Many women experience left-sided abdominal pain just below the waistline, which can be attributed to a variety of causes. These sources of discomfort encompass infections in the left fallopian tubes, menstrual cramps, constipation, diverticulitis, ovarian disorders on the left side, irritable bowel syndrome, ectopic pregnancies on the left, ulcerative colitis, left-sided kidney stones, and Crohn’s disease.
This abdominal pain in the left side of women can be linked to various affected organs and structures, emphasizing the importance of not neglecting recurring pain. Seeking prompt medical attention is essential because these issues can potentially evolve into chronic conditions.
Which Organs are Potentially Affected?
The left side of the abdomen houses several organs and structures, including the skin and muscles covering the abdominal wall’s left side, cervix, the lower portion of the left kidney, nerves, major blood vessels such as aorta branches, the left ureter, the left ovary, fallopian tube, the descending part of the large bowel, a portion of the urinary bladder, and the sigmoid colon.
Another common cause of left abdominal pain in women is fibroids. Diagnosis typically involves an ultrasound, and treatment options vary based on the size of the fibroids. These options include uterine embolization, which reduces fibroid size by blocking blood supply, myomectomy for fibroid removal, and microwave ablation.
Are There Other Possible Causes?
In comparison to men, women have additional reproductive organs, including the uterus, vagina, ovaries, cervix, and fallopian tubes, which can lead to abdominal pain when affected by diseases or infections. Conditions in the rectum and the larger intestine on the left side, such as diverticulitis and constipation, can also contribute to lower abdominal pain, often referred to as female pelvic pain.
Other potential causes of left abdominal pain in women include abdominal aortic aneurysms (aorta rupture), bowel cancer, bowel obstructions, ectopic pregnancies, endometriosis, Henoch-Schönlein purpura, hernias, kidney stones, pyelonephritis (kidney infection), and ovarian cysts.
Approaches to Address Health Issues
How should left abdominal pain in women be treated, regardless of its severity? It is advisable to consult a family doctor or a general physician. Temporary relief from ulcers and heartburn can be achieved with antacids. Maintaining a balanced diet low in salt and spices is recommended, alongside staying well-hydrated to prevent kidney stones. In cases of infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
Menstrual pain may also cause left abdominal discomfort. If the pain persists for several days, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken, preferably a day or two before menstruation begins. In cases where painkillers prove ineffective, oral contraceptive pills may be advised.
For pain associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), doctors may conduct vaginal swabs, blood tests, or ultrasound scans. Treatment varies based on the severity of the infection and may involve antibiotics or medications like Ceftriaxone.
In the case of ectopic pregnancies, doctors typically perform urine and blood tests and conduct ultrasounds. In cases of rupture, emergency surgery is necessary. Non-bleeding ectopic pregnancies may be treated with medications. If left abdominal pain persists despite following prescribed treatments, consulting a specialist becomes crucial.