Groin pain is a common problem in women, especially those who are pregnant or have given birth recently. The pain may be sharp and stabbing, or it may be a dull ache. It can be constant or come and go. You may feel it only when you move in certain ways, such as when you sit down or stand up.
If you’re experiencing groin pain, it’s important to see a doctor to determine the underlying cause. In some cases, the pain may go away on its own with rest and home care. However, more serious conditions like hernias or infections will require medical treatment. This article will discuss 14 common causes and treatments of female groin pain.
Symptoms of Groin Pain in Women
Pain in the inner thigh: Pain in the inner thigh is a common symptom of groin pain in women. It may be felt as a dull ache or sharp pain in the inner thigh and can be caused by several conditions, including muscle strain, tendonitis, or a pinched nerve.
Pain in the outer thigh: Pain in the outer thigh can also occur with groin pain in women. This type of pain may result from a tear or strain in the muscle or tendon of the outer thigh or a pinched nerve or bone spur.
Pain in the pubic area: Pain in the pubic area is another symptom of groin pain in women and can be caused by several conditions, including muscle strain, tendonitis, or a hernia.
Pain when walking or running: Pain when walking or running may occur with groin pain in women. This type of pain may be due to a muscle strain, tendonitis, or a pinched nerve.
Pain when sitting or standing: Pain when sitting or standing can also be a symptom of groin pain in women and can be caused by muscle strain, tendonitis, or a hernia.
Swelling or redness in the groin area: Swelling or redness in the groin area can also be a symptom of groin pain in women and can be caused by muscle strain, tendonitis, or a hernia.
Difficulty moving the legs or hips: Difficulty moving the legs or hips can be another symptom of groin pain in women and can be caused by muscle strain, tendonitis, or a hernia.
Pain in the abdomen: Pain in the abdomen can also be a symptom of groin pain in women and can be caused by a hernia, a pinched nerve, or a urinary tract infection.
Numbness or tingling in the groin area: Numbness or tingling in the groin area can also be a symptom of groin pain in women and can be caused by a pinched nerve or other nerve damage.
14 Common Causes of Groin Pain in Women
1. Groin Strain
A groin strain is a common cause of female groin pain. It is caused by overstretching or tearing the muscles and tendons in the inner thigh area, which can cause pain and tenderness.
Groin strains can occur when performing activities that involve sudden changes in direction, such as running, jumping, kicking, or pivoting. It can also occur when lifting heavy objects, such as a box or a child.
The most common symptom of a groin strain is a sharp, burning pain that radiates from the inner thigh and may be accompanied by swelling and bruising. Stiffness, weakness, and difficulty walking can also occur.
Groin strains can range from mild to severe and are classified based on severity, with grade one being the mildest and grade three being the most severe.
Treatment for a groin strain will depend on the severity of the injury but typically includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Over-the-counter pain medication may also be recommended.
2. Hip Osteoarthritis
Hip osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that can cause female groin pain. This occurs when the protective cartilage that cushions the bones of the hip joint wears away over time, leading to pain and stiffness.
Women’s hips are generally wider, with a larger pelvic cavity, making them more susceptible to the disease. The main symptom of hip osteoarthritis is a pain in the hip region, which can range from mild to severe.
Other symptoms include limited range of motion, stiffness, and a grinding or crunching sensation when the hip is moved. Female groin pain can be caused by the disease, as the hip joint is located in this area.
Treatment for hip osteoarthritis depends on the severity of the condition and the patient’s preferences. Non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, pain medications, and lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the damaged joint.
3. Ovarian Cyst
Ovarian cysts can be a common cause of female groin pain. Most ovarian cysts are benign, meaning they are non-cancerous. These cysts form on the ovaries when an egg is not released during ovulation, leading to a fluid-filled sac. This sac can cause discomfort, pain, and abnormal menstrual cycles.
