What Is Chronic Pelvic Pain?
Chronic pelvic pain is a constant and lasting pain, usually more than six months, located in your lower abdomen, in the area in which your pelvic organs like the uterus, ovaries and the fallopian tubes are located. The condition can be present at any age, however, it is more common in the child-bearing age.
Common Signs and Symptoms
Chronic pelvic pain, much of the time causes a lot of discomfort in women. The main symptom of this condition is a severe, intermittent, generalized and non-specific pain located in the entire pelvic area. Some of the other symptoms related include:
- Dull aching
- Cramps in your lower abdomen
- Heaviness within your pelvis
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain during passing urine
Chronic Pelvic Pain Causes
Chronic pelvic pain is a complex condition, usually related to multiple causes. Some common causes of chronic pelvic pain include:
- Endometriosis or adenomyosis
- Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease
- Uterine fibroids
- interstitial cystitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Psychological factors
Chronic Pelvic Pain Diagnosis
Chronic pelvic pain usually represents a challenging diagnosis because of the many possible causes. Your doctor will complete a physical exam and assess your medical record and personal and family history. Additionally, your doctor will ask for some of the following tests or exams:
- Manual pelvic exam
- Lab test
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Pelvic MRI for a better visualization if needed
- The doctor will make a laparoscopic visualization of your pelvic content to find the problem
Chronic Pelvic Pain Treatment
Chronic pelvic pain treatment depends on its underlying cause. If your doctor finds a specific cause for your condition, treating this condition should solve the pain. However, in some other cases, the main cause can’t be identified and the treatment here is focused on managing the pain and improving your quality of life. The treatment options available include:
- Pain killers and anti-inflammatories
- Hormone treatments to control ovulation and menstruation
- In case the cause of your pain is a pelvic infection
In case the underlying cause of your chronic pelvic pain requires surgery, your doctor might recommend:
- Laparoscopic surgery. Which is a less invasive and painless procedure.
- Total or partial hysterectomy. In very severe cases, and as the last resort, you might require the removal of your uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries.