What Is Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic pain is considered pain in the lowest part of your abdomen. Acute pelvic pain is pain that is present for less than three months. Chronic pelvic pain is persistent and presents for six months or greater. Pelvic pain that develops suddenly and intensely may be a medical emergency. Any new, persistent or worsening pelvic pain should be evaluated, especially if it is disrupting your everyday life.
What Are the Causes of Pelvic Pain?
There are many different causes of pelvic pain. Your health care provider will ask you many questions while assessing your pain such as:
- Aggravating factors
- Alleviating treatments
- Number of pain episodes
- Relationship to menses (in females)
Possible causes of pelvic pain in women can include (however does not exclude other causes):
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Chronic constipation
- Ulcerative colitis
- Crohn’s disease
- Functional abdominal pain disorder
Muscle and Bone Related
- Pelvic floor pain/piriformis syndrome
- Fibromyalgia/joint pain
- Postural pain
- Disorders of the spine
- Asymmetry in muscle tone or leg length
- Previous trauma, injury or surgery
How Is Pelvic Pain Treated?
Treatment depends on results from a comprehensive physical examination and if warranted from diagnostic imaging and lab testing. Sometimes evaluation by multiple specialties is required. Some types of pelvic pain may be treated with hormonal medication. Your health care provider will help determine the best course of treatment for you. Physical therapy is sometimes needed along with complementary and alternative medicine. Psychosocial support and therapy is always considered. Surgical and medical intervention is carefully considered after a thorough workup and exam.
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