10 Common Causes of Pelvic Pain in Women

September 2016

One of the common causes of pelvic pain in women is a urinary tract infection (UTI).

A woman’s pelvis is like the Times Square of human anatomy. Here—below the belly button and above the hips—food finishes its digestive journey, babies are grown, and the legs are supported. It’s a hub of activity and structures, which explains why different causes of pelvic pain abound. If it’s not a case of pelvic pain during pregnancy, consider these other possible causes and learn how to remedy them:

1. Appendicitis
Sharp pains on the lower right side of the belly—especially with vomiting or fever—may indicate an angry appendix. An emergency room visit is in order.

2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is a chronically spastic colon that causes pain, cramps, boating, and diarrhea or constipation. Diet changes, stress management, and medications can help.

3. Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)
Not all STDs are causes of pelvic pain, but some are. Left untreated, they can snowball into infertility and other serious health issues.

4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
The number one preventable cause of female infertility, PID is a complication of STDs. Pain tends to flare during sex or urination and may accompany a fever or abnormal vaginal discharge. It’s treatable with antibiotics.

5. Ovulation
One of the most common causes of pelvic pain is mittelschmerz, German for “middle pain.” It’s caused by the normal release of an egg during ovulation. If an egg gets stuck or irritates the follicle, an ovarian cyst can form. Most resolve on their own, but if one bursts or twists—ouch. Schedule an appointment with your doctor if your pain persists.

6. Uterine Fibroids
These benign growths can cause lower back pain or painful sex along with a host of other issues, like heavy periods. If one dies off, the pelvic pain can be intense. There are minimally invasive surgical ways to treat or manage them, if necessary.

7. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
These treatable infections often start with a sudden, frequent urge to pee. One of the leading causes of pelvic pain, UTIs can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, and one-sided lower-back pain.

8. Kidney Stones
These tiny crystals of salt and minerals start tiny and grow until they’re passed, which can be extremely painful. Usually, the treatment is patience but be sure your doctor is helping you manage the situation.

9. Interstitial Cystitis (IC)
IC is one of the more mysterious causes of pelvic pain. In severe cases, the need to pee is hourly and urgent, and urination and/or sex can hurt. Sometimes it causes pressure above the pubic area. IC flare-ups can be minimized with a doctor’s help.

10. Endometriosis
The pain from this disease is caused by rogue growth of the endometrium, which should line only the inside of the uterus but, in endometriosis, creeps outside. It’s one of the more persistent causes of pelvic pain, triggering an inflammatory reaction, growth of scar tissue, and blood-filled cysts.

With so many possible (and common) causes of pelvic pain, it’s best to visit your women’s health clinic to get to the root of your pain and on the path toward relief. If pain is severe, won’t go away, or is accompanied with fever or vomiting, see your doctor immediately.

Contact us to schedule an appointment online today.


This is a public forum, by which BDWH provides general information to patients and prospective patients. You should not post any personal or identifying information on this Blog. The information that appears on this Blog does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a Healthcare Professional.

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