Other symptoms of an ovarian cyst include bloating, abdominal pain, and pelvic pain. If the cyst is large enough, it can twist the ovary, leading to sudden and severe pain.
Treatment for ovarian cysts usually involves hormone therapy or surgery, depending on the size and type of the cyst. In some cases, the cyst may shrink or disappear on its own.
4. Hip Impingement
Hip impingement is a medical condition where the hip joint cannot move freely due to impingement of the bones or soft tissues. It is more common in females and can cause groin pain.
Hip impingement is caused by various factors, including injuries, age-related changes, or sports activities. Injuries can cause the hip bones to become misaligned, leading to hip impingement and groin pain.
Age-related changes in the hip joint can cause the cartilage to wear away and the bones to rub against each other, leading to hip impingement. Sports activities that involve sudden changes in direction, such as soccer or basketball, can also cause hip impingement and groin pain.
Treatment for hip impingement includes rest, physical therapy, and medications to reduce inflammation and pain. Surgery may also be recommended to correct the misalignment of the hip bones.I
5. Hip Fracture
Hip fractures are a common injury that can cause female groin pain. A fall or trauma, such as a car accident often causes them. In older women, hip fractures can occur from weaker bones due to age, osteoporosis, or other related medical conditions.
Symptoms of a hip fracture can range from a sudden, sharp pain in the hip or groin to difficulty walking and standing. In some cases, the pain may radiate down the leg. To diagnose a hip fracture, a doctor may order an x-ray or an MRI.
Treatment may involve surgery or physical therapy. Surgery may involve the insertion of metal screws and plates to stabilize the hip joint, while physical therapy helps to strengthen the muscles and improve the range of motion.
A hernia is a protrusion of tissue that occurs when an internal organ or tissue pushes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. This can result in female groin pain.
Abdominal hernias are most common in females and can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort in the groin area. Hernias in females can be caused by various factors, including obesity, pregnancy, lifting heavy objects, and physical strain.
Female groin pain related to hernias can vary from mild to severe. Pain may be sudden or gradual and feel like a sharp or dull ache. A bulge may accompany it in the abdomen or groin area or a feeling of heaviness in the affected area.
Most hernias can be treated with lifestyle modifications and surgery. Lifestyle modifications such as avoiding heavy lifting and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of developing a hernia. Surgery is the most common treatment for hernias and involves repairing the weak spot in the abdominal wall.
7. Pinched Nerve
A pinched nerve in the lower back or hip can cause female groin pain. This type of pain results when a nerve is compressed due to an injury or disorder. The pain can range from a mild tingling sensation to an intense burning or stabbing sensation.
The pain may be localized in the groin or radiate to other areas such as the lower abdomen, thigh, or buttocks. It’s important to understand the cause of the pinched nerve so it can be properly addressed.
Treatment may include medications, physical therapy, or in more serious cases, surgery. Proper diagnosis of the underlying cause of the pinched nerve is essential for effective treatment.
8. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can cause female groin pain due to inflammation in the urinary tract. UTIs occur when bacteria enter the urinary tract and cause an infection.
Groin pain is one of the most common symptoms of a UTI. It may be a sharp pain or may feel like a dull ache. It can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by itching or burning. The pain may radiate down the leg and worsen when standing or urinating.
The most common cause of a UTI is Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria entering the urinary tract. This can occur from sexual activity, improper hygiene, or bacteria in the rectal area entering the urinary tract during bowel movements.
Women are more likely than men to get UTIs due to their shorter urethra, which makes it easier for bacteria to travel to the bladder.
The most common treatments include antibiotics, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding irritants like caffeine, alcohol, and acidic foods. Home remedies like drinking cranberry juice or using baking soda in the bath may also help.
9. Pelvic floor dysfunction
Pelvic floor dysfunction is a common cause of groin pain in women. It is a condition in which the muscles and ligaments of the pelvic floor become weakened or damaged, leading to pain in the pelvic and groin regions.
