Pregnancy comes with a host of aches and pains that should be expected by an expectant mother. However, some pain signals that something more dire could occurring in her body and warrants the attention of her primary care doctor or her obstetrician. Ovarian pain in particular should not occur during a healthy pregnancy. If you have pain in either your right or left ovary, you should call your doctor immediately and be examined for a variety of conditions known to cause pain in this part of your body.
After you conceive, your ovaries in effect stop performing one of their essential functions, which is to shed an egg each month into your fallopian tubes. Your ovaries will continue to produce hormones, however, which can leave open the possibility that these organs could become infected. An ovarian infection can be easily treated if you seek prompt medical attention. You may be put on an antibiotic and told to rest until the infection passes. You also will be told to avoid any heavy lifting and to stay well hydrated. You may be back to your normal routine within a week’s time if the infection is caught early.
As odd as it may sound, in rare cases your ovaries can still keep shedding eggs during pregnancy. In fact, a few women have actually conceived while they were already pregnant. Despite this rare possibility, your ovarian pain could signal that you are still ovulating. Pain during ovulation is referred to as Mittleschmerz, which is German for “middle pain.” If you suspect that you could still be ovulating, you should notify your doctor so that you can be examined during your pregnancy for any complications or even another conception. Your doctor may tell you to use condoms during intercourse to avoid this extremely rare possibility.
Ovary Pain During Pregnancy 2nd Trimester?
As your pregnancy progresses and reaches the second trimester, you may be relieved and think that few things could jeopardize your baby’s safety. It is true that you may have reached the point where early miscarriage is no longer a threat. However, your baby could still be in jeopardy if you have ovarian pain. Ovarian pain during the second trimester can be caused by a host of conditions. Each one warrants immediate medical attention and even surgery if necessary to save your life or that of your unborn child.
Some cases of ovarian pain are caused by cysts or fibroids. Cysts and fibroids are often hereditary and cannot be prevented in many cases. If your mother or grandmother had them, you could be at risk of developing them as well. When they develop during pregnancy, the pain can be particularly troublesome because your unborn baby could be at risk. If the fibroids spread to your uterus, your doctor may have to deliver your baby early. To avoid this possibility, your doctor may elect to perform surgery on you. This surgery typically does not require that the doctor make a large incision into your abdomen. Nonetheless, you will have to be given anesthesia, which could be harmful to your baby.
Ovarian pain in the second trimester also could be caused by gallbladder stones. These painful stones develop when your gallbladder stops functioning normally and becomes clogged with the toxins it removes from your bloodstream. If your gallbladder is infected, you could have to have it removed surgically. In minor cases, you may be admitted to the hospital and given antibiotics until the infection passes. Most antibiotics are safe to use during pregnancy. Even so, your doctor will want to monitor your baby’s heart rate while you are being treated. You also may have to submit to more blood work to make sure the infection has not passed to your baby.
What Causes Ovary Pain During Pregnancy?
The most serious cases of ovarian pain involves ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when your fertilized egg develops in your fallopian tube instead of your uterus. As the pregnancy grows, you experience pain in the ovarian region of your abdomen. Unfortunately, doctors are unable to save an ectopic pregnancy, but must remove it surgically. This realization can be especially sorrowful for parents who were happy to be expecting a baby. When your ovarian pain in the first trimester is severe and accompanied by other symptoms like chills and fevers, dizziness, and blacking out, you should be examined immediately for an ectopic pregnancy.
Ovarian pain also can signal the onset of a miscarriage. Miscarriages occur in close to 25 percent of all pregnancies, especially first pregnancies. While most miscarriages happen before the third month of pregnancy, others occur later in the second and third trimesters. As your uterus begins contracting to expel the pregnancy, the pain may radiate to your ovaries. As with ectopic pregnancies, doctors are often unable to do anything to save your pregnancy until you have reached the late part of your second trimester, usually when you are 22 to 23 weeks pregnant. Before that mark, doctors will allow you to miscarry naturally. After that point, they may deliver the baby and allow neonatologists to take over your baby’s care.
Finally, ovarian pain at any point during your pregnancy can signal that you have appendicitis. Your appendix is located close to your ovaries on the right side of your body. If the pain is coming from that side and you have a fever and feel nauseated, you should be examined for this condition. You will have to undergo surgery to remove your appendix. This operation is exceedingly safe and should not jeopardize your baby’s safety if the condition is caught early. The biggest risks will come from you being sedated and given antibiotics. Surgery is the only option when it comes to treating this condition. If your appendix is not removed, the infection could cause the demise of both you and your baby. Ovarian pain of any kind should be treated with utmost seriousness during pregnancy.