Read below about pain in the lower right abdomen, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your pain in the lower right abdomen from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

This symptom can also be referred to as:
Lower right belly pain

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Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen Symptoms

The abdomen, otherwise known as your "belly," is the area of your body running from just beneath your breast bone down to just above your pelvis and contains a several important organs such as your intestines. If these organs become infected or irritated, they generally cause pain. To better isolate the source of your pain, we divide the abdomen into four quadrants. Imagine if a line were drawn right down the middle off your belly, and another were drawn across your belly at the level of your belly button. Your "lower right abdomen" is the area below your belly button and to the right of your body.

Classically, people think they have appendicitis when they have pain in this area. There are a number of other causes of lower right abdominal pain that can also be life-threatening. However, most abdominal pain spontaneously resolves with no intervention, and the source is never identified. Thus, when thinking about your lower right abdominal pain, think about the severity and how you feel overall – you know your body better than anyone else and if you think something is truly wrong, you should go to see a physician promptly.

Lower right abdominal pain symptoms may be associated with:

Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen Causes Overview

Mechanical causes:

  • Gas: The build-up of large amounts of gas in your large intestine can cause pain and discomfort as the large intestine becomes distended.
  • Obstruction: Various diseases may cause your bowels to become stuck together or twisted, leading to pain as food or stool cannot move through.
  • Constipation: Long periods of constipation can cause significant abdominal pain.
  • Trauma: Traumatic injury can damage the organs in your abdomen.

Inflammatory causes:

  • Infection: Infection of certain organs in the abdomen, such as the appendix, or of intestinal outpouchings called "diverticula" can cause fever and lower right abdominal pain symptoms. Diarrheal illness can have some associated pain as well.
  • Autoimmune: In autoimmune disease, your immune cells may inadvertently attack those of your GI tract, causing damage and pain.

Other causes:

  • Tumors: Tumors of the gastrointestinal tract can grow and cause irritation by blocking the passage of stool.
  • Urinary: Certain urologic conditions such as kidney stones can cause pain which shoots to the right lower quadrant.
  • Reproductive: In women, masses or infections of the reproductive organs can cause lower right-sided abdominal pain.
  • Poor blood flow: Poor blood flow can cause pain in your right lower abdomen as the organs there call for help.

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen

Updated on Aug. 29, 2018

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced pain in the lower right abdomen. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Appendicitis

    Your appendix is a small, tube-like organ attached to the large intestine, with no known function. It is located in the lower right part of the abdomen. A blockage (caused by intestinal gunk, typically) inside of the appendix causes appendicitis. The blockage leads to increased pressure, problems with blood flow, and inflammation. If the blockage is not treated, the appendix can burst and spread infection into the abdomen.

    Modern hospitals use laparoscopic procedures which only require 3 small (<1 inch) incisions. These procedures are now often done without admission to the hospital for an overnight stay, and healing time is very fast. You can expect to resume normal activities within a few days after the surgery. Full recovery may take 4-6 weeks, and before then, you should avoid strenuous activity.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, pelvis pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea
    Symptoms that always occur with appendicitis:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that never occur with appendicitis:
    pain in the upper right abdomen, pain in the upper left abdomen, anxiety, pain below the ribs, improving abdominal pain, headache
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  2. 2.Normal Variation of Constipation

    Constipation is a very common condition affecting the large intestine. It is characterized by difficulty passing stool, or passing stool less often. Commonly it is linked to not eating enough dietary fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or not getting enough exercise. Some medications can cause constipation as well.

    Variable, but can resolve in days to weeks

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, stomach bloating, constipation, constipation
    Symptoms that always occur with normal variation of constipation:
    constipation
    Symptoms that never occur with normal variation of constipation:
    vomiting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Intestinal Inflammation (Diverticulitis)

    Diverticula are small pouches that bulge outward through the colon, or large intestine. Diverticulitis is a condition where the pouches become inflamed or infected, a process which can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, and constipation.

    Likely to recover within months to years without requiring surgery.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, loss of appetite, diarrhea, constipation
    Symptoms that never occur with intestinal inflammation (diverticulitis):
    pain below the ribs, pain in the upper right abdomen
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  4. 4.Urinary Tract Infection

    In women, the opening to the urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body) is very close to the anus, and bacteria from the anus can easily escape and travel up the urethra. These bacteria can infect the bladder, and cause what is known as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

    Symptoms most often go away within 24 to 48 hours after treatment begins.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), pelvis pain, sudden urgency to urinate, signs of urinary tract inflammation, urinary changes
    Symptoms that always occur with urinary tract infection:
    signs of urinary tract inflammation
    Urgency:
    Phone call or in-person visit

    Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen Checker

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  5. 5.Ovulation Pain (Mittelschmerz) or Midcycle Spotting

    Mittelschmerz, also known as ovulation pain or mid-cycle pain, is abdominal pain that occurs around the time the egg is released from an ovary. Ovulation can sometimes cause some mild vaginal bleeding, spotting or blood-stained/brown discharge as well.

