Chronic Pelvic Pain Q&A

What is chronic pelvic pain?

Chronic pelvic pain is pain that has been present for more 3 months. Chronic pelvic pain is associated with these conditions:

  • Cystitis: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) typically occur when bacteria outside the body enter the urinary tract through the urethra and begin to multiply causing inflammation and pain. Interstitial cystitis is another type of non-infectious cause of pelvic pain located in the bladder.
  • Fibroids: are abnormal muscle growths that develop in or on a woman's Sometimes these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods.
  • Ovulation: Menstrual cycle length varies from woman to woman and from cycle to cycle but is typically between 23 and 35 days. Ovulation usually happens 12-16 days before the next period. At midcycle, when the egg is released from the ovary, fluid from the egg sac can spill into the pelvis causing transient pain
  • Adhesions: pelvic adhesions are common in women who have endometriosis or a history of pelvic inflammatory disease.
  • Endometriosis: A condition where the uterine lining implants outside of the uterus which causes pain especially during the menstrual cycle. Adhesions can form from the implants sticking organs together such as the fallopian tube and ovary. Large blood-filled cysts on the ovary called ‘chocolate’ cysts or endometriomas cause pelvic pain.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): An infection caused by sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chlamydia cause pelvic pain and lead to abscesses and adhesions.
  • Endometritis: an infection in the lining of the uterus that is most common after uterine surgery.
  • Ovarian cysts: Benign growths on the ovaries that are filled with fluid or blood.
  • Bowel disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease or Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

What causes chronic pelvic pain?

 Sometimes the exact cause may not fully be known however in most cases it will be the result of Adhesions, endometriosis, bowel disturbances, interstitial cystitis.

How do you treat chronic pelvic pain?

Find the underlying cause and treat it. Birth control pills are effective in alleviating endometriosis and suppressing ovulation that might lead to cysts. NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and naproxen are effective pain relievers as well. If medical management fails sometimes surgery may be involved. Dr. Anucha will provide you with the guidance you need.

When should I see a doctor for pelvic pain?

Any pain that does not resolve or is associated with fevers, abnormal discharge, nausea, vomiting, or dizziness.

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