Can Ovulation cause leg pain?

Short Answer: No – But leg pain does sometimes occur during the menstrual cycle.

If you are a sufferer of ovulation cramps (Mittelschmerz) and you also endure leg pain during menstruation, you may think the two are related. In fact, ovulation is not responsible for this leg pain. It is the result of a condition known as Endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a chronic condition in which cells that would normally grow as part of the uterus lining grow outside of the uterus. Often this growth will be on the ovaries, Fallopian tubes and pelvic tissue. It can cause severe inflammation and irritation.

The lining of the uterus breaks down and is discharged from the body during menstruation. Similarly, these growths outside of the uterus will break down but will be trapped in the body. If the growth is on the ovaries or Fallopian tubes then period pain can be common. If they are on pelvic tissue, pressure will be put on the pelvic nerves. These nerves send sensation to the legs, which is why leg pain is a often a symptom of Endometriosis. The pain is unlikely to feel similar to usual muscle cramps. It’s sometimes described as a warm pain that radiates through the legs.

Endometriosis can lead to fertility problems during later life. If you believe you are suffering from it, then it’s a good idea to see a doctor. If you are after a short term fix for the pain, there are a few possibilities. Applying heat to the painful area, either with a hot water bottle or heat pad can relieve some pain. Stretching out, or practising yoga are also good ways to do it. Lastly, most over-the-counter painkillers will help you to get through it.