Pain, pressure, and cramping at the lower part of your belly is nothing to sneeze at. Even if you power through today, the radiating pain may return, wreaking havoc on tomorrow. For some women, the pain is severe enough to negatively impact their quality of life and interfere with daily activities.
You may not have realized that the pain you feel has a diagnosis. If you have pelvic pain, you’re not alone — one in seven women experiences pelvic pain at some point in their lives. May is National Pelvic Pain Awareness month, and we’ve compiled a list of reasons why you should take it seriously.
Putting off pelvic pain treatment may lead to long-lasting and unnecessary suffering. Perhaps you’re hoping that the pain will go away on its own, so you put off making an appointment to get checked out. Meanwhile, your marriage and family life may suffer as a result.
Women who have chronic pelvic pain often report painful intercourse that interferes with their intimate relationships or causes missed days at work. Whether it’s a dull ache that comes and goes or consistent pain, proper diagnosis and treatment can give you your life back.
The primary reason you shouldn’t ignore pelvic pain is that it can signal trouble. A wide variety of conditions from mild to life-threatening can cause pelvic pain. Seeing a specialist right away helps ensure that the underlying cause is found and treated. The following are conditions that can cause pelvic pain:
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Interstitial cystitis
- Ovarian cancer
You may have a pelvic floor disorder
By far the most common cause of chronic pelvic pain is pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvic floor is composed of muscles, nerves, ligaments, and connective tissues that play a major role in supporting your bladder, uterus, and vagina. Think of it as a hammock that supports your pelvic organs.
Unfortunately, in some women, the pelvic floor doesn’t work as it should. Nearly 25% of women have a pelvic floor disorder. Your risk of developing pelvic floor problems increases as you age. Nearly 40% of women ages 60 and over report having symptoms related to pelvic floor disorders.
Your body’s systems all work together, and symptoms are a way your body communicates that something out of the ordinary is going on. Ignoring the warning signs can lead to complications the longer chronic pelvic pain goes untreated.
If the pain is the result of an underlying condition, it can progress, and your symptoms can become worse. The further your condition progresses, the more difficult it may become to treat.
Treatment is available
There’s no reason to ignore pelvic pain when effective treatment is available. The treatment approach is typically multidisciplinary and depends on the cause.
Surgery to correct your pelvic floor is an option if you have pelvic floor dysfunction. Nonsurgical treatments such as physical therapy to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and relaxation techniques are also available.
For relief from pelvic pain, call today or book online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Darin Weyhrich at his Boise, Idaho office.