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What are the causes of right flank pain in a woman?

Updated July 19, 2017

If you are a woman and are experiencing pain in your right flank, it may be either constant or intermittent; any pain in this area, regardless of duration, should be taken seriously, rather than simply treated with over-the-counter analgesics.

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Numerous Causes

Many conditions can trigger right flank pain in women; most are benign but some can be serious, according to Dr. Khriti Bhatia, chief resident at the emergency residency program, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Dr. David Brown, associate chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Diagnostic Factors

In an Emergency Medicine.com article on diagnosing flank pain, Doctors Bhatia and Brown note that a correct diagnosis depends on multiple factors, including age and existing health issues. In older women, right flank pain is more likely to indicate a vascular condition as opposed to a gynaecological one.

Checking for Underlying Conditions

If you experience chronic right flank pain, a doctor will need to check for kidney and urinary tract infections, gynaecological complications, problems with the vascular and/or pulmonary systems, gastrointestinal disorders and neuromuscular conditions.

Kidney Infection

According to the University of Michigan Health System's Department of Urology, kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a common cause of right flank pain in women. Pyelonephritis pain radiates up into the hip and ribs, while other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and high fever.

Other Causes

Other conditions that can cause right flank pain in women include kidney disease, kidney stones, an abdominal, aortic aneurysm, a renal abscess, vein thrombosis, renal cancer or herpes zoster.

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About the Author

Kim Norton

Kim Norton wrote for 25 years for an in-house securities research publication. She currently writes articles for Demand Studios that involve medical research, law and senior citizen concerns. She also writes radio advertising copy and opera librettos. A graduate of Westminster Choir College, Norton resides in Bayonne, N.J.

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