Pelvic pain can be experienced by both males and females and occurs in the region of the pelvis. For females, a diagnosis for pelvic pain involves a study of your medical history. It will also include a pelvic exam, possible pregnancy test, blood work, and an imaging study to determine if surgery will be required.
There are two types of pain associated with the pelvis area:
Acute pain typically lasts less than 3 to 6 months and is directly related to soft tissue damage. Acute pain is relatively sharp and severe.
Chronic pain lasts at least 12 weeks. The pain can be sharp or dull and causes a burning or aching sensation in the affected areas. This pain can be steady or intermittent, without any apparent reason. Chronic pain can affect any part of your body.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that more than ten percent of all visits to a gynecologist is related to pelvic pain management. Talk to your physician at All Women’s Care if you are experiencing any discomfort in this region and need to discuss pain management care.
Diagnosing Pelvic Pain
Discovering the cause of pelvic pain can often involve a process of elimination as there are several disorders and diseases, which can cause this condition. The doctors at All Women’s Care will review your medical history as well as your full family history. There are also several medical tests or exams that can be performed to discover the reason behind pelvic pain:
- Lab tests
- Performing a pelvic exam, a doctor often asks for lab tests to check for infections such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. There may also be blood work performed to check blood cell counts and a urinalysis to detect any urinary tract infection.
- Imaging tests
- There are imaging tests that can be performed to determine the cause of pelvic pain. Abnormal x-rays, computerized tomography scans (CT) or MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) can be done to determine if there are abnormal growths or structures within the pelvic area.
- During a laparoscopy (a surgical procedure), the doctor at All Women’s Care would make a small incision into the abdomen and insert a small tube attached to a camera. This camera, or laparoscope, will allow the doctor to see the pelvic organs and look for abnormal tissues or any sign of infections. A laparoscopy is a useful procedure to detect pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis.
- Pelvic exam
- Performing a pelvic exam allows the doctor to detect if there are any signs of infection, tense pelvic floor muscles, or abnormal growths. It also allows the physician to check for any areas of tenderness. During this exam, it would be important to let your doctor know if you experience any discomfort. Let them know if the pain is similar to what you have been experiencing.
- An ultrasound is a high-frequency sound wave test that produces precise images of the structures within the human body. This test is useful for detecting cysts or masses in the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries.
It is not always a quick determination to discover why a person is suffering from pelvic pain. Being patient and having open communication with your doctor at All Women’s Care will help in finding the cause and creating a pelvic pain management plan. Some of the conditions which can cause this pain include:
Pelvic girdle pain happens if you are pregnant. This pain creates severe discomfort, which limits your movements; you may develop instability, or feel pain in any of your three pelvic joints. This pain is believed to be caused by several factors:
- An unstable pelvis joint or joints
- Changes in your posture
- Changes in your center of gravity
- Growth of your baby, which can result in varying degrees of pain and discomfort
Symptoms of pelvic girdle usually appear within the first trimester of pregnancy. It is first felt as tenderness or pain over your symphyseal joint. Pain can also occur in the lower abdomen, hips, groin, and can spread to your inner thighs. When this pain happens, you may find yourself waddling or shuffling and notice an audible clicking noise coming from your pelvis area.
- Pelvic pain management for pelvic girdle
There are some steps you can take to relieve some of the strain on your pelvic joints and help to keep your spine and pelvis aligned. While doing these exercises, you should remember to stay symmetrical, keep breathing evenly, and move smoothly.
- Improve your sitting posture by placing a small rolled towel in the curve of your lower back, and using a footstool. You also want to place your bottom as far back in the chair as possible.
- When standing, you want to keep your weight evenly over both legs. Don’t let your hips slide forward, allow your knees to flick backward, or over-arch your back.
- When standing up from a chair, or sitting down, you want to keep your weight equal on both legs, poke your bottom out, and keep the curve in your back.
- At night sleep with a large pillow in-between your knees to keep your knees in an open position. Keeping a pillow under your top arm can help prevent twisting while asleep.
- Whenever you lift a heavy object (which should be avoided whenever possible), always bend hips and knees, while keeping a curve in your lower back. Hold the load close to your body and move in stages, from floor to chair, then chair to shelf.
