Pain in Lower Left Abdomen? 26 Causes and Treatments You Must Know

Lower left abdominal pain (LLAP) is medically termed as left lower quadrant pain. The pain in the lower left side of the abdomen is typically due to the gastrointestinal diseases, genitourinary disorders, gynecologic disorders, vascular diseases and other illness.

Depends upon the organ which causes the pain in the lower left abdomen, the pain is dull to severe. Although most of the causes are applicable to both women and men, women are suffered a lot due to this lower left side pain.

Most of the medical conditions can be treated with simple remedies such as antibiotics, pain relievers, and home care. But some diseases needed critical care and surgery.

What Causes Pain in Lower Left Side of Abdomen?

Here are some of the possible reasons for getting pain in the lower left abdomen. I did a detailed research and listed 26 possible causes in 5 different areas.

pain in lower left abdomen stomach

Gastrointestinal Diseases

The Gastrointestinal diseases are the diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract and accessory organs namely the stomach, liver, gallbladder, esophagus, small intestine, large intestine, rectum, and pancreas.

It is obvious that problems that are felt in the lower left abdomen may be caused by issues in the above-mentioned organs. These diseases are one of the major causes for the lower left abdominal pain (LLAP) or left lower quadrant pain.

Let us see the list of gastrointestinal diseases that causes pain in the lower left side.

1. Constipation

Constipation is related to bowel movements and it is one of the major cause for your pain in the lower left side of the abdomen. It is the difficult passage of stools or the infrequent or incomplete passage of stools.

Constipation is common for both men and women and the severity of constipation varies from person to person. It lasts for few hours to days depends on your health.

The primary causes of constipation are not eating sufficient fibre content in your diet, changes in your eating habits, not drinking enough fluids, anxiety, ignoring the urge to pass stools and depression.

You can get rid of constipation by drinking enough fluids, taking enough fibre rich foods, taking rest and relax.

2. Infectious Colitis

The inflammation of the colon or large intestine is medically termed as colitis. Infectious colitis is the inflammation of large intestine is due to the foreign infectious agents such as a virus, bacteria or parasites.

The main symptoms of infectious colitis include dehydration, fever, diarrhea, lower left stomach pain, watery stool or blood in the stool or mucus in the stool. The infectious agent may also produce a lot of gas in your stomach, cramps and bloat.

The treatment depends on the type of the infectious agent and usually, drinking a lot of fluids is prescribed to get rid of this illness. Your doctor may prescribe certain medications to reduce the fever and pain. Some antibiotics may also be helpful in reducing the symptoms.

3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Crohn’s Disease

It is a medical condition in which the long-term swelling and irritation occur at different parts of the digestive tract. It causes cramps in the lower abdomen or middle parts of your abdomen. The cramps can be mild to severe.

It is accompanied with some other symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, urinary urgency, fatigue, fever, blood in poop, weight loss and feeling that your bowels are not completely empty after you go.

You cannot treat this disease at home. Your doctor will treat this disease with drugs to stop the immune system from causing inflammation of abdomen.

Note: Inflammatory Bowel Disease differs from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Don’t confuse this illness with IBS.

4. Ischemic Bowel

The Ischemic colitis or Ischemic bowel is a medical condition that causes inflammation of the large intestine or colon. This condition occurs when there is not enough blood flow to your large intestine or colon.

The symptoms include pain in your abdomen after eating, diarrhea, pain in the lower left side, vomiting, an urgent need to have a bowel movement and soreness in the abdomen.

If the disease is mild, then it may go away with mild treatment such as antibiotics, intravenous (IV) fluids, pain medications, and a liquid diet. For acute Ischemic bowel, medications and sometimes surgery are preferred depends on the severity.

The ischemic bowel is common among those over the age of 60.

5. Sigmoid Diverticulitis

Sigmoid diverticulitis is the most common cause of acute left lower quadrant pain in adults. Diverticulosis is the formation of numerous tiny pockets (diverticula) in the lining of the bowel. It most commonly forms in the narrowest part of the large intestine, the sigmoid colon.

Sigmoid Diverticulitis is when these pockets become inflamed or infected. This disease is common among those over the age of 60.

