What could be the cause of my pelvic pain?
Many women experience pelvic pain at some time during their lives and most of the time pelvic pain is just the normal functioning of the reproductive or other organs. But not all pelvic pain is normal and sometimes it may indicate a serious problem that needs urgent treatment. Pelvic pain can be grouped into three categories:
- 1. Urgent requiring immediate treatment
- 2. Nonurgent requiring treatment, and
- 3. Part of the normal functioning of reproductive or other organs.
- Urgent pelvic pain requiring immediate treatment indicates a serious problem that needs urgent surgery or hospitalization. Examples of this type of pelvic pain would be a ruptured tubal pregnancy or appendicitis, a twisted ovarian cyst, and acute pelvic infection. If you suspect any of the above emergencies, you should call your physician without delay or you should go to an emergency room.
- Nonurgent pelvic pain indicates a problem that may need treatment, but not on an urgent basis. Examples of this would include pain from ovarian cysts, endometriosis, infections, dysmenorrhea (pain during the menstrual period: Some of it may be normal, but it should not interfere with normal daily activity), adenomyosis, adhesions after infection or surgery, a fibroid tumor, and bowel or bladder problems. Chronic pelvic pain also falls into this category.
- Pelvic pain can also be part of the normal functioning of the reproductive organs and will probably resolve without treatment. This pain can be severe but is self-limited. A frequent cause of this pain is a "functional" ovarian cyst and mittelschmerz (pain during ovulation), dysmenorrhea (pain during the menstrual period), and chronic pelvic pain. Even though surgery is not the right treatment, it is easy to fall into the trap of doing surgery for such problems because everyone wants the problem solved quickly and feels that surgery will offer a quick fix.