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Swollen and hard belly: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Having a swollen lower abdomen may be more common than it sounds. A diet rich in gluten and dairy, inflammation of pelvic organs, infections and even tumors can cause these types of symptoms. Therefore, it is important to get to know what is causing it, as this will determine how you can improve.

Next, at FastlyHeal , we invite you to discover the possible causes for which you can have a swollen and hard belly , when to go to the doctor immediately and the treatments that can be performed.

Why my belly is swollen and hard

Among the most common causes of a swollen and hard belly, we find:

premenstrual syndrome

The days before menstruation there is a large circulation of progesterone due to which you may feel more bloated. The lower belly can be swollen, hardened and you can even have some pain , gas can even increase.

In the following article, you can see the causes and treatment of PMS .

Gas bloating

An unhealthy diet, rich in fat, dairy, sugar and gluten favors abdominal bloating . Poor digestion and constipation increase gas production, alter the intestinal flora and favor the appearance of parasites, which makes the belly look bulky and hard.

Poor digestion

If you are in the habit of eating unhealthy food, you don’t chew your food well, and you drink liquid along with it, it is very likely that your digestion will be difficult and your abdomen will feel swollen.


Another possible cause of a swollen and hard lower belly is that you suffer from an inflammation of the bladder , often associated with a bacterial infection. You may also notice that you urinate little and very frequently or that it burns when you urinate.

In the following article, we inform you about the causes, symptoms and treatment of cystitis .


It may be that during the first weeks of pregnancy, even without knowing that you are pregnant, you may feel a swollen belly. Contractions of the uterus can cause your lower abdominal area to feel stiff, which can also be caused by pressure on the bladder.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

A vaginal infection (often transmitted through unprotected sex) can lead to a complicated picture. The infection spreads to the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries causing lower belly swelling, pain during intercourse, or spontaneous, foul-smelling vaginal discharge.

In this article, you can learn in detail about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease .

Prostate bladder obstruction

Men can suffer from prostatic inflammation , which usually appears in those who reach their 50s. The lower belly may swell because the complete elimination of urine is not possible, causing the bladder to swell.


Both the inflammation of the appendix and other causes of urgent abdominal inflammation can manifest with swelling and hardening of the lower belly, but what really defines that the consultation should be urgent is the pain, which is usually significant. You may also have a fever, vomiting, and general malaise.

Inflammatory bowel disease

The Crohn ‘s disease or ulcerative colitis may present with episodes of hardening and bulging belly , which is a smooth presentation. There may be other more serious cases where pain, fever, blood in the stool, lesions in the mouth appear.

uterine fibroids

They are a type of benign tumor that can appear in the uterus, their growth is usually slow, the sensation of pressure in the lower abdomen will be constant. Vaginal bleeding or urinary discomfort due to bladder compression may also appear.


The presence of uterine tissue in areas other than the uterus (for example, in the abdominal cavity) can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including inflammation of the lower abdomen, especially during menstruation. You can also feel a lot of pain in menstrual periods, excessive bleeding, pain in sexual intercourse.


The endometrial inflammation , infectious or secondary cause for medical or surgical procedures, do you feel swollen belly low. There may be discomfort, pain, and even a foul-smelling discharge, in which case pelvic inflammatory disease may continue.

Abdominal muscle strain

If the feeling of having a swollen and hard belly started after doing physical activity that you are not used to or doing it in an intense way, the discomfort may come from the muscular area.


When the digestive system is not working properly and there is retention of stool for longer than it should, the belly swells. This also allows the passage of toxic substances into the body and has been linked to numerous chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes.

In the following article, you can see in detail the causes and treatment of constipation .

Fluid retention

There may be many reasons why the body does not eliminate fluid properly: a malfunction of the kidney, liver and even the digestive system. This can make your abdomen bloat.

Irritable bowel syndrome

When there are alterations in the intestinal function, alternating constipation and diarrhea , such bloating and accumulation of gases occurs that it becomes a real problem. Stress and poor eating habits are one of the possible causes of irritable bowel.

When to go to the doctor for a swollen and hard belly

The most important thing is to try to identify if in addition to having a more swollen and hard lower abdomen than usual, you have other symptoms . Some of them should get you to go to a health center as quickly as possible, including:

  • Fever (+ 38 ° C).
  • Major pain.
  • Vomiting
  • Smelly or dark vaginal discharge.
  • Blood in the stool.
  • Inability to urinate
  • Inability to defecate

In any of these cases, you should not self-medicate . Taking painkillers can cover the picture you are suffering from and make diagnosis difficult.

Treatment for hard and swollen belly

The first thing is to identify what is the cause of what happens, so a medical consultation before starting treatment is essential.

  • If the reason is poor digestion or excess gas, the most important thing is to change your eating habits : how and what you eat.
  • If the cause is gynecological, it is important to consult a gynecologist, since ruling out pregnancy, diagnosing endometriosis, endometritis or ruling out an infection should be a priority. You will notice the improvement once you know what is happening, since the solution will depend on the case.
  • If the problem is at the bladder or prostate level, the use of antibiotics may be required . A healthy diet is key to a faster recovery.
  • If there are diseases that facilitate fluid retention, you should try to solve the underlying problem.
  • Whatever the cause, you can benefit if you apply cold compresses in the area, this will activate the circulation of the lower abdominal area, which is key in any inflammatory process.
  • A muscle problem may require you to slow down your activity and rest a bit, so recovery will be faster. If the pain is significant, a medical consultation is also advisable.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Swollen and hard belly: causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Digestive System category .

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