It’s been months, or perhaps years, that you’ve been dealing with pelvic pain and you’ve decided it’s time to get some answers.
Although the team here at Bay Area Physicians for Women’s Health can’t diagnose you from afar, we can get the ball rolling with an outline of six of the more common drivers of pelvic pain. Let’s take a look.
When it comes to chronic pelvic pain, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is certainly responsible for its fair share. PID is an infection in your reproductive organs, typically your ovaries, Fallopian tubes, and/or uterus, that stems from an untreated sexually transmitted disease (STD).
If you consider that STDs are on the rise — there were 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea in the United States in 2019 alone — you understand that PID may be quite prevalent.
The good news is that treating the infection will relieve your pelvic pain.
Up to 80% of women develop uterine fibroids during their reproductive years. Thankfully, in most cases these benign growths don't cause any symptoms. That said, there are times when uterine fibroids can become problematic — they grow too large or too numerous, for example — and they can lead to pelvic pain.
If we find that you have fibroids, we can treat them through medications like oral contraceptives or remove them surgically.
When cells or tissues that are supposed to grow inside your uterus grow, instead, outside the organ, you have a condition known as endometriosis, which affects 11% of women in the US. One of the most common side effects of endometriosis is chronic pelvic pain, especially during menstruation and during sexual intercourse.
We can successfully treat many cases of endometriosis with medications. If, however, the disease is advanced, we may recommend surgery to remove the endometrial tissues. In severe cases, we might suggest a hysterectomy.
Your period comes around each month, and you experience some cramping, especially during the first day or two. For about half of women, the pelvic pain that comes with each period is a bit more than minor. Called dysmenorrhea, there are many reasons why you may be experiencing painful periods, and we suggest that you come see us so that we can identify the underlying cause so that you can find relief.
Women can develop a few different types of gynecologic cancer, including cervical, ovarian, uterine, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. Though each of these cancers has its own symptoms, pelvic pain does show up with regularity.
Up to this point, we’ve been discussing reproductive issues that can lead to chronic pelvic pain, but let’s not forget that your pelvis also houses your urinary tract and the lower half of your digestive tract. So, chronic urinary tract infections can certainly cause ongoing pelvic pain, just as irritable bowel syndrome can.
As you can see, the first, and most important, step toward finding relief from your chronic pelvic pain is to come see us for a comprehensive evaluation.
Get started by contacting our office in Mobile, Alabama, to set up an appointment.