Types of Abdominal Pain in Females

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The stomach comes first while comparing other things. This proverb means that it is more important to fill your stomach with food than to do other work. This proverb also highlights the importance of the stomach, though it talks about hunger. Stomach issues are the worst to feel, as they also affect your food consumption. One stomach issue is abdominal pain. These days, women are so busy with their careers and other work that they are not able to take care of themselves properly. They have many health issues that cause disturbances in their normal lifestyle. Abdominal pain in females is one of the health conditions that affect women for various reasons.

Let’s take a look at abdominal pain in females.

What is abdominal pain?

Abdominal pain refers to pain that occurs anywhere between your chest and groin. The abdomen is often considered as the stomach region or belly. Abdominal pain can have causes that aren’t due to an underlying disease. Abdominal pain can be considered a symptom relating to both non-serious and serious medical problems. Abdominal pain involves various causes, and it has treatments.

The abdominal cavity comprises the following parts:

  • Stomach
  • Duodenum (first part)
  • Jejunum
  • Ileum
  • Liver
  • Gallbladder
  • Tail of the pancreas
  • Spleen
  • Transverse colon

Types of abdominal pain and causes 

For the purpose of better understanding, abdominal pain could be divided into four different types, as per its region.

  1. Upper right abdominal pain
  2. Upper-left abdominal pain
  3. Lower right abdominal pain
  4. Lower left abdominal pain

Here are the causes of abdominal pain in various regions.

  • Common: appendicitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or urinary tract infection.
  • Upper abdomen: gallstones, GERD, pancreatitis, or heart attack.
  • Lower abdomen: appendicitis, salpingitis (fallopian tube inflammation), or ectopic pregnancy.
  • Middle abdomen: appendicitis, pancreatitis, intestinal blockage, or thoracic aortic aneurysm.
  • Upper left abdomen: spleen infection, shingles, hiatal hernia, or heart attack.
  • Lower left abdomen: diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, kidney stone disease, or ulcerative colitis.
  • Upper right abdomen: hepatitis, cholangitis (bile duct swelling), peptic ulcer, or faecal impaction (hardened stools).
  • Lower right abdominal pain: appendicitis, cholecystitis (gall bladder inflammation), ovarian cysts, or stomach flu.

Upper right abdominal pain

Here are the major causes of upper-right abdominal pain.

1. Liver conditions

Liver conditions could result in upper right abdominal pain.

The symptoms of a liver condition are:

  • Right upper quadrant pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Darkened urine
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Yellowish skin (jaundice)
  • Abdominal tenderness

2. Kidney problems

Kidney problems like a urinary tract infection (UTI) will lead to RUQ pain. The symptoms of a kidney problem accompanying upper right abdominal pain are:

  • Pain that goes to the lower back or groin; foul-smelling urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Painful urination
  • Blood in your urine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fever

3. Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a condition that occurs earlier in pregnancy or, in a few cases, postpartum. Other symptoms indicating preeclampsia other than upper right abdominal pain are:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Decreased urination
  • Protein in urine
  • Severe headache
  • Kidney or liver problems
  • Blurred vision or sensitivity to light
  • Shortness of breath

Preeclampsia is dangerous to women’s lives and their undelivered babies, so it must be treated immediately.

4. Gastrointestinal issues

Many gastrointestinal issues, like indigestion, gastritis, and ulcers, could result in upper right abdominal pain. Other symptoms of gastrointestinal issues are:

  • Abdominal bloating
  • A feeling of uncomfortable fullness
  • Burping or gas
  • Nausea or vomiting

5. Gallbladder issues 

Gallbladder issues like choledocholithiasis (gallstones present in your bile ducts.) can cause right abdominal pain. Other symptoms of gallbladder issues other than upper right abdominal pain include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Yellow-colored skin (jaundice)
  • Darkened urine or light-coloured stools

6. Pancreatic issue

An inflammation in the pancreas called pancreatitis could cause upper right abdominal pain. Upper-right abdominal pain is one of the main symptoms of pancreatitis.

Upper-left abdominal pain

Here are the major causes of upper left abdominal pain.

