What is pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain is characterised by pain that occurs in the lower abdomen, both continuously and intermittently. In some cases, the pain can reach a level where it affects the daily activities of the patient. Pelvic pain in women can occur during their menstrual period or sexual intercourse.
What are the symptoms of pelvic pain?
The main symptoms of pelvic pain are:
- Constant pain with mild intensity or pain which is sharp and cramp-like
- Continuous or intermittent pain
- Sometimes, the pain is not felt in a specific point, but the entire pelvic area
- Disabling pain that can interfere with the patient's daily activities
What causes pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain can be a warning sign that there is a problem with the organs in the pelvic area, such as the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, or vagina. The cause of pain could be indicative of:
- ovulation pain
- premenstrual syndrome
- irritable bowel syndrome
- pelvic floor disorders
- pelvic pain syndrome
- pelvic congestion syndrome
- uterine fibroids
A woman may have more than one cause at the same time for their pelvic pain.
Who suffers from pelvic pain?
The main sufferers of pelvic pain are women, particularly women of a child-bearing age. However, pelvic pain can also be an issue that men suffer with.
How can pelvic pain be treated?
Treatment of pelvic pain can vary, depending on the cause and severity of the pain. Treatment of pelvic pain includes:
- Medicine: doctors may prescribe antibiotics for sufferers of pelvic pain or other drugs, if essential.
- Surgery: surgery may be necessary if the pelvic pain is a result of pelvic organ trouble.
- Physical therapy: physical therapy is another way in which pelvic pain can be treated.
Can I treat pelvic pain at home?
- Exercise: exercise encourages blood flow, which aids pain alleviation. relaxing exercises such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness may reduce tension and stress, aiding chronic pain.
- Heat: applying a warm compress or even taking a hot bath can increase blood flow, relieving pain.
- Over the counter pain relievers: common pain relievers such as ibuprofen, non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and naproxen sodium reduce swelling which causes pelvic pain. Acetaminophen can also relieve pelvic pain.
- Quit smoking: tobacco can inflame nerves, which increases the likelihood of chronic pain. It is best to quit smoking completely to avoid this pain.
- Supplements: vitamin or mineral deficiencies may be the cause of your pelvic pain. If this is the case, a gynaecologist or pain management specialist may recommend minerals or supplements to reduce pain.
Should I be concerned about pelvic pain?
You should be concerned about pelvic pain if it occurs suddenly and severely, as this may be a medical emergency. You should seek emergency medical attention when suffering from sudden, sharp and severe pain. If pelvic pain becomes disruptive to your daily life or becomes increasingly worse over a long period of time, we recommend that you see a gynaecologist.11-13-2012 10-13-2023