When Is My Pelvic Pain a Concern?
A number of conditions can cause pelvic pain; they can stem from gynecologic or non-gynecologic sources. Because pelvic pain can vary widely between patients, and because the causes can’t often be traced or can be somewhat of a mystery, there aren’t great statistics on this condition. However, it’s estimated that between 15 and 20 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 50 may be affected. Many women deal with their chronic pelvic pain for over a year before they seek relief.
At Women’s Health Medical Group, we’d like to change that stoicism about pelvic pain. You don’t have to tough it out. If you have chronic pelvic pain, we need to see you. Here’s some more information on this sometimes-mysterious condition.
What are the causes of pelvic pain?
Chronic pain across the human body can be a mystery in many areas, and chronic pelvic is no different. Sometimes, there can be multiple factors causing the pain. Sometimes it’s a single source. Often, the pain is a result of one or more medical conditions. Unfortunately, in some women, the cause cannot be identified, and the goal is to help manage the pain.
These are some causes of pelvic pain syndrome:
- Endometriosis — In this condition, tissue from the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. These deposits of tissue respond to the menstrual cycle, but because it’s happening outside the uterus the blood and tissue can’t exit the body through your vagina, and they remain in the abdomen. This can create painful cysts and fibrous bands of scar tissue.
- Musculoskeletal problems — Conditions that affect your bones, joints, and connective tissues, such as fibromyalgia, pelvic floor muscle tension, hernia, and others, can cause chronic pelvic pain.
- Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease — This can occur if a long-term infection causes scarring of your pelvic organs.
- Ovarian remnant — After a hysterectomy, a small piece of an ovary may be left inside and can develop painful cysts.
- Fibroids — Although they don’t usually cause acute pain, fibroid growths in the uterus can cause a feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen.
- Irritable bowel syndrome — Symptoms associated with IBS, such as bloating, diarrhea, and constipation, can cause pelvic pain and ongoing pressure.
- Painful bladder syndrome — This condition involves recurring pain in the bladder and a frequent need to urinate. As the bladder fills, this can cause pelvic pain.
- Pelvic congestion syndrome — Although there is some disagreement here, some doctors believe the development of varicose-type veins around the uterus and ovaries can cause pelvic pain.
- Vulvodynia — Chronic vaginal pain and infections can lead to pelvic pain.
When should I see a doctor for my pelvic pain?
Chronic pelvic pain is pain in the area below your bellybutton and between your hips that lasts six months or longer. It can be hard to know when to see a doctor for your pelvic pain. This varies by the patient, but it’s generally thought that if your pelvic pain begins to interfere with your daily life, or if your symptoms seem to be worsening, then it’s time to see a doctor.
Do you have pelvic pain or any other issues that merit attention? Call the experts at Women’s Health Medical Group, (817) 346-5336, to make your appointment.