What Causes a Sharp Pelvic Pain?

A sharp pelvic pain usually represents a gynecologic disease but it can be more complex than that. There are multiple reasons that cause pelvic pain. In this article, you will read on common causes of having sharp pelvic pain.

Origin of pelvic pain

This pain usually originates from the urinary tract, reproductive organs, digestive tract, pelvic floor muscles, bones/joints of the pelvis, back, or the nervous system. It is difficult to pinpoint if you are having pelvic pain. It starts as sharp pain and later on become constant.

You may also feel that it is changing its location i.e. left to right or top to bottom etc. It is necessary to inform your doctor about the location, timing, and severity of the pain as well as activities that you were doing when pelvic pain occurred.

Is pelvic pain common?

Not many people know this, but pelvic pain is extremely common. Many people report pelvic pain even if they don’t have any pelvic disorder. Pay attention to its timing, location, and severity. If you often experience a sharp shooting pain, it is the right time to consult your doctor.

Common causes of pelvic pain

Following are the most common causes of feeling a sharp pelvic pain.

Period cramps

Women often go through a mild to severe pelvic pain around the time of their period. When the uterus contracts and shed its inner lining, it may cause pain in the pelvis.

However, if the pain and cramps are affecting the routine activities, feel free to consult a medical expert.


Extreme pelvic pain during periods may also be a sign of endometriosis. It is important to self analyze your body especially during the periods. If the pain is extreme, never ignore it.

Not all period related pains are normal. Sometimes the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This condition is called endometriosis. Sharp pain in the pelvis is a common symptom of endometriosis.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

A pelvic pain that prolongs for months may be due to irritable bowel syndrome. It feels like a crampy pain near or at the stomach. Note for any changes in bowel movements i.e. bloating, diarrhea, constipation etc. such signs along with a pelvic pain often represent irritable bowel syndrome or IBS.

Pelvic floor dysfunction

Pelvic floor dysfunction is a condition that means a disturbance in contraction and relaxation of pelvic muscles during a bowel movement. It gets worse during intercourse. The patient often feels an extreme urge to use the bathroom more frequently.

Bladder problems

The bladder problems such as interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome) cause burning sharp pain in the bladder or urethra. It becomes intense when a person urinates. It may last for months.

Similarly, a spasm in pelvic floor muscles may also cause pelvic pain. It can show up anytime such as during the periods, sex or due to stress.

Nerve issue

A severe, zing-like pelvic pain may represent a nerve condition called pudendal nerve entrapment. As you know, the pudendal nerve carries signals to the pelvic floor muscles, perineum, the skin of the penis or vulva, and the rectum. Any dysfunction in this track may cause pain in this area. To treat this, the doctor will recommend physical therapy.

Uterine fibroids

Another reason for pelvic pain in women is the noncancerous growths in the uterus. There are no obvious symptoms of uterine fibroids except pelvic pain.

It just feels like heavy pressure, long periods, difficulty in urination and constipation. An ultrasound will give a better picture of the diagnosis.

Ovarian cyst

Women having ovarian cysts also feel a sudden onset of severe pelvic pain. These cysts may go away on their own, without causing any problem. But if it grows bigger in size, it may cause bloating, fullness and a sharp pain on one side in your lower abdomen, or around the pelvis.

Ovarian cancer

Nearly 1% of women with ovarian cancer experience a sharp pelvic pain. The other signs of ovarian cancer are bloating, fuller feeling and frequent urination. Never ignore these symptoms and rush to your nearest healthcare center if these symptoms prolong.

When to see a doctor?

Sometimes there is no reason behind a pelvic pain. It may go away on its own. But the distressing pain may be a sign of an underlying health problem. It is necessary to seek medical advice if the pain doesn’t go away on its own or becomes constant or affects your life in a negative way.



Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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