What Does It Mean When Your Lower Abdomen Feels Hard?

Abdomen is a large space between chest and pelvis. The diaphragm forms upper border of abdomen while the pelvic bones form the lower end of abdomen. The abdomen consists of large number of organs such as stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, spleen, pancreas, gallbladder and kidney’s. The organs of digestive system such as stomach and intestine are connected by mesentery a type of connective tissue. It helps them to slide over each other and keep them in place. In front the abdomen is covered by strong abdominal muscles.

If you are wondering why your lower abdomen is hard to feel there are many reasons to know.

Vast number of condition can lead to hardening of lower abdomen. Some conditions are harmless while few of them carry high mortality risk. Often hardness in lower abdomen is accompanied with other symptoms such as pain, vomiting, fever etc.

What Causes Hardening Of The Lower Abdomen?

Below are given important causes for hardening of lower abdomen:

  • Physical exercise: One of the reasons for hardness in lower abdomen is due to abdominal muscles. People who perform various workout sessions for reducing belly fat usually develop hard lower abdominal muscles. Sports activity such as swimming, skiing and snowboarding can also cause hardening of abdominal muscles.
  • Constipation: Often people who are constipated feel hardness in the lower abdomen. Especially those suffering from chronic constipation feel their abdomen harder. Constipation develops when the feces become dry and hard in the large intestine because more amount of water is absorbed from large intestine. The resulting stool becomes hard and difficult to pass. Low intake of fiber is one of the major causes of constipation.
  • Pregnancy: During pregnancy the uterus enlarges in size. It can cause hardness in lower abdomen. After two to three months of conception, woman may feel hardness in her lower abdomen.
  • Peritonitis: Peritonitis is a serious condition. Peritoneum is the membrane which acts as a sac covering the whole abdomen and organs inside it. Peritonitis is inflammation of peritoneum which occurs as a result of infection in the internal organs. Rupture of intestine is one of the main causes of peritonitis. Peritonitis is also common in appendicitis. Peritonitis causes severe hardening of abdomen, especially lower abdomen. Peritonitis is always accompanied with pain, tenderness, fever, vomiting. It is a serious condition and if left untreated it can be fatal.
  • Tumors: Presence of a tumor in the lower abdomen may cause hard feeling in lower abdomen. Along with hard feeling, person may also feel bloating sensation and heaviness in abdomen and dull pain. Tumor in abdomen needs to be removed surgically. If the growth is cancerous, further chemotherapy and/or radiation may be necessary.

Hardness in abdomen whether in lower or upper abdomen along with pain and fever need prompt medical attention. Since there are many reasons some of which are more serious, diagnosis of the exact cause is very important when there is hard feeling in the abdomen.