A lot of people experience tummy pain at some point in their lives, but lower abdominal pain in women is rather common. The reasons for this pain vary from person to person, so treatment should not follow a one size fits all approach.
The abdomen is the area containing your digestive organs and is bound by the pelvic bone and diaphragm. Abdominal pain, including lower abdominal pain, is usually a term used to describe the pain that comes from organs within the abdominal cavity. Those organs include the stomach, small intestine, colon, liver, gallbladder, spleen, and pancreas. In women, the lowest portion of the abdomen is actually the pelvis and involves the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Sometimes it can be hard to tell if the pain is in the abdomen or the pelvis area. Lower abdominal pain can be frightening for a woman since there is a tendency for them to think that it could jeopardize their reproductive process, but that is not always the case. The most common reason for lower abdominal pain in women is menstruation.
There are times when lower abdominal pain occurs even though the problem is in the organs that are not in the abdominal cavity. For instance, people can experience issues with their lower lungs or kidneys, which can cause abdominal pain.
Lower abdominal pain in women can be a sign of many different medical issues. In some cases, the pain disappears quickly, while others require simple treatment. There are, of course, situations where the cause of the abdominal pain is a little more complicated and may take more time to treat. Below is a list of symptoms and causes of lower abdominal pain.
The most common treatment for lower abdominal pain in women is a heating pad and mild pain medications—this is for PMS or actual menstrual cramping. In cases where the pain is severe, a doctor might prescribe medications that will control hormones, reducing the possibility of inflammation and pain in subsequent months. When a woman experiences sharp pelvic cramps and pain, especially those that are felt on one side, it may be an ectopic pregnancy. This is urgent and requires emergency care. Pelvic inflammatory disease also calls for medical attention, as advanced cases of this condition usually mean surgery is needed.
It is not unusual for women to get cysts or fibroids. While the majority are harmless, others can cause a lot of discomfort and require surgical removal. Meanwhile, polycystic ovary syndrome is often treated with oral contraceptive pills to help regulate a woman’s cycle. However, surgery is still a treatment option.
In cases where a person is suffering from appendicitis, surgery may be required to remove the appendix. Thankfully, in the case of bladder infections, surgery is not the protocol. Antibiotics are the main treatment for UTI’s.
Clearly, the treatment depends on the cause and it is dangerous to self-diagnose. Seeing a doctor will allow for proper investigation into what is causing the lower abdominal pain so that an appropriate treatment can be administered.
When a woman experiences lower abdominal pain and goes to the doctor, she will be asked a series of questions about her period, urination habits, and bowel movements. She will also be asked to describe her general health and any symptoms that might seem unrelated, such as fever or fatigue. In some cases, the doctor may deem it appropriate to ask a woman about her family, career, and sex life.
Once the initial chat with the doctor is complete, a physical exam will take place. The doctor will check the abdomen and may even conduct an internal examination. Often physicians will ask for a urine sample, which can detect infection. In cases where a woman mentions vaginal discharge, the doctor may take a vaginal swab.
Here are some other possible tests:
While some forms of lower abdominal pain are out of our control, we do have the ability to take good care of our tummies and to prevent discomfort. For example, a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet and drinking plenty of water can help us avoid channel infections. It can also control constipation, which may lead to lower abdominal pain.
Here are some other tips to keep in mind:
While most people who experience lower abdominal pain have nothing to be concerned about, when symptoms don’t go away or are severe, it could be a sign of something serious. If you find yourself in one of these situations, don’t hesitate to seek medical attention. In many cases, the sooner proper treatment begins, the less chance there is of sustaining long-term damage or needing surgery.