1. Inflammatory bowel disease

Though the exact cause is unknown, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) could result in upper-left abdominal pain. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Other symptoms accompanying IBD other than upper left abdominal pain are:

  • Blood in stools
  • Frequent diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss

2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Upper left abdominal pain is one of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, other than the upper left abdominal pain, include:

  • Bowel movements change
  • Constipation
  • Stomach cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • White mucus in stools
  • Tiredness
  • Food sensitivities or intolerances
  • Bacterial infection or the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine

3. Costochondritis

Costochondritis is a cartilage inflammation that might cause pain in the upper left abdomen. The symptoms of costochondritis include:

  • Chest pain that worsens during a deep breath.
  • Chest pain during physical activity.
  • Fever
  • Nausea

4. Broken ribs

The broken ribs Due to an injury, a person might feel pain in the affected ribs and also in the chest while breathing. Here are the symptoms of broken ribs:

  • Worst chest pain
  • Feel short of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Shoulder pain

5. Pericarditis

Pericarditis results in upper-left abdominal pain. Its other symptoms, other than upper left abdominal pain, are:

6. Pancreatitis

Inflammation in the pancreas, called pancreatitis, causes upper left abdominal pain other than upper right abdominal pain.

  • Abdominal Pain
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Swelling-like feel in the abdomen
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

7. Gastritis

Inflammation in the stomach lining, called gastritis, could result in gastritis. Other than the upper left abdominal pain, gastritis could show the following symptoms:

  • Drug or alcohol overuse
  • Bacterial infection
  • Radiation exposure
  • Body’s stress

8. Kidney stones

Small kidney stones will come out through the urine. But upper kidney stones can cause upper left abdominal pain, other than showing the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the abdomen and back
  • Pain when urinating
  • Blood in the urine
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills

9. Kidney infection

Kidney infections can cause pain in the upper left abdomen region. Other than this pain, the symptoms of the symptoms of the kidney infection include:

  • Pain when urinating
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain in the back and groin
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

10. Swelled spleen

Spleen problems are also indicated by upper-left abdominal pain. Issues like liver disease or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) might cause spleen inflammation. The general symptoms of an enlarged spleen are:

  • Upper left abdomen pain
  • Anaemia
  • Feel full after eating small amounts
  • Fatigue
  • Bleeding
  • Frequent infections

Lower right abdomen pain

Appendicitis is the most serious cause of abdominal pain. Many conditions could result in lower right abdomen pain.

1. Appendicitis

Appendicitis mostly causes lower right abdominal pain. Appendicitis occurs when the tube-like, structured appendix inflames, causing abdominal pain.

Other than the lower right abdominal pain, the appendicitis symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Low appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

2. Kidney infection

An infection in the kidney can cause pain in the lower back, side, and groin. This kidney infection also causes lower right abdominal pain. Other symptoms of kidney infection are mentioned above, such as upper right abdominal pain.

3. Hernia

The lower right abdominal pain might be a symptom of hernia. Hernia mostly occurs in the abdominal area, and its severity may increase over time. In a hernia, some of your insides bulge through an opening in the muscle or tissue that carries it. Groin and femoral hernias usually happen on the right side.

4. Kidney stones

Kidney stones, also called nephrolithiasis, are a condition in which minerals develop in the kidney to build the stones, including calcium. Larger kidney stones cause heavy pain around the lower back, side, abdomen, and groin. The pain may vary in location and severity as the kidney stones travel throughout the urinary system. Kidney stones cause lower right abdominal pain. 

5. Irritable bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic condition in the digestive system that also causes lower right abdominal pain. Its other symptoms are listed above under the topic of upper left abdominal pain.

6. Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a collection of many conditions that usually affect the digestive system.

7. Indigestion

Indigestion might cause lower right abdominal pain, along with symptoms like heartburn and flatulence. Indigestion has been occurring for more than two weeks and needs to be treated.

8. Intestinal gas

Gas could be formed in the intestines if there is not sufficient digestion of the food you eat. This intestinal gas could result in lower abdominal pain along with discomfort and bloating in the abdominal area.

9. Menstruation 

Some women get abdominal pain in the lower abdomen during the onset of their periods. The symptoms of menstruation include:

  • Cramping pain in the lower abdominal region
  • Pain within 1 to 3 days of the period.
  • Abdominal pain occurs during the 2–3 days of your period.
  • Dull and continuous ache
  • Pain in your lower back and thighs

Lower left abdomen pain

Gas is one of the main reasons for the lower left abdominal pain. Pain in the lower left abdomen might also be a sign of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or a hernia.

