Eggsplosion: The “other” time of the month [Ovulation syndrome and how to deal with it]

by Charlotte on June 3, 2014 · 28 comments

ovulation

Women ovulate. Sometimes we do it while walking down the street, during meetings, talking on the phone and even while we sleep. Oh hi mom! I’m good. You? Oh nothing much, just sitting here spontaneously popping out an egg and thinking fondly of you!  In fact some of us are probably doing it rightthisverysecond and you wouldn’t even know it! Heck, we might not even know it! Just part of the magic of having lady bits. But some of us know exactly when the egglet is expelled because we do it while doubled over in pain. And up until this month I could only sympathize with that group of ladies.

I’ve always had wicked PMS – cramps, bloating, zits and, my favorite, the everybody-hates-me’s - but my actual eggsplosion has always occurred unnoticed. Occasionally I’d have some jealousy when my friends complained of having mittelschmerz but that was mostly just because they got to use “mittelschmerz” in a sentence. (Seriously, say it! Say it again! SO FUN.) Being able to detect one’s own egg-letting seemed like a cool party trick but I can already pick my nose with my tongue so I was covered on that front.

[Obligatory dude warning: If you're easily squicked out, don't read any further. I don't want to hear any whining. I already have four kids to take care of all my complaining needs.]

Then this month all the weird started happening. You may recall I started drinking 100 ounces of water a day — and then complained when after all that input there was no output. But the weird thing is that even after drinking that much, I’m still super thirsty. I ended up cutting myself off because, me being the happy hypochondriac I am, didn’t want to OD on the H2O. But now I’m also super (duper) bloated. At first I thought maybe I was getting diabetes but a quick consult with Dr. Google showed I have none of the other symptoms. And then my boobs started hurting. Like a LOT. I started to panic since the only time they’ve ever felt like this was when I was pregnant. But no worries, my birth control didn’t fail. So what could it be?

Ovulation syndrome. I finally connected my symptoms to my girly hormones by consulting a menstrual chart. It’s like PMS but during the middle of the month – double your hormones, double your fun! (Truth: I blame every bodily weirdness on my hormones. They’re the terrorists of the body.) Ovulation has three primary symptoms: a change in cervical mucous (helpfully described as going from “slime” to “sticky egg whites”), a spike in basal body temperature, and a change in the firmness of the cervix. But since I’m not trying to get pregnant, I automatically get a Get Out of Cervix Free card. I did all those checks and took my temp every morning when we were spawning but since we’re done I reserve the right to never, ever again have to ask myself whether my uterine opening feels more like “ear cartilage” or “the tip of the nose”. I don’t need to know and I don’t care if I’m ovulating.

But ovulation also has some interesting secondary symptoms:

  • Light spotting
  • Slight cramping or pain on one side of the pelvis
  • Breast tenderness
  • Sore nipples
  • Abdominal bloating (especially in the lower abdomen)
  • Lethargy
  • Lower voice
  • Increased sex drive
  • Heightened sense of smell, taste or vision

Well then! If you just look at the last three, it’s practically a super power! (Kinda like when Buffy used her PMS to detect vampires?) Unfortunately you’re not guaranteed all of them and while I have yet to notice a super sniffer or stellar vision, I definitely have numbers 3, 4, and 5. Ugh. Maybe I ovulated triplets this month? Who knows.

So what can I do about my hormone-induced Stay Puft Marshamallow Woman syndrome? The boobs are easily taken care of: wear a bra all the time. But the bloating is not so simple. One website helpfully sympathized, “However, some women may find this quite annoying, as it gives a feeling of fullness and an increase in weight.” DUH. They said the hormones make you crave salty foods and it’s the increased salt intake that is making me retain water like the Hoover Dam. Their solution: “You can get rid of bloating sensation quite easily! The trick is to increase water intake!” AAAGGHHHHHH. I can’t drink any more water. I shouldn’t drink any more water!