The symptoms include lower abdominal pain and feeling bloated. In more severe cases sharp lower left abdominal pain, high fever, and diarrhea may occur.

A high-fibre diet can often ease the symptoms of this disease. Painkillers and paracetamol are prescribed by your doctor and very rarely for severe cases, surgery is needed to remove the affected section of the intestine.

6. Incarcerated hernia

Lower abdominal pain is also a symptom of incarcerated hernia. It is a type of a hernia where the contents of a hernia can be trapped in the abdominal wall.

This causes ruptures and needs immediate medical attention to treat this illness.

Genitourinary Disorders

Genitourinary refers to genital and urinary organs. The diseases occur in those organs may sometimes cause pain in the lower left abdomen.

1. Prostatitis

The acute pain in lower left abdomen is also due to prostatitis. It is a condition that causes infection or inflammation of the prostate gland. This disease can affect men of all ages. The prostate is a small gland found in men that lies between the penis and the bladder.

The symptoms include the pain in the pelvis, buttocks,  genitals, lower back, sharp pain in the lower left abdomen, urinary urgency, difficulty urinating and pain when urinating.

This disease is treated with antibiotics, painkillers, and alpha-blockers. A doctor’s care is a must to get complete recovery.

2. Seminal Vesiculitis

If you encounter pain in the lower left side of their abdomen, then it may be due to seminal vesiculitis. Seminal vesiculitis is the inflammation of seminal vesicles. It commonly occurs secondary to prostatitis. The primary reason for this disease is bacterial and viral infections.

The symptoms include pain in the lower abdomen, perineum area and groin, frequent urination, urgent urination, burning urination, blood in semen, weakness, burning sensation in lower left abdomen, Spermatorrhea, and Premature ejaculation.

The treatments include antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, taking rest to make the bowel movements easy, a healthy diet by avoiding spicy foods and alcohol, and surgery for severe cases.

3. Ureterolithiasis

Ureterolithiasis or Nephrolithiasis or Kidney stones are common urinary tract disorders.

Kidney stones can form in your kidneys when the materials in your urine become too concentrated. These stones stay in your kidney or move down your urinary tract and pass out from your body.

The symptoms include a sharp pain in lower abdomen or on one side of their back. The pain would become more intense over time and lasts for few minutes to hours.

Some other associated symptoms are the pain while urinating, cloudy urine, frequent urge to urinate, and urine smells bad.

Your doctor would ask your medical history and conduct some urine tests to find the correct solution to remove the kidney stones. Most of the times medications are enough to dissolve the stones and sometimes minor surgery is needed to remove it.

4. Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infection (UTI) are the common infections that can affect the kidneys, bladder, ureters and the tubes connected to them. It is more common among women than men. So, UTI is the most important cause for the lower left abdominal pain in women.

The 90% of the UTI is due to the E.coli bacteria.

The symptoms include a burning feeling when you urinate, urinary urgency, pain in the lower abdomen and the back, the pressure in the lower left abdomen, dark or bloody or cloudy urine, fever or chills and tiredness.

UTI is treated with antibiotics.

Gynecologic Disorders

The Gynecologic Disorders affect the female reproductive system. These disorders are the major cause for the lower left abdominal pain in women.

1. Ectopic Pregnancy

Ectopic pregnancy is also one of the reasons severe lower left abdominal pain in women. This means that the fertilized egg (growing baby) grows somewhere other than the uterus. Usually, an egg grows in any one of the fallopian tubes.

This is a rare medical condition and the most serious problem, causing life-threatening for the conceived woman. This medical condition does not result in a live birth.

The abdominal cramps may be mild to severe pain on one side of your lower abdomen (i.e pain in the lower left side of the abdomen or in lower right side of the abdomen). The severe pain continuous to your shoulder and lower back too. Some other symptoms such as tender breasts and nausea are also possible before the cramps.

Sometimes the pregnancy tests show negative results too if your baby grows other than the uterus. The immediate help from your doctor is a must to treat this illness. With the help of scanning, a doctor can identify that you are having an ectopic pregnancy or not.

2. Endometriosis

This is the most common cause of the pain in the lower left abdomen of female. The women suffering from this disease may experience sharp pain in the pain in the lower left side.

