The majority of causes of pain will be clear from your history and initial examination. Often your doctor will back this up with some simple tests including:
The consultant will go through the causes of pain will be clear from your history and initial examination. Often your doctor will also complete some simple tests including:
Below are some of the causes of pelvic and abdominal pain which will give you an idea of the possible issues. Please click each item to see more details:
The small bowel lies in the centre of the abdomen and the large bowel loops around the outside ascending on the right, crossing over the abdomen and descending on the left side.
Bowel activity can be affected by the menstrual cycle with delayed activity coming up to the period with bloating, stretching of the bowel wall and pain. The bowel lies very close to the female pelvic organs and therefore this pain can often be confused with a uterine or ovarian cause of pain.
Often this pattern of swelling and discomfort can be labelled as “irritable bowel” but in reality it is simply exaggeration of the normal pattern of bowel activity. Alterations in diet and medication can help to improve forward movement of the bowel.
Inflammation of the cervix
The cervix is very densely packed with nerve endings and when the area becomes inflamed or infected the nerves become hypersensitive. This results in relayed pain signals into the pelvic organs and can be extremely painful. It will often be highlighted at intercourse or if the cervix is touched such as during an examination by your doctor or cervical smear.
Inflammation of the urine collecting system including the kidneys and ureter are very common and can cause severe symptoms. They may result in a high temperature, frequent trips to pass urine, pain on passing urine both in the urethra and up into the left loins.
The peritoneum is the lining of the pelvis and is very sensitive to inflammation such as with pelvic infection, ovarian cysts, bowel disease and blood within the pelvis. Infections such as appendicitis or ruptured cysts can result in severe pain where hospitalisation will be required.
The abdomen is rigid and the bowels may also be affected. If left untreated this may result in peritonitis or a wide spread infection of the peritoneal lining, which can be life threatening. In a less severe form, however, it may simply cause pain and settle down on its own or depending on the cause it may be easily treatable with low-grade antibiotics as an outpatient.