Chronic pelvic pain is a common condition that affects 15-20% of all women between the ages of 18 and 50 years. There are many reasons which could cause this condition. Chronic pelvic pain can affect all aspects of your life, including your work, physical activity levels, family life, sleeping patterns, and your sexual life.
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What is chronic pelvic pain in women?
There could be many reasons for chronic pelvic pain in women. If the underlying cause for the condition is identified, then treating the same could resolve the pain. However, if no cause is identified, then your medical team will work with you to manage the pain.
What are the causes of chronic pelvic pain in women?
- ● Endometriosis
- ● Adenomyosis
- ● Uterine fibroids
- ● Presence of scar tissue in the region after surgery or an infection
- ● Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- ● Chronic bladder irritation
- ● Muscular or joint issues in the pelvis, hips, or lower back
- ● Psychological factors like depression, stress, and sexual assault
In most cases, chronic pelvic pain in women is a symptom of an underlying and sometimes serious issue.
What are the symptoms of chronic pelvic pain in women?
You might find that the quality of pain can also differ. Some of the different ways in which the pain can present itself are:
- ● Dull and aching
- ● Sharp pain with or without cramps
- ● Steady and severe pain
- ● A feeling of pressure or heaviness within the pelvis
Along with the pain, you might also find several other symptoms indicative of chronic pelvic pain in women. These include:
- ● Pain during intercourse
- ● Pain after sitting for long periods
- ● Pain when having a bowel movement or when passing urine
Once your doctor has established that you are suffering from chronic pelvic pain, they will move to identify the cause of the pain. They might recommend an extensive set of diagnostic tests to do the same.
How is chronic pelvic pain in women diagnosed?
Some of the diagnostic tests you might have to undergo include:
- ● Pelvic exam
- ● Lab tests
- ● Ultrasound
- ● Imaging tests
- ● Laparoscopy
The diagnostic process can be a long one and, in some cases, might not yield a definitive answer. No matter the test’s outcome, your medical team will work with you to resolve the condition.
What are the treatment options for chronic pain in women?
Some of the treatment plans for chronic pelvic pain in women are:
- ● Pain relievers
- ● Hormone treatments
- ● Antibiotics
- ● Antidepressants
- ● Physical therapy
- ● Trigger point injections
- ● Neurostimulation
- ● Psychotherapy
- ● Hysterectomy
- ● Laparoscopic surgery.
What is the outlook for chronic pelvic pain in women?
Risks of the Surgery
The two surgeries corrects underlying issues for chronic pelvic pain are laparoscopy and hysterectomy. The complications that can arise from these surgeries include:
- ● Abnormal bleeding
- ● Infections at the site of surgery
- ● Blood clots
- ● Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
- ● Damage to the surrounding organs.