Pelvic pain is a condition that is experienced in the lower abdominal areas between the buttocks and below the belly button. Chronic pelvic pain is defined as pain that lasts for several months or longer and can lead to several problems, especially for women. In most cases, pelvic pain is a sign of an existing problem, but it can also be the cause of the problem itself. The pain is usually described as a dull ache or slight pressure in the abdomen below the navel, which may or may not be accompanied by sharp pains. Other symptoms accompanying the pain include vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge, or pain in the lower back.
Symptoms of Pelvic Pain
The symptoms of pelvic pain vary and may include dull aches, severe and steady pains, intermittent pain, cramping, and heaviness in the deep pelvic region. Pain during urination, bowel movement, and intercourse, or while sitting for long periods of time, are also warning signs.
Causes of Pelvic Pain in Women
There are many potential causes for pelvic pain in women, including problems with the musculoskeletal system or urinary, gastrointestinal, or reproductive systems. Having a trusted primary care service in East Orange, NJ, in your corner that can help you quickly identify the root causes of this pain can significantly help improve your quality of life. Here are some of the most common reasons to keep an eye out for:
Endometriosis is when the tissue lining the womb grows outside the uterus and thickens, breaking down and bleeding each month, just like it does during menstruation. This bleeding from an extended lining has no place to exit and remains in the abdomen, causing cysts and adhesions.
Fibroids are uterine growths that are usually non-cancerous and cause pressure and heaviness in the lower abdomen. Rarely, there may be pain when fibroids degenerate due to blood supply deprivation.
When the ovaries, uterus, or fallopian tubes are surgically removed, a small ovary piece might remain accidentally, causing painful cysts.
Musculoskeletal system problems, such as hernia, pelvic floor muscle tension, fibromyalgia, or pubic symphysis, can also cause pelvic pain.
Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
If scarring occurs due to long-term infections, especially those transmitted sexually, it can cause pelvic inflammatory disease.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Bloating, constipation, and diarrhea are symptoms of IBS, which can cause pelvic pressure and pain.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
It is believed by some doctors that varicose-like enlarged veins can cause pelvic pain, but this has yet to be proven.
Interstitial Cystitis or Painful Bladder Syndrome
Frequent urination urges, recurring bladder pain, and painful pelvic pain, especially when the bladder is full, are symptoms of this condition.
Conditions such as depression, chronic stress, and physical or sexual abuse can cause pelvic pain, which invariably aggravates the condition.
Ovarian torsion, ectopic pregnancy, rupture of an ovarian cyst, gynecologic cancer, appendicitis, and kidney stones may also be causes of pelvic pain.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A proper diagnosis of pelvic pain is essential. This can be done through a pelvic examination, lab tests, laparoscopy, ultrasound, and other imaging tests to rule out other conditions and make an exact diagnosis. Treatment for pelvic pain involves medication, such as pain relievers, antibiotics, hormone treatment, and antidepressants. Physiotherapy, psychotherapy, trigger point injections, neurostimulation, laparoscopy, hysterectomy, and acupuncture are other treatment options to be considered in conjunction with lifestyle changes.
If you’re experiencing pelvic pain, seeking medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional is important. At Salerno Medical Associates, a division of the Nirvana Healthcare Network, we provide expert consultations with highly skilled doctors who can help you identify the root cause of your pelvic pain and provide effective treatment options. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a pain-free life.