Medical Q&As

Mittelschmerz - treatment options?

I suffer from excruciating pains every month midway into my monthly cycle. My GP has diagnosed these pains as “mittelschmerz”. These pains can last for several days and can be so bad that I cannot walk. I can also feel nauseous. Over the counter painkillers have very little effect and even Ponstan did not seem to work. Is there any other remedy I can take (I had heard that after a first pregnancy the pains might not return but I would like to try something less drastic!).

Mittleschmerz is a German word that means middle pain. In other words it refers to mid-cycle pain and it coincides with the occurrence of ovulation. The location of the pain depends on which ovary has released the ovum or egg. One month the pain might occur on the left side of the lower abdomen and the following month it might occur on the opposite side. In the case of an anovulatory cycle, which means that no egg has been released in that cycle, the pain does not occur. For many women mittelschmerz is little more than a mild annoyance but you appear to be suffering more than most. Since OTC (over the counter) painkillers and Ponstan have not had any impact on the complaint I would suggest that you consider the option of using the combined contraceptive pill. The pill works by blocking ovulation, which would eliminate the primary source of your pain.