Lower Left Abdominal Pain in Women

Lower Left Abdominal Pain in Women

When internal organs located in the lower left quadrant of the abdomen get affected by trauma or any medical condition, it could give rise to pain in the lower left region of the abdomen. This HerHaleness write-up provides information on the possible causes of lower left abdominal pain in women.
HerHaleness Staff
Last Updated: Mar 5, 2018
Persistent pelvic pain or pain in the lower abdominal region can be a cause of concern for women, as the reproductive organs are located in the lower right and lower left quadrants of the abdomen. In women, organs located in the lower abdominal region include urinary bladder, sigmoid colon, reproductive organs, descending colon, appendix, and the cecum. In particular, the lower left quadrant of the abdomen is located below the umbilicus plane, and includes certain parts of the large intestine (descending colon and sigmoid colon), left ovary and Fallopian tube, and the left ureter. If any of these organs get damaged due to an injury or disease, it could give rise to lower left abdominal pain in women. It must be noted that pain could even be referred from another part of the body. For instance, pain could sometimes be caused due to indigestion or intestinal gas.
Contributing Factors
Endometriosis
Endometriosis is a medical condition wherein the cells of the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) grow outside the uterus. At times, the ovaries might get affected. This displaced tissue thickens and bleeds with very menstrual cycle, but it cannot exit the body. The development of scar tissue or adhesions can give rise to symptoms such as painful periods, pain during sexual intercourse, pain during urination or bowel movements, fatigue, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, etc.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Often a complication of sexually transmitted diseases, the pelvic inflammatory disease is characterized by the infection of the uterus, ovaries, and Fallopian tubes. It occurs when bacteria or pathogens travel from the cervix to the upper genital tract. The symptoms include pain in the lower abdominal region, abnormal/increased vaginal discharge, nausea, vomiting, pain during urination, pain during sexual intercourse, etc.
Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids are benign growths that form on the walls of the uterus. These develop from the smooth muscular tissue of the uterus (myometrium). At times, uterine fibroids may be asymptomatic, which means that they don't cause any symptoms. The symptoms could vary, depending on the size, location, and number of fibroids. Medical assistance must be sought by women who experience pain or pressure in the pelvic region, painful periods, pain during sexual intercourse, spotting between the periods, difficulty while emptying the bladder, enlarged uterus, etc.
Diverticulitis
Lower left abdominal pain is one of the common symptoms of diverticulitis, which refers to the inflammation of a diverticulum (abnormal pouch that forms in the walls of the large intestine). It is believed that individuals affected by chronic constipation might be susceptible to this condition. In case of individuals who follow a diet that is low in fiber, the large intestine has to work harder to push the fecal matter. This could lead to the development of weak spots in the colon. Pouches might form along these spots. Bacteria might thrive, if fecal matter gets trapped in these pouches. If these pouches become inflamed, it could give rise to abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, diarrhea/constipation, fever, chills, loss of appetite, etc.
Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancy is a condition in which the fertilized egg gets implanted outside the uterus. In majority of the cases, the fertilized egg gets implanted in either of the fallopian tubes. This condition is characterized by symptoms such as vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, abdominal cramps, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc. If the Fallopian tube ruptures, it could give rise to complications.
Constipation
Individuals affected by acute and chronic constipation are also likely to experience abdominal pain. Other conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, etc., could also be the contributing factors for pain in the abdominal region.
Cancer
In some cases, lower left abdominal pain could be caused due to the development of cancer. Cancer is a serious condition wherein abnormal and uncontrolled cell division gives rise to the development of a malignant growth. If the tumor develops in the uterus, it could give rise to pelvic pain, abnormal vaginal bleeding, pain during sexual intercourse, or pain while emptying the bladder. If the malignant growth is in the cervix, it could give rise to abnormal vaginal bleeding and/or discharge, pelvic pain, pain during sexual intercourse, pain during urination and bowel movements, swelling in the legs, etc. If cancer affects the ovaries, it could give rise to pelvic discomfort, abdominal bloating, quickly feeling full while eating, change in bowel habits, weight loss, frequent need to urinate, etc.
Besides the aforementioned conditions, women could experience pain or abdominal discomfort due to menstrual problems, ovarian cysts, infections affecting the kidneys, stomach, small or large intestine, etc. Since pain in the pelvic region could be caused due to serious medical conditions, it's advisable to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.