Pelvic pain is a common complaint among women. It may occur on occasion or be constant. It may be related to your menstrual cycle or may have more serious causes involving your organs.
Sometimes, pelvic pain is normal and nothing to worry about. In other cases, pelvic pain can be a sign that something more serious is wrong. In this blog, Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, explains what’s normal and when the situation may require medical attention.
While pelvic pain can happen to any woman at any time, one of the most common causes is related to the menstrual cycle. Some women can feel anything from a mild twinge to full-on pain during ovulation, as the ovaries release an egg.
Menstrual cramps are another common cause of pelvic pain. Menstrual cramps, which usually feel like a throbbing pain in your lower abdomen, are caused by the contractions of your uterus as it works to expel its lining. On average, you may feel cramps a day or two before your period as well as for the first couple of days of your period.
It’s also not uncommon to experience pelvic pain very early in a pregnancy. This may feel like menstrual cramps or a strong aching feeling.
Signs of concern
Although pelvic pain is common, that doesn’t mean it’s always normal. There are two major clues that your pain may not be normal:
One of the biggest clues that you may need to call a doctor is if you’re experiencing something that comes on suddenly. If it isn’t something you’ve felt before, the chances are higher that you may need medical attention.
Another sign that something may be wrong is that your pain is chronic. Pelvic pain may come and go, but if it doesn’t go away, you should see a doctor.
Potential conditions that may need treatment
There are a number of conditions that can cause pelvic pain. Below are some of the most common ones:
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths inside your uterus that can cause intense pain. Fibroids can cause heavy periods, pain during sex, and intense menstrual cramps. They are treatable with medication or surgery.
One of the more common causes of frequent, intense pelvic pain is endometriosis. About 1 in 10 women have endometriosis. Endometriosis causes heavier periods than average and more intense cramping, and you may have pain during or after sex and during urination.
With endometriosis, the tissue that normally lines the uterus starts growing in other parts of your body, especially on organs near your uterus, such as your ovaries, bladder, or fallopian tubes. Treatments may include any of the following:
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Hormone therapy
- Surgery to remove the out-of-place endometrial tissue
- Hysterectomy to remove the uterus in severe cases
Other causes of pelvic pain may include the following:
- An ovarian cyst
- Urinary tract infection
- Sexually-transmitted infection
- Infection of one of the pelvic organs
If you’re experiencing pelvic pain that’s new, chronic, or is causing a significant disruption to your daily life, it’s time to get it checked out. To get help, book an appointment over the phone with the office of Darin L. Weyhrich, MD, today.