Causes of Lower Abdominal Cramps in Women
Lower abdominal cramps in women occur due to any problem which affects the female reproductive organs. Having a vagina, a cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries and a uterus means women have more reproductive organs to worry about when compared to men. Hence, abdominal cramps are more common in women than in men. Keep reading to learn about the many causes of lower abdominal cramps in women.
Most often, the exact reason for abdominal pain in a woman can be diagnosed accurately. This accuracy becomes even more certain when the condition is related to causes like labor pain or menstrual pain. Buti n some cases, the exact cause of an abdominal cramp cannot be discovered or diagnosed, even after exhaustive investigations.
Causes of Lower Abdominal Cramps
Similar to all cases of pain in the abdomen, cramps lasting more than an hour must be not neglected, and treated if necessary. Here are most common causes of abdominal cramps in women:
- Emotional worries
- Sexual abuse
- Perimenstrual tension
- Pelvic congestion syndrome
- Chronic pelvic pain syndrome
- Adhesion abdominal pain
- Kidney stones
- Trapped wind
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohns disease
- Coeliac disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Ovarian Cancer
- Twisted ovarian cyst
- Ruptured ovarian cyst
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- False labor in middle or late pregnancy (Braxton Hicks)
- Labour pain
- Inter-menstrual pain known as mid-cycle pain. Also known as Mittleschmerz (usually in teenage girls)
- Period pain also called menstrual pain
- Urinary tract infection
With the seriousness of some causes of lower abdominal cramps, this condition must be taken seriously. You should seek immediate medical treatment to get relief from continuous pain and discomfort.
Signs and Symptoms of Lower Abdominal Cramps in Women
Lower abdominal cramps in women are mostly associated with the digestive tract, although this pain can also be linked to conditions of the reproductive organs, the urinary tract, blood vessels, skin, or the body wall. The affected region can be tender to the touch. Also, the whole abdomen can become rigid and pain can become more severe.
Signs and Symptoms
- Severe cramps can be a symptom of bowel perforation, bowel obstruction, appendicitis or inflammation. Severe pain in the abdomen experienced by women can be a result of pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy or an ovarian cyst.
- Cramping pain can be associated with endometriosis or menstrual cramps apart from causes like infection, inflammation, indigestion or gas.
- If you are experiencing abdominal cramps in waves, then it might indicate kidney stones. Any form of trauma or conditions such as shingles, hernias and injuries to the body wall can also lead to pain in the lower abdomen.
- A hernia is characterized by the weakening of tissues or muscle which allows tissues or other organs to protrude through it.
- Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus. This leads to the development of blistering, painful rashes which often form a stripe on the affected skin area.
- If pain suddenly begins, worsens, recurs, persists or becomes severe, or it is accompanied by several other serious symptoms, this is a reason to worry. Pain in the lower abdomen can be caused by serious medical conditions.
- Seek immediate medical treatment and care if you have a rigid abdomen or severe pain, are vomiting blood, have bloody stools or stop having bowel movements despite the pain.
- Also, seek medical attention if you have vaginal bleeding, experience abdominal pain during pregnancy, have cancer, experience a sudden onset of severe cramping or have been recently injured.
It is very important to seek medical care and treatment if one experiences any of these signs and symptoms of lower abdominal cramps in women.
Treatment for Lower Abdominal Cramps in Women
All women might experience pain or discomfort in their lower abdomen from time to time such as before or during their period. Minor lower abdominal cramps in women are a common occurrence.
It can be a difficult task to identify the exact cause of the condition, but noting and observing symptoms and episodes of pain can lead you and your health care provider to a correct diagnosis.
The most common causes of pain in the lower abdomen regions are complications related to the female reproductive system – the ovaries, Fallopian tubes and the uterus. Other common reasons include a bowel problem or a urinary disorder like kidney or bladder problems.
There can be a wide range of possible causes of pain in the lower abdomen and there are different tests available to your doctor. These tests are done when necessary to identify and diagnose the exact cause of the severe, pelvic pain.
Diagnosis and observation are done based on sensitivity, culture tests and a pelvic examination to detect infection. Also, laparoscopy and imaging examinations like an MRI scan, ultrasonography, CT scan and abdominal X-rays can be performed to diagnose the exact cause of cramps.
The method of treatment depends on the diagnosis and varies from medicines to treating urinary tract infections or vaginal infections to providing medical treatment for serious infections like PID. Cramps in the lower abdominal region are often successfully treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and over-the-counter pain relievers.
If any type of infection is the cause of the severe cramps, it can be treated with the help of antibiotics. In a few cases, hormone treatment such as the use of oral contraceptives can be administered. To ease very severe pain, antidepressants like amitriptyline or nortriptyline which treat the mood problems associated with severe pain.
Treatment for lower abdominal pain in women can be successfully administered if one knows the exact cause of the severe pain. Please seek immediate medical intervention to avoid any further complications if you are experiencing the type of pain discussed in this article.