When Should Lower Abdominal Pain Be Cause For Worry?
Lower abdominal pain manifests as some level of discomfort somewhere beneath one’s belly button. It is a problem most women have to contend with at some point in their lives. But at times, the discomfort can be extreme. It can even push the woman into desperately searching for the very best private gynaecologist clinic. All that would be in an attempt to get relief from the agony the lower abdominal pain often causes. The question that comes up is when such lower abdominal pain should be cause for worry. That is the question we shall be addressing in the course of this article.
Firstly, we will acquaint ourselves with the various types of lower abdominal pain. Then we shall try to find out the causes of such lower abdominal pain. We shall thereafter proceed to find the answer to the question of when lower abdominal pain should be cause for worry.
Which are the different types of lower abdominal pain?
The pain typically plays out in different ways. In terms of the actual discomfort, it may be something that is felt in the whole pelvic region. But there are also cases where it is confined to just one part of the pelvic region. Further, the discomfort may be something that comes and goes and is hence intermittent. Or it may be a constant discomfort.
On another note, there are scenarios where the lower abdominal pain seems to spring up suddenly. We then refer to it as being ‘acute’. In other cases, the lower abdominal pain persists for long. And if that is longer than 6 months, we then refer to it as being ‘chronic’.
What pushes a patient into seeking the best private gynaecologist may be chronic lower abdominal pain. Or it may be acute lower abdominal pain.
In all cases though, it is important to know which type of lower abdominal pain one seems to have. And that can be:
- Pain whose development has been gradual over some duration of time, and it doesn’t seem to be subsiding
- Pain whose onset is abrupt, and is of a sharp – almost stabbing – type
- A feeling as if something is being knotted or twisted in the abdomen
- Pain that one comes about while engaging in certain activities (like while having sex, while exercising or while peeing)
- Discomfort of cramping (or as some would describe it, throbbing) type
So being able to describe the nature of the pain you are experiencing is important. Even if you visit the best private gynaecologist in London, one of the first things you will likely be asked to do is describe the pain.
Common causes for lower abdominal pain in women
Usually, when women have lower abdominal pain, the underlying issue tends to be in their reproductive system. So the pain may be attributable to:
- The cramps that often accompany menstruation
- Urinary tract infections
- The changes that take place while one is ovulating
- The presence of fibroids
- A condition known as endometriosis, where what is supposed to be lining for the uterus ends up growing outside the womb
- The disease known as PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)
- Cysts that develop in ovaries
- Pelvic pain that is on account of pregnancy
Rarer causes for lower abdominal pain in women
Rarer – but very worrying – causes for lower abdominal pain in women would include things like:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Cancer of the uterus
- Cancer of the ovaries
So lower abdominal pain in women can be due to such serious problems. That is precisely why it shouldn’t be taken lightly and immedately see a gynaecologist.
When should lower abdominal pain in women be cause for worry?
Some of the instances in which lower abdominal pain in women should be real cause for worry include:
- If the pain doesn’t go away (so it becomes persistent)
- In case the intensity of the pain seems to increase
- If besides the pain, you are also experiencing inexplicable weight loss
- In case the pain is accompanied by bloating that lasts beyond a few weeks
- If the pain specifically comes up while engaging in sexual intercourse
- In case besides the pain, you are also experiencing persistent diarrhea or constipation
- If besides the pain, you are also seeing a discharge that is not normal – or bleeding
- In case the pain is being experienced at a time when you are also seeing blood when you relieve yourself (in urine or stool)
So in such cases, what you need to do is make a booking to see your doctor.
But there are other cases when the lower abdominal pain is actually an emergency. So in these other cases, what you need to do is not book an appointment, but get immediate medical attention. Those include:
- If the lower abdominal pain is happening in the course of a pregnancy
- In case the lower abdominal pain is accompanied by a rise in body temperature
- If the intensity of the pain is only worsening or becoming extreme
- In case touching the lower abdominal region specifically hurts
- If passing stools or urine has become a struggle
Ways in which lower abdominal pain in women can be relieved
The approach used in relieving the lower abdominal pain depends on the underlying cause.
In case the pain is due to pelvic inflammatory disease, relief may be found in the relevant antibiotics.
Should the pain be due to a condition like endometriosis, hormonal treatment may help. That usually works alongside painkillers, to give the necessary relief. But there are cases in which surgery may be indicated.
If the pain is due to an ectopic pregnancy, then it would take an urgent surgery to resolve it.
And if the pain is due to cysts, relief may be found in certain hormonal medications. But if the cysts are particularly big, then what may be required is surgical treatment.
So once the cause for the lower abdominal pain is figured out, it tends to be easier for the doctor to work out how to relieve it.
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