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5 Treatable Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain

Researchers estimate that 14%-32% of women worldwide (and about 15% in the US) report having some form of chronic pelvic pain. Additionally, up to one-third of women say the pain is bad enough to cause them to miss work.

Pain during your period isn’t uncommon, but there are many reasons you could experience chronic pelvic pain. Knowing the source of your pelvic pain is the most effective way to get proper treatment, and many causes of chronic pelvic pain are quite treatable.

Patients in the Boston, Massachusetts, area looking for relief from chronic pelvic pain can call on Dr. Neeraj Kohli and the experienced, dedicated staff at BostonUrogyn.

Here are five treatable causes of chronic pelvic pain and their treatments:

1. Uterine fibroids

These are noncancerous lumps of muscle and tissue in the uterus, and they’re not always painful. When they are, fibroids can cause pelvic discomfort during sex as well as excessive bleeding and cramping during your period.

Not all uterine fibroids require treatment. When they do, medications like progestin-releasing intrauterine devices (IUDs), tranexamic acid, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists can help ease heavy bleeding or halt hormone production long enough to shrink fibroids. 

Different procedures are available as well, such as MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS), uterine artery embolization, radiofrequency ablation, myomectomy, and hysterectomy.

2. Urinary tract infections (UTIs)

This bacterial infection can take place anywhere in the urinary tract: It’s referred to as urethritis in the urethra, cystitis in the bladder, and pyelonephritis in the kidneys. 

In addition to pelvic pain, a UTI can cause painful or burning sensations while urinating, urinary urgency, nausea, vomiting, and muscle aches. UTIs may clear up on their own, but they can be treated with antibiotics.

3. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

STIs can cause pelvic pain, along with other symptoms like painful urination, bleeding between periods, and vaginal discharge. Gonorrhea and chlamydia alone affect over 3 million people annually, and can infect others if untreated. Antibiotics are the common treatment for STIs.

4. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Bacteria in the cervix or vagina can move into the uterus and cause this condition. The two STIs mentioned above can also cause PID; you may also experience abnormal vaginal discharge and bleeding. PID increases your chances of becoming infertile. It’s also treated with antibiotics.

5. Endometriosis

This condition happens when your endometrium, the tissue lining the inside of the uterus, grows outside of it. This can lead to mild to severe pain. When the external uterine tissue responds to hormones, it can also cause bleeding and inflammation. 

Endometriosis can make pregnancy harder, create scar tissue on your uterus, and lead to ovarian cysts.

Treatment depends on severity. Medications like GnRH agonists can reduce estrogen levels enough to limit the growth of external endometrium. Surgery may be needed to remove the tissue. And fertility treatments are available if the condition is interfering with getting pregnant.

For effective treatment for these or other pelvic conditions, make an appointment with Dr. Kohli and BostonUrogyn today. Call one of our Boston area locations, including Wellesley and South Weymouth, or book your appointment online today.

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