lower abdominal pain when coughing

Why Lower Abdominal Pain When Coughing: (Causes & Treatment)

Lower abdominal pain when coughing can be caused by many factors, ranging from mild to severe conditions. The pain may be sharp, dull, or crampy and may occur suddenly or persist for an extended period. Understanding the root cause of the pain is crucial to receiving proper treatment and preventing further complications. In this article, we will discuss symptoms, causes, and treatment.

Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Cough?

Experiencing stomach pain when coughing can be a concerning symptom, often indicating an underlying issue that requires attention. Several factors can contribute to this discomfort. One common reason is the increased pressure within the abdomen during coughing, which can strain the muscles and organs in the abdominal area. 

Additionally, gastrointestinal issues, muscle strain, or even more serious conditions like hernias or appendicitis can cause abdominal pain when coughing.

Understanding the root cause of your stomach pain when coughing is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment. If you’re experiencing persistent or severe pain.

Symptoms of Lower Abdominal Pain When Coughing

The symptoms of lower abdominal pain when coughing can vary depending on the underlying cause. However, some common symptoms include:

  1. Sharp or dull pain in the lower abdomen
  2. Cramping or tenderness in the lower abdomen
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Fever or chills
  5. Bowel changes, such as constipation or diarrhoea
  6. Blood in the urine or stool (in rare cases)

10 Reasons Why Your Stomach May Hurt When You Cough?

lower abdominal pain

Lower abdominal pain when coughing can stem from many factors, ranging from benign to more serious conditions. Some common causes and their associated symptoms include:

  1. Muscle Strain

Symptoms: Pain or discomfort localized to the lower abdomen, exacerbated by coughing or movement.

The forceful contraction of abdominal muscles during coughing can exacerbate existing strains or lead to new ones, resulting in discomfort.

  1. Respiratory Infections

Symptoms: Lower abdominal pain accompanied by cough, fever, chest congestion, and difficulty breathing.

Respiratory infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia can cause inflammation in the airways and surrounding tissues. Coughing associated with these infections may trigger pain in the lower abdomen due to the strain exerted on the muscles.

  1. Gastrointestinal Issues

Symptoms: Abdominal pain or cramping, bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, such as gastritis, gastroenteritis, or inflammatory bowel disease, can manifest with lower abdominal pain. Coughing may exacerbate the discomfort, especially if the abdominal organs are inflamed or sensitive.

  1. Hernia

Symptoms: Bulge or swelling in the groin or umbilical area, discomfort or pain when coughing or lifting heavy objects.

Inguinal or umbilical hernias occur when a portion of the intestine protrudes through a weakened area in the abdominal wall. Coughing increases intra-abdominal pressure, potentially causing the hernia to bulge and elicit pain.

Reproductive System Disorders

Symptoms: Pelvic pain, irregular menstrual cycles, abnormal vaginal bleeding, and pain during intercourse.

In women, lower abdominal pain when coughing may be related to gynaecological issues such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or pelvic inflammatory disease. These conditions can cause pelvic discomfort that worsens with coughing.

  1. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Symptoms: Burning sensation during urination, frequent urination, urgency to urinate, cloudy or bloody urine.

UTIs can cause inflammation and irritation in the bladder and lower urinary tract. Coughing may exacerbate abdominal discomfort associated with these infections.

  1. Kidney Stones

Symptoms: Severe abdominal or flank pain, pain radiating to the groin or genitals, nausea, vomiting, and blood in urine.

Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that form in the kidneys and can cause excruciating pain when they move through the urinary tract. Coughing may worsen the pain by increasing intra-abdominal pressure.

  1. Appendicitis

Symptoms: Pain starting around the navel and migrating to the lower right abdomen, fever, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a small pouch attached to the large intestine. Coughing can exacerbate the pain in the lower right abdomen, where the appendix is located.

  1. Abdominal Adhesions

Symptoms: Chronic abdominal pain, bloating, constipation, and difficulty passing gas.

Abdominal adhesions are bands of scar tissue that form between abdominal organs and tissues, often due to previous surgery or inflammation. Coughing can exacerbate discomfort by stretching or pulling on these adhesions.

  1. Diverticulitis

Symptoms: Sudden and severe abdominal pain, especially in the lower left side, fever, nausea, vomiting, and changes in bowel habits.

Diverticulitis is inflammation or infection of small pouches (diverticula) that develop in the colon’s lining. Coughing can worsen abdominal pain in individuals with diverticulitis.


To diagnose the cause of lower abdominal pain when coughing, a healthcare provider will perform a physical examination and ask questions about the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and lifestyle. Additional tests may include:

  • Pelvic ultrasound
  • CT scan
  • MRI
  • Blood test
  • Urine test

Treatment Options for Lower Abdominal Pain When Coughing

Addressing lower abdominal pain when coughing often involves a multifaceted approach tailored to the underlying cause. Treatment options may include:

  1. Pain Management

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate muscle strain or inflammation discomfort. However, it’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before taking any medication.

