The ovaries produce and release the eggs necessary for fertilization. It’s common for women to experience pain in one or both ovaries throughout their monthly menstrual cycle. Some ovary pain causes are harmless, while others are quite serious and require immediate medical attention. Below, we’ll outline some common ovary pain causes so that you can know the difference.
Common Ovary Pain Causes
Causes of ovary pain can largely vary, but some common ovary pain causes are:
- Menstrual Pain: It is common for women to experience painful cramping during certain days of their menstrual cycle. This cramping pain, called dysmenorrhea, is due to uterine muscle contraction.
- Endometriosis: Endometriosis is a condition in which uterine endometrial cells grow outside of the uterus. It commonly results in frequent pain from cramping and can be particularly intense during the period or sexual intercourse.
- Ectopic Pregnancy: Is a pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus, typically in the fallopian tubes. It can cause moderate to severe pain and requires immediate emergency medical treatment.
- Ovarian Cysts: Most ovarian cysts are referred to as functional cysts. Functional cysts typically develop as a result of the menstrual cycle and are harmless, disappearing on their own. The ovaries normally grow cyst-like structures called follicles each month. These follicles produce estrogen and progesterone and release an egg during ovulation. If one of these normal monthly follicles continues to grow, it’s known as a functional cyst.
When to See a Doctor
You should see your doctor if you experience new or varying symptoms or have pain that seems abnormal during your period. It’s especially important to seek immediate medical treatment if you experience:
- Pelvic pain that is persistent or severe
- Menstrual cycles that are longer than 38 days or shorter than 24 days
- Periods that last longer than seven days
- Menstrual bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row
- Menstrual flow with blood clots that are a quarter size or larger
- Bleeding or spotting between periods
- Bleeding after menopause
- Bleeding during or after sex
- Bleeding or cramping if you have missed a period or have tested positive on a pregnancy test
- Bleeding after menopause
- Bloody urine
- Fevers, chills, night sweats, nausea, or vomiting
Women’s Physicians of Jacksonville
It’s important to schedule regular visits with your doctor to discuss any medical concerns, and also receive regular pelvic exams as a part of preventive care. At Women’s Physicians of Jacksonville, our focus is to provide all patients with comprehensive, state-of-the-art, gynecologic and obstetrical care throughout every phase of life. As a division of North Florida Ob-Gyn, we specialize in delivering gynecological care in a warm and individualized environment to women in Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding areas. If you are experiencing pelvic pain, contact us today.