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Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain is a type of pain in someone’s pelvic region and is caused by a wide variety of conditions. The pelvic region, the area bellow your belly button and between your hips, can be in pain for long periods of time in which it will be identified as chronic pelvic pain. The pain can be in one specific spot or throughout the pelvic region. It can also be a symptom of another disease involving the pelvis and nearby organs.

Symptoms

Symptoms of chronic pelvic pain can often be difficult to notice in the beginning because the pain and aches might seem normal, but they become more apparent as time goes on. Some of the common signs and symptoms of chronic pelvic pain are severe and steady pelvic pain or intermittent pain, dull aches, sharp pains or cramping, heaviness or pressure in your pelvic area, pain during intercourse, pain during bowel movements, and pain when you’re sitting down. Pelvic pain when you have chronic pelvic pain can worsen when you’re standing up for a long time but be relieved once you sit down. Pelvic pain that is severe, keeps coming back and continues for a stretch of time, usually warrants a doctor visit and further testing.

Causes

There is no exact cause of chronic pelvic pain but other medical conditions act as risk factors for this condition. These risk factors include endometriosis, irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis, tension in the pelvic floor muscles, chronic pelvic inflammatory disease, pelvic congestion syndrome, fibroids, cysts, ovarian remnant, and psychological factors such as sexual or physical abuse, stress or depression.

Diagnosis

A number of exams and testing may be done to find out if you have chronic pelvic pain such as a pelvic examination, cultures, ultrasound, laparoscopy, and imaging tests such as a CT scan, MRI or abdominal x-ray. These tests are done not only to diagnose you with chronic pelvic exam but also to look for a possible cause in order to get the right treatments.

Treatment

A variety of treatments are available to help treat chronic pelvic pain, though there is no cure. It is something you will simply manage throughout your lifetime. Your doctor will start by prescribing medications that help alleviate the pain and pressure, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or ibuprofen. Other treatments include hormone treatments, antidepressants, antibiotics, physical therapy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, counseling, and trigger point injections. In some cases, surgery is needed such as laparoscopic surgery or hysterectomy. Hysterectomy is only done in the most severe cases where the pain is unbearable and the woman does not plan on having any more children.
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