What Is Causing My Female Pelvic Pain?

Published May 1, 2024 by

“What is causing my pelvic pain?” is a refrain we hear quite frequently at our OBGYN clinic in Reston, VA. It can be an issue with the digestive, urinary, or reproductive system, and finding out the primary cause is the only way to reduce or eliminate the symptoms.

Most Common Causes Of Pelvic Pain

There are several types of pelvic pain that are not necessarily major causes of concern. Women experience them regularly and unless they are severe, OTC meds can help.

Menstrual Pain

One of the most common reasons for pelvic pain is cramping and menstrual pain. Most women will have some level of discomfort for one to two days each month. It begins usually just before the onset of menstruation when the uterus contracts and begins to shed its lining. You can get relief from a heating pad and OTC pain relievers. If the pain is severe and chronic, talk with our board-certified OBGYNs about other alternatives.

woman holding her pelvis in pain.


This temporary pain can occur when the egg is released by the ovaries each month. It may only last for a few minutes or hours and generally does not require medication.

Chronic Conditions Causing Pelvic Pain


Endometriosis is a painful disorder in which tissue similar to that which normally lines the inside of your uterus, the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves your ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining your pelvis. This causes bleeding, inflammation, and pain.


Irritable bowel syndrome is a disorder of the digestive tract which causes diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and pain. There is no cure, but symptoms can be managed through diet, meds, and reducing stress.

Uterine Fibroids

These non-cancerous tissues in the uterus can cause pain in the pelvic area and lower back resulting in excessive bleeding and cramps during menstruation. Talk with our OBGYNs if the pain and bleeding are so severe it affects your life. Many treatments are available for fibroids.

Interstitial Cystitis

This is a chronic bladder inflammation. Doctors are not often sure what causes it, but the result is pelvic pain, pain during sex, and painful urination.

More Serious Causes Of Pelvic Pain

These conditions can be life threatening and certainly require immediate medical attention.


An inflammation in your appendix will cause severe pain in the lower right abdomen. If this is accompanied by other symptoms like vomiting and fever, get medical assistance immediately.

Ectopic Pregnancy

A life threatening condition, this occurs when the embryo implants itself outside the uterus and begins to grow. Very sharp pain and cramps are symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy, and if dizziness, nausea, and bleeding are present, seek immediate medical care.

A Tumor

It is possible a malignant tumor can grow in the reproductive organs, urinary tract, or gastrointestinal system causing pain in the pelvic area. If pain persists, see our OBGYNs.

Other Conditions Causing Pelvic Pain

  • Urinary tract Infections
  • Pelvic Inflammatory disease
  • Sexually transmitted Infections
  • Stones In the urinary tract
  • Ovarian cysts

Contact our  board-certified OBGYNs for a diagnosis if you are suffering with intense female pelvic pain or symptoms that will not go away.