Read below about pelvis pain, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your pelvis pain 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.

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Pelvis Pain Symptoms

The "pelvis" refers to your hip bones and all of the organs and structures contained within them. This includes your reproductive and urinary tracts; your large and small intestines; and the muscles, tendons, and ligaments inside your pelvis.

Pain and other symptoms can arise from any of those locations, which can make it difficult to pin down exactly what is causing your pelvis pain symptoms [1]. To make the diagnosis, all of your symptoms will be carefully examined and ruled out one at a time to determine the true cause. Pelvis pain is also called pelvic girdle pain.

Pelvis pain characteristics:

  • The pain can fit almost any description: dull, cramping, sharp, on-and-off, constant, mild, or severe.
  • It may be localized to one spot or seem to exist throughout your pelvis.
  • There may be a discharge from your urinary tract or your sexual organs.
  • The pain may also spread, or radiate, into your back or legs.

Who is most often affected by pelvis pain symptoms?

  • Women have pelvis pain more often than men. This is because the female pelvis is complex and designed for rapid change during pregnancy [2].

When are pelvis pain symptoms most likely to occur?

  • During urination.
  • During a bowel movement.
  • After ejaculation in men.
  • During sex in women.
  • Before or during menstruation.
  • During a pregnancy and in the weeks of recovery that follow. Even with a normal pregnancy, some pelvic pain and discomfort is common due to hormones which relax the ligaments for birth.

Are pelvis pain symptoms serious?

  • Some pelvis discomfort during pregnancy is quite common and not abnormal.
  • Any ongoing pain, whether there are other symptoms or not, is something that should be treated by your medical provider.
  • Any severe pelvis pain symptoms can be a sign of serious illness, especially if there are other symptoms with it.

Pelvis Pain Causes

Most common pelvis pain cause types:

  • Women may experience a mild tearing sensation in the pelvic region around the time of ovulation.

  • Cramping, ranging from mild to severe, is very common during a menstrual period. This may be due to [3]:

    • Abnormal growth of uterine tissue on other reproductive structures in the abdomen and pelvis.
    • Benign growths lodged within the muscular wall of the uterus. They cause pain whenever the uterus contracts.
  • Complications of pregnancy:

    • A pregnancy which has begun to grow in a fallopian tube instead of in the uterus.
    • Miscarriage, which is labor and delivery of a stillborn infant.
  • Infection throughout the female reproductive organs, almost always from the bacteria that cause one or more of the sexually transmitted diseases.

  • In men, sexually transmitted diseases will cause a discharge from the penis as well as pelvis pain symptoms during urination and sexual activity.

  • Inflammation of the prostate gland in men causes pain and burning on urination, along with pain throughout the reproductive organs [4].

  • Bacterial infection of the urethra and bladder causes burning pain and cramping in both men and women.

  • Kidney stones are crystallized deposits that may travel down from the kidneys in both men and women, causing severe pain while trying to exit the system.

Less common pelvis pain cause types:

  • Infection and inflammation of the appendix.
  • Constipation and gas.
  • The intestines contract too strongly or too slowly, causing pain and discomfort either way.
  • Inflammation of the large or small intestine [5].
  • A blockage or obstruction within the intestine.
  • A protrusion of fatty tissue, or a loop of intestine, that has been forced out of place within the pelvis.

Musculoskeletal pelvis pain causes:

  • Scar tissue following surgery or disease.
  • Injuries such as hip fracture, dislocation, or bursitis.
  • Injuries such as muscle or tendon strain, or ligament sprain.
  • Any of several forms of arthritis, which is the wearing away of the cartilage protecting bones.
  • Inflammation of the joint at the front of the pelvic girdle. This is usually caused by the stresses of pregnancy and childbirth [6].

Rare and unusual pelvis pain cause types:

  • Anyone, male or female, who has experienced any sort of sexual abuse is more likely to suffer from chronic pelvis pain [7].
  • Tumors can grow on almost any of the structures within the pelvis, causing pain.

10 Possible Conditions

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced pelvis pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

  1. 1.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.

    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
    In-person visit
  2. 2.Endometriosis

    Endometriosis is a disorder in which the tissue that normally lines the uterine walls grows outside the uterus.

    Recovery is dependent on severity of disease and treatment approach.

    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, abdominal pain (stomach ache), vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain, painful periods
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.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.

    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
  4. 4.Normal Abdominal Pain

    The abdomen extends from below the chest to the groin. Often it is referred to as the stomach; however, the abdomen includes more organs than just the stomach like the pancreas & liver. Abdominal pain is not stomach-specific and may be radiating from another organ.

    Generally abdominal pain resolves within a few days.

