Many women experience pelvic pain at some point or another, usually during their period or when ovulating. Though a common discomfort, you shouldn’t ignore your pelvic pain, especially if it’s a regular thing or affects your daily routine.
Some types of pelvic pain need treatment; others don’t. Here, Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, explains the signs that your pelvic pain needs treatment.
1. Pain is sudden and severe
Pelvic pain is any discomfort you feel in the lower abdominal area. This part of your body contains your reproductive organs, urinary system, and large intestine. Any disease or health problem involving one of these organs or organ systems can cause discomfort.
If your pain develops suddenly and is severe, you need to seek treatment right away. This type of pain may indicate a serious health issue that requires immediate medical attention, like a ruptured ovarian cyst, miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or appendicitis.
2. Pain lasts longer than 6 months
If you have pelvic pain that lasts longer than six months, even if the pain comes and goes, your condition is chronic. Your pain is a sign of an ongoing health issue that may improve with treatment.
Chronic pelvic pain is a common symptom of many gynecological conditions, including endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and gynecological cancers. Ongoing pelvic pain is also a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), constipation, and interstitial cystitis (inflammation of the bladder wall).
3. Worsening pain
Maybe your pelvic pain is mild, and you don’t think much of it. But, as time passes, the pain gets stronger or lasts longer. If your pelvic pain is getting worse instead of better, you may need treatment.
Worsening pelvic pain may occur from any number of causes, including acute conditions like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or urinary tract infections (UTIs). Endometriosis also causes pelvic pain that intensifies over time.
4. Have other symptoms
Your pelvic pain also needs an evaluation for treatment if you have other concerning symptoms like fever, vaginal bleeding, or pain during sex. These other symptoms are signs of more severe health concerns like STDs and gynecological cancers.
How we treat pelvic pain depends on the cause. Treatments may include antibiotics, hormonal birth control, or surgery. If we can’t find the exact cause of your lower abdominal discomfort, treatment focuses on managing your pain and may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), stress management, and exercise.
Pelvic pain isn’t normal, and you don’t have to suffer through it. If you’re having pelvic pain and want to learn more about treatment options, call our Boise, Idaho, office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Weyhrich.