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The Occurrence of Menstrual-Like Cramps After Ovulation

written by: Nichole Bolton • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 12/25/2010

Some women experience menstrual-like cramps after ovulation. While normal, there are times when this can be a cause for concern and a doctor should be consulted.

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    During a woman's monthly cycle, she may experience a number of aches and pains depending on where in her cycle she is. Some women experience menstural-like cramps after ovulation, ranging from mild to severe. These cramps are typically quite normal, unless accompanied by more serious symptoms like heavy bleeding or back pain.

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    What Causes Cramps after Ovulation?

    During a woman's menstrual cycle, the uterus begins to prepare in the chance that pergnancy occurs. After ovulation, the uterine lining starts to thicken in preparation for implantation of a fertilized egg. Should a woman not become pregnant during this period of time, the uterine lining begins to shed in preparation for menstruation. The cramps occur at this point in the cycle due to the uterus contracting and getting ready to shed its lining. These cramps typically happen within the days leading up to a woman's period.

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    How to Ease the Pain

    Regular pain medication can be helpful in treating cramping. Depending on the woman, the cramps may be light or heavy. Regular or extra strength ibuprofen is helpful in treating cramping of the uterus, as it is an anti-inflammatory medication. Women who can't use ibuprofen can try regular or extra strength acetaminophen. Using a heating or cooling pad on the abdomen can also provide some relief to cramping. A warm bath may also help to relax the body and ease pain. Some women swear by drinking red raspberry leaf tea on a daily basis to reduce any cramping associated with the menstrual cycle.

    Regular, daily exercise can be quite effective in minimizing various aches and pains of daily life. Some women find exercising to be a great source of pain relief, especially before and during menstruation. Exercising can be done in as little as 30 minutes a day, and simply walking is enough to provide a health boost and strengthen the body to many aches and pains.

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    When to Be Concerned

    Cramping post ovulation is generally nothing to be concerned about, but in some situations it is important to seek medical attention. If the cramping is associated with vomiting, dizziness, back pain bleeding between periods and unusually heavy periods, it is best to contact a doctor for an examination. A doctor will be able to perform tests and provide any treatment, if necessary.

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    If a woman experiences menstrual-like cramps after ovulation, she should realize that she is not alone and many women suffer from this symptom. Pain relief can come from many sources, including medications and warmth. If the pain doesn't stop, or is associated with serious side effects, it is best to seek medical attention from a doctor or hospital.

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    References

    Feminist Women's Health Center: What Really Happens in Those 28 Days? - http://www.fwhc.org/health/moon.htm

    WomensHealth.gov: Menstruation and Menstrual Cycle - http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/menstruation.cfm