Pelvic pain is located between the belly button and the hips and groin. If it lasts for 6 months or more it is called chronic pelvic pain. It is often difficult to figure out the source of the pain. Pelvic pain can be caused by problems in the:
|Male Pelvic Organs|
|Includes bladder, prostate (under bladder), and the colon.|
|© Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Chronic pelvic pain can be caused by a wide variety of conditions.
- Gastrointestinal conditions
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Urinary conditions, such as a bladder infection or urinary tract infection
- Psychological conditions, such as depression, or a history of physical or sexual abuse
- Neuromuscular conditions
- Pudendal neuralgia
- Muscle pain
- Nerve pain
- Lower back pain
- Joint and bone pain
- Muscle strain
Alcohol or drug abuse may increase your risk of chronic pelvic pain.
Symptoms may include:
- Constant pain or dull ache in pelvic area
- Burning, shooting pain
- Rectal urgency
- Pain that comes and goes
- Pain that ranges from mild to severe
- Pain with certain activities
- Pain with prolonged sitting
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be asked to keep a pain journal to help your doctor diagnose the pain. You will be asked to write down when your pain occurs, how it feels, and how long it lasts.
Your bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with:
- Blood and urine tests
- Cultures and swabs
- Tests for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Your bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:
- IV pyelography
- MRI scan
- CT scan
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Options include:
The following have been used to treat pelvic pain:
- Relaxation therapy
- Transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TENS) therapy
Preventing chronic pelvic pain depends on the condition causing it. Some causes are not preventable.
STDs cause many conditions that result in chronic pelvic pain. Use latex condoms every time you have sexual intercourse, and minimize the number of sex partners you have.
You may also be able to reduce your risk of chronic pelvic pain through exercise. If allowed by your doctor, do moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes, 4 days a week.