Health is our utmost priority. Even the slightest pain can sometimes be a sign of bigger problems. Hence, it is highly recommended to consult your physician or doctor when you experience an ache, especially a pain between the chest and groin as this contains all major organs. The pain may vary in severity and can range from a mild, annoying ache to stabbing jabs of agonizing pain. However, one of the most common complaints received is regarding feeling lower abdominal pain when coughing. Even sneezing or laughing aloud can cause abdominal pain in some patients. So, what are the reasons behind it?

Why Should you Worry about Lower Abdominal Pain when Coughing?

The lower abdomen contains numerous essential organs, such as the intestines, pancreas, appendix, liver, etc. A problem or pain in any of these organs can mean severe or debilitating disorder many times. The symptoms may also vary from patient to patient but there are several specific symptoms that point to serious health issues if you feel pain in the lower abdomen when coughing.

If left untreated, severe pain in the abdomen can result in droplets of blood in bodily secretions with breathing difficulties along with chest pain. A severe condition may even cause the patient to collapse.

Feeling a distinct painful sensation every time you sneeze or cough is unfortunately quite common. It can be in the form of sharp, stinging pain in the pelvic area, around the lower abdomen. It can even feel like a distinct, sharp pain in the perineum, ovaries, or uterus. There is an inane connection between the muscles in your pelvic floor and sudden, jerky movements, such as sneezing or coughing. Even your eyelids inadvertently close when you sneeze. This is the body’s way of preventing untoward accidents or damage to your organs as coughing or sneezing involves letting out a gust of fast breath from within the body.

Sneezing or coughing tends to create pressure in the abdomen and pelvic floor. These are forced to contract in order to counteract the pressure on the abdomen which comes from sneezing or coughing. However, when the body is unable to contract the pelvic floor muscles in time for the cough or sneeze, then you feel the pressure as a sharp, stinging pain in your lower abdomen. This painful feeling can stretch from below your chest all the way down to the crotch.

When you experience this, it is highly recommended to consult with a pelvic floor therapist to identify the real cause and determine the best ways to avoid the pain.

What Causes Lower Abdominal Pain when Coughing?

The pelvic floor muscles help hold urine back and ensure that all organs are positioned firmly in place. Cough tends to put a sudden downward force on the bladder and other pelvic regions. The pelvic floor can come under extreme duress with repetitive sneezing or coughing. This often results in increasing pelvic floor problems, such as increased urgency, incontinence, and even pain. This is also the reason that most patients feel their symptoms becoming more distinct during, or just after, an ailment.

When the pelvic floor malfunctions, then sudden sneezing and coughing and laughing aloud or lifting weights can often result in bladder leakage.

lower abdominal pain when coughing

Normally, the pelvic floor braces itself by contracting tight right before it senses the onset of a sneeze or cough, thus preventing the leakage or more serious issues. However, some conditions prevent the pelvic floor from contracting in time. To overcome this, you can try to voluntarily contract the pelvic floor (similarly to how you delay urinating or bowel movements) right before coughing. This way, you can avoid any untoward accidents or severe pain.

Other possible causes of lower abdominal pain when coughing may include:

  • Gas
  • Indigestion
  • Hernia
  • Kidney infection
  • Kidney stones
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cyst
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ovarian torsion
  • Inguinal hernia
  • Testicular torsion

Why Should you see a Doctor if you Experience Lower Abdominal Pain when Coughing?

It is strongly advised to book an appointment with a specialist or visit your family physician if you experience consistent pain in the lower abdomen whenever you cough, sneeze, lift heavyweight or even laugh out loud. This may in itself be a symptom of a more serious condition. When detected at its earliest stage, it is possible to treat the cause of lower abdominal pain when coughing with more efficiency and confidence.

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