Pelvic pain affects nearly one in three women in their lifetime. But what’s the underlying cause of this chronic condition? Most women that experience this condition will go to their obstetrician thinking that the pain is related to a gynecological problem, such as an infection or STI. However, the real cause of chronic pelvic pain in women maybe something else. In this post, we’re going to provide an important read on chronic pelvic pain for women and the underlying causes of this condition.
What is Chronic Pelvic Pain?
According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic pelvic pain refers to pelvic pain that lasts more than 6 months and affects the quality of life. The symptoms of this condition may vary from one woman to another, but the most common symptoms include chronic pain in the lower abdomen and groin, painful intercourse, urinary incontinence, and low back pain. The cause of chronic pelvic pain in women can be difficult to identify as there are many medical conditions out there that may cause this condition. Some of these causes include the following.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Infection PID infection is a type of infectious disease that affects both men and women. PID infection affects the reproductive organs of both men and women by disrupting their bacteria growth. Finding out if you have PID can be done through a test called a urine culture. If you are diagnosed with PID, you will need to take treatment for this infection for 6 weeks in order to relieve your symptoms.
Uterine fibroids are a part of the muscle that forms the womb. These fibroids grow within the wall of your uterus. In most cases, these tumors are not cancerous. According to research, there is an association between fibroids and endometriosis (a condition which leads to heavy bleeding during your period). If you have uterine fibroids, infertility and pelvic pain among other symptoms may occur. There is a surgical procedure that can remove these tumors, but surgery is not always recommended as it will cause another problem (such as infertility).
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Endometriosis is a condition that causes your womb to grow outside of your uterus and attach to other areas of your body mostly within your pelvis. Endometriosis can cause you to experience pain, heavy bleeding, painful intercourse, and infertility. According to research, it is the source of chronic pelvic pain for about 40 percent of women. Endometriosis can be treated with a surgical procedure, but surgery does not always work in healing this condition. Your doctor may recommend certain pain medications to relieve your pain, but these medications can cause side effects such as an allergic reaction or an upset stomach.
Ovarian cysts are benign tumors that occur where another organ, like ovaries and fallopian tubes, is located. Most cysts will disappear by themselves and do not need to be treated. However, some cysts can cause pain in your lower abdomen and even infertility. In addition, some cysts can cause chronic pelvic pain due to the inflammation caused by the tumor. If these cysts don’t disappear by themselves, your doctor will likely recommend surgery in order to remove it.
Some women experience pelvic pain due to psychological health problems, such as stress, sexual abuse, depression, and anxiety. For example, if you’re a woman that is going through relationship issues (like divorce or separation), you may start feeling stress and anxiety, which can cause chronic pelvic pain. If you’re experiencing chronic pelvic pain due to psychological health, your physician will likely recommend therapy or taking prescription medications to relieve the symptoms.
Musculoskeletal health refers to your muscles and bones. In many cases, chronic pelvic pain can be related to musculoskeletal health problems like sacroiliac joint dysfunction, uterine muscle spasms, and pelvic floor dysfunction. In most cases, if pelvic pain is caused by musculoskeletal symptoms, surgery will not heal this condition. Instead, your doctor may recommend physical therapy or steroid injections in order to relieve the symptoms of this condition.However you need to be aware of the side effects of steroid injections and the risk of infertility. So be sure you talk to your doctor and if possible, take part in physical therapy.
In general, it is not easy to diagnose and treat pelvic pain for women. However, you should not ignore this condition as the cause of your pain may be something serious. If you’re experiencing chronic pelvic pain, talk to your doctor and see what he can do or recommend to relieve this condition.