Chronic pelvic pain is common among women. You may have lingering or constant pain in the lower abdomen or lower back. This pain can get worse when you are menstruating or during intercourse. Other symptoms include diarrhea and constipation, cystitis, urinary urgency, frequent urination, and pressure sensitivity — chronic pelvic pain syndrome has many possible causes, ranging from not directly involving the pelvis to malignant conditions that could potentially be life-threatening. This article will discuss five causes of chronic pelvic pain syndrome to enlighten you.
All women have a tissue lining in their uterus, which is shed during their menstrual flow. Sometimes, though, this tissue grows outside the uterus and into other parts of the pelvis.
This condition is called endometriosis. During menstruation, this endometrial tissue also sheds along with the uterus lining. When this shedding occurs outside the uterus, the sloughed tissue, unlike menses that exits the vagina, becomes trapped in the abdomen. Causing sharp pelvic pain. Symptoms that you may notice are:
- Premenstrual or menstrual cramps
- Pain during or after sex
- Ovulation causes severe pain.
- Painful bowel movements
- During your periods, you might experience rectal bleeding.
- Pain when you urinate
- Lower back pain
- Spotting between periods
Usually, endometriosis is diagnosed using a pelvic examination, sonogram, or laparoscopy (an endoscopic procedure that allows the doctor to see inside your abdominal or pelvic cavity).
Treatment for endometriosis is through medication, hormone therapy, or surgery.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
If you’re experiencing any pain in the lower part of your abdomen or back, it might be pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). PID is caused by an infection in or around the uterus or fallopian tubes (the tubes that deliver the egg from the ovaries to the uterus).
PID can be caused by a sexually transmitted bacterial infection, like gonorrhea or chlamydia. These bacteria enter your vagina and use your fallopian tubes to spread to other organs like your ovaries, causing infection. PID causes:
- Having lower pelvic pressure
- Needing to urinate often
- Often feeling an urgent need to urinate
- The need to urinate at night
- Cloudy urine
- Blood in urine
- Urine has a foul smell
- Only a trickle of urine comes out
- Lower back pain
Women who have PID have a high chance of future fertility problems. Thus, diagnosis is essential to treat PID early before serious complications arise.
Urinary Tract Infection
Women experience urinary tract infections (UTIs) more often than men, especially in the childbearing years. UTIs occur when bacteria originating from the anus infect the urethra. These bacteria can travel up the urethra to cause infections in the urinary bladder and kidneys; This causes pain, mainly felt during urination. Besides painful urination, other UTI symptoms include:
- The need to frequently urinate
- Feel a pressing need to urinate
- Blood in the urine
- Back pain
- Strong smell in urine
Menstrual cramps and ovulation
In general, menstrual cramps are caused by the uterus contracting to help shed its lining and push out blood. Although it’s normal for most women to experience minor menstrual cramps and discomfort during the menstrual cycle, some women have more intense pain. This pain is called dysmenorrhea, and it can put a real damper on your lifestyle.
Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for painful periods. It’s often associated with uterine cramps or sharp, knife-like pelvic pains that extend into the lower back and thighs.
Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine myomas, are benign growths on the uterus that are common in women. These commonly develop during a woman’s reproductive years, although they can be found in young girls and post-menopausal women. Although fibroids are relatively common, they’re not the same as cancer, though they can be pretty painful. Some of the symptoms you will experience with uterine fibroids include:
- Feeling pressure or fullness in your abdomen
- Need to urinate frequently
- Pain or cramps during your period
- Heavy periods
If you’re experiencing any pelvic pain, it might be a sign of an infection or disease. If you’re experiencing any pelvic pain, it’s essential to seek medical attention right away to determine the cause and get appropriate treatment. UTIs and PID can cause painful urination and other symptoms like fever and back pain. If your doctor diagnoses these conditions early on with simple testing procedures such as a urine sample or ultrasound, they can be treated before they become more serious. Fibroids are another common problem that women face during their reproductive years- if left untreated, uterine fibroids may lead to fertility problems in the future. You can treat many of these conditions effectively with medication or surgery, so don’t suffer in silence.