What is pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain is a common problem in women and needs to be evaluated and treated. While it can be a sign of many conditions, endometriosis is among the most common. Pelvic pain can be acute or chronic. The type of treatment will depend on the cause found by your physical exam and tests. Treatment may include medicines, surgery, physical therapy, or pain management.
What are the symptoms of pelvic pain?
Women experience different types of pain including local pain, cramping, a sudden start of pain, slowly-developing pain, pain in the entire abdomen or pain made worse by movement or during an exam. The different types of pain often are symptoms of the problem and are helpful in determining a diagnosis.
What causes pelvic pain?
Some of the conditions that can lead to chronic pelvic pain may include:
- Menstrual cramps
- Uterine fibroids (growths on or in the uterine wall)
- Scar tissue between the organs in the pelvic cavity
- Endometrial polyps
- Cancers of the reproductive tract
- Other problems in the digestive, urinary, or nervous systems
How is pelvic pain diagnosed?
We will want to determine if your pelvic pain is a GYN problem or an indication of another medical condition. If our examination and testing don’t indicate a gynecological problem, we will refer you to a specialist for further diagnosis and care.
When you meet with us, it is important to let us know all you can about the timing and severity of the pain and other symptoms related to sleeping, sexual activity, and movement.
You will have a physical and pelvic exam and we may do additional tests. These could include blood and pregnancy tests, urinalysis and a culture of cells from the cervix. You may also have an ultrasound, CT scan and an MRI. In some cases we might need to do a laparoscopy. This is a minor surgical procedure in which a laparoscope, a thin tube with a lens and a light, is inserted into an incision in the abdominal wall to see into the pelvic area.
How is GYN pelvic pain treated?
Depending on what we find is the cause of your pelvic pain, treatment may include”
- Pain medicines
- Relaxation exercises
- Birth control pills
- Physical therapy
If a physical cause can’t be found, we may refer you for counseling. This can help you cope with chronic pain. In other cases, you may benefit from:
- Nutrition changes
- Environmental changes
- Physical therapy
- Pain management