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Women & Lower Abdominal Pain

By Carole Ann ; Updated October 25, 2017

Lower abdominal pain can be the sign of a serious condition. Some of these are specific to women and others can occur in both men and women. If you experience abdominal pain accompanied by bleeding from your vagina or rectum, vomiting or pain in your neck, shoulder or chest you should seek immediate medical treatment.

Ectopic Pregnancy/Miscarriage

If you are or could be pregnant and experience pain in your lower abdomen or pelvis, and you also have vaginal bleeding, you may have an ectopic pregnancy or be experiencing a miscarriage. Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which your fertilized egg implants in one of your Fallopian tubes or somewhere else outside of the uterus. This condition requires immediate medical care and, depending on how far along you are in the pregnancy, you may need surgery. Miscarriage, also referred to as spontaneous abortion, is a condition where the pregnancy ends and the fetus is expelled. This usually occurs very early in pregnancy.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is characterized by a constant dull pain in the lower abdomen, along with vaginal discharge. PID is a bacterial infection in the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. It is usually caused by sexually transmitted disease that has spread from your vagina and cervix. You should contact your doctor for treatment, which is antibiotics such as doxycycline and Flagyl.


Cystitis is a urinary tract (bladder) infection that causes mild pain in your lower abdomen and painful, burning urination. It can be caused by a bacterial infection, feminine hygiene products, certain medications, spermicidal products, or other irritants. If the infection is left untreated it can spread to your kidneys and create a very serious condition. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic based on the type of bacteria found in your urine.

Menstrual Pain

Lower abdominal pain during menstruation is a common condition. It may begin a few days prior to your period and usually lasts two or three days. It can be treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen, or your doctor may prescribe a stronger pain medication. Placing a heating pad on your abdomen or soaking in a bathtub of warm water may also help relieve the pain.


Endometriosis is a condition where cells from the uterine lining are located in other parts of your abdomen, outside of the uterus. Because these cells continue to act like normal uterine tissue, they produce blood that can accumulate, which causes pain and pressure. You may experience pain during intercourse as well as at other times. Complications may include the development of pelvic cysts or bowel obstruction. If the condition does not respond to medications, such as hormones or suppressive steroids, surgery may be necessary.


Women can develop fibroids, which are abnormal growths of muscles in the uterus. Sometimes called womb stones, they create a hard mass in your uterine wall. They are non-cancerous and slow-growing. They may also cause irregular or excessive menstrual bleeding. Treatment may include hormonal medications such as birth control pills, a D&C which is a scraping of the uterine wall, surgery to remove the fibroids. In severe cases a hysterectomy may be necessary.

Other Conditions

Other conditions that cause lower abdominal pain ,which are not restricted to women include appendicitis, diverticulitis, bowel obstruction, kidney stones, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome and constipation. Consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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