Endometriosis is the abnormal growth of cells similar to those that form the inside of the uterus, but in a location outside of the uterus such as in the pelvis, on the ovaries, or on other abdominal cavities. It is more common in women who experiencing infertility problem than others.

Most women do not experience any symptoms. The most common symptoms are pelvic pain, pain in the lower abdomen before and during menstruation, painful menstruation, lower back pain during the menstrual cycle, the pressure in the lower left abdomen, lower left stomach pain, painful intercourse, infertility and painful bowel movements.

Hardly, this disease has no cure. But medications and surgery are useful in reducing the symptoms.

3. Hemorrhagic or Ruptured Ovarian Cyst

If you have lower left side pain? Then it should be the result of a ruptured ovarian cyst.

The ovarian cysts (sacs of fluid in the ovaries) are very common among women and they usually go away on its own without any treatments. It causes sudden sharp pain on either side of your lower abdomen (depends on which ovary had the cyst).

The ovarian cysts can form in the ovary, causing cramping but no period. The two reasons for the cysts are as follows,

  • When a follicle cyst does not release an egg during a menstrual cycle.
  • When a fluid-filled cyst that develops in the sac after the egg is released.

The other symptoms are spotting, pain in your lower abdomen, thighs, and lower back.

4. Malignancy

It refers to cancerous cells that have the ability to spread to other sites in the body or to invade nearby tissues and destroy them. These malignant cells are uncontrollable in growth, very fast and not die normally. It causes sharp pain in lower left abdomen and right abdomen.

Malignant cells that are resistant to treatment may return after all detectable traces of them have been removed or destroyed.

5. Miscarriage

It is the loss of an unborn baby before the delivery. Usually, it occurs before the 20th week of pregnancy. The pain or cramps due to miscarriage are very severe.

Some of the associated symptoms are vaginal bleeding or spotting, pain in the lower left side of stomach and constant cramping in the uterus. But not all vaginal bleeding leads to miscarriage. A doctor’s intervention is always advisable if you notice these symptoms.

6. Mittelschmerz

The painful ovulation is medically termed as Mittelschmerz. It is the pelvic and severe lower abdominal pain that some women experience during ovulation. Usually, the pain occurs in the midpoint between menstrual periods, about 2 weeks before a period may begin. The pain lasts from few hours to 2-3 days.

The gives uneasiness on either side of the lower abdomen depending on which ovary is producing the egg. The severe pain can be on left side of the abdomen for one month and the pain may shift to the right side of the abdomen during the subsequent cycle.

To get relief from severe lower abdominal pain, your doctor may prescribe acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium. Birth control pills are also suggested to prevent ovulation.

7. Ovarian Torsion

Ovarian torsion (Tubo-ovarian torsion or adnexal torsion) is an infrequent but important cause of acute lower abdominal pain in women. It refers to the rotation of the ovary and portion of the fallopian tube at its pedicle to such a degree as to block the ovarian artery and vein.

The symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and severe nonspecific lower abdominal and pelvic pain. There is adnexal tenderness. A raised white cell count is common.

It is a gynecological emergency and requires urgent surgical intervention to prevent ovarian necrosis. The ovary and fallopian tube are typically involved.

8. Pelvic Congestion Syndrome

Pelvic congestion syndrome is a chronic medical disorder in women caused by varicose veins in the lower abdomen.

The symptoms include chronic pain in the left side or right side of the lower abdomen, pain worse when sitting or standing, constant dull pain in the lower left abdomen, back pain, vaginal discharge, mood swings, bloating and depression. A doctor can cure this disease within few days.

9. Ruptured Corpus Luteum

A Corpus luteum cyst is a type of ovarian cyst which may rupture about the time of menstruation. Usually, it takes 3 months to fade entirely. But this is also a reason for the pain in the lower left side of the abdomen.

10. Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that frequently develops during childbearing years. It is more common during pregnancy. It is caused due to the hormones, genetics, and other growth factors.

Most women don’t experience any symptoms and others may experience longer menstrual periods, heavy menstrual bleeding, pelvic pain, the pressure in the lower left abdomen, left lower quadrant pain, frequent urination, back pain, leg pain, and constipation. A doctor can diagnose and treat this illness in few days.

11. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

This is one of the bacterial infections that spreads by sex. Generally, it affects the parts of the body which help you conceive and grow a baby such as a womb, cervix, vagina and fallopian tubes. You may experience cramps on both sides of your lower abdomen and lower back. It can occur any time of the month.

The symptoms associated with the pelvic inflammatory disease are spotting, abnormal vaginal discharge, cramping in the uterus, cramps or pain in the abdomen, menstrual cramps but no period, burning sensation during intercourse and when passing urine, period like cramps, burning sensation in lower left abdomen, heavy and longer periods, left lower quadrant pain, fever, nausea, and vomiting. A doctor’s care is a must to treat this disease.

Vascular Diseases

This is a class of diseases of the blood vessels. Some of the vascular diseases cause lower left side pain includes lower left abdominal pain.

1. Aortitis or Vasculitis

Aortitis or vasculitis is meant the inflammation of the aorta (the large blood vessel which transports blood from the heart to the body).

The inflammation can happen due to any injury or trauma, and connective tissue disorders.

The symptoms include lower abdominal pain or lower left side stomach pain, back pain, fever, chest pain and shortness of breath with heart failure, fatigue, dizziness, fainting, arm or leg weakness and headaches.

It is treated with antibiotics and sometimes surgery is needed to repair a weak aorta.

2. Aortic Dissection or Aneurysm

Aortic dissection is a serious medical condition in which there is a tear in the wall of the aorta. The tear results in the release of blood in between the layers of the blood vessel wall. This can lead to decreased blood flow to organs.

The symptoms include severe chest pain, breathlessness, fainting, sweating, weakness, nausea, vomiting, pain in the abdomen, sharp pain in the lower left side of stomach, trouble speaking, and weaker pulse.

If you have any symptoms or severe chest pain, call your doctor or 911 for immediate help.

Other Causes

Sometimes the pain in left side of the abdomen can be a result of some other causes.

1. Abdominal Wall Abscess

An abscess is a pocket of inflamed tissue filled with pus. If it is formed in the abdominal wall, then it is called as abdominal wall Abscesses. Usually, it is caused due to trauma or infection.

The symptoms include lower abdominal pain, abdominal discomfort (discomfort in the lower left abdomen), back or shoulder pain, fever, and nausea.

Needle drainage method is used to drain pus from an abscess. Surgery is required in rare cases.

2. Psoas Abscess

Psoas abscess is a collection of pus in the iliopsoas muscle compartment. The symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, pain in left side of stomach, burning sensation in lower left abdomen, flank pain, and limp.

Usually, the drainage of the abscess and antibiotics are the treatments carried out to cure this disease.

3. Retroperitoneal Hemorrhage

Retroperitoneal hemorrhage is the accumulation of blood found in the retroperitoneal space. It can be a source of occult blood loss. It is due to the ruptured arterial aneurysm, pelvic, abdominal or lumbar trauma, any surgical procedures, lower left side pain, discomfort in the lower left abdomen, bleeding from underlying renal or adrenal pathology and blood dyscrasia.

This causes severe sharp pain in the lower left abdomen. A doctor can treat this condition with medications and surgery.

In a nutshell,

Lower left abdominal pain (LLAP) is medically termed as left lower quadrant pain. The pain in the lower left side of the abdomen is typically due to the gastrointestinal diseases, genitourinary disorders, gynecologic disorders, vascular diseases and other illness.

Depends upon the organ which causes the pain in the lower left abdomen, the pain is dull to severe. Although most of the causes are applicable to both women and men, women are suffered a lot due to this lower left side pain.

Most of the medical conditions can be treated with simple remedies such as antibiotics, pain relievers, and home care. But some diseases needed critical care and surgery. Consult with your doctor if you have severe pain in the lower left side of abdomen and its associated symptoms.

About the author

Amanda kelly

She is specialized in alternative medicine. As a nature lover, she has a wealth of knowledge on home remedies for a large number of health problems. she has been trying these remedies for many years and you would like them as well. She has experience editing for both the scientific community and the general public. She joined AskMyHealth in 2015. She loves to hike, use her standup paddleboard, and enjoy all life has to offer.

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