What are these pains?

Q: I've recently begun trying for a baby, but I'm worried because I get sharp tummy pains in the middle of my cycle each month. What are they?

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GP Dr Rob Hicks replies: It sounds like ovulation pain, which around one in five women gets. It’s usually on the side of the lower abdomen where the egg is being released, around 14 days before a period starts. The pain is caused by the egg breaking through the ovary wall, and range in severity from mild discomfort to sharp pain. It may last for a few minutes, or up to 48 hours. It’s not usually a sign of anything serious, in fact, as you’re trying to conceive, it a good sign as it means you are ovulating.

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However if you have other symptoms such as heavy bleeding, or the pain lasts more than a few days, further investigation would be a good idea to rule out conditions such as endometriosis. Heat packs, or a hot water bottle can help to relieve the pain. 

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