Does PCOS Cause Abdominal Pain?

Dr Sandra
October 11, 2023
2 minutes
Managing Abdominal Pain in PCOS

The abdominal pain commonly known as “pelvic pain” in PCOS, can be a challenging side effect for individuals dealing with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Pelvic pain in the lower stomach, it can cause significant discomfort and disrupt daily life. This pain is believed to stem from the presence of ovarian cysts, one of the primary indicators used to diagnose PCOS through ultrasound imaging. Women often describe the pain as a sharp stabbing sensation or a persistent dull ache that persists over time.

While the exact causes are not fully understood, here are some possible explanations:

Ovarian Cysts: PCOS is characterised by the presence of multiple small cysts on the ovaries. These cysts can grow and enlarge, causing stretching and pressure on the ovarian tissue. The presence of these cysts and their growth can result in pelvic pain.

Hormonal Imbalances: PCOS is associated with hormonal imbalances, including elevated levels of androgens (male hormones) and insulin resistance. These imbalances can affect the normal functioning of the reproductive system and contribute to pelvic pain.

Inflammation: Chronic low-grade inflammation is often observed in women with PCOS. This inflammation can affect the pelvic organs and tissues, leading to pelvic pain.

Adhesions: In some cases, PCOS may be accompanied by the development of adhesions or scar tissue in the pelvic region. These adhesions can cause pain by restricting the movement of organs and tissues.

Other Factors: Pelvic pain in PCOS may also be influenced by factors such as increased sensitivity to pain, muscle tension in the pelvic floor, or underlying conditions like endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease.


Regular Exercise: Engaging in regular physical activity can help manage PCOS symptoms, including abdominal pain. Exercise promotes blood circulation, reduces inflammation, and releases endorphins, which are natural pain-relieving hormones. 

Balanced Diet: Adopting a balanced diet is crucial for managing PCOS symptoms. Focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Limit processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats. 

Stress Reduction Techniques: Chronic stress can exacerbate abdominal pain and other PCOS symptoms. Incorporate stress reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or mindfulness into your daily routine.

Adequate Sleep: Prioritise quality sleep as it plays a vital role in hormone regulation and overall well-being. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

Ayurveda: Certain herbs such as Triphala, Shatavari etc can be beneficial. Emphasizing the importance of a daily routine (dinacharya), which includes practices such as oil massage (abhyanga), self-care rituals, and mindfulness techniques. These practices can help reduce stress, promote relaxation, and support overall well-being.

Pain Management techniques: You can also try pain management techniques such as Heat therapy, Gentle stretching, Progressive muscle relaxation etc.

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