Also known as abdominal cramps, is mostly associated with the digestive parts of the body. Although there can be a multitude of causes, the distinct areas of pain provides clues on the possible causes of lower abdominal pain. Furthermore, depending on the type of pain felt, the seriousness and urgency for medical help can be determined. This means that thorough assessment is needed long with some tests to accurately determine the cause.

Lower abdominal pain usually starts below the umbilicus. Some may also refer to it as pelvic pain. The discomfort can be caused by a lot of factors and may be chronic or acute. The pelvis can also be used as a point of reference and the pain can be localized in the left or right area. The pains can last from a short intermittent span to a long period of time. There can be a multitude of reasons for the pains some can be from infections, sexually transmitted diseases, lymphomas, diabetes, kidney stones, menstrual cramps, vaginitis, tumors, endometriosis, dysmenorrhea, appendicitis and bowel disorders. And though these types of causes may present themselves in particular areas of the lower abdomen, there can still be several diagnostic exams to be performed to determined the actual problem.

Lower abdominal pain is mostly experienced by women because there is pain present on menstruation. The intensity of the cramps may vary depending of the amount of pain that an individual can manage. Also, there are several usual culprits of pelvic pain in women. One is inflammation of the bladder or cystitis. Due to the anatomical position of the female urinary system, women are commonly predisposed to infection more so than men. Another cause can be from kidney stones, wherein the pain is usually located on the flank area and are usually described as sharp and knife like pain. This can be due to the stones moving and damaging the urinary tract and the bladder. Pain can also come from the fallopian tubes, uterus or the ovary. This type of pain can be located centrally on the pelvis. Dysmenorrhea during menstruation is another cause of lower abdominal pain. Ovarian cysts can also cause pain, they can be experienced bilaterally or only on either side of the pelvic region. Endometriosis results to pain in the uterus similar to the ones caused by fibroids. Pelvic inflammatory disease can also cause pain on the central area of the pelvis and may radiate at the sides. And lastly, ectopic pregnancy can also cause pain that may be usually felt of the fallopian tube areas near the flanks.

Pain on the lower left area can be located on the left of the umbilicus. This area is compromised of the left urinary bladder, the descending large intestine, left kidney, sigmoid colon, fallopian tube and several nerves. Tumors, stones and aneurysms can cause the pain in these areas. Bowel obstruction can be another cause of the pain, and this can be caused by inflammation of the colon or a mass of tissue. Chron’s disease and diverticulitis causes inflammation of the colon and both can also cause pain on the left lower abdomen. Hernias can also be a factor. And one common cause is an infection of the left kidney which is directly located in the left flank area.

Pain of the right lower abdomen is usually suspected in appendicitis cases. The pain can sometimes radiate to the other side. Cancer in the bowel can be another reason and inflammatory bowel diseases. Intussusceptions of the bowel can also lead to a sharp pain and at times may be similar to pains caused by infection on the right side of the kidney. Lymphomas are another culprit.

The range of pain may range from just tenderness to severe pain. And depending on the cause, it may be steady but, in most cases, it is intermittent. Also, pain can be felt during strenuous activities like jogging or running. Cramps may be persistent during or before bowel movement. And pain on the reproductive area may come during intercourse. The characteristics of lower abdominal pain can greatly vary according to its cause and although the type and area of pain can give clues to what the causes are, an in-depth diagnostic study may be needed for a more accurate diagnosis.

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