What does cramping after ovulation mean? Can you tell when you ovulated last or if you have ovulated? Did you know having cramps after you ovulated does not only mean you could be pregnant, it could mean other things?
Ovulation and its cycle
Ovulation (as a process) is the release of a mature egg (ovum) by the ovary. The process is complete when the released ovary is pushed down the fallopian tube in readiness for fertilization. The release can take a moment although some of the effects can last for a few days.
In preparation for conception, the uterine wall thickens – failure to which the uterine wall/lining sloughs off or sheds away. This is known as menstruation and its period lasts from 3 – 5 days.
Due to the fact that some women may have irregular periods and others do not ovulate every month. It is therefore important knowing how to calculate ovulation period if you want to plan more exactly and better for your pregnancy. There are many online ovulation calculators that can help as well as tests kits you can buy.
Briefly, it can generally be described as “pulling sensations on one or both sides of your abdomen.” [americanpregnancy.org] but can also occur around the pelvis or on back. Cramping is the most common symptom experienced before menstruation i.e. Premenstrual Symptom (PMS)
Is cramping after ovulation sign of pregnancy?
After ovulation has occurred at least every woman who had planned to become pregnant expects to cramp i.e. implantation cramping. Now, one undeniable truth about cramps, when they come, is that everyone highly expects them to be early signs of pregnancy or indication that you are pregnant. However, this is not always the case.
There are also misconceptions or symptoms that may be mistaken for the signs of pregnancy because they are more or less similar (identical) to Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For instance tenderness of breasts, nausea, abdominal cramps, pain, tiredness, fatigue are signs or symptoms that women are bound to get before periods. Yet these are the same things that one may experience while pregnant.
A more sure way to tell whether you are really pregnant is getting a positive pregnancy test. A pregnancy test can tell when you missed your first period whether or not you are pregnant.
In terms of frequency, according to ovulationsymptoms.com, symptoms, and cramps are experienced by at least half of women at childbearing age. So, don’t assume it means you are pregnant.
Signs of ovulation cramping during or after
Is cramping a sign of ovulation or how can you tell when you ovulate? They may be a sign that can occur during this process and after ovaries have released am ovum. It is worth noting that some women may not experience any symptoms. However, in most women, the following are signs of ovulation during or as they get closer to ovulate.
1. Cervical fluid
A change in cervical fluid especially one that resembles “egg white” is a sign that a woman is nearing ovulation.
2. Change in basal body temperature
Secondly, as women get closer to ovulate there is a slight decrease in body (basal) temperature as opposed to a rather consistent temperature reading before or prior to ovulation. On the other hand, if it takes place there would be an increase in basal body temperature.
3. Cervical changes
Thirdly, is to do with the position or change in nature of the cervix. Although it is not easy to notice the changes in the cervix of women, at times the signs are seen. You will find that during ovulation many women have a soft and wet cervix. These are the main signs of ovulation which may occur shortly before, or after women ovulate.
Other symptoms and signs (post ovulation or secondary symptoms) that may not be common or consistent with this process comprise the following.
- Tenderness in the breast when touched or felt,
- Abdominal bloating,
- Increased sex drive or desire to have sexual intercourse,
- Increased sensitivity to smell, taste or vision,
- Slight bleeding or spotting.
- There may also be slight abdominal or pelvic pain, especially on one side.
Why does period like cramps after ovulation occur?
Whereas many women will experience cramping before menstrual or before and during ovulation, some tend to have this problem just after i.e. post ovulation cramping.
These cramps are period-like cramps which are mild in most cases. At times they may be severe in a few women. They normally last up to 3 days but if they persist for more than a week and you are not pregnant or they are not a sign of PMS, go for a consultation or clinical tests. What could be the cause?
1. Stretching of the ovary
The first possible cause is due to the stretching of the ovary. This stretching will occur on the surface of the ovary of either the left or right side each month i.e. the one releasing an ovum.
