Pelvic pain is a common complaint among women. It is defined as that is pain felt below the bellybutton. There are many and varied causes of pelvic pain, including menstrual cramps, ovarian cysts, and even endometriosis. You may be able to identify the cause of your pain by looking at the symptoms of each. However, you are strongly advised to visit a doctor if your pain becomes unbearable or extends for a long period of time. Here are the seven most common causes of pelvic pain.
1. Painful Ovulation (Mittelschmerz)
Ovulation is simply defined as the release of an egg from the ovary. Painful ovulation is a type of pain which occurs during ovulation in the middle of the menstrual cycle. The medical term for this pain is derived from German word Mittelschmerz which means middle pain. Generally, the pain is experienced on one side of the pelvic region, depending on which ovary is releasing the egg.
The pain typically lasts for 2-3 hours or up to 3 days and is no cause for alarm. However, you can ease it by using painkillers or a heating pad or even simply taking a hot bath.
2. Menstrual Cramps
Many women are familiar with the agony of menstrual cramps. This is generally the constant dull ache that woman experiences before or after menstruation. The pain is caused by the contractions of the uterus as it strives to shed its lining.
Other symptoms of menstrual cramps include a bloated stomach, loose stool and pain in the thighs and lower back. One may also experience intense mood swings during this period.
Menstrual cramps can be eased using heating pads, exercise, taking painkillers or a hot bath. Like painful ovulation, there is no cause for alarm with menstrual cramps, unless they are exceedingly painful.
This is a condition that is characterized by the presence of small pieces of the womb lining outside the womb. Typically, the lining will be found in other pelvic organs such as the Fallopian tubes or ovaries. Symptoms of the condition include intense painful pelvic pain, particularly during menstruation, painful bowel movement, and painful sexual intercourse.
The cause of endometriosis is not yet known. It can only be confirmed through a laparoscopy or surgery. It often causes infertility.
4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
The pelvic inflammatory disease is an infection of the organs of the woman’s reproductive system. Many types of bacteria can cause this infection, but the most common are gonorrhea or Chlamydia. Sometimes the disease doesn’t show any symptom which is more complicated in later stages. But if you notice symptoms of pain in lower abdomen, unusual vaginal discharges, and pain during urination or having sexual intercourse, do not hesitate to seek medical help. The PID can cause problems getting pregnant, or problems while pregnant, which is why you should get treatment as soon as possible.
5. Ovarian Cysts
A cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops in the ovary. It may develop when a follicle fails to release an egg and fluid is sealed inside, or if the follicle fails to dissolve after releasing the egg and fluid gets trapped inside. When the fluid is released or the cyst gets twisted, you may experience pain. Most of the cysts are often not life-threatening, and they occur and disappear by themselves. But if you feel severe and sudden abdominal pain or you have a fever you should seek medical help immediately.
6. Urinary Tract Infection
This is one of the most common causes of pelvic pain. It is caused by the presence of bacteria ordinarily found in the urinary system. Beside pelvic pain, it is also characterized by a persistent urge to urinate, smelly urine and pain when passing urine. It should not be ignored as it can cause far more problems, while with treatment it disappears within two to three days.
7. Sexual Transmitted Disease (STD)
Many sexually transmitted diseases don’t show any symptoms or the symptoms are so generic that it could be a result of many different conditions. Besides pelvic pain, if you have any of the symptoms like vaginal discharge, rash, blisters, itching or painful intercourse you should get tested for STD. Diseases such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the greatest offenders in this case. If you suspect that you are suffering from an STD, make an appointment for STD testing.
If you are experiencing pelvic pain, it could be for any of the reasons discussed above. Be sure to seek medical help if you do need it.