Pelvic Pain in Women: Causes and How to Get Relief
What’s that pain in your pelvic? From time to time, most likely during their period, women may experience pelvic pain. This may vary from a sharp, stabbing pain in a specific area in the lower abdomen or a dull pain spread throughout the entire pelvis. However, pelvic pain may also be a sign of a more serious condition, especially if the pain is severe to the point of limiting your capacity to perform normal day-to-day activities.
What Are the Causes of Pelvic Pain in Women?
Pelvic pain in women may be caused by different things such as, but not limited to, the following:
1. Monthly period
More than half of women experience pelvic pain during their monthly period. The pain may last for one to two days.
2. Ovarian cysts
Cysts usually form when the ovaries do not release an egg. This may cause pelvic pain and bloating on the side of the ovary with cyst. If you have symptoms of ovarian cysts, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound.
During ovulation, the ovary releases an egg that comes with some fluid. The fluid can sometimes spread within the pelvis and cause irritation and pain. The temporary pain may last for a few minutes to hours, but treatment is usually not necessary.
Inflammation in the appendix may also cause a sharp pain in the lower right abdomen, together with other symptoms such as fever and vomiting. If you think you have appendicitis, please seek care immediately.
5. Bladder inflammation
Bladder inflammation, technically known as interstitial cystitis, may also cause pelvic pain and other symptoms such as pain during intercourse and frequent and/or painful urination.
6. Pelvic inflammatory disease
As an infection in the womb, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) may also lead to pelvic pain, bleeding and abnormal vaginal discharge. PID may cause infertility and can damage the womb’s surrounding tissue. If you experience signs of PID, please see your OB/GYN as soon as possible.
7. Sexually transmitted infection
Pelvic pain may also be an indication of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as chlamydia or gonorrhea. Some other symptoms may include bleeding between periods, painful urination and changes in vaginal discharge. Please see a doctor if you experience signs of an STI for treatment. It is also critical to inform sexual partners, if any, about the infection to prevent dissemination.
Sometimes a malignant growth in the urinary tract, reproductive system or the gastrointestinal system may also cause pelvic pain. Tumors are usually diagnosed through physical tests, blood tests and imaging tests.
9. Urinary stones
Urinary stones, also called bladder stones, are the build up of salt and minerals that crystalize in the kidneys or the bladder. These may cause pelvic pain and/or lower back pain. To stop the pain and prevent potential complications, your doctor may recommend prescription medication to break up the stones or surgery to treat them.
10. Urinary tract infection
A urinary tract infection (UTI) may also cause pelvic pain in women. UTIs sometimes clear up on their own, but your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics for treatment.
11. Uterine fibroids
These noncancerous lumps of fibrous tissue and muscles within the uterus may also cause pelvic pain, lower back pain, pain during sex, and/or excessive bleeding during your period. Fibroids may have mild to severe symptoms so treatment options may also vary. Some people require no treatment, while others require surgery.
This happens when the endometrium grows outside the womb which may cause long-lasting mild to severe pelvic pain in women. Doctors may recommend several treatment options for endometriosis, depending on the severity of each patient’s symptoms.
13. Irritable bowel syndrome
This gut disorder may cause pelvic pain and other symptoms such as bloating, constipation and diarrhea. The symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) tend to go away on its own, normally after a bowel movement. There is still no cure for IBS, so doctors usually focus on managing symptoms by encouraging healthy living and by prescribing medications.
14. Pelvic adhesions
Pelvic adhesions or scar tissue may be caused by endometriosis, previous infection or other pelvic problems. The scar tissue may lead to chronic pelvic pain and other symptoms. To minimize or relieve symptoms, doctors may recommend a minimally invasive surgery.
15. Ectopic pregnancy
An ectopic pregnancy – when an embryo starts growing outside of the uterus – is a life-threatening condition. Therefore, a pregnant woman who experiences symptoms of ectopic pregnancy, such as cramps and sharp pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, nausea and dizziness must seek medical care immediately.
How to Get Pelvic Pain Relief
The best way to know how to manage or totally get rid of pelvic pain is to find out what’s causing it. Therefore, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with your for proper diagnosis and treatment if you regularly experience pain or if it affects your productivity and well-being.
While waiting for your appointment, here are some things that can help with pain relief:
- Use warm compress or a heating pad on your pelvic area
- Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
- Stretch or engage in light exercise
- Rest with legs elevated to promote blood flow to the pelvic area
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