6 Common Causes of Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain occurs as a symptom of many gynecological conditions,  affecting an estimated 15% of American women chronically — lasting longer than six months. Because diagnosis is often difficult, the true number could be much higher, perhaps as much as double.

Pelvic pain may be minor or severe, and it can vary between these extremes. There may be no observable cause in some cases or directly attributable to conditions or diseases in others. Most women have pelvic pain at some point in their lives, and it can stem from the reproductive, digestive, or urinary systems.

The broad scope of pelvic pain and its causes isn’t a problem for the doctors of OBGYN Care in Newport Beach and Irvine, California. Dr. Catalin Marinescu and Dr. Kendra Baker specialize in diagnosis and treatment of pelvic pain issues, no matter what the underlying cause.

Though there are many reasons you may experience pelvic pain, here’s a description of six of the most common causes. Contact OBGYN Care if you need to investigate the causes of your own pain.

1. Related to menstruation

Period pain is by far the most common type of pelvic pain women experience. More than half of all women in their reproductive years experience a day or two every menstrual cycle that produces at least some pain. Cramps often begin before menstrual bleeding, featuring a stabbing, spasm-like pain.

2. During ovulation

When your pelvic pain occurs about halfway between menstrual periods and it’s felt strongly on one side, you could be having painful ovulation. Pain is temporary, lasting from minutes to hours, caused by fluid released from the ovaries along with the egg.

3. Bladder inflammation

When your bladder becomes inflamed it creates pelvic pain that may include painful urination and discomfort and pain during sex. Interstitial cystitis has no observable cause, and doctors don’t know why it happens. Bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs) create similar inflammation, but treatment with antibiotics is typically successful.

4. Pelvic inflammatory disease

Also known by its acronym PID, pelvic inflammatory disease is most often due to complications of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including chlamydia or gonorrhea. PID may damage uterine tissue, creating fertility issues for some women and making early detection and treatment important.

5. Endometriosis

The tissue lining your uterus can sometimes grow outside the womb, where it still behaves like regular uterine tissue, engorging and shedding with your menstrual cycle. Called endometriosis, it can cause mild to severe pain, and without treatment, it’s typically a long-lasting condition causing chronic pain.

6. Cysts and fibroids

Noncancerous growths in the ovaries or uterus are sometimes the culprits behind pelvic pain. Ovarian cysts happen when there’s a failure releasing an egg. The egg follicle clogs and a cyst forms. Often, these disappear on their own, without causing symptoms. Uterine fibroids may not cause pain either, but that may change when they grow larger. They may also be responsible for heavier menstrual cramping and bleeding.

There are many other reasons for pelvic pain, from appendicitis to urinary stones. Anytime pain becomes severe enough to interrupt your daily life, it’s time to contact OBGYN Care to investigate your condition. You can call the nearest office directly or request an appointment online. Take care of your pelvic pain now. 

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