15 Causes of Ovarian Pain during Pregnancy

15 Causes of Ovarian Pain during Pregnancy

Have you ever had pain that you felt wasn’t normal during pregnancy? Different kinds of pains are associated with pregnancy. While some are normal, many are not and should be immediately reported to the gynecologist. Ovarian pain is one such pain.

Is It Normal to Have Ovary Pain during Pregnancy?

Pains during the entire term of pregnancy are not uncommon. However, if you are experiencing pain in your ovaries, vaginal area, pelvic area, or abdomen, it might be a matter of concern. Regardless of the trimester, you are in, make sure to consult your doctor immediately and more so if you are experiencing ovarian pain during the first trimester.

Ovarian pain can be the sign of something serious like ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, and uterine fibroids.

Is Ovarian Pain during Pregnancy Normal

Let’s take a look at some of the causes of this pain:

Causes of Ovarian Pain in Pregnancy

Some of the causes of ovarian pain include:

1. Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilised egg gets implanted at another place rather than the uterine lining (this is where the fertilised egg is supposed to get implanted). This is a case of extrauterine pregnancy, as the egg implants outside the uterus.

The most common place is the fallopian tube, and it happens due to internal blockages.

Ovarian pain is often not due to the ovaries. The organs are so close that it becomes difficult to understand where the pain is coming from.

Whether it is left ovary pain during pregnancy or right ovary pain in pregnancy, talk to your doctor immediately to avoid complications.

The pain arises as the embryo grows in size and stretches the tube. This is a cause of ovary pain during the first trimester of pregnancy and is a medical emergency. It can lead to bleeding and pose serious, life-threatening risks.

2. Appendicitis

We all know that the appendix is a vestigial organ, meaning it has no use. It is positioned just below the long intestine. During pregnancy, it may shift and enter the pelvic area and cause ovary pain. Appendicitis treatment involves a small surgical/laser procedure and requires the use of mild anesthesia. This must be treated before it affects the baby. It can lead to infection in the baby.

3. Gallbladder Problems

The gallbladder is located near the ovaries and is responsible for fat digestion. Stone or infection in the gallbladder can cause pain in your right or left ovary.

Many women fail to understand this pain and take it as a normal pregnancy pain. Inform your doctor immediately if you experience this kind of pain.

Treating gallbladder stones is simple and requires surgery. The doctor will give you anesthesia while surgically removing the stones. However, it is difficult to treat during pregnancy. Anesthesia can harm both you and your baby. It is also difficult to come out of anesthesia during pregnancy.

4. Urinary Tract Infection

Though your ovaries are not functioning while you are pregnant, they can get infected. Any infection in your urinary tract can spread to your ovaries and cause pain.

Urinary tract infection will be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor will prescribe you a course of antibiotics and ask you to take rest.

Make sure to complete this course to get rid of the infection and the pain. You will have to follow-up with your doctor to check if the infection is gone.

5. Ovulation

Your ovaries are not supposed to produce eggs, while you are pregnant. However, they continue to do so in some women.

The ovaries keep on releasing eggs, and this can cause mild pain. This runs the risk of double pregnancy, and you cannot take birth control pills during this time. Your doctor will ask you to use a condom while having sex to prevent complications.

Do not take analgesics for pain as these come with serious side effects and can harm your pregnancy.

6. Fibroids

Fibroids or non-cancerous ovarian tumours can also cause a lot of pain. These can also lead to pain in the pelvic region.

They can create problems with implantation of the fertilised egg by causing blockages.

If you are planning to get pregnant, get your uterus checked first to ensure it is healthy and up for it. Fibroids can form due to injuries or diseases.

Endometriosis or the abnormal growth of the tissue lining the uterus, making it move outside the uterus can also lead to ovarian pain.

Causes of Ovarian Pain during Pregnancy

7. Miscarriage

Ovarian pain during pregnancy can also be due to a miscarriage. Miscarriage happens in 25% of the cases and usually in the first 21 days.