- Check with your doctors at All Women’s Care to confirm you are suffering from the pelvic girdle, and discuss other options for relieving pelvic pain from this condition.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease occurs when the upper portion of the female reproductive system becomes infected. The areas involved include the fallopian tubes and ovaries. Some cases do not present any symptoms, but when it does, it can consist of:
- A discharge from the vagina
- A burning sensation during urination
- Painful intercourse
- Irregular menstrual cycles
If left untreated, this disease can lead to serious complications such as ectopic pregnancy or cancer. In almost all cases of pelvic inflammatory disease, the cause is due to Neisseria gonorrhoeae or Chlamydia trachomatis. To diagnose this disease, your physician at All Women's Care will use imaging as well as listen to your symptoms and look for visible signs. Treatment of this disease involves antibiotics.
- Pelvic pain management for pelvic inflammatory disease
Several antibiotics can cure pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). The antibiotics, however, will not reverse any scarring that has occurred from this infection. This condition must be diagnosed as soon as possible, as prompt treatment can prevent severe damage to your reproductive organs. PID is generally treated with antibiotics that provide empiric, broad-spectrum coverage for several likely pathogens.
Menstrual Cramps Cause Pelvic Pain
Dysmenorrhea or menstrual cramps happen when there is pain associated with your period. Symptoms typically occur during your menstrual cycle and should last less than three days. Pain is often felt in the lower abdomen, but can sometimes radiate into the lower back region. Symptoms of this pelvic pain include nausea as well as diarrhea. Younger females usually experience this pain without any other underlying conditions. Older women who experience these symptoms may have other issues such as endometriosis, adenomyosis, or uterine fibroids. Discuss your symptoms with your physician at All Women’s Care to determine if further testing is necessary in your case.
Dysmenorrhea or severe menstrual cramps are common when there is heavy flow during a menstrual cycle, clots are passed, uterine fibroids are present, or endometriosis.
- Pelvic pain management for menstrual cramps
If the pain you are experiencing from menstrual cramps is mild, you can take aspirin or other pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen. The best chance for controlling your pain is to start one of these medications as soon as you notice bleeding or when cramps begin.
Depending on the issue causing the symptoms, treatment can involve pain medications, hormonal birth control, heating pads, acupuncture, exercise, massage, magnesium, or Vitamin B supplements.
Heat is a good source of relief for this pelvic pain. Place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your stomach or lower back. A warm bath is also a way to find some relief.
Ectopic Pregnancy Can Result in Severe Pelvic Pain
When a fertilized egg does not implant itself in the uterus, this condition is called an ectopic pregnancy. This form of pregnancy usually results in abdominal pain, severe pelvic pain, late menstrual cycle, vaginal bleeding, and other symptoms associated with early pregnancy. The pain in the pelvic area can occur as dull, sharp, crampy, and can spread if there is bleeding in the abdomen.
Bleeding will be a result of the embryo growing outside of the uterus. The area is not able to expand and allow for the embryo to continue growing. If this condition occurs in the fallopian tube, it will cause the tube to rupture. The rupture will result in bleeding. If the bleeding is severe, it can lead to tachycardia, shock, or fainting. Women who are at risk for ectopic pregnancy include those who have:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Chlamydia infection
- History of infertility
- Females using assisted reproductive technology
- Prior tubal pregnancies
- Pelvic pain management for an ectopic pregnancy
Once your doctor at All Women’s Care has diagnosed your pelvic pain as being caused by ectopic pregnancy, they will most likely treat the condition with methotrexate. This drug will stop the cells from growing and end the pregnancy. Your body will absorb the pregnancy over a four to six week period.
During this time, you may experience pelvic pain, vaginal bleeding, or spotting. If your pain is extreme and unmanageable, you will need to talk to your physician at All Women’s Care. It is important to avoid prescription or over-the-counter pain medications during the treatment of methotrexate.
Proctitis and Pelvic Pain
Proctitis is an inflammation in the lining of the anus and rectum. The condition only affects the last six inches of the rectum and causes a person to experience a continual urge to defecate. This condition also causes tenderness and irritation in the anus and rectum regions. With proctitis, you may experience a discharge of pus or blood from your anus along with pelvic pain and cramps.
If a person suffers bleeding from proctitis, it can result in dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, anemia, and pallor. The most common causes of this disease are from sexually transmitted infections, including gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, and herpes simplex virus one and two.
- Pelvic pain management for proctitis
The treatment of proctitis is to reduce inflammation, treat the infection, and control your pain. The type of treatment used will depend on the cause of your condition. Several medications can be used to manage your pain, including antibiotics or antifungals, to clear up infections. Anti-inflammatory drugs can provide pain relief, or there are immunosuppressants to help with symptoms caused by Crohn’s disease or other autoimmune diseases.
