The pelvis, which is the area of the body below the abdomen, houses various internal structures and three major organ systems: the reproductive, digestive, and urinary systems. Pelvic pain can arise from a problem in any of these structures and organs.
Pelvic pain is a common problem among women in the United States, and it has various potential causes, many of which originate in the reproductive system. Let’s discuss the possible gynecologic and obstetric causes of pelvic pain and the treatment options available for them.
Outlined below are a few of the most common gynecologic conditions that cause pelvic pain and their respective interventions.
This condition occurs when the lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium, grows outside of the uterus, on the other reproductive organs in the pelvic cavity. The endometrial tissue responds to the menstrual cycle the same way the tissue within the uterus does by thickening, breaking down, and bleeding. The problem is that because it occurs outside of the uterus, the blood and tissue become trapped in the abdomen, resulting in the development of painful cysts and scar tissue.
Endometriosis causes severe pelvic pain (which usually gets worse during menstruation or intercourse), heavy bleeding, diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, and bloating/nausea.
There is currently no known cure for endometriosis, but it is treatable and manageable. Nonsurgical treatment for endometriosis includes pain medications, hormone therapy, and hormonal contraceptives. Hysterectomy, which is the removal of the uterus, is a last-resort option, when conservative interventions fail to provide adequate relief.
These are fluid-filled sacs that develop in or on your ovary. Aside from pelvic pain, ovarian cysts cause abdominal bloating and changes to periods. The pain may spread to your lower back and thighs. It may be constant or come and go, and may become worse during intercourse, a bowel movement, or at the beginning or end of your menstrual period.
The majority of ovarian cysts go away without treatment. However, those that have ruptured, are growing too large, are causing pain, or have the potential to become cancerous may require surgery. Your doctor may recommend a laparoscopic ovarian cystectomy or laparoscopic oophorectomy, depending on what they deem suitable for your specific condition.
These benign uterine growths don’t always produce symptoms. When they do, they can cause prolonged, heavy periods and chronic pelvic pain.
Nonsurgical treatment for fibroids includes medications and MRI-focused ultrasound surgery (FUS). If your fibroids are large or bothersome, your doctor may recommend surgery. There are different surgical treatment options for fibroids. These include fibroid embolization, endometrial ablation, and laparoscopic and robotic myomectomy.
Discomfort in the pelvic area is not uncommon during pregnancy, especially as the fetus grows bigger. This is usually not any cause for concern. However, you should see your OB/GYN as soon as possible if you experience pelvic pain that is sudden, severe, or persistent, and/or is accompanied by vaginal bleeding or fluid leakage. This could signify a potentially serious obstetric problem, such as ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or preterm labor.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain and you suspect that you have any of the gynecologic or obstetric problems mentioned above, visit us here at Dekalb Women’s Specialists.
Our providers believe that every woman deserves high-quality, comprehensive, and personalized care in a warm and welcoming environment. To that end, you can trust us to deliver the best possible outcome no matter your gynecologic or maternal health condition. We will perform a thorough assessment of your condition and recommend the most effective solution for you.
To see one of our highly qualified women’s health experts, call us at (404) 508-2000 or simply request your appointment online. We have three locations: in Stonecrest, Decatur, and Stone Mountain, Georgia.