1. Gas

Gas might occur in the digestive tract. The symptoms of gas, other than abdominal pain, are:

  • Passing gas
  • Belching
  • Bloating feeling in the abdomen

The gas is caused by many reasons, like swallowing air, smoking, excessive eating, chewing gum, undigested foods, some bacteria in the stomach, and health conditions.

2. Diverticulitis

The lower left abdominal pain could be caused by diverticulitis. Diverticulitis occurs when the small pouches in the intestinal wall, known as diverticula, become infected and inflamed.

Apart from the lower left abdominal pain, the other symptoms of diverticulitis include:

  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Blood in stools occasionally
  • Vomiting

3. Celiac disease

Celiac disease occurs in the digestive tract when a person cannot digest the protein gluten. Gluten is found in several foods, like wheat, and in some healthcare products. This celiac disease causes digestive issues, which in turn result in lower left abdominal pain.

The symptoms of celiac disease are:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Pressure and gas
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhoea

4. Menstruation 

Apart from the lower abdominal pain, some women have the symptoms below during menstruation.

  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Loose stools

5. Lactose intolerance

Lactose-intolerant people usually find it hard to digest milk and milk-based products like yoghurt and cheese. This is due to the low amount of an enzyme called lactose in their body. People with lactose intolerance are unable to digest all the lactose in food and drink. Unabsorbed lactose causes gas and fluid, which causes symptoms like: 

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Bloating
  • Loose stool or diarrhoea
  • Gas
  • Nausea

6. Inflammatory bowel disease

Crohn’s disease, which is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), occurs in the small intestine, while ulcerative colitis happens in the large intestine. These conditions of IBD lead to lower left abdominal pain.

7. Shingles

Shingles are caused by the virus, which is the reason behind chickenpox. If a person gets chickenpox once, the virus might revamp and cause pain in the abdominal area. Usually, vaccines for shingles help lower the risk of a person having shingles later in life.

8. IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that especially affects the stomach and intestines. So, IBS leads to pain like lower left abdominal pain. Some alterations in the nerves and muscles relating to the gut could cause IBS.

9. Hernia

Hernia causes lower left abdominal pain. Any organ or other body part might be pushed through the abdominal wall when hernia occurs. One may find the bulge in the midsection of the groin. The other symptoms of a hernia, apart from the lower left abdominal pain, are mentioned above.

10. Constipation

Constipation refers to the condition when a person isn’t able to pass a stool or passes hard stools less than three times a week. Sometimes, it might occur because of less exercise or fluids. Apart from the lower left abdominal pain, difficulty passing stools is the main symptom of constipation.

11. Kidney stones

As mentioned above, small kidney stones come out of your body through the urine. Larger kidney stones can cause abdominal pain. Kidney stones also have other symptoms, which have already been mentioned under the lower right abdomen pain. Kidney stones cannot be sensed until their symptoms are clearly felt.

12. Ovulation

Ovulation could cause abdominal pain during the course of time or before or after it. The follicle growth might stretch the ovary surface before ovulation, which results in abdominal pain. The release of blood or other fluid from the ruptured egg follicle during ovulation might result in abdominal lining irritation in some cases.

13. Intestinal obstruction

Intestinal obstruction causes severe abdominal pain. Food will not be able to pass through the digestive tract at the time of blockage in the intestine. Some hernias and medical conditions affecting the intestines can lead to intestinal obstruction. Patients with IBD or colon cancer or those who have undergone abdominal surgery might be affected by intestinal obstruction.

Apart from the abdominal pain, the other symptoms of intestinal obstruction include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Inability to pass stool
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Noises from the stomach

14. Ectopic pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy can be dangerous to women’s lives, as the fallopian tube might burst sometimes. Ectopic pregnancy refers to a condition when a fertilized egg grows outside the uterus, especially in the fallopian tube. This pregnancy causes abdominal pain. Other than that, the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are:

  • Irregular vaginal bleeding.
  • Lower back pain
  • Pelvic pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Dizziness

15. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when tissue the same as the woman’s uterus lining grows in other parts. It is caused by many factors, like menstrual cycle issues, immune system problems, and genetic problems. Endometriosis causes pain in the abdomen. Other than that, endometriosis symptoms include:

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pelvis pain

Abdominal pain diagnosis

To diagnose persistent or severe abdominal pain, a doctor might use different techniques. Based on the location of your abdominal pain, a doctor might determine the cause behind it.

