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What Are the Causes of Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen?

Some women with endometriosis experience no symptoms, while others suffer from lower abdominal pain.
Pain in the lower right abdomen may be caused by pelvic inflammatory disease.
A healthy ovary and one with cysts, which can cause lower right abdomen pain.
Pain in the lower right abdomen for a child under two years of age could indicate a serious condition called intusscuception.
A diagram showing ulcerative colitis and other colon problems that could cause abdomen pain.
Appendicitis from an inflamed appendix can cause lower right abdominal pain.
A diagram of the female reproductive system, including the ovaries, which can cause abdominal pain.
A tubal pregnancy may cause pain in the lower right abdomen.
Article Details
  • Written By: M.R. Anglin
  • Edited By: S. Pike
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Some of the causes of pain in the lower right abdomen are appendicitis and constipation. Conditions such as ectopic pregnancy, endometriosis, a ruptured ovarian cyst, and pelvic inflammatory disease can also cause abdomen pain in women. In men, testicular torsion can be a source of pain. In addition, several bowel conditions can contribute to pain in this area. There are also many other causes of pain in the lower right abdomen, such as hernias, kidney stones, and ulcerative colitis; a doctor's visit may be the only way to properly diagnose the source of pain.

One cause of pain specifically in the lower right abdomen is appendicitis. Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix, a small organ located on the right side of the abdomen. An affected appendix may become swollen and filled with pus. In addition to pain, other symptoms of appendicitis may include fever, nausea, vomiting, and a reduced appetite. In order to treat appendicitis, a doctor may remove the organ in a surgery called an appendectomy.

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For women, pain in the lower right abdomen can involve the reproductive organs. Ectopic pregnancy, a pregnancy in which the fetus starts to develop outside of the uterus, can cause right-side abdominal pain if the fetus begins growing in the right fallopian tube. Similarly, endometriosis, a condition where uterine-like tissues are found outside of the uterus, can also cause pain. A woman may also feel lower right abdominal pain if an ovarian cyst ruptures in the right ovary. Pelvic inflammatory disease, a condition in which the uterus, fallopian tubes, and other reproductive organs become infected, can also become a source of abdominal pain.

Testicular torsion can become a source of pain in the lower right abdomen for men. It occurs when a testicle moves from its normal place and rotates around the spermatic cord, cutting off circulation. Some of the symptoms associated with this condition are pain, swelling, and nausea. The testicle can be saved if treatment is provided within a few hours of onset. To correct the condition, a doctor may have to surgically move the testicle back into its correct position.

One source of pain in the lower right abdomen for children is intusscuception. This condition, occurring mainly in children under two years of age, happens when one section of the bowel slides into another, like a closed telescope. This condition can cause an obstruction in the bowel and lead to pain, infection, and holes in the intestines. One of the most notable symptoms of this condition is stools that look like jelly. A child with the condition likely requires emergency medical care.

Constipation can become another source of pain in the lower right abdomen. While many bouts of constipation are harmless, some can indicate an underlying condition such as an autoimmune disease or colorectal cancer. Even harmless constipation, if it continues over a period of time, can bring about other problems. For example, straining to move bowels can cause hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse, a condition where some rectal tissue pushes through the anus. The overuse of laxatives can also cause lazy bowel syndrome, a condition in which the bowel muscles cannot function properly without the laxative's help.

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