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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.