2. Fallopian Mucous congestion and sensitivity
Excretion of mucous is common shortly before the process of ovulation occurs. On ovulation day this mucous is present for one and a half days or two. This mucous is also in aids pregnancy but when it is produced excessively and accumulates in the Fallopian tube afterward it can cause a dull ache, i.e “During ovulation, a follicle on the ovary ruptures and expels an egg. This releases some extra fluid, and the extra fluid may lead to a dull ache” [verywell.com]. You can experience lower abdominal cramping due to slight stretching within the (Fallopian tubes) caused by congestion of mucous. The Fallopian tubes swell and end up causing pain too.
According to WebMD, to some people, this mucus can irritate the fallopian tubes causing some mild cramping.
3. Ruptured blood vessels
During ovulation, “the ovarian follicle ruptures when it releases the mature ovum,” [theovulationsymptoms.com]. This can cause mild cases too.
4. Post ovulation constipation
Another possible reason why you have them is constipation which about 2% of the women experience 7-10 days after ovulation. This is thought to be caused by changes in progesterone hormones. This constipation might be responsible for the mild cramping, abdominal pain, and aches.
5. Spasms in fallopian tube and uterus
Going on with possible reasons, fallopian tube spasms which would be pushing ovum from fallopian tube to the uterus is a possible culprit. This mainly happens between 12-24 hours after ovulation.
6. Uterus or uterine Cramps after ovulation
After ovulation, cramping would occur in the uterus. As a matter of fact, it is quite clear that whether fertilization takes place or not, the uterine wall will increase in thickness. As the uterine wall grows and becomes thicker, there occur slight movements within the muscular nature of the uterus. And that is how uterine ones come about.
7. Cramping after ovulation but not pregnant – endometriosis
Can one experience cramps without getting pregnant after ovulation? Yes, one can experience them for the stated reasons i.e. beside the above reasons, another possible cause is endometriosis.
In fact, endometriosis is a possible cause of ovulation without a pregnancy. This disorder normally causes pain when the uterine wall (endometrium) grows outside the uterus.
Although the primary symptom of endometriosis is pelvic pain, some women complain about mild abdominal cramping or menstrual-like, particularly during a menstrual period. Other symptoms associated with this disorder include:
- Excessive bleeding between periods,
- Inability to conceive or infertility,
- Pain during urination, sexual intercourse and even after,
- Nausea especially during periods,
- Constipation and fatigue,
Other possible situations that involve cramping without pregnancy include constipation, follicle rupturing and rapturing of blood vessels during ovulation. If you experience persistent cramping after sexual intercourse sees your doctor to get diagnosed.
Post ovulation cramping for days
I have been cramping since ovulation, am I pregnant? Cramping after or post-ovulation can last after one week to two. Women usually experience them 1-2 days after they ovulate but it may last longer. Let us see what happens if it goes up to one week. This can extend to day three but not day in a few women.
If you are worried about post or cramping after ovulating, the good news is that most signs or symptoms associated with it have no serious threat to health. Unless and if women have symptoms such as severe pain then that sounds an immediate alarm. Moreover, it should be noted that pain accompanied by cramps symptoms can also be signs of pregnancy. However, the magnitude of this pain may differ from an individual woman to another.
After a day
Some women cramp right after they have ovulated. And that is normal. When it happens shortly, a day after ovulation typically occurs in the abdominal area and may be accompanied by sharp pain discomfort.
Cramping 2 days after ovulation
Definitely, we said if it happens after a day or after two days after is normal. We have already mentioned the fact that cramping for 1-2 days after is normal.
For those on Clomid, its side effects might be a reason why you are having this cramps since it is known to cause stomach upsets and some abdominal problems.
3 days Later
Cramping 3DPO isn’t an indication that one is pregnant. It could be due to any of the reasons we have already stated. Implantation is expected much later. Although we said it should last for only two days, some physiological differences such as slow healing of ruptured ovary or clearing of the mucus that might irritate the fallopian tubes could be behind the problem.
