Pelvic Pain

Female pelvic pain is usually considered chronic when it lasts for at least six months.  However, it is important to see a physician when pelvic pain persists for any amount of time.

Symptoms associated with chronic pelvic pain can include:

  • Pain that ranges from mild to severe; dull to sharp
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain when urinating or having a bowel movement
  • Severe cramping during periods

Common causes of chronic pelvic pain include:

  • Adhesions in the pelvic area after a pelvic infection or surgery
  • Diseases of the urinary tract or bowl
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Pregnancy
  • Problems of the reproductive system or organs in the pelvic area

Our physicians will perform a complete pelvic exam in addition to performing a number of tests to identify the cause of a woman’s chronic pelvic pain. Tests may include:

  • Blood and urine tests to look for infection
  • A Pap smear to look for cervical cancer or cell changes
  • A pregnancy test
  • Tests for sexually transmitted diseases

If these initial tests are inconclusive, our physicians may recommend other tests, include a transvaginal ultrasound and an MRI or CT scan of the pelvis. In some instances, a minor surgery called laparoscopy may be performed, which is when the physician puts a thin, lighted tube with a tiny camera through a small cut in the belly to look for problems inside the pelvis.

Once the cause of the pelvic pain has been identified, our physicians can recommend the optimal treatment plan depending on the cause. Some common treatments include:

  • Birth control pills or hormone treatment for problems related to periods
  • Medications such as antibiotics
  • Surgery to remove a growth, cyst or tumor
  • Therapy