Colitis and Pelvic Pain
Inflammation of the colon is considered colitis. Pelvic pain associated with this condition can be either chronic or acute. Symptoms with colitis include abdominal pain, pelvic pain, tenderness, pus in the stool, flatulence, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, fever, irregular heartbeat, bloody diarrhea, fecal incontinence, and shortness of breath. Less common symptoms include irritated skin, red eyes, mouth ulcers, and arthritis. Your physician at All Women’s Care can diagnosis this condition through a review of your medical history, a physical exam, medical imaging, biopsy, and lab tests.
Examples of colitis include:
- Ulcerative colitis
- Found mainly in the innermost lining of the large intestine and rectum. This condition can range from mild to severe and increases a person’s risk of developing colon cancer.
- Chemical colitis
- Inflammation of the colon or large intestine caused by the use of harsh chemicals during an enema or other medical procedures. This condition can resemble ulcerative colitis, pseudomembranous colitis, and infectious colitis.
- Microscopic colitis
- Inflammation of the large intestine or colon, which causes watery diarrhea and cramping or pelvic pain. It is often a less severe condition than other forms of inflammatory bowel disease.
- Radiation colitis
- This condition is caused by the inflammation of the large or small intestine as a result of radiation treatments. Radiation colitis can occur from radiation treatments to your sexual organs, rectum, or stomach. The result of this disease can be the loss of both tissue and intestinal cells.
- Crohn's disease
- Crohn's disease can cause severe pelvic and abdominal pain, along with weight loss, diarrhea, fatigue, and anemia. Some people with this disease suffer severe chronic symptoms their whole life. Crohn's disease cannot be cured, but some medications and immunosuppressants can slow down the progression of the disease.
- Ischemic Colitis
- Inflammation of the colon or large intestine and can be treated with short-term liquid diet and antibiotics.
- Pelvic pain management for colitis
Treating colitis depends largely on which form of colitis condition you have and which part of your colon is affected. You will also have to inform your doctor at All Women’s Care on the level of pain you are experiencing. Anti-inflammatory medications can help manage pain levels, such as hydrocortisone or prednisone.
Ovarian Torsion can lead to Pelvic Pain
When the ovaries twist and decrease the flow of blood, it is called ovarian torsion. This condition presents severe pelvic pain and nausea. Ovarian torsion can also lead to infection, infertility, and bleeding. Several factors put one at risk for ovarian torsion:
- Enlargement of the ovaries
- Cysts in the ovaries
- Previous tubal ligation
- Fertility treatments
Your doctor at All Women’s Care can diagnose this condition through a transvaginal ultrasound, surgery, or a computed tomography scan. If diagnosed, treatment consists of surgery to untwist the ovary and replace or fix it. If the ovary cannot be repaired or replaced, the doctor will need to remove it.
- Pelvic pain management for ovarian torsion
When surgery is required to untwist your ovary, your pain management for this treatment would include over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Cysts in the Ovary Cause Pelvic Pain
A cyst in the ovary is a fluid-filled sac. These cysts do not always cause pain and can be present with no symptoms. In some cases, the pain will develop in the pelvic area, lower back, or abdomen. The cyst in an ovary can also lead to abdominal bloating. Most cysts that develop in the ovary are harmless, but if they rupture, it will cause ovarian torsion, which can cause severe pain, vomiting, nausea, and fainting.
Most ovarian cysts are caused by ovulation, such as the follicular or corpus luteum cysts. Dermoid, cystadenomas, or endometriosis cause some cysts to develop. When there is more than one cyst present, it may be due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. These cysts are rarely an indication of cancer. Management of the cyst includes observation, hormonal birth control, pain medication, and in some situations, surgery is required to remove them.
- Pelvic pain management for ovarian cysts
If you are suffering from severe pain from ovarian cysts, you may require emergency medical attention. Before attempting any pelvic pain management, you should consult with a doctor at All Women’s Care to accurately diagnose the condition. If the pain is the result of a ruptured cyst, it may be an indication of a damaged fallopian tube.
If the cyst is not large, your doctor may advise you to watch your symptoms and see if the cyst disappears without treatment. Home treatments cannot make the cyst disappear, but they can help you deal with the pelvic pain. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can relieve some of the cramping and pains caused by cysts. You can also try massaging the surrounding muscles in your stomach, buttocks, thighs, and lower back to loosen tense muscles.