Cramping 4 days after ovulation
This is not expected. It could be due to something else or early implantation. Check for other related symptoms to be certain what the cause could be.
5 to 6 days later
If you have to after these days, this could be due to implantation i.e. implantation cramping. Expect mild pains. In addition, some women complain about soreness in breasts while others have some brown spotting due to implantation bleeding. About 15 % of women who experience it after 5 days to 6 days end up being pregnant.
One week later
Is it normal for one to get abdominal cramps after a week or in a week’s time after ovulation? Yes, it is normal for one to have them (especially after a successful fertilization) because the uterine wall is building up to prepare the implantation for growth. In fact, women have ‘slight cramping or a bit of cramping.’ In most instances, if this happens after one week after ovulation, for example, are mild.
Secondly, this could be premenstrual symptoms for women who have short menstrual cycles.
If you, on the other hand, you are experiencing extreme pain and severe cramping lasting for more than few days you must seek medical attention from a health clinic.
Mild cramping after ovulation
A mild or light cramping after ovulation is common with the lower abdomen which includes the pelvic area. If you have cramps during and slightly after ovulation week, this can be due to another of reasons some of which have mentioned.
From our discussion, one can have a bit of cramping or mild one due to ruptured blood vessels, mucous congestion in the Fallopian tubes. So what are some of the main causes of mild or minor cases?
Implantation cramping – uterine
Another possible explanation for the mild case is implantation. In implantation cramps, implantation bleeding may occur and is usually taken as a sign of pregnancy. What week does implantation bleeding occur? Implantation bleeding occurs “typically before the next regular menstrual cycle.”[implantationspotting.net] that is one week before your next regular menstruation cycle starts again.
Actually, this bleeding may not be comparable to bleeding when period day one begins. Evidently, the amount of blood during implantation cramping together with slough-off (if any) passed out is much less.
Cramping during early pregnancy
Mild cramping is also experienced while pregnant. It feels wholly uncomfortable but this is what you can do to relieve abdominal cramping while pregnant now that you have to care so much about yourself.
- Lie down or sit while trying to turn in different directions and positions,
- Take plenty of fluids but not alcoholic drinks, or any beverages with alcohol,
- Try some relaxation techniques,
- You may also warm the affected side of your abdomen – warm compress
NOTE: Any other serious abdominal cramping that extends and doesn’t go away such as lower abdominal pain and contractions must be left for the doctor.
Other possible causes of mild cramping are endometriosis which we have already discussed
If on Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate)
Clomid is a (non-steroidal), ovulatory stimulating medications used in treating only women with ovulatory dysfunction or polycystic ovary syndrome. According to WebMD, this medication works by stimulating an increased female hormone responsible for (ovulation) that is, growth and release of a mature egg.
There are numerous side effects of using Clomiphene but here are some of its side effects. They include:
- Abdominal bleeding,
- Dizziness and headaches,
- Nausea and stomach upsets,
- Thinning of the uterine lining,
- Lowered fertility due to reduced production of cervical mucus,
- Hot flashes,
- Effects in vision as in a blurred vision,
- Ovarian cyst formation, etc.
In some cases, women may experience severe pain in the lower abdomen and abdominal bleeding. You will realize that some of these symptoms like pain, dizziness, nausea, abdominal bleeding and bloating are all symptoms “resembling pregnancy” or post-ovulation symptoms or Premenstrual Symptoms – PMS. In fact, you actually would not be having the pregnancy symptoms.
Abdominal Cramping but no period meaning
Sometimes this can be a serious issue that women seem to tackle. What does it mean if you have cramps in absence of periods (no periods)? Besides ovulation cramps, the two symptoms could be due to:
- Eating disorder,
- Ovarian cancer,
- Ovarian cyst,
- Ectopic pregnancy,
- Cervical Stenosis,
Of course, there are other reasons for the same. Make an appointment with your doctor for consultation if you don’t understand why.
Our Sources of reference
- P http://www.justmommies.com/pregnancy/am-i-pregnant/pms-or-pregnancy-symptoms