Ovarian Pain: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Located in the lower part of the abdomen, below the pelvis and the navel, the ovaries have a series of functions in women.

For example, they produce reproductive hormones, such as estrogen and the release of ovules every month. Ovarian pain is a disease that has affected a considerable number of women around the world.

Due to the location of the ovaries, this pain will occur in the lower abdomen. The pain can be categorized as chronic and acute.

Acute ovarian pain has a short duration, ranging from a few hours to a few days.

Chronic pain, however, lasts for a considerable period.

Location of the ovaries

The ovaries are on either side of the uterus. The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus, allowing the released ovules to enter the uterus.

Since the ovaries are on both sides of the uterus, the pain will be felt in this area. Most women describe it as lower abdominal pain, which is usually one-sided.


However, it is not always so easy to isolate. Sometimes the pain can be felt closer to the hip bones, which is the bony protrusion of the pelvic girdle.

It is usually a deep pain that lies compared to abdominal muscle pain or discomfort in the bladder.

Signs and symptoms

Ovarian pain is a symptom in itself and not a disease. Other symptoms may suggest that the pain comes from the ovaries, such as:

  • Vaginal bleeding, either about menstruation or not.
  • It can be heavy, light, sometimes stained, or the menstrual period may be completely absent.
  • The vaginal discharge can vary in color (transparent, white, yellow, green, or brown), viscosity (thick or thin watery mucoid), and can also have an irritating odor (fishy, ​​rotten, or putrid).
  • Hormonal alterations result in symptoms such as breast tenderness or abnormal hair growth in women.
  • Burning and itching of the vagina or vulva.

Causes of ovarian pain

Cysts in the ovaries

Ovarian cysts are sacs filled with fluid that form in the ovaries and are produced during the fertile years.

The condition arises when the ovule is not released, or the retention ovary follicle does not dissolve after ovulation.

The disease can go unnoticed because it can not show any symptoms. After some time, the cysts will dissolve on their own.

However, fractures or kink cysts can lead to unbearable pain in the lower abdomen.


Usually, the walls of the uterus swell every month in preparation to house the fetus. If the egg is not fertilized, the tissues of the wall are set aside for menstruation to pass.

In other cases, this thickening of the tissue may occur in another part of the body. The tissues then dissolve, but they have nowhere to go.

This leads to scar tissue formation in such places, which can be very painful. This condition is known as endometriosis.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

It is caused by sexually transmitted infections, such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. The infection affects the fallopian tubes, the ovaries, and the uterus, which leads to pain.


Mittelschmerz refers to the pain of only one side in the lower abdomen. This pain is the result of the rupture of the follicle during ovulation.

As such, pain is experienced during menstruation and can last a couple of minutes to a few hours. In some women, the pain can be acute and sudden, while it is invisible to others.

The Mittelschmerz can change sides from month to month or affect the same side for several months. In most cases, the problem can be resolved using over-the-counter medications.

In advanced cases, however, contraceptives can be prescribed to prevent ovulation.

Ovarian cancer

Ovarian cancer accounts for approximately 3% of cancer cases in women. Some of the predisposing factors of this condition include a family history of cancer, either ovarian or breast, genetic mutation, and infertility.

Some of the symptoms of ovarian cancer include swelling or inflammation of the abdomen, pain in the pelvic area, need to urinate or increased frequency of urination, loss of appetite or feeling of rapid satiety, constipation, and diarrhea.