A miscarriage is associated with excessive pain in the uterus, and it can last up to 10 days. Talk to your doctor immediately as miscarriage needs treatment.

8. Accommodation Pain

As your pregnancy reaches 8-12 months, all the organs in the pelvic region start making space for the baby.

And you can experience ovarian pain due to this reason, as well. However, this something normal and you do not need to worry about anything. Some cramping of the muscles to accommodate the baby is normal.

However, molar pregnancy is something that you need to aware of. Molar pregnancy is when the baby grows as a lump of tissues. It is associated with vaginal bleeding and a lot of pain.

The embryo cannot survive this, and the lump needs to be removed, immediately.

9. Kidney Stones

You may experience ovarian pain during pregnancy if you have kidney stones. The pain spreads from the kidneys to your ovary, and you will also have a burning sensation while passing urine.

If your urine has blood, the chances are high that you have kidney stones. Your doctor will recommend drinking a lot of water to dissolve the stones.

10. Cyst Twist or Torsion

Cysts due to PCOS have become very common in today’s women. And these cysts can be very painful.

Twisting of these cysts can cause extreme pain. In such a case, surgical removal of the cysts is the only available option.

Ovarian Pain

11. Round Ligament Pain

If you are experiencing ovarian pain in your second trimester, it is due to the stretching of the ligament from the groin to uterus. This is referred to as the round ligament pain.

The pain gets worse when you get up after sleeping or sitting for a long time. Keep yourself hydrated to reduce this pain to some extent.  This pain has no threat either to you or your baby.

12. Ovarian Torsion

If the fallopian tubes or the ovary gets twisted, it is referred to as ovarian torsion, and this can lead to a lot of pain.

The blood supply to the ovaries is disrupted, and this causes unbearable pain in pregnant women. Treatment involves surgery, and though it is not a major one, you will need anaesthesia.

13. Placental Abruption

Placental abruption is the early detachment of the placenta from the wall of the uterus, and this causes ovary pain during pregnancy third trimester. It can also lead to bleeding. Your doctor will perform an ultrasound to diagnose if this is the cause of our ovarian pain. And if this is the case, then you are at the risk of premature labour.

Placental abruption causes pain in the entire pelvic region as the placenta detaches itself and hangs down from the uterus. It can affect the lives of both the mother and the baby.

14. Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is an increase in blood pressure and deficiency in the supply of oxygen in pregnant women.

If preeclampsia and dehydration happen at the same time, you may experience ovarian pain. Make sure to stay hydrated in order to avoid this. Drink a lot of water and fluids every day.

This usually happens during the final trimester.

15. Premature Labour

If you are at the risk of premature labour, you may experience ovarian pain. The uterus contraction will cause ovary pain, and in such a situation, your doctor will prepare you for premature delivery. The pain is unbearable and will radiate in all directions when you go into labour.

Your doctor will conduct an ultrasound test to diagnose this and understand the changes your body is going through.

Intense sex or vigorous activities like running can cause ovary torsion and lead to pain. Even constipation can cause ovarian pain during pregnancy.

When to Seek Doctor’s Help?

In certain scenarios, abdominal pain may mimic ovarian pain, and it is difficult to tell them apart. Regardless of anything,  if you are pregnant, talk to your gynecologist immediately if you are experiencing any kind of abdominal pain, which may or may not be ovarian pain.

When to Seek Doctor's Help for Ovarian Pain

These are some of the signs that you need to be well aware of:

  • Extreme abdominal pain that seems to get worse
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Chills or fever
  • Dizziness, nausea and the feeling of lightheadedness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • A throbbing and persistent headache
  • Sudden swelling of the hands or feet
  • Vision changes
  • A sudden increase in the size of your abdomen

You have a lot to lose when you are pregnant. Do not take a chance and visit your doctor even for the smallest health problems.

Also Read:

Ovarian Cysts in Pregnancy
Anteverted Uterus during Pregnancy
Uterine Prolapse While Pregnant