Almost all women experience pain in the lower abdomen. Most of these pains are mild, temporary, harmless, and do not require treatment. The most common causes of pain in the lower abdomen in women are intestinal and gynecological diseases. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the symptoms that require medical attention.
Location and nature of pain
It is important to control the pain: its severity, the nature of the pain (stinging, aching, fluctuating, pressure, etc.), any development of its intensity, the location of the pain in the abdomen, radiation. pain in other parts of the body such as the back. Note that the pain is worse with movement or rest. Pay attention to the timing of pain, bloody or white discharge associated with your menstrual cycle. It is important to note whether the pain is accompanied by fever.
Sometimes only one side of the lower abdomen may hurt. This may indicate that the cause of the pain is located on one side. For example, pain in the lower right side of the abdomen can be a symptom of appendicitis. Pain in the lower left side of the abdomen is caused by inflammation of the pouch in the large intestine, which is called diverticulitis.
Sometimes pain is felt in the lower and upper part of the abdomen, which indicates other causes than gynecological disorders. Upper abdominal pain can be caused by acid reflux or gallstones. Sometimes spinal disease causes pain that radiates through the abdomen. It is advisable to consult a doctor for a correct diagnosis.
Causes of lower abdominal pain
Women can experience lower abdominal pain for a number of reasons. The most common reasons are:
inflammation of the uterus or vaginitis
sexually transmitted diseases (such as chlamydia)
Urinary tract infection
ovarian cyst or ovarian torsion
Menstrual disorders or endometriosis
ovarian cancer (eg, ovarian cancer)
inflammation of the pouch in the large intestine, such as diverticulitis
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
the consequences of gynecological surgery (eg, IUD insertion, gynecological surgery, etc.)
Check for pain in the lower abdomen
The most important thing in the diagnosis of pain in the lower abdomen is to assess the urgency of treatment. If a woman has pain in the lower abdomen, a gynecological examination, including a vaginal ultrasound, is performed. Ultrasound provides a clear map of the uterus, ovaries, and surrounding areas and improves diagnosis. Ultrasound can help detect ovarian cysts, tumors, uterine fibroids, and investigate various pregnancy-related problems.
When inflammation is suspected, doctors usually give chlamydia, gonorrhea, CRP, and urine tests. If there is a possibility of pregnancy, a pregnancy test is also indicated. Acute lower abdominal pain does not require a Pap test, but if the pain persists, a Pap test done 1-2 years ago may be recommended. Indeterminate cases sometimes require an MRI scan of the lower abdomen.
If the pain seems to be more than just a gynecological problem, the gynecologist works with other specialists to find the cause.