Pelvic Pain Overview
Pelvic pain is a blanket term describing any pain occurring below the belly button, in the lowest part of the abdomen and pelvis.
Pain can affect the reproductive, digestive, musculoskeletal, urinary, or gastrointestinal symptoms. Pelvic pain may indicate the presence of an infection, such as a urinary tract infection. The majority of causes of pelvic pain are benign but can become serious if left untreated. The most common causes of pelvic pain in women are related to their menstrual cycle. Menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy are three of the most common causes of pelvic pain in women.
Pelvic Pain Treatment Options
The treatment of pelvic pain depends on the cause, but common treatment options include:
- Lifestyle changes:
- Some conditions that cause pelvic pain require special diets, such as gluten-free or low FOD map diets. Reducing your intake of sugary, greasy, and processed foods can help alleviate some pelvic pain.
- Drink more water.
- Eat slowly and smaller portions.
- Avoid foods you are allergic to or have an intolerance for.
- Heat therapy
- Over-the-counter medication for pain, bloating, or gas relief
- Prescription medication for pain or to treat a specific disease
- Birth control for those with a uterus
- Physical therapy
- Surgery: In some cases, you will need surgery to treat your symptoms. Cancer and appendicitis are two common causes of pelvic pain that may require surgery.
- Pain occurring in the lowest part of the abdomen, lower back, buttocks, or thighs
- Vaginal bleeding, spotting, or discharge
- Pain during intercourse or while urinating or defecating
- Bloating or gas
- Blood present in your urine or stool
- Difficulties with or inability to control urinating or defecating
Seek immediate medical attention if your sudden, intense abdominal pain is solely on the right side of your abdomen and is accompanied by:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Bloating and flatulence
These can be symptoms of appendicitis, which may be caused by a ruptured appendix or a pus pocket in your abdomen.
Pelvic Pain Diagnostic Tests
If your pelvic pain lasts more than several weeks or progressively worsens, you should seek medical attention. Your healthcare professional will inquire about your symptoms’ frequency, location, severity, and duration. They will inquire about your sexual activities, complete medical history, and familial history related to pelvic pain before conducting a physical exam.
- Blood, stool, or urine analysis
- Vaginal or penile cultures to check for STI
- Pap smear
- Pregnancy test
- Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy
Pelvic Pain Causes
Causes of pelvic pain include, but are not limited to:
- Crohn’s disease
- Cystitis or interstitial cystitis
- Diseases affecting reproductive organs
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Lactose intolerance
- Pelvic adhesions
- Sexually transmitted illness
- Sore or tight pelvic muscles
- Testicular or ovarian torsion
- Trauma or injury
- Urinary or kidney stones
- Urinary tract infections
Causes specific to those with uteruses:
- Menstrual cramps
- Mittelschmerz: painful ovulation
- Ovarian cysts or cancer
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Uterine fibroids
- Yeast infection
- Ectopic pregnancy: occurs when the embryo implants itself anywhere outside of the uterus
More Pelvic Pain Facts
Women are more likely to experience pelvic pain than men.
Schedule Your Consultation for Pelvic Pain Treatment at the Pain Experts of Arizona Today
If you're experiencing pelvic pain, don't delay. Get the answers you need with help from The Pain Experts of Arizona. We treat patients with pelvic pain in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Queen Creek, and the entire Phoenix area.