Your doctor will conduct a physical test and analyze the details, like symptoms, medical history, etc. The diagnosis methods to find the possible causes for treatment include:

  • CT scans: X-rays are used to take detailed pictures of structures inside your stomach.
  • MRI scans: powerful magnets and radio waves are used to take pictures of the inside of the abdomen. It does not use X-rays.
  • Ultrasound imaging: A small transducer sends the sound waves to your body and gathers the returned ones. Further, they are sent to a computer to get the images.
  • Physical tests: Here, the transmission and reflection of ultrasound waves are used to view the internal body parts through the abdominal wall.
  • Endoscopy: A tube with an attached light and camera is inserted down the throat and into the stomach. This helps to generate an image of the lower abdomen.
  • Urine test: A sample of the patient’s urine is collected to identify the cause of pain.
  • Blood test: By inserting a needle inside the patient’s elbow, the blood will be collected for analysis.
  • Stool tests: This test looks for the pathogens (bacteria, viruses, and parasites) in your stool to find out the cause of stomach pain.

After a doctor determines the cause of the abdominal pain, he or she might refer the patient to a health specialist related to that pain symptom for further treatment.

Abdominal pain treatment

The cause of abdominal pain will determine the type of treatment. An affected person can consult their doctor to find out the correct treatment.

  • Medications and rest: Lower left abdominal pain caused by conditions like diverticulitis needs medication and rest. Doctors might suggest giving medication below based on the cause of pain:

1. Steroids for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

2. Antibiotics: for bacterial conditions or some ulcers.

3. Proton pump inhibitors: ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux.

4. Medications having simethicone: gas pain or bloating.

5. Stool softeners or laxatives cause some constipation.

6. Antacids and acid-reducing medications: stomach fullness, acid reflux, or belching.

  • Surgery: Abdominal pain due to conditions like intestinal or duct blockage, kidney stones (in some cases), hernia, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes, gallstones, and appendicitis might need surgery.
  • Change in Diet Plan: Replacing some foods and avoiding some foods will help people with constipation or gas.
  • Avoiding some foods: Your doctor might tell you to avoid some foods to treat issues like lactose intolerance.
  • Long-term dietary management: Some diet structures have to be followed for a long time for abdominal pain due to IBS or IBD.

Do not use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in the case of abdominal pain, as they might irritate the stomach.

When should I see a doctor? 

People with long-term abdominal pain should consult their doctor. They must immediately report to their doctor if they have:

· Blood in stools

· Continuous constipation

· Unexplained weight loss

· Persistent diarrhoea or a change in bowel movements

A doctor might help them treat their abdominal pain based on the underlying cause.

Abdominal pain prevention

Some abdominal pains cannot be prevented, as they might be indications of a serious medical condition. However, here are some tips to prevent abdominal pain:

· Modify your eating habits.

· Take smaller bites and eat slowly.

· Have meals at regular intervals rather than consume them in bulk.

· Do not eat foods like grilled meat, spicy foods, etc., that upset your stomach.

· Drink a sufficient amount of water and healthier drinks.

· Perform exercises that aid in proper digestion.

· Avoid eating chemically enhanced food for its taste.

· Practice your physical limitations.

· Have a good amount of sleep for proper digestion.


Abdominal pain is pain that occurs in any part of the abdominal region and could show symptoms in the upper or lower abdominal region. It might be temporary, or it might indicate a health condition like kidney stones, appendicitis, etc. Females must take care of themselves to prevent themselves from the stomach pain that occurs because of causes like pregnancy. The person with abdominal pain must consult the doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Not all abdominal pain can be prevented, so unavoidable abdominal pain has to be diagnosed and treated.


1) How do I relieve abdominal pain?

· Don’t drink alcohol. Drink a sufficient amount of water and healthy drinks.
· Avoid highly spiced foods like grilled meat.
· Eat nutritious fruits along with your healthy diet.

2) What are the three types of abdominal pain?

There are three main types of abdominal pain: visceral, parietal, and referred pain.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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