Pelvic Pain - Possible Causes of Pelvic Pain in Women

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is characterized as pain in the lower abdomen, groin, vagina, vulva or rectal area. It may be characterized as acute (lasting for a few minutes) or chronic (when it persists for 6 months or longer.) It is a very common complaint of women, however even men can complain of this symptom. The pain may be constant or intermittent; it may be mild, moderate or severe. The quality of the pain should be characterized and some often used descriptors include: burning, gnawing, stabbing, sharp, and dull, tingling, pins and needle like, superficial or deep. Pelvic pain maybe stationary and not move or it may radiate or travel to other areas of the pelvic or lower abdomen.  It is important to monitor and document the type of pain you are experiencing so you can better discuss it with your health care provider. Do not be embarrassed to take notes or keep a pain diary on a calendar. This can help monitor the days and type of pain you are experiencing.

Many women experience menstrual crampiness or a dull persistent pain during menstrual cycle and this discomfort may persist throughout the month even if you are not bleeding. Sometimes it may be severe and debilitating and affect your ability to carry on with activities of daily living.  Pelvic pain during sexual activity may also occur and maybe a sign of a variety of medical conditions. Pain in the pelvis may indicate that there is an infection in the pelvis of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or even the bladder.

Evaluation to rule out a urinary tract infection, interstitial cystitis, painful bladder syndrome as well as vaginitis or a sexually transmitted disease is important.  Gastrointestinal problems like obstruction, appendicitis, inflammatory bowel syndrome, constipation or hemorrhoids may also present as pelvic pain.

Genital organs must also be examined to rule out serious problems which can include endometriosis, ovarian cysts, ovarian cysts that have twisted or ruptured, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis and even cancer. Urgent medical problems like ectopic pregnancy has ruptured (a pregnancy not located in the uterus) can acute severe pelvic pain and need immediate and urgent treatment.  Medical evaluation and assessment is typical needed to discover the cause of the pelvic pain. Often multiple medical and laboratory tests may need to be completed to help discover the accurate diagnosis. Women may undergo an ultrasound to look at the genitopelvic anatomy and have blood tests drawn

The treatment that you will receive for your pelvic pain will be determined by the pain’s cause and may include antibiotics, pain medication or even surgery.



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