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12 Causes of Acute Pelvic Pain in Women

Acute pelvic pain may be defined as pain inferior (below) to the belly button and superior (above) to the legs lasting less than three-months.  It can be associated with a vast array of conditions involving the reproductive, urinary, gastrointestinal, or musculoskeletal systems.  As a result, acute pelvic pain can present a clinical challenge to medical professionals.  Acute pelvic pain can have many characteristics—sharp or dull, intermittent or constant, and mild, moderate, or severe.  It may also radiate to the thighs, lower back, or buttocks.  Some causes of acute pelvic pain may threaten the life or fertility of women.

 Twelve causes of acute pelvic pain in women are…  

 1. Appendicitis

Appendicitis represents inflammation of the appendix, which is a worm-like structure projecting from the lower right side of the colon.  The appendix has no known function.  Appendicitis is most likely caused by an obstruction of the appendix leading to an infection.  Symptoms of the condition may include pain in the right lower side of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite, and diarrhea or constipation.

Treatment of appendicitis usually entails an appendectomy, which is the surgical removal of the appendix.  The surgery can be executed in an open manner (which involves one long abdominal incision) or via laparoscopy (which involves several small abdominal incisions enabling the insertion of surgical tools and a camera).  Surgery via laparoscopy has been shown to lead to a faster recovery with less scarring and pain.  Complications of the condition may include the rupture of the appendix leading to peritonitis (infection throughout the abdomen).


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