Pain In The Lower Tummy When Coughing: Common Causes And Treatments

By Gary Little

Updated On

Have you ever experienced a sharp, stabbing pain in your lower abdomen or stomach when coughing? It’s an unpleasant sensation that can leave you wincing and wondering what’s going on inside your body. Abdominal or stomach pain associated with coughing is actually a fairly common issue, and there are several potential causes behind it. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the reasons why coughing can lead to discomfort in your tummy, the various underlying conditions that could be responsible, and what you can do to find relief.

Can Severe Coughing Cause Abdominal Pain?

The short answer is yes, severe coughing can cause abdominal or stomach pain. When you cough forcefully, it creates a sudden increase in pressure within your abdomen, which can lead to discomfort or even sharp pains in that region. This is especially true if you’re dealing with a persistent, hacking cough that just won’t quit.

Pain In The Lower Tummy When Coughing

During a coughing fit, your abdominal muscles contract strongly, and this increased tension can potentially irritate or strain the muscles, leading to soreness and pain. Additionally, the repeated, forceful expulsion of air can put pressure on your internal organs, including your digestive system, which could contribute to that unpleasant sensation in your lower tummy.

Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Cough?

There are several potential reasons why you might experience stomach pain or abdominal pain when coughing. Here are some of the most common causes:

1. Muscle strain

As mentioned earlier, the forceful contractions of your abdominal muscles during coughing can lead to muscle strain or soreness, resulting in stomach pain.

2. Increased abdominal pressure

The sudden increase in pressure within your abdomen during coughing fits can irritate or put a strain on your internal organs, including your digestive system, causing discomfort or pain.

3. Underlying medical conditions

In some cases, the abdominal or stomach pain associated with coughing could be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as:

  • Hernia: A hernia, which is a protrusion of an organ or tissue through the muscle wall that normally contains it, can be exacerbated by increased abdominal pressure during coughing, leading to pain.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): The contractions and pressure changes associated with coughing can trigger or worsen symptoms of IBS, including abdominal pain.
  •  Gallbladder issues: Conditions like gallstones or inflammation of the gallbladder can cause abdominal pain that may be exacerbated by coughing.
  • Ulcers: Peptic ulcers in the stomach or small intestine can be irritated by the increased pressure during coughing, resulting in stomach pain.

4. Referred pain

In some cases, the pain you’re experiencing in your abdomen or stomach when coughing could be referred to as pain from another part of your body, such as your chest or back muscles, which can also be strained during severe coughing episodes.

Treatments For Coughing-Induced Stomach Pain

If you’re experiencing abdominal or stomach pain due to coughing, there are several strategies you can try to find relief:

1. Over-the-counter pain relievers: Medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate muscle soreness and reduce inflammation that may be contributing to your stomach pain.

2. Apply a warm compress: Placing a warm compress or heating pad on your abdomen can help relax the muscles and provide soothing relief.

3. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of fluids can help thin out mucus, making it easier to cough up and potentially reducing the frequency and severity of your coughing fits.

4. Use cough suppressants: If your cough is persistent and contributing to your abdominal pain, over-the-counter cough suppressants or prescription medications from your doctor may help reduce the frequency and intensity of your coughing episodes.

5. Address the underlying cause: If your stomach pain is being caused by an underlying medical condition like a hernia, IBS, or gallbladder issues, it’s important to work with your healthcare provider to manage or treat that condition properly.

When To See A Doctor?

In most cases, abdominal or stomach pain associated with coughing is temporary and will resolve once the coughing subsides. However, there are certain situations where it’s important to seek medical attention:

  • If the pain is severe or persistent, even after your coughing has stopped
  • If you notice blood in your cough or experience other concerning symptoms like fever, chest pain, or difficulty breathing
  • If the pain is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or changes in bowel movements
  • If you suspect the pain may be related to an underlying condition like a hernia or gallbladder issues

Your doctor can perform a physical examination, order diagnostic tests if necessary, and provide appropriate treatment or management recommendations based on the underlying cause of your abdominal or stomach pain.


Experiencing abdominal or stomach pain when coughing can be both uncomfortable and concerning, but in many cases, it’s a temporary issue that resolves once the coughing subsides. By understanding the potential causes, such as muscle strain, increased abdominal pressure, or underlying medical conditions, you can better address the problem and find relief.

Remember, if the pain is severe or persistent, or if you have other concerning symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention. Your healthcare provider can properly diagnose and treat any underlying conditions that may be contributing to your coughing-induced abdominal or stomach pain.

By taking proactive steps to manage your cough, stay hydrated, and address any underlying issues, you can minimize the discomfort and get back to feeling your best. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed, and always prioritize your health and well-being.

Also Read: What Causes Lower Left Abdominal Pain In Females?

Frequently Asked Questions

How come when I cough my pelvic area hurts?

The increased abdominal pressure from coughing can put a strain on the pelvic muscles and organs, leading to pelvic pain

Why do I have pain in my lower abdomen when I walk or cough?

This could be due to muscle strain, increased abdominal pressure irritating organs, an underlying condition like a hernia, or referred pain from another area.

Why does my lower stomach hurt when I sneeze?

Sneezing, like coughing, causes a sudden increase in abdominal pressure that can lead to lower stomach pain from muscle strain or irritation of organs.

When I cough, I feel pressure in my uterus.

The increased abdominal pressure during coughing can put a strain on the uterus, causing a feeling of pressure or discomfort in that area.

Can ovarian cysts cause pain when coughing?

Yes, ovarian cysts can cause abdominal or pelvic pain that is exacerbated by coughing due to the increased pressure on the cyst.

Why do I get a sharp pain in my abdomen after sneezing?

A sharp abdominal pain after sneezing may be caused by increased pressure irritating organs, muscle strain, or an underlying condition like a hernia being aggravated.

Gary Little

Gary Little is a well-respected Pain Specialist known for his unique approach to pain management. With over a decade of experience in the field, Gary has dedicated himself to empowering individuals to take control of their health and well-being. Through his innovative methods and personalized strategies, he teaches people how to eliminate Chronic Pain on their own. Gary's mission is to transform lives by providing practical solutions and fostering self-reliance in pain management. His compassionate guidance and expertise have earned him recognition as a trusted authority in the field.

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