Pelvic pain is pain in the lowest part of the stomach area and pelvis. It can refer to symptoms that come from the:

  • Reproductive system, which includes the organs and tissues involved in pregnancy and giving birth.
  • Urinary system, which removes waste from the body through urine.
  • Digestive system, which takes in, digests and absorbs nutrients from food and drink.

Pelvic pain also can refer to symptoms that come from muscles and connective tissue called ligaments in the pelvis.

Depending on its source, the pain can be:

  • Dull or sharp.
  • Constant or off and on.
  • Mild to severe.

The pain can spread to the lower back, buttocks or thighs. You might notice it only at certain times, such as when you use the bathroom or have sex.

Pelvic pain can come on suddenly. It may be sharp and last for a short time, also known as acute pain. Or it can last a long time and happen over and over again. This is called chronic pain. Chronic pelvic pain is any constant or off-and-on pelvic pain that lasts six months or more.

Many types of diseases and other health conditions can cause pelvic pain. Chronic pelvic pain can be due to more than one condition.

Pelvic pain can start in the digestive, reproductive or urinary systems. Some pelvic pain also can come from certain muscles or ligaments — for example, by pulling a muscle in the hip or the pelvic floor.

Pelvic pain also might be caused by irritation of nerves in the pelvis.

Sudden and severe pelvic pain could be an emergency. Get medical care right away.

Be sure to get pelvic pain checked by your doctor or other health care professional if it's new, it disrupts your daily life or it gets worse over time.

June 23, 2023