According to WebMD, ovarian pain can signify an endomitrioma ovarian cyst, a fluid-filled sac that forms in the ovaries that is common in women of child-bearing age. Endomitriomas consist of uterine tissue and can cause severe pain. In certain cases, endomitriomas can affect fertility.
The Mayo Clinic explains that symptoms of ovarian cysts include pelvic pain prior to menstruation, constant pelvic pain that travels down the back and thighs, pain when defecating and irregular menstrual periods. The majority of ovarian cysts disappear over time and don't require treatment; however, certain ovarian cysts can cause complications, especially when ruptured. Regular pelvic examinations can aid in discovering cysts early, allowing for prompt diagnosis and treatment.
According to Medline Plus, ovulation cramping, also referred to as Mittelschmerz, causes pain in the ovaries prior to, during and following ovulation. Mittlelschmerz pain occurs when the egg develops prior to ovulation and stretches the ovary's surface as well as when fluid releases from the ruptured egg follicle after the egg is released. The main symptom of Mittelschmerz is cramping ovarian pain that lasts up to 48 hours and occurs on only one side of the pelvic area. Mittelschmerz typically occurs halfway through the menstrual cycle and often alternates sides each month. Mittelschmerz is not harmful and can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers.