Human abdomen houses large number of organs, right from the alimentary system to certain part of the urogenital tract. Any problem in these organs can reflex into abdominal symptoms, particularly pain. While most of the organs in men and women are same, few may be peculiar to the gender, especially those related to genital tract in women.
Pain in abdomen can be on right side or left side or all over the abdomen. Left sided abdominal pain in women can be due to variety of reasons. Some pain can be an indication of a serious disease while some type of pain can just be a nuisance. However, any form of pain in abdomen must not be neglected and needs to be treated on time.
Causes Of Left Side Abdominal Pain In Females
There are several causes of left sided abdominal pain in women. A proper medical history, clinical examination and medical tests will help to determine the exact diagnosis of pain in left side of abdomen in a woman. Following are the most common causes of such pain.
- Constipation: Constipation is a frequent cause of pain in left side of abdomen in woman. The cause of constipation can vary from one woman to another. For example it can be bad dietary habit in one woman while in other it can be due to lack of water intake while in other it can be due to stress.
- Diverticulitis: Diverticulitis is a disease related to digestive system. This disease typically occurs in a middle aged woman or elderly woman. Small pockets of bulges called diverticuli form in the large intestine. They get infected and inflamed. Pain in left side, fever, gases, bloating, constipation alternating with diarrhea are some of its main symptoms.
- Pancreatitis: Inflammation of pancreas can cause severe pain in left upper quadrant of abdomen. Pancreatitis in woman usually occurs due to obstruction of gall stone in the pancreatic duct.
- Irritable bowel syndrome: It is another intestine related disease which occurs between women of 20 to 40 years of age.
- Bacterial infection: Acute gastroenteritis caused due to bacterial infection or food poisoning can cause pain in left quadrant of abdomen. Vomiting, nausea, fever, frequent diarrhea and abdominal pain are few characteristic features of acute gastroenteritis.
- Kidney stone: Obstruction caused due to stone in the left kidney, left ureter can produce pain in left abdomen.
- Infection in left kidney: An infection in left kidney can cause severe lancinating pain in left side of abdomen along with high fever, vomiting, loss of appetite and nausea.
Reproductive system causes:
This needs a special mention because the causes are only present in woman.
- Mittelschmerz: Most women in their menstrual age group experience pain in one side of lower abdomen during the time of ovulation. It is called Mettleschmerz which in Germany means ovulation pain. This pain can be dull or sharp and may last from few minutes to few hours.
- Left ovarian cyst: A cyst is a fluid filled sac. When it is present in ovary it is called ovarian cyst. A large cyst in left ovary can produce pain in left lower abdomen.
- Ectopic pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy is pregnancy occurring other than in the uterus. It generally occurs in the fallopian tube. When ectopic pregnancy occurs in left fallopian tube, it causes severe pain on left lower abdomen. The pain is extremely severe and sharp. Ectopic pregnancy is life threatening condition which needs emergency medical attention.
- The other causes in females for left sided abdominal pain are endometriosis, ovarian torsion, tubo-ovarian abscess.
Treatment For Left Side Abdominal Pain In Women
Any type of abdominal pain, whether harmless or serious needs medical attention. Treatment of left sided abdominal pain depends on the underlying cause. For example if the cause is simply pertaining to ovulation, your doctor will not recommend any specific treatment. Only warm compresses over the soar area will help to alleviate pain. However, certain medical condition needs medical attention.
If constipation is causing pain, the female is advised to make changes in her diet. She may need to eat more vegetables and other fiber containing foods. At the same time she has to drink enough water throughout the day. If there is an infection, patient may need antibiotics. More serious disease may need urgent hospitalization as in case of pancreatitis or ectopic pregnancy or ovarian torsion.