  1. Rest and Relaxation

Allowing the affected muscles time to heal through rest and avoiding activities exacerbating pain can promote recovery. Gentle stretching exercises or applying heat packs to the abdominal area may also provide relief.

  1. Treating Underlying Conditions

If the pain persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical evaluation to identify and address any underlying health issues. Treatment may involve antibiotics for infections, anti-inflammatory medications for gastrointestinal disorders, or surgical intervention for hernias.

  1. Lifestyle Modifications

Making lifestyle adjustments such as quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and practising good coughing techniques (e.g., covering the mouth and using cough suppressants if necessary) can help reduce the frequency and severity of coughing-related abdominal pain.

Stomach pain from coughing remedy.

When experiencing stomach pain from coughing, finding relief is crucial for comfort and well-being. Over-the-counter remedies such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate discomfort by reducing inflammation and pain. Additionally, applying heat to the abdomen, whether through a heating pad or warm towel, can provide soothing relief and ease muscle tension caused by coughing.

Moreover, incorporating gentle coughing techniques can minimize abdominal strain and discomfort. Holding a pillow against the abdomen while coughing or leaning forward slightly can reduce pressure on the stomach muscles.

It’s also essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids to help thin mucus and ease coughing, reducing strain on the abdominal area. 

Prevention Strategies

To prevent lower abdominal pain when coughing, consider the following tips:

  • Practice good posture and lifting techniques
  • Engage in regular exercise to strengthen abdominal muscles
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Manage stress through relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises

Can Severe Coughing Cause Abdominal Pain?

Yes, severe coughing can indeed lead to abdominal pain. When a person coughs forcefully, it puts significant pressure on the abdominal muscles and surrounding organs. This increased intra-abdominal pressure can strain the muscles and tissues, resulting in discomfort or pain in the abdominal region. 

Additionally, the repetitive and forceful contractions of the abdominal muscles during coughing can exacerbate any existing muscle strain or tension, further intensifying the pain. 

Moreover, if an individual has underlying conditions such as gastritis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or a hernia, severe coughing can worsen these conditions and cause abdominal discomfort. 

Therefore, managing coughing symptoms effectively, especially in chronic or severe coughing cases, is crucial to alleviate abdominal pain and prevent potential complications.


Why does my lower abdomen hurt when I cough?

Lower abdominal pain when coughing is often due to increased intra-abdominal pressure during coughing, which strains the abdominal muscles. This strain can cause discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen.

Why does it hurt when I cough?

Coughing can cause pain due to increased pressure in the chest and abdomen, which can strain muscles and tissues. This pressure can exacerbate existing conditions such as muscle strains, hernias, or inflammation in the chest or abdomen. Additionally, conditions like pneumonia, bronchitis, or pleurisy can cause coughing-related pain due to inflammation or infection in the respiratory system

What causes dry cough and stomach pain?

Conditions like GERD, gastritis, respiratory infections, muscle strain, medication side effects, or stress/anxiety can cause dry cough and stomach pain.

Can lower abdominal pain when coughing be a sign of pregnancy?

Yes, lower abdominal pain when coughing can sometimes be a symptom experienced by pregnant individuals, particularly during the later stages of pregnancy. As the uterus expands, it can exert pressure on the surrounding organs and muscles, leading to discomfort or pain when coughing.

Is it normal to experience lower abdominal pain when coughing after surgery?

Lower abdominal pain when coughing after surgery is relatively common, especially if the procedure involved abdominal or pelvic areas. Surgical incisions and manipulation of tissues can lead to temporary discomfort or sensitivity, which may be exacerbated by coughing. Following the surgeon’s post-operative instructions, including techniques to support the incision site while coughing, can help minimize pain and promote healing.

Can stress or anxiety cause lower abdominal pain when coughing?

Yes, stress or anxiety can contribute to physical symptoms such as muscle tension and heightened sensitivity to pain, which may manifest as lower abdominal discomfort when coughing. Additionally, stress can weaken the immune system, making individuals more susceptible to respiratory infections that can exacerbate coughing-related pain. 

What role does diet play in managing lower abdominal pain when coughing?

Diet can significantly manage lower abdominal pain when coughing, especially if gastrointestinal issues contribute to the discomfort. Certain foods and beverages, such as spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks, can exacerbate gastrointestinal symptoms and increase abdominal discomfort during coughing episodes. Maintaining a balanced diet rich in fiber, hydration, and nutrients can help support digestive health and minimize potential triggers for abdominal pain.


When coughing, Lower abdominal pain can indicate an underlying medical condition requiring immediate attention. Individuals can alleviate symptoms and prevent further complications by understanding the causes and seeking timely treatment. If the pain persists or worsens, consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and care.

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