Pelvic pain generally refers to any pain in the pelvic region, which is below your belly button and between your hips. You may have pain that’s severe, a dull ache, or feels more like cramping or pressure.
Pelvic pain can occur suddenly, become a constant, chronic pain, or come and go. It may affect the entire pelvic area or target one spot. In other words, pelvic pain is a complex condition that arises from many causes.
Pelvic pain may develop from one condition, or you may have several issues that all contribute to the pain. Some of the common causes of pelvic pain in women are:
Tissues that form the lining of your uterus, called the endometrium, sometimes grow outside of the uterus. They may be found on the outside of the uterus or on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other structures in the pelvic cavity. These tissues continue to thicken, break down and bleed every month, just like they do inside your uterus during your menstrual cycle. This discharge, however, doesn’t leave through the vagina. This blood stays in your abdomen, causing painful scar tissue and cysts.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is an infection of your reproductive organs that’s often caused by bacteria spread during intercourse. In addition to pelvic pain, PID may lead to infertility as inflammation eventually causes scar tissue.
Pelvic inflammatory disease isn’t the only source of pain-causing inflammation. An ongoing infection such as salpingitis -- inflammation of the fallopian tubes -- also leads to pelvic pain.
When they’re large, these noncancerous growths in the uterine wall cause pain and a feeling of pressure.
Cysts are fluid-filled sacs on the inside or outside of one or both ovaries. Large cysts can cause pelvic pain, and they can also rupture, which causes sudden, severe pain.
Interstitial cystitis, or painful bladder syndrome, may cause abdominal pain when your bladder is full.
Treatment for pelvic pain depends on the underlying cause of your pain. Your doctor at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine may prescribe medication to relieve the pain, antibiotics to treat an underlying infection, or hormones if your pain is related to changes during your monthly menstrual cycle.
Fibroids, cysts, and endometriosis can be surgically removed. In most cases, your doctor can perform minimally-invasive surgery so you have minimal scarring, less pain, and shorter recovery time.
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