Pelvic Pain

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What is pelvic pain?

Pain in the pelvic area of women is often referred to as Pelvic Pain. The pain may be a symptom of many different causes involving various organs in the pelvis including uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, vagina, bladder or bowel.

What are the symptoms related to pelvic pains?

The symptoms below are often related to pelvic pain.

  • Menstrual cramps
  • Menstrual pain
  • Vaginal bleeding, spotting, or discharge
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Bloating or gas
  • Blood seen with a bowel movement
  • Irritable bowel
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Fever or chills
  • Pain in the hip area
  • Pain in the groin area
What are the causes of pelvic pain?

Possible causes of pelvic pain in women not related to female pelvic organs include:

  • Appendicitis
  • Bladder disorders
  • Kidney infection or kidney stones
  • Intestinal disorders
  • Nerve conditions
  • Hernia
  • Pelvis disorder
  • Broken pelvis
  • Psychogenic pain

Possible causes of pelvic pain in women related to female pelvic organs include:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ovulation
  • Menstrual cramps

Ovarian cysts or other ovarian disorders

  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine cancer
  • Cervical cancer
How is pelvic pain diagnosed?

When diagnosing the cause of pelvic pain, the doctor will review the symptoms and medical history of the patient. A physical exam and/or other tests might also help in diagnosing the cause of pelvic pain. Some diagnostic tools might include:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Pregnancy tests in females of reproductive age
  • Vaginal swab cultures to check for sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea and Chlamydia
  • Abdominal and pelvic X-rays
  • Bone density screening (special type of X-ray to determine the strength of bone)
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy (procedure allowing a direct look at the structures in the pelvis and abdomen)
  • Hysteroscopy (procedure to examine the uterus)
  • Stool guaiac test (checking of a stool sample for presence of microscopic blood)
  • Lower endoscopy (insertion of a lighted tube to examine the inside of the rectum and part or all of the colon)
  • Ultrasound (test that uses sound waves to provide images of internal organs)
  • CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis (scan that uses X-rays and computers to produce cross-sectional images of the body)
How is pelvic pain treated?

The treatment of pelvic pain varies by what the cause is, how intense the pain is, and how often the pain occurs. Sometimes pelvic pain is treated with medicines, including antibiotics, oral contraceptive pills, intra uterine contraceptive device, anti depressants if necessary. If the pain results from a problem with one of the pelvic organs, the treatment might involve surgery like removal of fibroids, hysterectomy or excision of endometriosis. A doctor can provide more information about various treatments for pelvic pain.