Common Causes of Pelvic Pain In Women

If you are a woman who suffers from pelvic pain, you know that it can be debilitating. The pelvis area contains the bowel, ovaries, uterus, and bladder. There are many causes of pelvic pain that can be associated with these organs, or the surrounding nerves, joints, blood vessels and muscles. Physicians have grouped pelvic pain into two groups – chronic or acute. Chronic means that you have had pelvic pain for more than six months; acute pelvic pain is when symptoms first arise. Here are 10 of the common causes of pelvic pain in women.

1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be very painful. You may suffer from diarrhea, constipation, or both. After a visit to your physician and diagnosis, you may be asked to change your diet – avoid nuts, seeds, popcorn, and foods that may causes discomfort in the colon. IBS can be controlled with treatment; however, irritable bowel syndrome is considered a chronic condition that requires long term treatment.

2. Dysmenorrhoe – Period Pains

A common discomfort for women, pelvic cramps before and during menstrual periods can usually be handled with over-the-counter medications. Studies show that 1 in 10 women suffer from chronic cramping, enough to be debilitating. Pain can spread through the pelvic area, down the thighs, and into the lower back. There are homeopathic remedies to help with the period discomfort, but if the pain is severe, contact your physician.

3. PID – Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

PID is usually caused by an STD (sexually transmitted disease), such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. It is a bacterial infection from the cervix or vagina, entering into the womb. If you have a high fever, unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge along with severe pelvic pain, seek medical treatment; just another reason to take precautions before having sex.

4. Ovarian Cyst

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that are usually benign (non-cancerous). Women can have cysts without pain; however, there are instances where cysts can cause irregular bleeding and severe pelvic pain, especially if they twist (also known as torsion), or rupture. Ovarian cysts can be diagnosed with a pelvic exam or ultrasound.

5. Endometriosis

Usually more of a common cause of pelvic pain for women in their thirties, endometriosis can affect women from ages 13 to 52. Endometriosis is chronic, painful disease that occurs when uterus tissue is found outside the uterus. When women are having difficulty conceiving, a visit to the gynecologist may reveal that you have endometriosis. It can be a cause of pain during sexual intercourse as well as during your menstrual cycle.

6. Hernia

Hernias are common and can cause mild to severe pelvic pain. Hernias occur when the wall of the abdomen becomes weak and organs bulge under the skin. The protrusion can be a swollen area or soft lump. If the hernia strangulates a portion of the bowel, it can be extremely painful. When lifting heavy objects remember to lift with your legs and not your back to avoid hernia and future pelvic pain.

7. Fibroids

When fibroids occur, they usually cause no symptoms, and you may not even know that they are there. In some women, however, fibroids are the cause of urinary problems, abdominal swelling, as well as heavy periods. If you don’t know the source of your pelvic pain, ask your physician to check you for fibroids.

8. Appendicitis

Located in the lower abdomen, off the gut wall, your appendix can cause pelvic pain. Symptoms include vomiting and severe abdominal pain. When the appendix becomes inflamed, consult with your physician as soon as possible. Appendicitis can be serious, especially a perforated appendix.

9. Adhesions

If you have had surgery in the abdominal area – hernia, hysterectomy, gall bladder, etc. – you may be the victim of adhesions. A chronic condition, adhesions occur when the body begins the healing process, creating a web of sticky fibers that cause the surrounding tissue to stick together.

10. Urinary Tract Infection – UTI

If you have had a bladder infection, you know the pain of a UTI. Sometimes occurring after childbirth, or from being dehydrated, a urinary tract infection can be easily controlled with antibiotics. A simple urine sample is all that is needed to diagnosis UTI and put you on the road to wellness. Cranberry supplements/juice have been suggested to avoid future UTI’s.

For the most part, pelvic discomfort can be minimized with analgesics. There are treatments available if you have recurring issues. Laparoscopy and gastroscopy are common diagnostic procedures. Sometimes doctors are unable to find the source of pelvic discomfort. On a personal note, I suffered from severe pelvic pain for several years, and physicians could not find the cause. Once I became pregnant, the pain went away, never to return. If you suffer from pelvic discomfort, seek medical attention right away. Take care of yourself, eat right, exercise, and get plenty of rest.