The next suggestion was to include foods that dissuade water retention in the body. They didn’t offer any examples and all I could come up with was watermelon and asparagus off the top of my head. Next up was the advice to “follow a routine exercise regimen to keep a check on weight gain and also keep you occupied.” Great, now I’m like a toddler that has to be distracted. Do yoga and pay no attention to your large, bloated belly every time you move! And also, I already work out six days a week. This morning I did a fab park workout even.

Their last tip was to try OTC diuretics. So I did. I hate taking medicine but that’s how desperate I was. And… nothing. Which means that I guess I’m just stuck waiting this one out and hoping my hormones don’t keep stabbing me in the back, er, ovaries. Although I’m worried this is going to segue right in to my regular PMS and I’ll have three weeks of hormone hell this cycle. I’m still holding out hope thought that this won’t become a normal part of my monthly routine! You ladies that have to deal with ovulation crap every cycle have ALL my sympathy. I promise to never again snicker at mittelschmerz. (Okay maybe a little but only because it’s a funny word, not because I don’t feel your pain!)

What’s your eggsplosion like? Any tips for me on reducing the bloating or do I just need to chill out, put on my stretchy pants and wait for the tide to ebb on its own? This can’t possibly be perimenopause can it? I’m only 35!!

uterus

 

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Darwin June 4, 2014 at 12:20 am

“Nothing’s more cuterus than your uterus.”

Did you just make that up?

(Pointed Question to show that I read through to the end of your post – as a non-squicked dude.)

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Melissa June 4, 2014 at 4:44 am

I am 31 weeks pregnant (why is pregnancy soooo long??) I remember when we were trying that I noticed mittelshmerz but I don’t remember noticing it when we weren’t trying (had a copper iud).
Anyway, hormones are indeed terrorists!

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Redhead June 4, 2014 at 4:50 am

Charlotte, I think I remember reading somewhere that when you’ve been dehydrated and start drinking water again, your body retains it-but when you keep drinking that much regularly, your body gets used to it and you actually retain less water than before. Maybe that just happened to unfortunately coincide with the ovulation-PMS this time, but it won’t be as bad in later months? I hope so!
The only “symptom” I’ve ever had is the second-to-last one. But I do get regular PMS and it is no picnic!

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Dawnee June 4, 2014 at 5:15 am

I think it’s cool that you’re writing about this since, you know, it’s one of the cool things I get to experience all the time. :) (Ok, so I actually don’t experience it every month and primarily notice it only on one side. How’s that for making a girl wonder if only one of the egg droppers is working? Eeep.) But as far as the symptoms, 2, 5 & 9 are regularly experienced when the mittelschmerz occurs. Although 2 is a lie (slight pain, my foot)…try pain that gets so intense it feels like a giant bruise on the inside of your abdomen and one time literally made me throw up. And when you move it feels like someone is stabbing the bruise.

Ok, I’m done complaining… just thought I’d share my two cents since this is something I’ve dealt with since I was a teenager.

P.S. never noticed the being super thirsty thing. I’ll have to pay more attention next time.

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Sabrina June 4, 2014 at 4:24 pm

I also experience mittelschmerz only on one side, and I thought that I only ovulate from my right ovary. Turns out that my uterus is tilted to the right and that is why I only get ovulation pain on the right.

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Amalia June 6, 2014 at 12:42 pm

Huh! Maybe that’s why I only feel it on my left..

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Jess June 4, 2014 at 7:40 am

Oh the pain and bloating… The pain lasts a couple days and is intense enough sitting, standing, straightening up, etc all kill. Bad enough I went and had ultrasounds done to make sure nothing extra was going on. Unfortunately the bloating stuck around till one or two days before Mother Nature’s postcard.
I am sorry to welcome you to the club, but mittleshmertz is great fun to say!

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Allison June 4, 2014 at 8:13 am

Vitamin b6. I cannot recommend this enough. Take it all month! I had serious paranoia, and terrible all around symptoms and after I started taking B6 I stopped not recognizing myself for two weeks every month.

