The pelvis is a group of bones between your hips. These bones surround lower belly organs, such as the bladder and bowels, and female organs such as the uterus (womb) and ovaries. Pain in these organs is felt in the pelvic area and is sometimes called pelvic pain. Pelvic pain is common in women but can be very serious.
Pelvic pain can be mild or severe and can make your pelvic area feel tender
The pain may come on suddenly and may be constant or come and go
Many women get cramps right before or during their monthly period, which is normal
See a doctor right away if you feel sudden, intense pelvic pain—it can be a sign of a serious problem
The most common cause of pelvic pain is:
You may also have cramps between periods, when your body releases an egg (called ovulating).
The most dangerous causes of pelvic pain include:
Appendicitis—an infection in your appendix, a small organ located between your small and large intestines
Ruptured ectopic pregnancy—a pregnancy in the wrong place, such as in your fallopian tubes, which connect your ovaries to your uterus (womb)
A twisted ovary
Bleeding or tearing in a blood vessel or organ
If you have one of these causes, doctors may need to do surgery.
Other causes of pelvic pain include:
See a doctor right away if you have pelvic pain and any of these warning signs:
See a doctor the same day if you've never had pelvic pain before and the pain is constant and getting worse.
See a doctor within a week or so if you have new pelvic pain that goes away, or if you have pelvic pain plus vaginal bleeding after you’ve stopped having your monthly period (menopause).
If you keep having pelvic pain but have no other signs, see a doctor when you can.
Doctors will ask you questions about your pain and do an exam. You may also have some tests:
Tests on your urine to tell if you’re pregnant or if you have a UTI (urinary tract infection)
If you have very bad or lasting pain and other tests don’t show what's causing it, you may need a surgical procedure called laparoscopy. With this procedure, doctors give you medicine to put you to sleep (anesthesia). Doctors then make a small cut just below your belly button and insert a viewing tube to see what the problem is.