PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) is one of the most common issues affecting women, with one of the main symptoms of it being pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic pain. PCOS is caused by hormonal imbalance and excess androgens (male hormones) and can cause a variety of issues, ranging from cysts on the ovaries to hair loss. There are many types of pain polycystic ovary syndrome can cause and we’re diving deep into them and giving you all the details you need!

Let’s start!

Types of PCOS pain

Period pain

Heavy periods and period pain are some of the most common issues affecting women suffering from the polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is caused by immature follicles that develop on the ovaries, resulting in a hormonal imbalance. This hormonal mismatch can make menstrual cycles very uncomfortable, resulting in cramping, bloating, and heavier symptoms overall, in addition to pelvic pain.

Ovulation pain

Ovulation pain occurs on the side of the abdomen where the ovary that is releasing an egg is located. It can be sharp or dull in nature and it normally occurs 10-16 days before your cycle starts. Usually, it is mild and doesn’t interfere with daily activities. While for some it only lasts for a few hours, it can last up to a few days for certain people. For women with polycystic ovary syndrome, this pain can be more severe.

Back pain

Menstrual back pain is characterized by cramping, pain, and tension in the lower back area. If you’ve ever experienced it, you know it can be uncomfortable and interfere with your daily tasks. Lower back pain during menstruation is commonly caused by the contraction of the muscles and is believed to be triggered by the changes in your hormones. While, in some cases, it can be caused by underlying conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, many women who experience it don’t suffer from any conditions.

Breast pain

Breast pain is commonly caused by the fluctuation of hormones during the menstrual cycle, most notably estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones can cause swelling and tenderness of the breasts. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are at increased risk of water retention and breast tenderness due to different hormonal levels during the cycle and are more likely to experience breast pain.

How severe can PCOS pain get?

Every woman experiences polycystic ovary syndrome differently and, depending on their pain tolerance, the symptoms can range from mild to severe. Often women with PCOS report moderate to severe menstrual pain and cramping, while other symptoms can present as mild. Some women experience late periods which, in turn, have harsher symptoms.  It’s always advisable to consult with your OB/GYN or a physician if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above.

How to relieve PCOS pain?

While polycystic ovary syndrome can cause many types of pain, one of the most common ones is menstrual pain.
Here are some of our tips on how to relieve PCOS period pain.

  • Over-the-counter pain killers

Some of the standard non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, can help relieve the pain caused by ovarian cysts, as well as period cramps. It’s important to let your doctor know if your pain levels are high as they may offer additional relief options.

  • Heat

Warm baths and hot water bottles act as a natural muscle relaxant, easing the tension and pain in your uterus. Always make sure not to put the hot water bottle straight on your skin. Instead, wrap it in a towel and place it on your lower abdomen to relieve pain and offer some relief.

  • Stretching and exercises

While some women prefer taking it easy during their period and ovulation, simple stretching exercises can help manage some of the symptoms, especially back pain and cramping.


One of the most common symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome is pain in the lower abdomen. While it is mainly present during menstruation, it can appear throughout the cycle, causing symptoms such as breast pain, back pain, or even ovulation pain. It can be managed using over-the-counter pain killers, heat therapy, or even exercising. It’s recommended to reach out to your doctor or OBGYN if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above.