What Are the Causes of Right Flank Pain in a Woman?


If you are a woman and are experiencing pain in your right flank, it may be either constant or intermittent; any pain in this area, regardless of duration, should be taken seriously, rather than simply treated with over-the-counter analgesics.

Woman with side pain
Woman with side pain (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Numerous Causes

Many conditions can trigger right flank pain in women; most are benign but some can be serious, according to Dr. Khriti Bhatia, chief resident at the emergency residency program, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Dr. David Brown, associate chief of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Nurse talking to patient
Nurse talking to patient (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Diagnostic Factors

In an Emergency Medicine.com article on diagnosing flank pain, Doctors Bhatia and Brown note that a correct diagnosis depends on multiple factors, including age and existing health issues. In older women, right flank pain is more likely to indicate a vascular condition as opposed to a gynecological one.

Elderly woman
Elderly woman (Image: NA/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Checking for Underlying Conditions

If you experience chronic right flank pain, a doctor will need to check for kidney and urinary tract infections, gynecological complications, problems with the vascular and/or pulmonary systems, gastrointestinal disorders and neuromuscular conditions.

Doctor with elderly patient
Doctor with elderly patient (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Kidney Infection

According to the University of Michigan Health System's Department of Urology, kidney infection (pyelonephritis) is a common cause of right flank pain in women. Pyelonephritis pain radiates up into the hip and ribs, while other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and high fever.

Sick elderly woman
Sick elderly woman (Image: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Other Causes

Other conditions that can cause right flank pain in women include kidney disease, kidney stones, an abdominal, aortic aneurysm, a renal abscess, vein thrombosis, renal cancer or herpes zoster.

Sick older woman
Sick older woman (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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