Hi there - yesterday I was experiencing sharp lower abdominal pain, kind of like tiny knives poking my insides. Could this be a sign of ovulation? I have read about mittleschmerz but that seems to suggest the pain should only happen on one side? This lasted only about 15 minutes then went away. It was central to the lower pelvic area. Thank you!
You're already a step ahead of me by thinking about mittelschmerz and you're right, we typically think of it as one-sided since only one ovary should ovulate each month. What really makes your question tricky is that what's sharp pain to you might be dull to someone else. Likewise, what's painful to you might be nothing to your sister. What's important is that this (the pain) is new or different to you (oh yes, and bothersome enough for you to seek an answer).
As I mentioned in another post just minutes ago, central lower abdominal contents are typically bladder, uterus & portions of the small bowel. The ovaries tend to be on their respective sides and the appendix on the right. The ascending colon is on the right while the descending colon is on the left. It's the descending colon that tends to develop diverticuli or outpouchings from inadequate dietary fiber and therefore excess straining to have a bowel function. These diverticuli can then become inflammed & infected, leading to diverticulitis, which is usually left sided pain.
Central pain can be due to bladder infections but these are typically associated with painful urination, frequency & urgency. Kidney stones are usually one sided but could become centralized as they enter the bladder. Uterine fibroids aren't usually painful but if they "get in the way", I suppose that could lead to pain. Anything on a stalk, eg ovary, polyp, fibroid, etc, could twist upon itself, leading to pain and then untwist, giving way to relief. This would be difficult to diagnosis except via open or laparoscopic surgery. If you've had any abdominal surgeries or been diagnosed w/endometriosis, adhesions could cause sharp pain.
Constipation can be painful. So can ulcerative colitis & Crohn's disease; however, you'd probably notice other symptoms, too. Same for irritable bowel syndrome, whether constipation or diarrhea predominant. For now, don't let this one episode become the focus of all your attention but do consider some of the issues I've mentioned above such that if this pain returns, you should go see your family doc for a complete evaluation. Depending upon your age and family history, this may also include appropriate cancer screening procedures. Good luck!
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