The abdomen is a large cavity in the trunk, below the chest cavity and diaphragm, containing various organs and tissues. These include parts of the digestive system, the genitourinary system, blood vessels, nerves, muscles and bones of the spine.
Anatomically abdomen can be divided into four quadrants, with left and right halves and top and bottom halves. Some parts of the organ systems extend into the pelvic cavity, just below the lower abdomen, and external genitals (sex organs).
Pain is a common symptom when any of these organs or tissues is ill, suffers a stretched trauma or blocked, causing inflammation. Pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis areas may be due to inflammation in any of these organs:
- The appendix, parts of the large intestine and rectum
- The urinary bladder and ureters (tubes that connect the kidneys)
- The ovaries, the fallopian tubes and uterus
- Spermatic cords
- Skin, nerves, blood vessels and muscles
- Bones of the bottom of the column
- Lower portion of the aorta (a large artery)
Common causes of lower abdominal pain
The most common causes of pain in the lower abdomen, due to gastrointestinal problems include appendicitis, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. When the digestive system is involved, the most common symptoms that accompany may include fever, changes in bowel habits, gas and bloating, blood in the stool, nausea and vomiting, changes in appetite and weight loss.
pelvic and lower abdominal pain may also be due to disorders in the genitourinary system, and common causes include infection in the urinary bladder, urinary tract and urinary stones. The common accompanying symptoms include fever, burning sensation during urination, inability to urinate, urinating in small amounts, and the presence of blood in urine.
In women, pain can also be caused by pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, menstrual pain, ovulation pain, and other disorders in the uterus and ovaries. Accompanying symptoms may include changes in menstrual cycles, abnormal vaginal discharge and abnormal vaginal bleeding.
Developing tumors in any of these organs can also cause abdominal or pelvic pain, and accompanying symptoms may include fever, weight loss, and others, depending on the affected organ.
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When to visit a doctor?
It is best to consult a doctor if your symptoms persist or do not improve after a few days of home treatment.
Immediate treatment is needed if you have high fever, severe abdominal pain, abdominal pain or if it is due to trauma to the abdomen or the pelvis.
Other symptoms that indicate immediate treatment include:
- Vomiting for more than a few days
- Inability to pass stools for more than a few days
- Blood in the stool or vomit
- Blood in the urine
- The abdomen is painful to the touch
- Shortness of breath
- The pain worsens
- Painful urination
- Inability to urinate
Diagnosis of your abdominal pain may be made after a complete medical evaluation, which can be supported by laboratory tests. These may include blood, urine, stool tests and radiological examinations or imaging (X-ray, magnetic resonance, ultrasound, CT, etc.). Endoscopic examination to see internal organs can also apply when appropriate.