Pain of any sort can be disconcerting, especially if you do not know what is causing the pain. Lower abdominal pain, in general, is not uncommon in women and neither is pain localized to the lower left side. There are dozens of reasons a woman may experience lower left abdominal pain. Although it always a good idea to seek medical attention if you suspect a problem, here is a non-comprehensive list of possible causes.
Everyone's colon is filled will little pockets called diverticula. A colon with diverticulitis will become infected and inflamed. Bacteria become trapped in the pouches and infection occurs. Doctors believe a person with a low-fiber diet is more likely to experience diverticulitis. Also, it is recommend to avoid nuts, seeds, and other small, hard foods that may become stuck in the colon pockets and cause infection. Symptoms include lower left abdominal pain, bloating, digestive problems, fever, chills and nausea or vomiting.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel Syndrome (IBS) is an on-going disorder. IBS is caused by the digestive tract not working properly, but there is no sign of tumors or inflammation. Doctors believe this is caused by the brain and intestines not communicating properly. Triggers vary by person, but include certain foods, hormones, medications and stress. Making changes to your eating habits and lifestyle can help improve your symptoms. If your doctor sees fit, he may also prescribe medications. Symptoms include lower left abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhea, and bloating.
Urinary Tract Infection
Your urinary tract includes the parts of your body that make urine (bladder and kidneys), the tubes that remove urine from the body. When bacteria gets into these parts, you develop a urinary tract infection (UTI). It is important to treat UTIs as soon as possible to avoid permanent damage to the kidneys. Symptoms include lower left abdominal pain, frequent and/or painful urination, fever, chills and urine that is cloudy.
Endometriosis affects women during their childbearing years. It is a disorder where the cells that normally grow inside your uterus (endometrium), and are shed during menstruation, grow outside the uterus. Endometriosis is usually found on the outside of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and other abdominal organs. It can, however, be found elsewhere in the body, including the arms and legs. Pain is usually worse during menstruation because the body tries to shed the cells like it does for your period, but there is nowhere for it go. The implants (where the cells are growing) then become inflamed and irritated. There is no known cure for endometriosis and no way to prevent it. Symptoms include pain (location will vary based on where the cells are growing but the lower left abdomen is normal), abnormal bleeding (heavy periods and/or spotting or bleeding between periods) and fertility problems.
When salts and minerals in your urine cling together and create small masses, kidney stones have developed. A kidney stone can range from the size of a grain of sand to the size of a golf ball. Kidney stones can be found in the kidneys themselves or in your urinary tract. Some people will experience no symptoms with kidney stones. Others may experience extreme pain (lower left abdominal pain is common) while the stones are in the kidneys, or once the stones pass into the urinary tract.