The ovaries are responsible for the production of eggs necessary for fertilization. Therefore, it is not surprising that the most common reasons that people consider ovarian pain are associated with menstruation and ovulation. But some gynecological problems, such as endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease, or even a health condition affecting the digestive or urinary system can be the real cause. It is important to be aware of the various conditions that may be responsible for your bad state of health. In this article, we gathered nine common causes of ovary pain.
1. Ovarian cyst
An ovarian cyst is a non-malignant growth that is usually filled with fluid. It may cause pain, discomfort, menstrual irregularities, bleeding, or be asymptomatic. An ovarian cyst is a common condition and can develop at various stages of the menstrual cycle. Small ovarian cysts can decrease and eliminate on their own, but some may need urgent medical attention because large cysts can burst. This can cause sudden, severe, and sharp unilateral pelvic pain.
2. Menstrual pain
During the typical menstrual cycle, women may experience pain or discomfort in one or both ovaries. These painful cramps during or immediately before menstruation are called dysmenorrhea. This condition is associated with the release of prostaglandins (hormone-like substances that are able to contract muscles) from the uterus.
3. Mittelschmerz pain
Some women can experience ovarian pain in the middle of the cycle during ovulation when the egg leaves the ovary and not during menstruation. This condition is known as mittelschmerz pain. It is harmless but can be quite uncomfortable.
4. Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes. This condition can cause mild or severe pain in the ovaries and requires emergency medical attention
Endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine mucosa (endometrium) begins to grow on the female reproductive organs, such as the fallopian tubes, ovaries, or bladder. Endometriosis can cause severe constant or episodic pelvic pain and irregular bleeding. Pain can be especially severe during periods or sex. Endometriosis can also result in infertility due to the formation of adhesions.
6. Uterine fibroids
Uterine fibroids are benign tumors that grow on the uterine mucosa. In addition to pelvic discomfort or pressure, a woman with uterine fibroids may experience heavy uterine bleeding, constipation (if the fibroids press on the intestines), problems with urination (if the fibroids press on the bladder), back pain, and even infertility.
7. Pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that can affect one or more reproductive organs such as the vagina, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. This dangerous condition is usually caused by an untreated sexually transmitted infection. PID can cause painful sensations in different areas of the pelvis and it often gets worse during sexual intercourse. Pain with PID can be accompanied by fever, chills, abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding. Moreover, its symptoms can mimic a urinary tract infection by causing burning sensations during urination.
8. Ovarian torsion
Ovarian torsion is a quite uncommon condition in which one of the fallopian tubes twists and can disrupt the blood supply to the ovary. It usually requires a surgical emergency. Ovarian torsion can cause severe pain because of ischemia in these areas.
9. Ovarian cancer
Despite the fact that ovarian cancer can cause pain, it is not very common. This condition can be asymptomatic or have subtle symptoms such as feeling full without food, bloating, and urgency or frequency of urination.