Ovulation is the process of producing egg/eggs preparing for fertilization by sperm. Average healthy woman would have ovulation process once in 28-35 days. After the release of egg by the fallopian tubes the uterus/womb prepares itself for the incoming zygote by thick lining of uterine wall. Egg is capable of getting fertilized only for few days of its production. If it does not get paired with a sperm it would disintegrate along with the decay of uterine wall lining, which is expelled from the vagina in the form of vaginal bleeding or monthly periods.
Ovulation occurs for every woman who is in reproductive age. It does not occur after menopause or during the time of breastfeeding. Cramps or abdominal cramps can occur just following the ovulation process. This has greater significance. Abdominal cramp may last for few seconds to minutes and in rare cases for a day also. Range of pain can be mild, moderate or severe.
Cramps and Ovulation :
Cramping after ovulation can occur anywhere from 2nd to 5th day of ovulation and each of them has significance which you can understand from this article. You will also get to know about the factors that causes cramp after ovulation, its symptoms and the reason behind the cramp.
Ovulation for a woman with normal monthly periods can occur anywhere from 12-16th day after her periods. In short it occurs exact halfway between the periods.
Causes Of Cramping After Ovulation :
- Rupture Of Follicle – Eggs would mature in the follicle and get released from the ovaries. During this process follicles actually get broken to release the egg. This can cause mild shock leading to cramps after ovulation. Some women are likely to get mild bleeding for a day or two during the bursting process.
- Spasms – Egg would move through the fallopian tubes to reach the uterus where fertilization takes place. This movement can trigger mild spasms or contraction of muscles which can cause cramps in the abdomen.
- Medications – If you are taking any drugs for fertility you are likely to experience cramps after ovulation. Clomid is an oral pill given for triggering fertilization. This can cause mild to moderate cramp, swelling and pressure on abdomen.
- Folliculogenesis – Size of the egg is not the same since size of one egg may differ from the other. Accordingly, follicles would rupture and stretch to accommodate the eggs in it. This can induce cramp after ovulation. Growth of eggs and breaking up of follicles can induce pain and discomfort in the lower abdomen.
- Movement Of Blood and Mucus – When the follicles release some eggs it also produces some amounts of blood and mucus, which would eventually travel through the abdomen triggering the cramps. For some women this blood and mucus could get expelled through vagina causing mild brownish discharge.
- Constipation – In rare cases constipation can occur after a week of ovulation. This process can cause stretching of rectal muscles triggering abdominal cramp. Bowel movements can get delayed due to excess of hormones which can also cause pain in the lower abdomen.
- Medical Conditions – Certain disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, and formation of kidney stones, ovarian cysts and urinary tract infection can cause moderate to severe cramps after ovulation. Ectopic pregnancy is a very serious condition in which the fertilized egg accidentally gets implanted in the wall of the uterus itself without moving into it. This has to be treated and pregnancy terminated to prevent life threatening complication.
Some of the common symptoms after ovulation are given below :-
- Abdominal cramps ranging from mild to moderate
- Increased libido due to increased hormones
- Tenderness of breasts
- Feeling of bloating or fullness of stomach
- Increased sensitivity of vulva
All the above symptoms are indicative of the upcoming periods.
Significance Of Cramp After Ovulation :
As said earlier, cramping and discomfort after ovulation can occur anywhere from the 1st day to 5th day of ovulation and each of them is explained here.
- Day 1 After Ovulation
It is quite common for almost every woman to experience mild cramp after the process of ovulation. Menstrual like cramps are present due to the movement of eggs and the pain would last for few seconds to minutes. Many women are likely to feel the same pain at the same part of the abdomen next day also, since the process of ovulation can take even 24 hours.
- Day 2 After Ovulation
Getting cramps after second day of ovulation process does not mean that you are pregnant. It can be due to the reasons mentioned above. When the egg gets fertilized you can get conceived and if not the egg disintegrates and mixes with the body fluids.
After the egg meets and fuses with a sperm, it undergoes repeated multiplication and division to form a zygote. This can cause mild pain which is usually not felt and experienced.
- Cramping After 3-4 Days After Ovulation
Here again it is not confirmed that cramping occurs due to pregnancy and the egg has been fertilized. If the egg gets chance to fuse with a sperm, sudden flow of hormone would be present in the reproductive system. The uterus would actively prepare itself giving room for the coming fetus. Plenty of changes would take place in your system which includes both physiological and emotional.
Some women are likely to feel elevated due to increased progesterone secretion. And along with abdominal cramp they may have reduced digestion and bloated feeling. There are women who reported experiencing changes within after fertilization has occurred.
One cannot say for sure that all the above changes are due to pregnancy and to be frank, the pregnancy test would be negative even if you are actually pregnant, at this stage. It is too early to predict anything.
- Pain and Discomfort After 5 Days Of Ovulation
Now the chance of pregnancy is high if you get cramps only after 5 days of ovulation. Plenty of changes take place in the body and that can be due to fertilization. Some women are likely to get positive result for pregnancy test at this time.
- Cramps After 7 Days Of Ovulation
Often cramping pain experienced seven days next to ovulation can be due to pregnancy. By now the fertilized egg would have got implanted in the uterus. Implantation process can cause moderate pain and sometimes spotting.
If you are experiencing early signs of pregnancy it indicates the uterus prepares itself for the zygote and you are more likely to be pregnant. The process of implantation begins only after 7 days of ovulation which is the perfect timing for fusion. Implantation gets complete within a day which may cause cramps and discomfort.
If you are unsure you can always go for pregnancy test at this stage where the results can show you the right picture. Many women are likely to show symptoms of fatigue, gas, bloated feeling, nausea, increased sensitivity and tenderness of breasts. Progesterone hormone would be high enough to show the right result of pregnancy.
Seven to ten days after ovulation means roughly you are on 23rd day after your periods. Getting cramps at this stage would be due to implantation or (rarely) due to upcoming monthly periods. Some women would have the above said signs due to PMS (pre menstrual syndrome) and you are very close to your next periods.
The only way to clear your doubt after getting cramps now is to test for pregnancy which gives clear results by now.
Ovulation and Implantation :
Though both the above processes cause mild cramps still they make large of difference. Ovulation is responsible for releasing the egg and implantation is involved in attaching the zygote into the uterus. Both the cases mild pain can be felt with backache. And in both the cases mild spotting can occur from the vagina.
Ovulation process occurs between 12th to 16th day of previous period and implantation occurs little later 23rd to 26th day after previous period.
- Avoid taking any painkillers for cramp after ovulation since in case of pregnancy it may affect your baby.
- You can apply warm compression on the lower abdomen or place hot water bag wrapped in a soft towel.
- Alternatively you can drink warm water mixed with little of apple cider vinegar to get relief from cramps.
When To See Your Doctor ?
If you are planning to get pregnant, you can check with your doctor anytime after 23 days of previous period, provided you feel tired and get cramps and show signs of pregnancy. If there is heavy spotting with severe abdominal cramps you can consult your doctor promptly, since it can be due to other medical conditions.
It is quite normal for many women to have abdominal cramps after ovulation and unless other signs of pregnancy are present, one cannot say for sure that it is due to pregnancy. To clear your doubts, you can always go for pregnancy test.