• The bladder and reproductive organs are often where pelvic pain occurs. In many cases it is difficult to diagnose the exact cause of the pain, but noting certain symptoms will help come to a diagnosis. The most common lower abdominal pain causes are: • A urinary disorder, such as bladder or kidney problems. • A bowel problem. • A problem with the reproductive system – the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Abdominal pain arising from the urinary system • Urine infections are common and present symptoms, such as burning when you pass urine and going to the toilet more often. • Infection can spread to the kidneys (pyelonephritis) and can make you feel unwell with a high
temperature and back pain. • If you have pain that spreads from your back down to your groin and is severe – your doctor may be more concerned that you have kidney stones. The doctor will test your urine if you have any of the above symptoms. Abdominal pain arising from the digestive system • Pain arising from the large intestine is a particularly common cause of lower abdominal pain in both men and women. Features suggesting your pain may be to do with the bowel are: Pain associated with bowel movement • A change in bowel habit • Blood with bowel movement • Bloating • Both constipation and diarrhea can give you pain. The pain they are often associated with is described as crampy or 'colicky.' This means that it comes and goes in waves. Large bowel pain is characteristically relieved on opening the bowels. • Potential causes of pain arising from the bowel include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can give you alternating diarrhea, constipation and bloating. • Other conditions include diverticular disease and its complications which are more frequent in older patients. Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn's). A rare but important diagnosis is colorectal cancer. • Bloating and swelling is also a common symptom that people report and can be due to a problem affecting the bowels. Abdominal pain arising from the reproductive organs • Pain can originate from your uterus (womb), fallopian tubes or ovaries. It's usually felt in the middle of the lower abdomen. • Pain that is felt more to the side can be more typical of a pain coming from the ovary. • Pain coming from the uterus is often worse during your period and is called dysmenorrhea. • Some conditions affecting the reproductive system can also cause pain during intercourse. This is called dyspareunia and it is important to let your doctor know if you are concerned. Examples of conditions of the reproductive organs include: • Endometriosis • Fibroids • Pelvic inflammatory disease • Ovarian cysts • Problems related to the early stage of pregnancy, such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. *Seek immediate medical assistance if your symptoms include a fever, vomiting blood, passing dark or bloody stools or acute and worsening pain.
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