Common symptoms include pain during sex, difficulty urinating and defecating, and pain while sitting or standing for prolonged periods. The pain can range from mild to severe and may be accompanied by other symptoms such as urinary incontinence or a feeling of heaviness in the pelvic area.
Treatment for pelvic floor dysfunction typically includes physical therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes. Exercise and strengthening exercises are often recommended to help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and improve overall pelvic health.
Appendicitis is when the appendix becomes inflamed and infected, leading to abdominal pain and discomfort. If left untreated, the appendix can rupture and cause serious complications.
Although it is most common in males, appendicitis can cause female groin pain. Symptoms of appendicitis in females include abdominal pain that may start around the belly button and then move to the lower right side of the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, fever, and diarrhea. If the appendix ruptures, the pain may become more severe and localized.
If you are experiencing groin pain, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Your doctor will perform a physical exam and imaging tests such as an ultrasound or MRI to diagnose appendicitis. Treatment may include antibiotics to treat the infection or surgery to remove the appendix.
11. Enlarged Lymph Nodes
Enlarged lymph nodes in the female groin can cause intense pain. The lymph nodes are part of the immune system. They are responsible for filtering out and trapping foreign substances, like bacteria and viruses, to protect the body from infection.
When the lymph nodes enlarge, they can press against the surrounding tissue and cause pain. Female groin pain caused by enlarged lymph nodes can range from mild to severe and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, swollen joints, and fatigue.
Treatment usually involves antibiotics to reduce infection and reduce inflammation. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to reduce the size of the lymph nodes and relieve the pain. It is important to visit a doctor to diagnose and properly treat the condition.
12. Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can cause female groin pain due to their location in the body. The stones form in the kidneys and can travel down the urinary tract. If a stone becomes stuck in the ureter, it cannot pass and causes discomfort in the lower abdomen and groin area.
Symptoms of a kidney stone include sharp pain in the lower back and abdomen, nausea, and blood in the urine. If a stone is large enough, it may require medical intervention to remove it.
It is important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, as they can indicate a more serious health issue. Treatment of kidney stones usually helps to alleviate the pain in the groin area.
13. Osteitis Pubis
Osteitis Pubis is an inflammatory condition that affects the pubic symphysis, the joint that connects the two halves of the pelvis. It is a condition that is more common in athletes and typically causes pain in the pelvic region, especially in the groin area.
Female athletes, in particular, may experience pain after vigorous physical activity. Symptoms may include aching, difficulty with movement, tenderness in the pubic area, and swelling.
It is important that women seek medical attention if they are experiencing pain in the groin area, as it may be a sign of Osteitis Pubis.
Treatment may include rest, medication, physical therapy, or even surgery in severe cases. Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce the chances of long-term complications and allow athletes to return to their sport sooner.
Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, but it can also come with challenges, including female groin pain. This type of pain can be felt where the abdomen meets the legs and can range from mild to severe. It is a common issue that affects many pregnant women, especially during the third trimester.
One of the main causes of female groin pain during pregnancy is the increased pressure on the pelvic area due to the growing baby. This pressure can cause strain on the muscles and ligaments in the groin, leading to pain and discomfort.
Another reason for female groin pain during pregnancy is the hormonal changes in a woman’s body. During pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called relaxin, which helps to loosen the ligaments and joints in the pelvis to prepare for childbirth. However, this can also lead to pain and discomfort in the groin area.
There are various treatment options available, including exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles, wearing a support belt, and to take pain medication if necessary.
When Should You go to the doctor for female groin pain?
If you are experiencing some symptoms below, see your doctor as soon as possible.
- Persistent or unusual pain in the groin area
- You have the symptoms of UTI, which may result in a kidney infection
- You have the symptoms of a hernia or a kidney stone
- High fever with rapid breathing
- Vomiting, weakness, dizziness, and faintness could be signs of a ruptured ovarian cyst