Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women

What is Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women?

Chronic female pelvic pain refers to any type of pain experienced in the abdominal area below the belly button by a woman. The pain must last longer than three months to be considered chronic, but it can come and go during that time period. There are many potential causes of this kind of pelvic pain in women.

Causes

However, chronic pelvic pain can also be its own disorder when there’s no other cause present. Most independent cases of pain are linked to chronic pelvic floor tightness or similar dysfunctions of the muscles in the pelvic region.

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women?

Pelvic pain in women often presents all by itself.

Symptoms include

When it’s accompanied by other symptoms, they usually include fluctuating pain levels either independent of or linked to hormonal changes, loss of sexual function, weight loss, heaviness and sensations of pressure in the pelvis, and difficulty urinating or voiding your bowels.

Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women Causes

Chronic pelvic pain has a myriad of causes. A woman with the disorder may have one or multiple causes at the same time. The list below contains causes of the disease.

Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases

If a long term-term infection, especially a sexually transmitted infection, causes scarring around the pelvic organs, one is likely to suffer from the disorder.

Fibroids

These uterine growths may cause pressure on the lower abdomen. They begin causing sharp pains around the pelvic region if there is a short supply of blood which prompts their death.

Ovarian Remnant

Once a surgical removal of the oviducts, uterus or ovaries is done, a small part of the ovary may accidentally remain which can develop painful lumps.

Endometriosis

This is a condition where the lining of the uterus’ womb grows outside the uterus. These tissue deposits respond to the menstrual cycle, but the blood and tissue cannot exit the vagina since they are outside the womb. Consequently, the menstrual products accumulate in the abdomen causing the development of painful cysts.

Musculoskeletal Problems

Conditions such as fibromyalgia and bone and joint conditions can cause a recurring pelvic pain.

How is Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women Treated?

In cases linked to a specific cause like endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome, there are many treatment options based around the underlying condition. For patients with no distinct cause, treating the pain is the main form of treatment.

Physical therapy is used in cases which include muscle tension and pelvic floor tightness. Hormone treatments and anti-depressants can also help. For severe cases, injections to block the affected nerves are the best option. Many people find that therapy helps tremendously with pelvic pain in women, especially cases without distinct causes in patients who experienced sexual trauma or abuse in the past.

Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women Prevention

One of the commonest ways of preventing the condition is dealing with the predisposing causes. An early diagnosis and subsequent treatment of pelvic pain can prevent an escalation of the problem from becoming chronic.

One of the causes of chronic pelvic pain is pelvic inflammatory diseases. Since sexually transmitted infections cause most of the diseases, it is imperative to practice safe sex. Safe sex involves appropriately using condoms. Regular exercise can also prevent an occurrence of the disorder. Exercises improve blood flow and increase production and release of pain relieving endorphins in the body which manage body pains. Engaging in sexual activity can also prevent some of these pelvic-related pains. However, if a woman already has endometriosis, sex may, in fact, worsen the situation.

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Last Reviewed:
September 18, 2016
Last Updated:
December 06, 2017
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