According to Memorial City pelvic pain experts, abdominal pain might be a harmless sign indicating fertility, musculoskeletal problems, or a red flag signifying your need for special medical attention. Lower abdominal pain is typical with women, especially in their reproductive years. Though the pain may resolve with over-the-counter medications, sometimes the pain may worsen, mainly if it results from a severe medical condition.
What are the common causes of pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain has multiple causes. While sometimes a single disorder may be responsible for the pain, in other instances, the pain may have several contributing factors. However, the common causes include:
Pelvic inflammatory diseases (PID)
PID is an ailment that mainly attacks your female reproductive organs resulting from an uncontrolled sexually transmitted infection (STI) like gonorrhea. Though you might fail to experience any symptoms when you are first infected, PID may result in severe health complications including chronic pelvic pain when you fail to contact your doctor for medical attention. Other complications you are likely to have when you fail to seek professional help include:
- Scarring of your reproductive organs
- Ectopic pregnancy
A significant percentage of women with endometriosis experiences pain during or after sex, immediately before or during their menstruation. During your reproductive years, the condition occurs when tissues from your uterine lining grow outside your uterus. Since the tissue deposits react to your monthly menstrual cycle, just like your uterine wall, the misplaced tissues thicken, break down and bleed. However, the deposits cannot exit your body through your vagina because the shedding happens outside your uterus. As a result, your abdomen retains the tissue and blood. You are likely to feel pain because of the adhesions and cysts in your abdomen.
Endometriosis varies in severity. Your degree of pain may range from mild to debilitating, with pain radiating in your pelvic region, extending to your abdomen. In rare cases, endometriosis may also affect your other body parts and organs like your lungs and diaphragm.
Also referred to as myomas, fibroids are benign growths in your uterus that are likely to interfere with your conception. Though your symptoms will depend on the growths’ size and location, you will likely experience chronic pelvic pain when you have large fibroids exerting pressure in your lower abdomen. Besides the dull ache in your abdomen, fibroids may also result in:
- Heavy periods
- Back pain
- Bleeding during sex
- Difficulty emptying your bladder
Menstrual cramps are common during your menstrual cycle and you will mainly experience pain in your lower abdomen before or during your menstrual cycle. Menstruation pain is of two types. While premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occurs before your menses, your doctor might diagnose you with a premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) when the pain is severe, preventing you from enjoying your everyday life.
What causes pelvic pain during pregnancy?
Pelvic pain is a common occurrence during pregnancy. You will most likely experience pelvic discomforts as your ligaments and bones stretch as your body adjusts and grows. Common causes of pelvic pain during this period include:
- Braxton-Hicks contractions (false labor)
- Premature labor
- Placental abruption
- Ectopic pregnancy
Pelvic pain may result from various causes. However, you should not hesitate to contact your doctor immediately when you experience pelvic pain.