Every woman has at least once experienced pain in the ovary area. The pain may occur from time to time and be related to normal processes inside the pelvis or become chronic problem. If the pain is persistent it may point to the presence of a serious medical condition.
Preconception Ovary Pain
Preconception ovary pain is connected to ovulation and infections.
In ovulation the pain originates from the rupture of ovarian follicle. This type of pain does not affect all women and its intensity may vary a lot. Apart from ovulation even menstrual cycle can be accompanied by pain. Still this type of pain is not directly connected to ovaries and it originates from the uterus. During menstrual bleeding the superficial layer of the uterus is peeling and this is what causes pain.
Preconception ovary pain can be additionally caused by infections. Oophoritis or inflammation of ovaries is almost always accompanied by pain. Oophoritis commonly occurs with salpingitis, inflammation of fallopian tubes, and it may be also part of pelvic inflammatory disease. Repeated infections can lead to serious scarring inside the pelvis and cause difficulties in getting pregnant.
Pain Caused by Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cyst usually affects women in reproductive period. All the ovarian cysts can be classified according to the cause. Functional ovarian cysts develop during menstrual cycle and they may be asymptomatic or cause pain of different intensity. Functional cysts tend to withdraw spontaneously or burst. Endometriomas are cysts which typically occur in endometriosis. They consist of cells that are normally found in uterus and apart from ovaries endometriomas can also affect fallopian tubes, and other organs in the pelvis. Cystadenomas are specific ovarian cysts which may grow to significant size and are rather painful. Dermoid cysts are a consequence of developmental disturbances and may contain hair, teeth and other structures. And finally, polycystic ovaries feature with numerous cysts which are not painful. However, polycystic ovarian syndrome significantly interferes in woman's fertility.
Ovary Pain in Pregnancy
If a pregnant woman experiences any kind of pain in lower abdomen and pelvis this must be reported to the obstetrician as soon as possible. The pain may originate from spontaneous abortion, uterine fibroids and in rare cases septic abortion. So there is actually no connection between painful ovaries and pregnancy unless there are cysts on the ovaries which grow together with the fetus and may eventually cause pain.
Other Causes of Ovary Pain
Pain which may originate from other organs may mimic the ovary pain and a woman may think that the actual cause is connected to her ovaries.
Constipation may sometimes resemble ovary pain. Appendicitis is most commonly mistaken for ovary pain, particularly right-side ovary pain. In some cases even infection of the bladder and other parts of urinary tract may resemble ovary pain. And finally, kidney stones may cause severe pain which can reflect in ovary area.