    As ovulation occurs monthly, it's possible you will experience this pain once a month.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), last period approximately 2 weeks ago, vaginal bleeding, bloody vaginal discharge, pelvis pain
    Symptoms that always occur with ovulation pain (mittelschmerz) or midcycle spotting:
    last period approximately 2 weeks ago
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Ovarian Cyst

    Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs in the ovarian tissue. It can be completely normal (it's estimated that 15% of post-menstrual women have these cysts with no issues), infectious, or cancerous. Birth control pills have no effect on benign ovarian cysts.

    Most benign cysts resolve spontaneously, but some may be persistent.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    stomach bloating, vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain, lower abdominal pain, lower back pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Ovarian Torsion

    The twisting, or torsion, of the ovary around its surroundings. This may result in loss of blood to both the ovary and the fallopian tube. When diagnosed, this condition is considered an emergency and requires immediate surgery.

    Patients are generally discharged home within 24 hours of surgery in uncomplicated cases. The patient follows up with the surgeon 1 week after surgery, and additional follow-up is regulated as needed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, nausea, moderate abdominal pain, loss of appetite
    Symptoms that never occur with ovarian torsion:
    diarrhea, pain below the ribs, mild abdominal pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

    Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of the female genital structures like the uterus, fallopian tube, ovary, and the surrounding abdominal wall. It is typically caused by N. Gonorrhoeae or C. Trachomatis.

    Prognosis after treatment within 3 days of symptom onset is great (88%-100%). Those that are hospitalized, older, or have had gynecological surgery have a worse time with this infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, abdominal pain or unusual vaginal discharge, vaginal discharge, nausea or vomiting, vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain
    Symptoms that always occur with pelvic inflammatory disease:
    fever, abdominal pain or unusual vaginal discharge
    Urgency:
    In-person visit
  9. 9.Possible Pregnancy

    In women of reproductive age, symptoms including missed period, weight gain, and nausea are indicative of pregnancy.

    9 months

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea or vomiting, stomach bloating, bloody vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding
    Symptoms that always occur with possible pregnancy:
    missed period
    Symptoms that never occur with possible pregnancy:
    painful urination, severe abdominal pain
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen Treatments and Relief

Lower right abdominal pain is always a cause for concern for patients, though it might spontaneously resolve, such as in the case of pain caused by gas. A large portion of patients may never find out the root cause of their pain, which ends up resolving on its own. The key is to know your own body and pay attention for warning signs that imply there might be something more serious going on.

At-home treatments:

  • Rest: Some types of abdominal pain are temporary and will self-resolve if you take it easy and relax for a bit.
  • Hydration: Severe abdominal pain, or its associated symptoms, can make eating and drinking more difficult than usual. As such, you should carefully monitor your water intake to make sure you are getting enough.
  • Food: Generally, it is not advisable to eat a large meal when your stomach is hurting. Take it slow with easy-to-digest small portions of food until you are feeling better.

Professional treatments:

  • Imaging and Blood Tests: Doctors may order imaging or other tests to help diagnose the cause of your abdominal pain.
  • Endoscopy: Doctors may use a special camera (scope) to look at the inside of your digestive tract.
  • IV Fluids: If you are dehydrated or are unable to keep down liquids, you will be given fluids through an IV. You may also receive certain electrolytes like potassium if yours are low.
  • Medication: You may be offered pain medication, anti-nausea medication or antibiotics. Some causes of abdominal pain can be treated effectively with medications.
  • Surgery: Certain causes of abdominal pain require rapid intervention via surgery to resolve.

You should seek help without delay if you have:

  • Abdominal pain which starts centrally and moves to the lower right
  • Sudden onset of severe abdominal pain
  • Severe abdominal pain worsened by light touch or slight movement
  • Inability to keep down fluids for a prolonged period
  • High fever
  • Recent abdominal surgery
  • Severe confusion, dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • If you are of old age or have another serious medical condition
  • Are known to be pregnant or have the possibility of being pregnant

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen

  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?
  • Q.How would you describe the nature of your abdominal pain?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pain in the lower right abdomen symptom checker to find out more.

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Pain in the Lower Right Abdomen Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pain in the lower right abdomen have also experienced:

    • 7% Nausea
    • 6% Lower Back Pain
    • 4% Bloody Vaginal Discharge
  • People who have experienced pain in the lower right abdomen had symptoms persist for:

    • 41% Less Than a Day
    • 34% Less Than a Week
    • 11% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced pain in the lower right abdomen were most often matched with:

    • 46% Appendicitis
    • 46% Intestinal Inflammation (Diverticulitis)
    • 7% Normal Variation of Constipation
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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