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I have been experiencing a sensation in my lower right abdomen/pelvis

Customer Question

I have been experiencing a sensation in my lower right abdomen/pelvis for 3 years, since the birth of my first child. Sometimes it is just a twinge between my hip and pubis when I wipe after going to the bathroom, other times there is a constant sensation of "something there". It feels like a large air bubble or like someone is pressing a tennis ball into my inner hip area.

In addition to the pain low down on the right side, I also have a sensation below my rib on the right. It is like a burning or bruised feeling. This began during my second pregnancy. I believed it to be due to kidney inflammation, but I know my kidneys are now normal as I had a kidney and bladder ultrasound back in September. Interestingly, the rib pain dropped a couple of inches when the baby dropped prior to delivery. I am now 12 months post-partum and the pain is still there, though not all the time.

In addition to the above, I also have found a tender spot about two inches diagonally above my belly button. When I press on this spot, I feel some pain. This is a new symptom and I suspect I have made it worse by poking around. I have become very anxious about my health in the past months.

I suspect that I suffer from IBS as I do have occasional stomach cramps, wind and loose bowel movements when stressed. My father also has IBS. My mother has suspected drug-induced hepatitis, so I guess liver problems could run in the family.

Do you have any advice for me? Thank you in advance.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  dr.gabriel replied 6 years ago.
Good evening! You are describing several symptoms, that appear to be unrelated.
First the feeling of discomfort or pain in the pelvis. The way you described it is typical for pelvic floor muscle weekness. It is absolutely essential that you strengthen your mucles with pelvic floor muscle training programme. Otherwise your symtoms can be worse. Especially try to contract your muscles whenever you have the feeling of "something there".
Secondly your rib pain is almost always benign and needs no treatment other than pain medicine if it is really bad. The reason for these rib pains is unknown, but we do know that it is not dangerous.

Your stomach cramps, and loose bowel movements are together with the tender spot a typical sign for IBS. The tender spot is usually above the Ileocecal valve. You should not press, because it makes things worse. There is no treatment other than to avoid food that gives you gas. You should write a food diary and add your level of pain for 3-4 weeks. After a while you can figure out which foods to avoid.

In conclusion I would like to tell you, that all these symptoms can be signs of an anxiety disorder, even if you do not feel anxious or pannicky. Still you should consider talking to a psychiatrist. The chances are good, that an SSRI medication can help you feel better.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your answer, and sorry for my delay responding. I was snowed in at a restaurant overnight!

If the first set of symptoms point to pelvic floor problems, is it typical for the pain to be in one spot? The twinge I feel is always in the same location. That's why I'm afraid of a tumour or other problem.

For the rib pain and/or tender spot, is it possible this could be to do with my gall bladder or bile ducts? I went to see a holistic doctor on Saturday who said I have problems in these areas, but do my symptoms point in that direction in your opinion?

You seem very confident that my symptoms point to nothing sinister which of course I hope is the case, but I am afraid that I have had something bad inside me for 3 years that is worsening. I have two small children and I want to do the right thing. Should I push for further tests such as colonoscopy or CT scan, or are these not indicated in my case?

Many thanks.