What are the Common Causes of Pelvic Pain?

The pelvis is home to some of your body’s most important organs and bones, including the hip bones, intestines, bladder, and internal reproductive organs. Pelvic pain, therefore, can be challenging to diagnose because such organs are so close together and often have similar symptoms when something goes wrong. 

Even if you think you know where your pelvic pain is coming from, it’s essential to talk to a doctor to receive a diagnosis. A mild pain you think is IBS or menstrual cramps could be a sign of something more serious, especially if it is irregular or more intense than your typical aching stomach. 

If you experience bloating, swelling, intense pain, or pain that comes and goes often, you may want to see a doctor to diagnose your pelvic pain.

10 Common Causes of Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain can arise from digestive, urinary, or reproductive symptoms, but some diseases are much more common than others. Ask your doctor if you think the symptoms fit for any of these conditions:

Ovarian cysts

Cysts commonly occur on the ovaries throughout a woman’s lifetime, and typically they cause no harm. However, a ruptured cyst can cause intense pain and further complications if left untreated. 

Painful bladder syndrome

Interstitial cystitis, more commonly known as painful bladder syndrome, is caused by a dysfunction of pelvic nerves. The pelvic nerves typically signal you to urinate when the bladder is full, but sometimes if the nerves are damaged, they can cause that urge to happen when your bladder is not full or cause general pain in the pelvis.

Pregnancy complications

There are a variety of complications arising from pregnancy that can cause pelvic pain. More severe complications include miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies, but many other causes of mild pelvic pain do not cause harm to you or your baby. It’s essential to get checked out if you have unexpected bleeding or cramps, even if you do not think you are pregnant. 


Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that causes unexplained, widespread pain throughout the body. Fibromyalgia can cause pain anywhere, including the pelvis. Talk to your doctor about fibromyalgia if you have unexplained pelvic pain, fatigue, memory, and mood issues. 

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a common digestive disorder that causes bloating, diarrhea or constipation, abdominal pain, and sometimes eating trouble. It is caused by various digestive issues and stress but can interfere with lifestyle, diet choices, and overall quality of life.

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is another type of digestive disorder that causes many symptoms as IBS. However, it is typically hereditary and lifelong, making treatment more tricky. 


Endometriosis occurs when the same tissue that typically lines the interior of the uterus begins forming on the outside. It causes many problems, from infertility to pelvic pain and intense period symptoms. 


Appendicitis is caused by inflammation of the appendix and leads to intense pain throughout the abdomen. Like a bladder infection or ruptured cyst, this pain is often sudden and worsens with movement or without treatment. Appendicitis can happen in children and adults, so always be cautious if you or a loved one has sudden, sharp pelvic pain.

Urinary tract infections (UTI)

UTIs are a common infection of the urethra, bladder, or kidneys. They can cause painful and frequent urination, changes in urine appearance, and pelvic pain in women. Luckily, UTIs are easy to treat with antibiotics, so be sure to seek medical attention soon if you have any of these symptoms. 

Kidney stones

Kidney stones are hard deposits that form inside the kidneys and become intensely painful when they pass through the urinary tract. While smaller kidney stones can sometimes be passed on their own, you will likely feel intense pain in the pelvis if a larger one starts to move. In this case, seek medical attention to avoid complications. 

When to See A Doctor

A medical professional should treat pelvic pain that is sudden, severe, or coupled with other side effects such as bleeding. You never want to wait too long with severe pelvic pain, as failure to treat symptoms early on can cause more issues down the line. 

A doctor should also check chronic pelvic pain, especially for women. Women are diagnosed with UTIs, fibromyalgia, and reproductive problems much more often than men, and these issues can cause long-term damage if not treated. 

For more information on pelvic pain or to receive a diagnosis for chronic issues, contact your local PPOA today.