Question: Is mild or severe cramping before ovulation normal? When should I have sex after ovulation cramps?
It’s normal for women of childbearing age to observe minor body changes when they are trying to conceive. After a menstrual period, your body begins to prepare for your fertile period, in which, an egg is released from your ovaries.
The release of an egg from your right or left ovaries into your fallopian tube is known as ovulation, and when it occurs, many changes will occur in your breast, abdomen, libido, vaginal discharge, and mood.
Your fertile period becomes important if you are trying to conceive, and also if you are trying to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
During your fertile period, that is, 5 days before and 48 hours after ovulation, you can quickly get pregnant because a mature well-developed egg is pushed into your fallopian tube.
One easy way to ascertain if you are in your fertile period are lower abdominal cramps that can occur before, during and after ovulation.
The truth is, if you are experiencing cramps before ovulation, its nothing to worry about and occurs because of hormones changes around ovulation.
Having said that, it’s important you observe the duration and severity of pain. If cramps are occurring for a longer time, it may not be due to ovulation. Other serious causes of belly cramps are endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and adenomyosis.
This article explains the causes of cramps before ovulation, when its abnormal, when to have sexual intercourse to conceive easily and other normal signs of ovulation.
What causes cramping before ovulation?
If you are cramping before ovulation, there is nothing to worry yet. About 20 percent of women in their childbearing age will experience cramps before ovulation. This pain may also occur during and after ovulation, and it’s because your body responds to different hormones.
After the end of menstruation, your body begins to prepare for ovulation through a rise in estrogen hormone. As estrogen rises, its causes many follicles in your ovary to start increasing in size.
At the time of ovulation, only one follicle (the dominant follicle) contains an egg; And during ovulation, the egg is released into the fallopian tube.
Cramps before ovulation occur as the outer covering of these follicles stretches due to increasing size and can be felt as a sudden sharp stabbing pain on the right or left side of your abdomen.
A left-sided cramps before ovulation means your left ovary is preparing for ovulation. Likewise, a right-sided cramps before ovulation means your right ovaries is preparing for ovulation.
Either way, its nothing serious, and within hours to a few days, cramps will subside without any treatment.
Cramps during and after ovulation
Apart from abdominal pain before ovulation, it’s possible that you will experience cramps during and after ovulation.
During ovulation, as the dominant follicle burst and expel “ovulation egg”, other contents of the follicle like clear fluid and blood may irritate the inside of your abdomen. If this occurs, it’s not unusual if you experience abdominal and lower back pain during ovulation.
After ovulation, your fallopian tube picks up the released egg. At the fallopian tube, there is contraction of the muscular wall to aid the movement of your “released egg” towards the uterus. This can cause a dull or sharp abdominal discomfort.
Other signs of ovulation you should know
Remember that cramps in your back and abdomen are common in only 20 percent of women during ovulation. It’s important to learn other sign of ovulation to easily know when cramps are due to a serious medical condition.
Here are the most common changes you will experience e during ovulation
1. Watery vaginal discharge
If you are trying to conceive or prevent pregnancy, your vaginal discharge is an easy way to know. Vaginal discharge is produced by glands located lower down the uterus (at the cervix).
Depending on the thickness of your discharge, you can easily tell when you are ovulating or not. Also, depending on the timing of your discharge, you can tell if you are ovulating or pregnant.
After your menstrual period, your discharge is sticky and whitish. As estrogen rises after the end of menstruation, your vaginal discharge becomes watery, stretchy and egg-like. This change in your discharge starts days before ovulation and also continues during ovulation.
After ovulation has occurred, you will experience a thick, sticky discharge, and this happens because of elevated progesterone.
Therefore, if you are one or two weeks after the end of period and experience cramps and watery discharge, its likely because of ovulation.
2. Breast pain and swelling
Apart from watery discharge and abdominal pain, breast pain and swelling are signs of ovulation.
Other signs of ovulation are increased libido, mood change, abdominal bloating, and light vaginal spotting (brown discharge).
When to have sex after ovulation cramps
If you are trying to conceive, it’s important you learn how to calculate your fertile window. This guide explains easy ways to determine your most fertile time after your period.
Having said that, abdominal cramps can be a sign of ovulation. However, to increase your chance of getting pregnant, you must have intercourse days before ovulation occurs.
It only takes 24 hours for an egg released from your ovaries to live; So, if there is no waiting sperm at your fallopian tube, it means you may not get pregnant.
Your most fertile period is 48 hours before ovulation and 24 hours after ovulation has occurred.
Treatment of Abdominal pain before ovulation
Ovulation cramps before, during and after ovulation usually does not need any treatment, and in most cases, subsides on its own. If you are experiencing severe cramps before ovulation that is lasting longer than expected, see your doctor.
Cramps before ovulation: When to worry?
While abdominal discomfort may be due to ovulation, it’s possible that you may have other health concern.
You should inform your doctor if you experience any of these signs
- Vaginal bleeding with blood clots
- Painful menstruation
- Prolonged periods
- Smelly vaginal discharge
- Vaginal itching
- Bad cramps before ovulation while on Clomid
Can cramps before ovulation be due to pregnancy?
If you are trying to conceive, you must understand that without ovulation you cannot get pregnant. Ovulation cramps occur before, during and right after ovulation.
If you are experiencing sudden cramping in your abdomen days before period, it could be pregnancy. Pregnancy cramps, commonly called implantation cramps, occurs after your fertilized egg is attached to the blood thickened endometrium.
If you are pregnant, cramping occurs at least 8 – 12 days after ovulation and you will also experience other symptoms like breast pain, nausea, vomiting, mood change, fatigue, excessive vaginal discharge, and constipation.
What causes period like cramps before ovulation
Period like cramps before ovulation that continues throughout your menstrual cycle may mean something serious.