Treatment of abdominal pain in women depends on the cause; for instance, pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome may be treated with medication, while appendicitis pain may require surgical intervention, notes WebMD. Painful ovulation causing abdominal discomfort is normal and may be relieved with over-the-counter pain medications.
Some women experience lower abdominal cramps when going through premenstrual syndrome, notes WebMD. Menstrual cramping is also often felt in the lower abdomen as a result of the uterus contracting and pushing out the endometrial lining when no egg is fertilized. This normal cramping can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications and the application of a heating pad.
Notably, sharp pelvic cramps and pain, particularly if felt on one side, may signal ectopic pregnancy, which is sometimes referred to as pregnancy in the tubes, states WebMD. This is an urgent medical problem that requires immediate emergency care.
Pelvic inflammatory disease can cause abdominal pain, painful urination, vaginal discharge and painful sex, advises WebMD. Some cases of PID respond to antibiotics, but more severe or advanced cases require surgical treatment.
Ovarian cysts can be a cause of abdominal pain in women, according to WebMD. The same is true of uterine fibroids. While some cysts and fibroids are harmless and cause few problems, others can cause pain and irregular, heavy bleeding. Shrinking or surgically removing the fibroids or cysts may become necessary.