Endometriosis Leads to Pelvic Pain
Endometriosis occurs when cells similar to those lining the inside of the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This condition is commonly found in the tissue around the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Symptoms experienced with endometriosis generally result in pelvic pain and make it impossible for a woman to conceive. More than fifty percent of patients who suffer from endometriosis also experience chronic pelvic pain as well as dysmenorrhea and painful intercourse.
Endometriosis can cause both social and psychological effects. Doctors at All Women’s Care use medical imaging to diagnosis this condition. Treatments for endometriosis include hormonal treatments, pain medication, exercise, avoidance of alcohol, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist, and in some cases, surgery is necessary.
- Pelvic pain management for endometriosis
There are several home remedies you can try to relieve the pelvic pain caused by endometriosis. Heat can relax your cramping pelvic muscles and reduce your pain levels. Take a warm bath or place a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower abdomen.
Another source of pelvic pain management for endometriosis is to massage your lower back, sides, and abdomen. There are also over-the-counter pain relievers such as naproxen, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, which can reduce inflammation and pelvic pain.
Pudendal Nerve Entrapment Causes Pelvic Pain
Alcock canal syndrome or pudendal nerve entrapment is an uncommon condition that occurs when there is compression or entrapment of the pudendal nerve. Pain associated with this condition is worse when you sit and can include fecal incontinence, genital numbness, urinary incontinence, or pelvic pain.
- Pelvic pain management for pudendal nerve entrapment
Once your physician at All Women’s Care has diagnosed pudendal nerve entrapment as the cause for your pelvic pain, they can discuss treatments to deal with your pain. Some of these treatments will include combining lifestyle changes, medicine, and physical therapy.
Muscle relaxants can help to relieve pudendal nerve entrapment, and sometimes drugs that help with epilepsy or depression have provided relief. Your doctor will discuss your pain levels and develop a plan that will meet your specific needs.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Pelvic congestion syndrome is when varicose veins are encouraged to grow in the pelvic area. This condition results in severe pelvic pressure and painful blood pooling in the region.
- Pelvic pain management for pelvic congestion
Treating the pain associated with pelvic congestion include medications to reduce pain levels. There is no specific cure for this condition, but nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or chronic pain medications can be prescribed to reduce your pelvic pain. The most common treatment for this condition is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to block off varicose veins that are causing your pain.
Bacterial Vaginosis can Cause Pelvic Pain
A common chronic vaginal infection in women that can result in pelvic pain is bacterial vaginosis. This condition often occurs in women of child-bearing age and strikes more than sixteen percent of all women. Symptoms include pelvic pain, burning, or itching around the outside of the vagina as well as a bad, fishy-type odor and grayish discharge. This condition is often mistaken for a yeast infection.
- Pelvic pain management for bacterial vaginosis
Your physician at All Women’s Care may prescribe one of three different medications to address your discomfort or pain from bacterial vaginosis. One is metronidazole, which can be taken as a pill or as a topical gel. Clindamycin is another and comes in a cream form. The third option is tinidazole, which is an oral medication.
Your doctor at All Women’s Care will discuss the best choice for you once a diagnosis has been made on your condition.
Pelvic Floor Tension Myalgia and Pelvic Pain
Women who go through strenuous childbirth can suffer from a condition known as pelvic floor tension myalgia. This condition is sometimes referred to as chronic tension in the muscles of the pelvic floor. Pelvic floor tension myalgia can be treated by performing a series of contractions and relaxation techniques that will help in aligning the muscles of the pelvic floor. The pelvic pain, weighted feeling, itching, and sometimes burning sensations associated with this condition may have you seek the help of your physician at All Women’s Care.
- Pelvic pain management for pelvic floor tension myalgia
Once your doctor has diagnosed pelvic floor tension myalgia, they will discuss the best treatment options for relieving your pain levels. These treatments can include physical therapy, biofeedback, heat, or massage. There are also prescription muscle relaxants or pain medications that can be used. Other methods can consist of Botox injections into the trigger points, acupuncture, or nerve stimulation.
Where to Find Pelvic Pain Management Near Me?
If you are suffering from pelvic pain, call All Women’s Care today at 213-250-9461 to discover the cause and find relief. We have made a lifetime commitment to helping women through all of their healthcare needs with superior, state-of-the-art medical technology. Our high standards of excellence will help you to receive the treatment you need and improve your quality of life