What Is Mittelschmerz And How Can You Treat It?

Most people experience some form of discomfort in the early days of their periods. But for some, the discomfort gets even more severe about halfway through the menstrual cycle. This is referred to as mittelschmerz, which is a German word meaning "middle pain." This name was given to the condition because it typically occurs in the middle of a woman's menstrual cycle, around the time she ovulates (via Self).

Mittelschmerz can cause sharp, cramping pain in the lower abdomen that may last for minutes or hours. The pain may be on one side of the abdomen or both. In some cases, mittelschmerz may also cause nausea and vomiting. Most women with mittelschmerz do not need treatment. The pain typically goes away on its own within a few days. However, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce pain and discomfort. If the pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe a stronger pain reliever.

How to relieve period pain

Even if you don't deal with mittelschmerz, you're not alone if you deal with pain and discomfort during your period. It is common to experience issues like bloating, cramping, and general achiness during menstruation. There are many ways to find relief from these symptoms. Some people find that over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help (via Mayo Clinic). Others prefer more natural remedies such as heating pads, relaxation techniques, or taking a hot bath.

If your period pain is severe or interferes with your daily life, it's important to talk to your doctor. There may be underlying health conditions that need to be addressed. In some cases, medication or surgery may be necessary to find relief. While some discomfort during your period is normal, severe pain is a good indicator that something is wrong (via Healthline). Severe period pain can mean that you have an underlying health condition like endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).