Pain below belly button is an indication that something is wrong in one of the structures in the abdomen. The pain, which may be felt directly under the navel or on the lower left or right side, could be the result of an inflammation or infection in any of the organs found therein. The severity of the pain differs in every person depending the cause. It could be intense but irregular for some people, and slight but constant for others. A thorough medical examination will help point out the exact cause of the problem.
Any degree of pain below belly button should be addressed accordingly. The doctor will make use of blood tests, CT scan, abdominal ultrasound and other diagnostic tests to identify the underlying problem. Since delaying treatment could result in life-threatening conditions, it is therefore very important to visit the doctor immediately especially if the pain is intense or is worsening.
What causes pain below belly button?
There is a broad range of medical conditions that could result in pain below the navel, some are mild while others are serious. The pain could stem from the organs resting on this part of the body, such as the small and large intestines, prostate and urinary bladder to name a few. Statistics also showed that more women than men had reported incidence of pain below the navel. This could be due to the existence of organs in the female body which are absent in the male anatomy, such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries and the upper portion of the cervix.
Pain below belly button could be brought about by any of the following:
- Chronic constipation
Constipation, which happens from time to time, occurs as a result of poor eating habits. However, if it has become persistent, it could result in uncomfortable symptoms like pain below the navel and excessive gas buildup. Chronic constipation could also lead to toxin buildup in the intestines.
Pain below the belly button is a common discomfort during pregnancy and is nothing to worry about. This happens because the wall of the abdomen during pregnancy is thin.
The infection could occur anywhere on the urinary system, which include the kidneys, bladder, ureters and urethra. Urinary tract infection causes pain under the belly button, a burning sensation when urinating, frequent urination, foul-smelling urine, as well as fever and chills.
- Kidney stones
These are stone-like deposits coming from the kidneys and cause intense pain that come and go below the ribs, belly button, sides and back and all the way down to the groin. It may be accompanied by fever, chills, nausea and vomiting. Affected individuals could also have foul-smelling cloudy or pinkish urine.
- PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease)
This is a condition involving a woman’s reproductive tract which causes dull pain below belly button and foul-smelling discharge. The pain aggravates after moving bowels, sex or urination.
Appendicitis causes a sudden, intense pain on the lower right side of the abdomen due to the inflamed appendix. Affected individuals will also experience nausea, swollen abdomen and loss of appetite. Appendicitis can be fatal if treatment is delayed or withheld.
- Peptic ulcers
This condition is caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacterium which causes aching on the lower part of the belly, loss of appetite, bloating, nausea and bloody stool.
The bladder is inflamed in cystitis, which is a condition that could lead to kidney infection if ignored. Cystitis causes bloody urine, burning sensation during urination and pain below the navel area.
Hernia is the result of a protrusion of any part of the organs in the abdomen onto the wall of the abdomen which could cause intense abdominal pain under the navel all the way to the groin.
- Ovarian cyst
Ovarian cyst also causes pain under the navel as is usually the case when the sacs have ruptured.
- Gallbladder disease
Gallbladder diseases like gallstones cause lower abdominal pain accompanied by heartburn, nausea, vomiting, bloating and fever.
When does pain below belly button require prompt medical attention?
There are cases wherein pain below the belly button needs to be checked by a doctor immediately. Pain below the navel could be a medical emergency when it develops suddenly and is intense, or when it has become persistent and worsens after doing physical activities like stretching, leaning, bending and jumping or even sneezing. It would likewise be best to seek medical advice if new symptoms accompany the pain or if it disrupts the day-to-day routine. The doctor will run a series of tests to figure out the problem and plan the appropriate treatment.
What are the treatment options available for pain below belly button?
Pain below the navel area is treated based on the root cause. Medications are usually given to treat infection and resolve swelling. In case of appendicitis or gallstone and other gallbladder diseases, the treatment typically involves surgical removal of the appendix or gallbladder, respectively.