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Treatable Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain

Treatable Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain

The pelvis is the lowest part of the abdomen. Its responsibilities include supporting the digestive tract and housing the bladder and reproductive organs. The pelvic bone (made up of the ilium, sacrum, and coccyx) connects to the pelvic floor muscles that support the entire structure.

Pain in any part of your pelvis can stem from many causes, and pelvic pain is common in women. Around 15% of US women in their childbearing years report pelvic pain lasting at least six months; worldwide, that number can reach 32%. 

Fortunately, treatment options exist for many causes of pelvic pain. Women in and around Hudson and Wellesley, Massachusetts, looking for pelvic pain relief can find it with the help of Dr. Neeraj Kohli and his skilled medical team at BostonUrogyn.

Understanding the female pelvis

The male pelvis is similar to the female in some respects, with the key differences relating to structural variations and the reproductive organs. 

A woman’s ilium — the widest section of the pelvis you can feel when you place your hands on your hips — is generally wider than a man’s, and there are distinct muscles and ligaments in the female anatomy holding all of it together.

The main differences are the organs and tissue necessary for female reproduction, such as the vagina, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and cervix. While men and women have a urethra, bladder, and rectum, the female urethra is shorter and often more prone to various conditions.

Conditions that cause pelvic pain

Pelvic pain can result from one or more treatable conditions, including:

1. Endometriosis

This painful condition results from tissue in your uterine lining growing outside your uterus. It can develop on your fallopian tubes, vagina, ovaries, bladder, ureter, intestines, rectum, and peritoneum (the abdominal and pelvic lining).

2. Painful bladder syndrome (interstitial cystitis)

This is a chronic condition where pain, pressure, and discomfort in your bladder lead to urinary frequency or urgency and urinating in small amounts. 

The causes of interstitial cystitis aren’t well understood, but it may be related to conditions like allergies, autoimmune diseases, bladder defects, vascular disease, abnormal substances in the urine, and infections.

3. Uterine fibroids

Also called leiomyomas, these are non-cancerous growths that grow in or on your uterus. You can experience one or a cluster of these growths, which can grow up to 8 inches. 

Depending on the size and number of fibroids, you may experience excessive bleeding, bloating, frequent urination, back pain, and constipation. Or the condition may be asymptomatic.

4. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

This infection is often caused by sex, although 15% of cases don’t involve intercourse. Sex is thought to make it easier for bacteria to enter and infect your reproductive system. 

PID can affect fertility and, in severe cases, cause tubo-ovarian abscess (TOA), which is painful and requires immediate medical attention.

5. Sexually transmitted disease (STD)

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are STDs that can cause pelvic pain in addition to many other unpleasant symptoms, such as painful urination, painful intercourse, intermenstrual bleeding (bleeding between periods), and unusual vaginal discharge.

Fortunately, pelvic pain and the other symptoms of these conditions can be treated with medications, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery.

If you’re dealing with pelvic pain due to these or any other conditions, Dr. Kohli and BostonUrogyn are here to help. For expert diagnosis and treatment, make your appointment today.

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