Pelvic Pain in Women
What is it?
Pelvic pain is a pain that is located in the lower abdomen typically above the pubic bone. It may come and go, last a few hours or a few weeks or may be constant. Sometimes it can be associated with menstrual cycle or urinary or bowel habits.
Why does it occur?
The causes of pelvic pain are very broad primarily because there are multiple structures within the pelvis which include: bladder, rectum, bowel, uterus, ovaries, pelvic nerves and muscles.
Causes of pelvic pain:
- Gynecologic Problems: ovulation, painful periods, Pelvic inflammatory disease, rupture of ovarian cyst, fibroids, endometriosis
- Bowel Problems: appendicitis, irritable bowel syndrome, adhesions (scar tissue), hernia, inflammatory bowel disease, constipation
- Urinary problems: urinary tract infections, urinary/kidney stones, bladder cancer, interstitial cystitis
- Muscle/Bone problems: Lower back pain/herniated disk, hip joint problems, dysfunction of pelvic muscles/nerves
How is it evaluated and what are the treatments?
Your urologist will obtain a full history and physical examination. In addition, they may perform some urine of blood tests to rule out infection. They may also perform a cystoscopy or urodynamics if the symptoms are related to urination.
It can be difficult sometimes to initially pinpoint the cause of pain and you may be referred to a gynecologist, gastroenterologist, physical therapist of pain specialist to help provide the best care.
Treatment options are dependent on the probable cause of the pain and may include medication, injection of pain medication to the pelvic muscles or physical therapy. Speak to your doctor about what might be right for you.