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March 22, 2017
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

[Health and fitness articles are reviewed by our team of
Doctors, Registered Nurses, Certified fitness trainers and
other members of our Editorial Board.]

Your ovaries are your powerhouse for reproduction. They
produce the important hormones that bring on
menstruation, and they release at least one egg per month
that could get fertilized for pregnancy. But sometimes they
hurt. And when your ovaries hurt, it can be traumatic, and
worrying – is it the sign of cancer or something serious?
Could ovary pain even be the sign of pregnancy?

Ovary pain is common and can be caused by a variety of
different conditions. Benign cysts, cancerous tumors,
menstruation, and sexually transmitted diseases, among
others, can all cause your ovaries to hurt. Find out more
about why your ovaries are painful, and what you can do
about it.

What Are the Different Types of Pain in the Ovaries?

Your ovaries are located in your lower abdomen, which
means that ovary pain will come from this area of the body,
beneath the belly button. It is a form of pelvic pain. When
your ovaries hurt the pain can be long-lasting (chronic) or
short-term (acute).

Acute pain in the ovaries occurs very quickly – in the space
of as little as a few minutes – and will subside rapidly. It may
be a strong, forceful pain.

Chronic pain in the ovaries starts and builds up gradually,
and takes a while to subside. It may be a dull ache, or an
intense pain.

When your ovaries hurt the pain may come and go, or it
could be continuous. It could affect how you do things like
go to the bathroom or do exercise. Sometimes the pain is
barely noticeable. If you suffer from pain in the ovaries and
it recurs or won’t go away, get it checked out by a
professional to make sure the cause is not something

What Are the Causes of Pain in the Ovaries?

Why do your ovaries hurt? It could be for a number of
reasons. One reason is cancer, although this is certainly not
the only cause of ovarian pain. The pain occurs when a
tumor forms inside the ovaries. Ovarian cysts can also cause
pain. So too can endometriosis. Some women experience
pain in their ovaries during menstruation.
We looked at recent studies to find out what to do about
ovarian pain when it occurs.

Onions Help Protect Ovaries from Ovarian Cancer and
Ovary Pain

The American Cancer Society says ovarian cancer is the 8th
most common cancer suffered by women in the US.

A tumor causes ovarian cancer, although you can also get a
tumor that is benign – non-cancerous. As well as pain in the
ovaries, an ovarian tumor may cause bloating in the
abdomen, indigestion, an urgent need to pee, diarrhea, and
loss of appetite.

Ovarian tumors are treated with surgery to remove the
tumor, chemotherapy, and radiation.

A recent study has shown a surprising vegetable may help to
protect against ovarian cancer. The humble onion contains a
compound that scientists say fights ovarian cancer. The 2016
study from Kumamoto University in Japan looked into the
effects of a natural compound in onions - onionin A, or ONA.
They discovered that ONA slowed down the growth of
ovarian cancer tumors in cell models. And they also found
that ONA boosted the effects of anti-cancer drugs for
treating ovarian tumors. Obviously it is more complicated
than simply eating onions, but the compound could prove
promising for future ovarian cancer treatments.
2. My Ovaries Hurt Due to Ovarian Cysts
Ovarian cysts are common and may occur with or without
symptoms. When these fluid-filled sacs occur in the ovaries
they can be accompanied by pain. They form when an egg is
not released during ovulation, or when the sac doesn’t
dissolve once the egg has been released. If they do cause
pain, it can be a dull ache or a sharp pain when the cysts are
larger. Other symptoms include irregular periods, pain
during intercourse, nausea, and bloating.
Ovarian cysts often go away on their own. Unless you
experience significant pain, a doctor will often advise you to
wait and see how your condition changes. If the cysts are
troublesome you can undergo laparoscopy to remove them.
Birth control pills are also used to prevent ovulation so that
new cysts do not form.
3. Treat Ovarian Pain Caused by Endometriosis
In the regular cycle of fertility, the uterus builds up a lining
every month to prepare for the arrival of a fertilized egg. If
the egg is not fertilized, the lining is released in the form of
menstruation. But sometimes tissue that is similar to the
uterus lining develops in other parts of the body. Since it has
nowhere to go, it may form scar tissue that can be highly
painful. This condition is called endometriosis and it causes
pain in the ovaries as well as painful and periods, pain during
bowel movements, and infertility.
Magnet therapy has been suggested for the treatment of
ovarian pain caused by conditions like endometriosis. One
study did not find any benefits within two weeks of
treatment with magnet therapy, although another 2002
study from University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center,
Memphis did discover that magnet therapy brought some
pain relief benefits after four weeks of treatment. The
problem, however, is that active magnets must be work
continuously for the four weeks of treatment, and there was
a high dropout rate.
4. Protect Against Pelvic Inflammatory Disease for Reduction
in Ovary Pain
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection in the
ovaries, the fallopian tubes, or the uterus. It can occur as
the result of a sexually transmitted disease such as
gonorrhea or chlamydia. It causes pelvic pain and pain in the
ovary area.
A 2004 study from the University of Pittsburgh shows that
women who have previously suffered from pelvic
inflammatory disease can prevent pelvic pain and prevent the
condition from recurring by using condoms during
intercourse. The study looked at 684 women who were
sexually active and suffered from pelvic inflammatory
disease. Using a condom at least 60 percent of the time
resulted in a reduced risk of pelvic and ovarian pain
problems and infertility of between 30 and 60 percent.
5. Pain in Ovaries Could be Mittelschmerz
Mittelschmerz is German for “middle pain”. It describes a
one-sided pain in the ovary area that happens when
ovulation occurs. It is usually described as a mild pain that
lasts from a few minutes to several hours. It can switch sides
every month or stay on the same side. Some women say
they can tell when they are ovulating from this pain in their
ovaries, while others do not experience any pain at all. Toni
Weschler in “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” (2002) says it
may be due to follicular swelling, where the follicles swell
prior to an egg being released, or when the eggs bursts
through the ovarian wall.
6. Fish Oil Can Relieve the Pain in the Ovaries
Your ovaries may hurt because you are experiencing the
symptoms of dysmenorrhea – pain during menstruation.
Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can help to reduce
pain and inflammation in the body and contribute to lower
pain levels in menstruation. A 1996 study from the Children's
Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati looked at 42 young
women aged between 15 and 18 years, and discovered that
a daily supplement of 6g of fish oil helped them experience
significantly less menstrual pain, which could help if you
suffer from ovary pain at this time of the month.

Take Vitamin E to Relieve Ovary Pain?

When pain in your ovaries comes from the menstrual period,
it may help you to take vitamin E.

A 2001 study from Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran in
Iran showed that 500 IU vitamin E taken every day for five
days helped significantly reduce pain levels during the
period, compared to the placebo group.

The study looked at 100 young women and while those in
the placebo group also experienced pain reduction, the level
of pain reduction was much greater in the vitamin E group.

No one is certain why exactly vitamin E should be helpful for
treating pelvic or ovary pain.

Not fond of taking supplements? Eating an ounce of almonds
will give you 27% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin
E.  Spinach is also an excellent source of Vitamin E, with a   
serving supplying about 26% of the daily recommended

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Eating foods rich in Vitamin E such as
spinach can help relieve ovary pain