What’s Causing Pain in My Lower Right Abdomen?
Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT — Written by Annamarya Scaccia — Updated on November 5, 2019
Seek emergency medical attention
Other common causes
See your doctor
Is this cause for concern?
The lower right part of your abdomen is home to part of your colon and, for some women, the right ovary. There are many conditions that can cause you to feel mild to severe discomfort in your right abdominal region. More often than not, pain in the lower right abdomen is nothing to worry about and will go away on its own in a day or two.
But if you’re experiencing persistent discomfort, you should see your doctor. They can assess your symptoms and make a diagnosis.
When to seek emergency medical attention
You should seek immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
pain or pressure in your chest
persistent nausea and vomiting
skin that appears yellow (jaundice)
severe tenderness when you touch your abdomen
swelling of the abdomen
If you feel any of these symptoms, have someone drive you to the emergency room immediately. Urgent care can help prevent these symptoms from becoming severe or life-threatening.
Appendicitis is one of the most common causes
Your appendix is a small, thin tube that’s located where the large and small intestines meet. When your appendix becomes inflamed, it’s known as appendicitis. Appendicitis is a common cause of pain specifically in the lower right abdomen.
Other symptoms of appendicitis can include:
The condition often requires immediate medical attention. So, if you’re experiencing these symptoms, you should see your doctor. After your doctor diagnoses the condition, they’ll either send you home with a treatment plan or admit you to the hospital for further observation.
Your doctor may determine that surgery to remove your appendix (appendectomy) is necessary to prevent the organ from rupturing and causing other complications. If your appendicitis is severe, your doctor may remove your appendix immediately.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of appendicitis, you shouldn’t take enemas or laxatives, as they can cause your appendix to burst. It’s best to avoid any type of medications unless they’re prescribed by your doctor as part of your treatment plan.
Other common causes of pain in the lower right abdomen
These causes are the most common reasons you may experience pain on either side of the lower abdomen. Although you may feel discomfort on the right side, this pain can also occur on your left.
Intestinal gas is air found in your entire digestive tract. It’s often caused by food that’s not broken down completely until it reaches your colon.
The more undigested food present, the more gas your body will produce. As gas builds up, it can cause abdominal pain, bloating, and a “knotted” feeling in your stomach.
Burping and farting usually provide relief. In fact, it’s typical for a person to expel gas up to 20 times a day.
However, excessive gas may be a sign of a digestive disorder, such as diabetes or lactose intolerance.
Other causes for intestinal gas include:
swallowing more air than normal
Indigestion (dyspepsia) typically develops after you eat or drink something. Pain usually occurs in the upper abdomen, though it may still be felt lower down.
Symptoms of indigestion also include:
early or uncomfortable fullness
food or bitter-tasting fluids coming back up
Mild indigestion will go away fairly quickly and can be treated by over-the-counter medications. But if symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should see your doctor to rule out underlying digestive issues.
A hernia happens when a body part or internal organ pushes through tissue or muscle that holds it in place. There are several types of hernias, most of which happen in the abdomen. Each type can cause pain or discomfort in the affected area.
Other common symptoms include:
swelling or bulging at the site
pain while lifting, laughing, crying, coughing, or straining
a dull ache
feeling full or constipated
A kidney infection is caused by bacteria that usually come from your bladder, ureters, or urethra. One or both of your kidneys could be affected by the infection.
Although you may feel pain in your lower abdomen, discomfort from a kidney infection more often occurs in your back, sides, or groin.
Other symptoms include:
feeling the need to urinate, even if you just went
pain or burning when urinating
pus or blood in your urine
urine that’s cloudy or smells bad
When untreated, kidney infections can cause permanent damage. If you notice any of these symptoms, you sh