Many women experience pelvic pain at some point in their lives. Pelvic pain may be constant or it may come and go. It may occur only at specific times, such as before or after eating, during urination, during sex, or during your menstrual period.
You should contact Dr. Sargent if you are experiencing pelvic pain that is frequent, intense or disruptive to daily activities or enjoyment of life.
What causes pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain can be caused by or related to a wide range of conditions. These include:
- scar tissue
- infection of reproductive organs, urinary tract, bowels or appendix
- ovarian cysts (abnormal, fluid-filled cavities that form in or on the ovaries)
- ectopic pregnancy (when an embryo becomes implanted in any tissue other than the uterine wall)
- dysmenorrhea (severe menstrual pain)
- menstruation or ovulation
- endometriosis (when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus)
- fibroids (non-cancerous tumors comprised of muscle cells derived from the uterus)
- gastrointestinal or urinary problems, including inflammation, constipation or cancer
- muscular and skeletal problems
- stress or depression
How is pelvic pain diagnosed?
If you are experiencing pelvic pain, Dr. Sargent will review your medical and sexual history with you. He may also ask you to keep a journal in which you describe the nature of your pain, such as dates, time of day, intensity, length, location and what you were doing when the pain appeared or intensified.
Pelvic Pain Assessment Form
Based on your symptoms, diagnosis may require examination or tissue sample collection using ultrasound, x-ray, minimally invasive surgery, or hysteroscopy (a procedure in which a thin, telescope-like device is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix).
How is pelvic pain treated?
Treatment depends on many factors, including the cause of the pain, your age, and whether or not you want to have children. Treatments may include one or more of the following:
- medications, including hormones, muscle relaxants, nerve blocks or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
- heat therapy, acupuncture, massage, relaxation exercises or physical therapy
- stress management techniques