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Acute pelvic pain - red flag symptoms

Content developed by MIMS Learning


Acute pelvic pain is defined as pelvic pain lasting for less than three months. It is more common in women than men. It is the most common reason for urgent laparoscopic examination in the UK. It is a common presentation in primary care. Evaluation can be challenging because of a broad differential diagnosis and many associated signs and symptoms are nonspecific.


This red flags article provides an overview of the causes of pelvic pain in both men and women. Key learning points for healthcare professionals include taking a good history and examination, and indications for referral.

After reading this article you should be better able to:

  • List the range of pathology that can cause pelvic pain
  • Take an appropriate history to narrow the range of possible diagnoses
  • Investigate and refer appropriately

Resource author: Dr Elizabeth Croton, GP, Birmingham

Reviewed and updated: Dr Anita Somalanka, GP, Surrey

Test author

Dr Sarah Gray, GP, Cornwall

This resource is provided at advanced level by MIMS Learning. Read the article and reflect on what you have learned, then answer the test questions at the end.

Complete the resource to obtain a certificate of completion to include in your revalidation portfolio. You should record the time spent on this resource in your CPD log.