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Naomi/Dragonmamma June 4, 2014 at 8:19 am

I’m just here to gloat that I’m post-menopausal and don’t have to worry about any of this monthly s**t ever again.

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Nicholle June 4, 2014 at 9:31 am

I second the post-menopause thing. I’ve never been happier. I used to get hormonal migraines and serious PMS, but it’s all gone forever.

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Darwin June 4, 2014 at 8:31 am

Charlotte?

Perhaps this COULD possibly be perimenopause?

You were always an overachieving kind of girl who accomplished things sooner than others.

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Cbuffy June 4, 2014 at 9:02 am

Oh shut up Naomi (said in the kindest possible voice followed by a friendly smile/giggle…) I was re-reading my Great Great Great.. ad nauseum Grandma’s journals the other day. She had her last child at the ripe old age of 59. I am 55 and STILL not in perimenopause. I believe this means I will be mittelschmertzing until approxinately the age of 97. Hormones are WORSE than terrorists! But I DO second the B’s. Amazing vitamins, those!

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Darwin June 4, 2014 at 9:45 am

Hey Cbuffy…just caught your age and did the math in my head (not always a good thing), but by my calculations your BYU experience may have overlapped mine!

I was there from 1983 until 1988 (I started late and stayed longer).

Perhaps our paths crossed!

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Cbuffy June 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

Ooops, and it appears actually CLICKING on the reply button is not on my list of abilities… see comment below… lol

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Darwin June 4, 2014 at 11:20 am

Surprise for you!

See comment Below-Below-Below-Below

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Cbuffy June 4, 2014 at 10:07 am

Hmmmmm, you have MANY strengths, but math appears to not be on that list. LOL I graduated from HS in 1977 and attended BYU that summer and the fall semester. Called my parents and informed them they were seriously wasting their $$$ and went home over the Christmas break. Turns out college is not necessary for everyone. (I’m now a well-paid instructor – teaching the ever-so-entertaining 40 hour state life insurance course for the state of Florida.) I was married and living in Paradise (Florida) by 1981…

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Darwin June 4, 2014 at 10:44 am

*much laughter*

Yep, I was off on the graduating year, pegging it as 1978 instead of 1977.

Its good to get at least ONE of my “duh” moments of the day out of the way in the morning. (Saves crowding them together in the afternoon!)

And it appears YOU were aware and perceptive and knew what was going on and what you needed and what you didn’t need at a young age!

*much applause for Cbuffy*

It occurs to me that even when in error I calculated for your graduation at 1978, your BYU grad would probably have been 1983 – end of Winter Semester, whereas I arrived at the Y Summer term of 1983…so my “overlapping* estimate was off in that sense as well!

TWO whole “duh” moments for this morning!

But, summer of 1983 was when FOOTLOOSE was filmed in and around Provo and Lehi, etc.!

AND I did a project or two with Kim Jensen who played “Edna” in FOOTLOOSE. She was the blonde girl who was driving the car after they left church and one of her first lines refers to the “incredible barf mobile” coming up behind them.

So Kim is my “one degree” of separation from Kevin Bacon, as she worked with him and I worked with her!

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AdjustedReality June 4, 2014 at 10:18 am

Ugh… yeah, I never had this before the last two years, but I’ll get mid-month cramps, but not the other stuff. I usually have to play the “ab workout soreness or cramps” game to sort it out though. I was worried that I might have lady bits cancer or something really wrong with me, but my doctor assured me it was normal. I just use ice packs (it’s usually only bad when I go to sleep, so curling up on an ice pack usually does it) and some OTC painkillers if it’s real bad.

I like mittleschmerz much better, I’ll definitely use that now instead!

