What Causes Women’s Pelvic Pain?

What Causes Women’s Pelvic Pain?

Pelvic pain in women could be due to an infection or an issue with the reproductive system, or other organ in that part of the body. It impacts the lower female abdomen, between the groin and belly button, and may indicate a gastrointestinal issue (such as being intolerant to a certain food); ovulation, menstrual cramps, or something more serious. If you experience a new type of pelvic pain, then it is advisable to see a specialist [1]. Indeed: “a thorough diagnosis is essential in every case so that people can avoid potentially serious complications and find the best treatment” [2].

What is Chronic Pelvic Pain?

This refers to experiencing pain for 6 months or more in the pelvic area on a woman between the hips and below the bellybutton. There are various causes which bring it on. Moreover, it could be a condition in its own right, or a symptom of a different disease. In the case of the latter, if the problem can be diagnosed and treated, then your pain could be eliminated. Unfortunately, however, a single reason for women’s pelvic pain or female public area pain, are not so easy to identify [1].

So What Are the Symptoms for Chronic Pelvic Pain?

“Women lower abdominal pain” is googled all the time, and the fact is that you can experience one or more of the following extensive list of symptoms:

•Intermittent pain
•Pain in lower female abdomen
•Severe continual pain
•Sharp pain
•Dull aching pain
•Heaviness or pressure deep inside the pelvis
•Pain in right lower pelvis female
•Pain in left lower pelvis female
•Sharp pain in right pelvis female
•Sharp pain in left pelvis female
•Sharp stabbing pain in pelvis female
•Swollen right side of pelvis female
•Swollen left side of pelvis female
•Pain in the lower left groin area female
•Pain in lower right abdomen near groin female
•Pain in pelvis and back female
•Pain in groin and stomach female
•Female reproductive pain
•Pain in groin and pubic area female
•Left side of pelvis swollen female
•Sore pelvic area female
•Lower middle pelvic pain female
•Ache in pelvis female
•Pain below hip bone left side female
•Tight pelvic floor symptoms female
•Groin bone pain female
•Stomach and groin pain female
•Stabbing pain in pelvis female
•Shooting pain in pelvic area female

In addition to the aforementioned, you may also experience:

•Painful intercourse
•Pain while urinating
•Pain during a bowel movement
•Pain from sitting down for extended periods of time

Of note: your uncomfortable feeling might get worse if you stand for extended periods of time; yet be ameliorated if you lie down. Your degree of pain could be severe, and stop you from exercising and getting a good night’s sleep. Moreover, you might not even be able to work. Conversely, your pain could just be mild, and slightly upsetting[2].

So What Causes Long-term Pelvic Pain?

Chronic pain in the pelvic area of women is a subject which medical researchers spend a lot of time on. This is due to the fact that it is a highly intricate field, and the root cause can be put down to a single, or multiple issues; or the consequence of a number of medical conditions. For instance:
a patient could have interstitial cystitis, and endometriosis: two conditions which contribute to long-term pelvic pain [2].

The following list highlights some of the causes of chronic pelvic pain:

•Endometriosis: describes a disease in which the tissue that lines the inside of the womb (uterus), grows outside the uterus – generally, in the pelvis or lower abdomen. These tissue deposits bleed, break down and thicken, as they react to a woman’s menstrual cycle in the same way that the uterus lining does – according to fluctuating hormones. As this occurs outside the uterus, the tissue and blood are unable to exit the body via the vagina. So in this case, they remain with the abdomen. This can result in adhesions (fibrous bands of scar tissue), and painful cysts [2].
•Musculoskeletal issues: this refers to a number of conditions which impact the connective tissue, joints and bones (which are collectively known as the musculoskeletal system). These conditions, which can result in recurring pelvic pain, include: a hernia; pubic symphysis (which is inflammation of the pubic joint); muscle tension in the pelvic floor; and fibromyalgia [2].
•Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease: can come about when a long-term infection, which is frequently due to a SID (sexually transmitted disease), results in scarring to the pelvic organs [2].
•Ovarian remnant: describes a small piece of ovary. This can develop into a painful cyst after the remnant is inadvertently left inside the body after surgery to remove the fallopian tubes, ovaries or uterus [2].
•Fibroids: refer to non-cancerous uterine growths which might generate heaviness or pressure within the lower abdomen. On rare occasions (unless they start to degenerate due to a lack of blood supply), these growths can produce a sharp pain in the region [2].
•IBS (irritable bowel syndrome): can cause pressure and pain in the pelvic region due to the diarrhoea, constipation or the bloating that it generates [2].
•Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome): is linked to needing to urinate more often than usual, and having recurring bladder pain. Of note: sufferers may find that they experience more pelvic pain as their bladder fills up, and this may be temporarily ameliorated once they empty their bladder [2].
•Pelvic congestion syndrome: “Some doctors believe enlarged, varicose-type veins around your uterus and ovaries may result in pelvic pain. However, other doctors are much less certain that pelvic congestion syndrome is a cause of pelvic pain because most women with enlarged veins in the pelvis have no associated pain” [2].
•Psychological component: the risk of long-term pelvic pain may be elevated in women who have a history of sexual or physical abuse; or in those who suffer from chronic stress or depression. Moreover, there may be a vicious cycle at play, as: pain is exacerbated by emotional stress, and living with chronic pain adds to emotional distress levels [2].


[1]. The Mayo Clinic (2019). “Chronic Pelvic pain in Women.”

[2]. Johnson, J. (2020). “What causes pelvic pain in women?”