, and that’s not all; Women with PID will experience pain during intercourse, and during their periods
If diagnosed very early, it reduces the chance of infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and pelvic abscess; which are grave complications of the disease.
What Causes left ovary pain during period
If you have left pain in your abdomen while having period, it could be due to
- Painful menstruation
- Ruptured ovarian cyst
- Kidney stone or infection
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Urinary tract infection
What causes right ovary pain during period
- Painful menstruation
- Pelvic infections
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Large ovarian cyst
- Ovarian torsion
Still worried about pain during your menstrual period? Ask Us!!!