Pelvic pain is a common complaint that both men and women may have, although women are twice as likely to suffer as men.
The pelvis region includes vital organs such as the ovaries, uterus, bladder, urethra, vagina, bowels and the structure of the muscular support system.
Any of these organs may dysfunction and cause an individual mild to severe pain. There are many reasons for dysfunction of these organs; some are more severe than others.
Although pelvic pain is more common in women, men also experience infrequent bouts of pelvic pain.
Pelvic Pain Causes
The cause of pelvic pain cannot be applied to just one factor, since many different things may contribute to this pain. Some of the most common causes of pelvic pain include:
- Cramps or contractions of the skeletal muscles
- Nerve irritation or inflammation
- Fibrosis, chronic trauma and/or pressure inflammation
- Psychogenic Factors
- Reproductive tract cancer
- Menstrual cramps
When sudden pelvic pain is experienced, some of the potential causes include:
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ovarian Cyst
- Ruptured Fallopian Tubes
- Fibroids in the uterus
Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome
Chronic Pelvic pain syndrome is a common result of chronic pelvic pain experienced with some of the conditions listed above.
CPPS is a condition that causes emotional and behavior changes in women as her defenses begin to break down as a result to this frequent pain. Men may also suffer from this condition.
PID –Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, or PID, is a condition caused by untreated or recurrent STDs in women. PID causes a range of conditions in women, including ectopic pregnancy and infertility.
Around 100,000 women will be diagnosed with PID in the upcoming year. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease causes severe pain if not treated early enough.
Signs of PID include tenderness in the stomach, pain in the stomach, vaginal discharge, fevers/ chills, pain during sexual intercourse, pain during urination and vomiting or nausea.
PID treatments are available. Generally the physician will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the pain. Early diagnosis of PID is key in preventing potential health consequences such as those listed above.
Types of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain may be acute, or sudden or severe pain; or it may be a chronic condition, or one that lasts for periods of several months or longer.
The pain can begin anywhere in the pelvic region, including the genitals and extra-genital organs. Psychological pelvic pain is also a potential cause. Psychological pelvic pain has no actual physical problem, but causes pain sensations.
Localized pain, or that felt in one specific area, is oftentimes caused by inflammation. When the pain is sudden and severe, it is oftentimes cause by a decreased supply of blood or an obstruction of blood circulation.
Pain that develops slowly over time may be caused by intestinal obstruction or inflammation in the appendix. Colic-like pain is usually caused by spasms in organs like the intestine or the appendix.
If the entire abdomen hurts, it can be caused by a build-up of blood or intestinal material. If you experience pelvic pain when you move, the cause may be related to irritation of the limning surrounding the abdominal cavity.
Diagnosing Pelvic Pain
To determine the cause of pelvic pain, a physical examination performed by a doctors is necessary. This physical examination also consists of tests and a look at the patient’s medical history.
The doctor may take cells from the cervix for examination or perform blood tests or even a pregnancy test to help determine the abuse of pain. An ultrasound is also used to determine the cause of pelvic pain.
The doctor may ask many questions to determine the location, severity and type of pain. The doctor will want to know how the pain fell and the length of time the pain lasts.
He will also ask if there are contributing factors to the pain, such as a menstrual cycle or sexual activity.
In cases where the pain is extreme or a diagnosis is unable to be made with other tests, a laparoscopy may be used to determine the cause of pain and any type of endometrial growths.
Treatment of Pelvic Pain
Treating pelvic pain is possible, regardless of the cause. When a diagnosis is unable to be made, the doctor will focus primarily on treating your pain.
Several different types of treatment is available, depending upon the type of pelvic pain and the severity of that pain.
Once a diagnosis has been made, the doctor may recommend that you take antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications. He may also recommend the use of oral contraceptives to alleviate a cyst or for pain.
Relaxation exercises and physical therapy are two additional types of treatment that may be used for pelvic pain.
In rare cases, surgery may be necessary for you to alleviate the pelvic pain that you are experiencing.
Before the doctor recommends surgery he will evaluate your medical history, the cause of the condition, your preferences and the expected outcome of the surgery.
It is only in worst case scenarios that surgery is recommended because there are many risks that come along with surgery.
Pelvic pain is a condition that both men and women experience, although it is more common among women. Women and men of all ages may be affected by pelvic pain caused by any of the conditions listed above.
Left untreated, conditions such as PID and Chronic Pelvic Pain Disease may develop. There is usually help available for the many different type of pelvic pain experienced, but it is a must that you visit the doctor as quickly as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment of the condition.
The longer that treatment is delayed, the more severe the pain may become and the more challenging to treat. No one wants to suffer longer than necessary when pain strikes.
Make sure to talk to your doctor so that pelvic pain does not weigh heavily on your life.