What is pelvic pain?
While pelvic pain is often associated with pain in the area of women’s reproductive organs, it can also be caused by other factors. Pelvic pain could be a sign of infection, or it might result from pain in the pelvis bone and other non-reproductive inner organs. However, pelvic pain in women can be a sign of a problem with the reproductive organs (uterus or fallopian tubes, vagina, ovaries, or fallopian tubes).
What causes pelvic pain?
Both men and women may experience pelvic pain. Some causes are:
- Bladder problems (such as infections of the urinary tract)
- Sexually transmitted disease
- Kidney infection or renal stones
- Diverticulitis and colitis are examples of gastrointestinal disorders
- Nerve conditions (such pinched nerves in the spine)
- Pelvis disorders include tightness or spasm in the pelvic muscles
- Broken pelvic bones
- Psychogenic pain is a type of pain that can be caused by stress or past traumas
Causes of pelvic pain in women:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Inflammatory disease of the pelvic floor
- Menstrual cramps
- Ovarian cysts and other ovarian disorders
- Cancer (cervix or uterus, or ovaries)
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PELVIC PAIN?
Symptoms that can cause pelvic pain may include:
- Menstrual cramps
- Menstrual pain
- Vaginal bleeding, spotting, or discharge
- Urination difficulties or pain with voiding
- Constipation and diarrhea
- Bloating or gas
- A bowel movement accompanied by blood
- Pain during intercourse
- Fever and chills
- Hip pain
- Pain in the groin
What is the diagnosis of pelvic pain?
The doctor will examine the medical history and symptoms of the patient to determine the cause of pelvic discomfort. The doctor may also perform a physical exam or other tests to diagnose the cause of pelvic discomfort. Your doctor will discuss the results with you. These diagnostic tools could include:
- Tests of blood and urine
- Tests for pregnancy in women of reproductive age
- Tests for sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia or gonorrhea, culture the penis or vaginal tissues
- Abdominal and pelvic radiographs
- Diagnostic laparoscopy: This procedure allows for a direct view of the structures in the abdomen and pelvis
- Hysteroscopy (procedure for examining the inner uterus)
- Stool guaiac testing (testing for microscopic blood in stool samples)
- Lower endoscopy, such as colonoscopy and sigmoidoscopy (insertion a lighted tube for examination of the inside of your rectum or part of your colon)
- Ultrasound (test which uses sound waves to show images of internal organs)
- CT scan abdomen and pelvis (scan using X-rays, computers to create cross-sectional images)
How can pelvic pain be treated?
There are many factors that affect the treatment of pelvic discomfort. These include the type of pain, intensity, and frequency. Sometimes, pelvic pain can be treated with medications, including antibiotics if necessary. The treatment may involve surgery or other procedures if the pain is caused by a problem in one of the pelvic organs. In some cases, physical therapy may be beneficial. Studies have shown that chronic pelvic pain can cause anxiety and distress. In many cases, it is beneficial to consult a psychologist, counselor, or psychiatrist. The doctor can give you more information on the various treatments available for pelvic pain.