What is it?

Abdominal pain is soreness that’s felt in and around your stomach area. The pain may feel short, sharp, dull or fiery. It can be ongoing, or occasional. You might also notice bloating and nausea. This type of pain can sometimes feel like indigestion, but often there’s no obvious reason for it.

Abdominal pain can be mild or serious and there are many causes. A common cause is pelvic inflammatory disease, which is pelvic pain caused by sexually transmitted infections. Another possible cause is an ectopic pregnancy.

Your GP will aim to diagnose and treat your pain as soon as possible.


What will my GP do now?

Your GP will aim to identify and treat the cause of your pain. You may be asked to talk about your sexual history, when the pain started, how it feels and any other symptoms. Your GP may also:

  • Screen for sexually transmitted infections and pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Test for pregnancy and other causes
  • Complete a physical examination
  • Arrange an ultrasound
  • Talk to you about a referral for a gynaecologist if necessary


Your GP might need to wait for your test results to come back before confirming the cause of your pain.


What will my GP do in the future?

Your GP may see you for a review in the next few days to talk about your treatment options and the results of any tests. If your GP still can’t confirm what’s causing your pain, you might need a specialist referral or more tests.

If you have pain and are pregnant, your GP may continue to monitor you with blood tests and ultrasounds.


What can I do?

It’s important to be open and honest with your GP about your sexual health history. If there’s a chance you may have a sexually transmitted infection, tell your GP.

Continue to monitor your symptoms, take any medication as instructed and make follow-up appointments. If your pain gets worse, even with treatment, see your GP as soon as possible.

Attend any specialist referral appointments or ultrasounds. If you think you could be pregnant, discuss this with your GP as well.

If you have been diagnosed with pelvic inflammatory disease, your GP will talk to you about letting other partners know as they may need treatment, too.