Pelvic pain can be caused by many underlying issues, and identifying the cause of painful symptoms is the key to ensuring patients receive the most appropriate care. Some of the most common causes include:
Pelvic pain can also be caused by issues involving the bowels or urinary tract or as a result of chronic pain syndromes like fibromyalgia. Pelvic organ prolapse caused by a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles can also cause pelvic pain.
Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID is a serious medical condition that occurs when the pelvic organs and tissues become infected. Most cases of PID begin with a sexually-transmitted disease that goes undetected and untreated for a period of time, allowing the disease to spread and promoting the formation of scar tissue. PID affects millions of women each year, and it’s the primary preventable cause of female infertility in the U.S. It’s also a major cause of pelvic pain and ectopic pregnancies.
Because so many issues can cause pelvic pain, a complete medical history, detailed review of symptoms and comprehensive physical exam are all important in establishing a diagnosis. Lab tests including blood work and urinalysis may be ordered, and ultrasound or other diagnostic imaging can also be helpful. In some cases, minimally-invasive evaluations including hysteroscopy may be performed to see “inside” your uterus and fallopian tubes or biopsies of abnormal tissue may be taken for further evaluation under a microscope.
Treatment of pelvic pain varies based on the underlying cause and can include:
When possible, conservative treatments will be attempted first before moving on to more invasive approaches.