Reasons why belly button hurts when pressed

There are various reasons for belly button pain when pressed. In some cases, it can be mild or intermittent. Sometimes it can be sharp and severe. It usually goes away. But you must not ignore it if it persists for long because some problems are easy to treat such as indigestion or constipation while others can be serious stomach issues. Treatment for belly button pain depends on the underlying reasons. 

Here are 15 reasons for belly button pain when pressed

  1. Post-surgery pain

    Naval pain after abdominal surgery is normal and healing takes time. Usually, doctors provide painkillers to subside this pain. But you can talk to the doctor if you notice fever, swelling, or any other unusual symptom. Some patients experience belly button pain weeks after their surgery which is not usual. This may be an indication that the incision is infected. Immediately consult a doctor before there is any complication. (Also Read: How to heal faster after abdominal surgery? )

  2. Pregnancy

    Pregnancy brings a lot of changes in the female body. Your weight starts increases month-on-month, your belly starts protruding. This growth in the belly can cause belly button pain when pressed along with stomach pain and it is normal. Sometimes this pan is constant when you need to see your gynecologist.
    In rare cases, umbilical hernia is a reason for belly pain in pregnant women. It happens to obese women and those who have had multiple surgeries. The symptoms may be the pain in the belly button, swelling near the belly button, nausea, and vomiting. 

    Pain near the belly button during pregnancy

  3. Hernia

    Hernia is a tear in the abdominal tissue and occurs when you lift heavy-weight. Lifting heavy objects directly puts pressure on navel and abdomen which is the reason for a hernia. On pressing the belly button, the abdominal hernia may get back to its place but with slight pain. The intensity of pain may vary. Hernia does not go away on its own. You need surgery to treat hernia. (Also Read: Hernias in Men versus Hernias in Women )

  4. Stomach Ulcers

    The stomach produces acid to help digest and process food. When the amount of acid increases in the stomach, it erupts out of the lining and results in stomach ulcers. These ulcers cause severe pain in the abdomen and the belly button. There may be internal bleeding due if ulcers are not treated. To treat belly button pain, stomach ulcers need to be treated. 

  5. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

    Urinary tract infection is more common in women than in men. UTI, in most cases, is the result of sexual activity. The symptoms of UTI are pain while urination, abdominal pain extending to the back and belly button.
    There is a type of UTI – cystitis that is more dangerous than typical UTI infection. It spreads to other parts of the body. Therefore contacting a doctor is very important.

    How does a Woman Get a Urinary Tract Infection

  6. Gallstones

    Pain in the abdomen is the initial indicator of gallbladder stones. It travels to the belly button when you continuously get gallbladder attacks. This pain is intense and unbearable. You can treat them when you get the surgery for gallstones removal where the surgeon removes the gallbladder. Do not panic, humans can survive without gallbladder without complications.

  7. Appendicitis

    The condition where the appendix swells can be a life-threatening situation if it is not treated within 24 hours. It is a medical emergency that can rupture the appendix. Appendix pain starts on the left side of the belly button and gets severe over time. The other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, bloating and constipation or diarrhea.

  8. Bacterial Infection

    There are some good bacteria and some bad bacteria in the human body. The bad bacteria when entering the gut can cause infection and cause severe pain in the belly button. This happens when you consume contaminated food or get in contact with an infected person.
    Gradually stomach sores start building up in the stomach and small intestine which may even increase the risk of stomach cancer. Consult a doctor before the stomach infection spreads to the surrounding organs.
    man having belly button pain due to stomach ulcers

  9. Pancreatitis

    The function of the pancreas is to make sure that there is a sufficient amount of sugar in the body to meet energy needs. The first symptom is belly button pain that shows that the pancreas is not functioning properly. The problems of pancreas include pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis, acute pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

  10. Indigestion

    Indigestion or upset stomach cause pain in the stomach that may radiate to the belly button area. You can consult a doctor for the right medicine as the pain goes away with over-the-counter medicines or home remedies. (Also Read: Common digestive conditions from top to bottom )

  11. Small intestine problem

    Small intestine disorders such as Crohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) cause severe pain in the navel. This is a chronic condition and hinders your daily activity. Therefore, consult a gastroenterologist for the right treatment.
    Common digestive conditions

  12. Injury or muscle pain

    If there is any injury or if you are lifting weight or exercise in the wrong way, all this can lead to belly button pain. Sometimes, while trying to clean it, there are chances that you poke in more than necessary. Even muscle pain or injury pain in the belly button takes time to heal. Consult the doctor to know the right medication.

  13. Diverticulitis

    There are small pouches that form in the lining of the digestive system in the lower part of the large intestine. They are normal but if they swell or get infected, they can cause severe pain in the abdomen that extends to the navel area.

  14. Constipation

    If you constipate, you are prone to pain around the belly area. You are unable to completely empty your bowel, still feel full after bowel movement or strain while passing stools, it is known as constipation.


    pain in belly button due to constipation

  15. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

    This problem is usually seen in women. In this condition, the reproductive organ of women may swell following a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea. Along with belly pain, the patient may observe fever, pain during sex or unusual discharge.

Constant belly button pain can be serious

Although belly button pain is not serious, after reading the reasons you must have understood it can be a problem if it persists. You should immediately see a doctor if the belly button pain disturbs you in your daily chores, wakes you up at night or causes vomiting and fever. Therefore, it is very important to know the cause of belly button pain so that you can look for the right treatment. For any of these concerns, you can put your query below or contact us.

Also Read: How To Cure Gastric Problem Permanently?

Pristyn Care Provides Best Hernia Treatment in:


How do I clean my belly button?

Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently rub the surfaces inside your belly button. If the swab gets dirty, throw it away and take a new one. Once the cotton swab comes out clean, use a fresh one, dip it in water to rinse the alcohol out of the belly button so it doesn't dry the skin.

What is the black stuff in my belly?

There are some sand-like particles that form from the dead skin cells that get collected in the belly. They may vary in size and are not harmful. Timely cleaning can be done to remove if collected in excess.

Why does belly button become smelly?

Belly button has some harmful and some healthy bacteria. When the number of harmful bacteria increases, they may result in an unpleasant smell in the belly button.

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