Pain in your lower abdomen may be a sign of mittelschmerz.

If you have regular pain in your lower abdomen during the middle of your menstrual cycle, you may be experiencing mittelschmerz – a condition affecting roughly a quarter of all women.

“Mittelschmerz is a German word meaning ‘middle pain’ and is used as a medical term for pelvic and abdominal pain occurring around the time of ovulation, which usually occurs in the middle of the menstrual cycle,” explained Dr. Robert L. Barbieri, Chief of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Hmm, who knew?

About 25 percent of women experience mittelschmerz. Some women experience ovulation pain with every cycle, but most notice the symptom in occasional cycles.

“For most women, the symptom of mittelschmerz lasts for hours, but some women experience symptoms for up to two or three days, Dr. Barbieri said.

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