    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), vaginal discharge, fever, nausea
    Symptoms that always occur with normal abdominal pain:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that never occur with normal abdominal pain:
    fever, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, severe abdominal pain, unintentional weight loss, vaginal discharge, rectal bleeding
  5. 5.Menstrual Cramps

    Dysmenorrhea is a term describing pain associated with menstruation (or when one gets a period). It's very common, happening to about 50% of women. Primary dysmenorrhea means that the pain is directly caused by a menstrual period, which is different than "secondary" dysmenorrhea, where a disorder is causing the pain.

    2-3 days before a period. Peaks in the mid-20s and declines in frequency afterwards.

    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), painful periods, lower back pain, abdominal pain that shoots to the back
    Symptoms that always occur with menstrual cramps:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache)
    Symptoms that never occur with menstrual cramps:
    being severely ill, disapearance of periods for over a year

    Pelvis Pain Symptom Checker

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  6. 6.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.

    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
    Phone call or in-person visit
  7. 7.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

    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, stomach bloating, constipation, constipation
    Symptoms that always occur with normal variation of constipation:
    Symptoms that never occur with normal variation of constipation:
  8. 8.Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

    Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common hormone disorder characterized by irregular periods, acne, and fertility issues.

    Symptoms are well controlled with medicines including combined hormonal birth control.

    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain, depressed mood, painful periods
    Symptoms that always occur with polycystic ovary syndrome:
    oligo/amenorrhea or hyperandrogenism
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Constipation From Not Eating Enough Fiber

    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 fiber, which is the material that provides bulk to your stools.

    Variable, but can resolve in days to weeks

    Top Symptoms:
    constipation, constipation, pain in the lower left abdomen, pain when passing stools, feeling of needing to constantly pass stool
    Symptoms that always occur with constipation from not eating enough fiber:
    constipation, constipation
    Symptoms that never occur with constipation from not eating enough fiber:
  10. 10.Painful Bladder Syndrome (Interstitial Cystitis)

    Painful bladder syndrome, also known as interstitial cystitis (IC), is a chronic condition that causes discomfort or pain in the bladder and a need to urinate frequently and urgently. The cause of this condition is not very clear and it is usually diagnosed when other causes like urinary tract infections are excluded.

    Chronic disease whose progression varies highly from person to person. Symptoms may persist for years.

    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), depressed mood, pelvis pain, arthralgias or myalgias
    Primary care doctor

Pelvis Pain Treatments, Relief and Prevention

Seek immediate treatment in the emergency room or call 911 if: You are female and you have sudden, severe pelvis pain with dizziness or fainting. This may be an ectopic pregnancy, which is a life-threatening medical emergency.

Schedule an appointment for:

  • Treatment of any signs of infection and/or sexually transmitted disease, as described above.
  • Physical therapy and a personalized exercise program, to address any unstable structures or scar tissue within the pelvis.

Pelvis pain remedies that you can try at home:

  • Improving general health through improvements in diet, sleep, and exercise.
  • Using over-the-counter pain relievers for minor pain.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Pelvis Pain

  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.How would you describe the nature of your abdominal pain?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our pelvis pain symptom checker to find out more.

Pelvis Pain Quiz

Pelvis Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced pelvis pain have also experienced:

    • 9% Bloody Vaginal Discharge
    • 7% Vaginal Bleeding
    • 6% Vaginal Discharge
  • People who have experienced pelvis pain had symptoms persist for:

    • 41% Less Than a Day
    • 34% Less Than a Week
    • 11% Over a Month
  • People who have experienced pelvis pain were most often matched with:

    • 55% Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
    • 33% Endometriosis
    • 11% Ovulation Pain (Mittelschmerz) or Midcycle Spotting
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

Pelvis Pain Symptom Checker

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  1. Pelvic Pain. U.S. National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus. Updated March 21, 2018. MedlinePlus Link.
  2. Pelvic Pain. NHS. Updated October 30, 2018. NHS Link.
  3. Speer LM, Mushkbar S, Erbele T. Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women. American Family Physician. 2016;93(5):380-387. AAFP Link.
  4. Passavanti MB, Pota V, Pace MC, et al. Chronic Pelvic Pain: Assessment, Evaluation, and Objectivation. Pain Research and Treatment. 2017;2017:9472925. NCBI Link.
  5. Indman PD. Pelvic Pain. ModernMedicine Network. Published October 25, 2011. ModernMedicine Network Link.
  6. Verstraete EH, Vanderstraeten G, Parewijck W. Pelvic Girdle Pain During or After Pregnancy: A Review of Recent Evidence and a Clinical Care Path Proposal. Facts, Views & Vision in ObGyn. 2013;5(1):33-43. NCBI Link.
  7. Lampe A, Solder E, Ennemoser A, Schubert C, Rumpold G, Sollner W. Chronic Pelvic Pain and Previous Sexual Abuse. Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2000;96(6):929-933. NCBI Link.