Pelvic pain is located between the belly button and the hips and groin. If it lasts for six months or more it is called chronic pelvic pain. It is often difficult to figure out the source of the pain. Pelvic pain can be caused by problems in the: Female reproductive organsIntestinesNervesBladderProstate
Male Pelvis Organs
Includes bladder, prostate (under bladder), and the colon.
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Having one of the conditions listed above increases your chance of having chronic pelvic pain. Other factors may include: MiscarriageCesarean sectionAlcohol or drug abuseHeavy menstrual flow
Symptoms may include: Constant pain or dull ache in pelvic areaBurning, shooting painRectal urgencyPain that comes and goesPain that ranges from mild to severePain with certain activitiesPain with prolonged sitting
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be asked to keep a pain journal to help your doctor diagnose the pain. You will be asked to write down when your pain occurs, how it feels, and how long it lasts.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with: Blood and urine testsCultures and swabsTests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Your bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with: LaparoscopyCystoscopySigmoidoscopyIntravenous pyelographyX-raysMRI scanCT scan
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
Chronic pelvic pain is treated based on what caused it: Antibiotics if an infection is present or possibleNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat pain and reduce inflammationPrescription pain medicationAntidepressantsAntiseizure medicationsBirth control pills
The following have been used to treat pelvic pain: Relaxation therapyAcupunctureBiofeedbackTranscutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) therapyMassage
In some cases interventional approaches, including nerve blocks, may be used.
Managing stress through counseling is a helpful way to cope with chronic pelvic pain.
There are numerous causes of pelvic pain. Many are treated with surgery. The type of surgery depends upon the specific problem.
Preventing chronic pelvic pain depends on the condition causing it. Some causes are not preventable.
STDs cause many conditions that result in chronic pelvic pain. Use latex condoms every time you have sexual intercourse, and minimize
the number of sex partners you have.
Chronic pelvic pain. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at:
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/chronic-pelvic-pain.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Chronic pelvic pain. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at:
http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq099.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130611T1540053024. Published August 2011. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Chronic pelvic pain. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated April 23, 2014. Accessed June 18, 2014.
Chronic pelvic pain. The International Pelvic Pain Society website. Available at:
http://www.pelvicpain.org/docs/patients/Patient-Education-Brochure.aspx. Accessed June 18, 2014.
The complex nature of chronic pelvic pain.
J Fam Pract. 2007 Mar;56(3 Suppl Diagnosis):S16-17.
Reiter RC. Evidence-based management of chronic pelvic pain.
Clin Obstet Gynecol.
Last reviewed May 2014 by Marcin Chwistek, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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