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Sierra June 4, 2014 at 11:15 am

I get mittelsmerz (spelling?) too and I never noticed it when I was younger. Ovulation seems to be getting more fierce as I get a bit older (still only 27). I know exactly when I am ovulation because one side gets really achy to the point of sharp pains for a few hours. I think it gets worse the more kids you have.

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Darwin June 4, 2014 at 11:22 am

Surprise for Cbuffy!

You should be able to spot Kim Jensen easy enough…

But, instead of “Where’s Waldo” see if you can detect Darwin.

*Hint: As I am half-native – rule out any glow in the dark pale people!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGQ07mr72IY

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Cbuffy June 4, 2014 at 11:28 am

Oooooh, something fun to do this evening while my darling hubby and oldest son are playing “Scout Master”. (I’m at work and employer is cranky about YouTube on his computers… LOL) Let’s see if I can Detect Darwin!

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Darwin June 7, 2014 at 8:40 am

Did you Detect correctly?

(If you have not taken time to look yet, no rush! YouTube isn’t going anywhere today, I don’t think. So no expiration date on my inquiry! Nothing time sensitive.)

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Morgan June 4, 2014 at 11:27 am

Every month brings a new bag of tricks. Sometimes migraines, sometimes constant annoyance at nothing, sometimes cramps on one side of the body, sometimes back pain, sometimes exhaustion, sometimes extreme anxiety. Some months constipation, some months peepoo, weeee! Eating lots of leafy greens and staying away from sugar seems to help reduce all symptoms, but of course, all my cuterus seems to want is chocolate when it’s getting ready to shed. Sigh. I

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Azusmom June 4, 2014 at 11:47 am

For some, perimenopause does actually start as early as 35. When I was 35 my hormones started making themselves known in ways they never had before. Fun!
I’m now (just shy of) 45, and I swear I have PMS all month! My mom said she hit menopause at 49, so I’m hoping I don’t have to deal with this for TOO much longer. :)
In the meantime, along with my metabolic-crusher-type workouts, I’m doing gentler types of yoga (slow-flow, yin, etc) to deal with the hormonal stuff. Treat yourself kindly and gently, and if you wouldn’t say it to your kids, don’t say it to YOU. (I’m working on that one.)

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Abby June 4, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Not all women ovulate! 5 months into this trying (failing) to make a baby thing and my ovaries have been on strike the whole time. I’ll take all the pain and bloating over this! (Not playing pain Olympics, I swear, just bitching.)

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Sabrina June 4, 2014 at 4:32 pm

I have the very fun combination of ovulation syndrome (which I never knew had a name until now), which segues into PMS, and all on a three-week cycle, which means I spend about 5 or 6 days in a normal hormonal state. The saving grace is that I have the Mirena IUD, so at the very least, my flow is very light. But I continue to ovulate monthly, though many women who have had the Mirena as long as I have stop. Lucky me!

I have been able to feel ovulation for most of my menstruating years. It is most intense when I have actually just conceived. Each of the four times I have been pregnant I have had intense mittelschmerz.

And the super-sniffer? Yes, I get that, too. That one is a fun party trick.

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Monica June 4, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Oh, I have looked for an English word for that, but you use a German one? Figures why I couldn’t really sniff out one! (It’s like Kindergarten; why not English???)

I have ovulation breast soreness, bloating, sometimes a little pain but mostly I feel it because of the lack of energy. Before I got Mirena and used a copper type I had so much pain I actually fainted. Twice. But I didn’t know what was causing the problem before I took the copper devil out so it took a while before I saw the normal reaction. Because of the Mirena and ultra light bleeding I don’t always know if I have ovulation or period – the reactions are very similar.

Oh, and I get the sniffing part. Feels like I’m stinking but my SO haven’t noticed anything (yes, I asked him). Could’ve gone without that at least!

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Terri June 5, 2014 at 4:50 am

For bloating I drink tea (a diuretic) with lemon (another diuretic depending on who you ask).

I get the sore boobs too so wear bras – even to bed.

Keep up the water and hopefully things will settle down again :)

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