Your groin is the area of your hip located between your stomach and your thigh. It is where your abdomen stops and your legs start.

If you are a woman with pain in your groin on the right side, the discomfort could be an indication of a number of potential problems.

Typically, your pain is caused by an injury of one of the structures in your leg that attach to your groin, such as a torn or strained muscle, ligament, or tendon.

A “groin strain” usually refers to torn or overstretched adductor muscles, which are located on the inside of the thigh.

These types of groin injuries are usually the result of overuse or overexertion and are common among physically active people.

Beyond muscle, ligament, or tendon injury, your groin pain could be the result of any one of various conditions, such as:

Arthritis in your hip

A typical symptom of hip arthritis is deep groin-area pain that sometimes radiates down to the inside of your leg to the area of your knee. This groin pain can become more intense by standing or walking for extended periods of time.

Enlarged lymph nodes

Lymph nodes, also called lymph glands, in the groin (inguinal or femoral lymph nodes) can swell and cause discomfort for a number of reasons, including injury, infection (lymphadenitis) or, rarely, cancer.

Femoral hernia

Occurring more commonly in women than in men, a femoral hernia is part of your bowel or fatty tissue poking through a weak spot in your abdominal wall into the femoral canal in your groin area at the top of your inner thigh.

Hip fracture

With a hip fracture, pain will typically be present in the groin or over the outer upper thigh. If you have a hip bone that’s weak, such as from cancer or a stress injury, you might feel aching pain in the groin or thigh area some time before the fracture.

Inguinal hernia

An inguinal hernia is a hernia in the groin area. Although more common in men, an inguinal hernia is internal tissue pushing through a weak spot in your groin muscles.

As a woman, you might be experiencing a nonpalpable or occult inguinal hernia that must be evaluated with laparoscopy.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones are a hard buildup of minerals and salts formed inside your kidneys. A kidney stone typically does not cause pain until it moves, either within your kidney or into your ureter that connects your bladder to your kidney.

Kidney stones can be felt with pain radiating to the groin. Other symptoms of kidney stones can include:

  • severe pain in the back and side
  • nausea and vomiting
  • persistent need to urinate
  • pain when urinating
  • brown, red or pink urine
  • urinating frequently in small amounts

Osteitis pubis

Osteitis pubis is a noninfectious inflammation of the pubic symphysis, a joint located between the left and right pubic bones above the external genitalia and in front of the bladder.

Symptoms of osteitis pubis can include:

  • sharp pain in the groin area that is aggravated by walking, climbing stairs, sneezing and coughing
  • gait disturbance that often leads to a waddling gait
  • low-grade fever

Ovarian cyst

Among the symptoms of an ovarian cyst is pain that radiates from your groin to your sides between the lower ribs and pelvis.

Most ovarian cysts do not cause symptoms. If yours does cause symptoms, they could include, in the lower abdomen on the side where the cyst is:

  • pain
  • pressure
  • swelling
  • bloating

If a cyst ruptures, you might experience sudden, severe pain.

Pinched nerve

When pressure is put on a nerve by the tissue around it, such as muscle, bone or tendon, it can disturb that nerve’s function. A pinched nerve in the hip can result in a burning or sharp pain in your groin.

Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

UTIs can result in moderate to severe groin pain that can intensify when you urinate.

Other symptoms of a urinary tract infection can include:

  • persistent need to urinate
  • urinating frequently in small amounts
  • urine with a strong odor
  • cloudy urine
  • brown, red or pink urine

When pregnant, there could be a number of explanations for groin pain.

  • Your uterus is expanding, which can result in aches and pains in a number of areas including the groin.
  • Some women report that in the late stages of pregnancy if the baby’s head is pressing into the pelvic area it can cause constant or intermittent groin discomfort.
  • A rare cause of pregnancy groin pain is round ligament varicocele. The round ligament connects your uterus to your groin.

If you are experiencing the most common cause of groin pain caused by overexertion or overuse, typically, over time, these types of injuries are likely to improve on their own.

Often, rest and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are adequate treatment. If, however, your discomfort persists despite rest, your healthcare provider can make a full diagnosis to determine a treatment plan or to identify a different underlying cause or condition.

If you are experiencing persistent or unusual pain in the groin area, your doctor can identify the source of the discomfort and develop a treatment plan. Definitely see your doctor if:

  • You have noticeable physical symptoms, such as a bulge next to your pubic bone, which could indicate a hernia.
  • You feel that you might have a UTI, it is important to get treatment. Untreated UTI could result in a kidney infection.
  • You have the symptoms of a kidney stone.

You should seek immediate medical help if your groin pain is sudden and severe or accompanied by:

  • fever
  • vomiting
  • rapid breathing
  • weakness, dizziness, faintness

These could be signs of a number of conditions, including a ruptured ovarian cyst.

There are many possible explanations for your pain in the right side of your groin, from a hernia to kidney stones to a pinched nerve. Treatment depends on the cause of the pain, which requires diagnosis by your doctor.