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Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Pain

All you need to know about Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is most commonly associated with women’s internal reproductive systems, although it can also affect men. It can be caused by a variety of factors. Pelvic pain can be a sign of infection or it can be caused by pain in the pelvic bone or non-reproductive organs like the bladder or colon. Pelvic discomfort in women, on the other hand, can be an indication of a problem with one of the reproductive organs in the pelvic area:

  • Uterus
  • Ovaries
  • Fallopian tubes
  • Cervix
  • Vagina

Symptoms of pelvic pain

These pelvic pain symptoms suggest a problem:

  • Worsening of menstrual cramps
  • Menstrual pain
  • Vaginal bleeding, spotting or discharge
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Bloating or gas
  • Blood is seen within a bowel movement
  • Blood in urine
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Fever or chills
  • Pain in the hip area
  • Pain in the groin area

How is pelvic pain diagnosed?

To find out the cause of pelvic pain, the health care provider will:

  • Inquire about the patient’s pain and medical background. The way the patient describes the pain can assist the doctor in determining the sort of pain and what’s causing it.
  • Conduct a physical examination. The doctor will evaluate the patient’s abdomen and pelvis, looking for soreness or anomalies that could indicate a pain disorder in the organs, muscles, and tissues of the pelvic region.

The information gathered from the questioning and physical examination will assist the doctor in determining whether further tests or procedures are required to diagnose the source of the pelvic pain. The following tests or procedures may be performed:

  • Urine and blood tests
  • Pregnancy testing in reproductive-aged women
  • To check for sexually transmitted illnesses like gonorrhoea and/or chlamydia, vaginal or penile cultures are used.
  • X-rays of the abdomen and pelvis
  • A pelvic MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan is an imaging technique that creates photographs of the pelvis using powerful magnets and radio waves.
  • Bone density examination (a special type of X-ray to determine the strength of bone)
  • Laparoscopy for diagnosis (procedure allowing a direct look at the structures in the pelvis and abdomen)
  • Hysteroscopy is the examination of the uterus (procedure to examine the uterus)
  • Stool examination (checking a stool sample for microscopic blood)
  • Endoscopy of the lower intestine (insertion of a lighted tube to examine the inside of the rectum and part or all of the colon)
  • Ultrasonography (a test that uses sound waves to provide images of internal organs)
  • Abdominal and pelvic CT scans (scan that uses X-rays and computers to produce an image of a cross-section of the body)
  • Cystoscopy is a procedure that involves putting a viewing instrument into the bladder.
  • Colonoscopy is a procedure that involves introducing a viewing instrument into the bowel.

Finding the source of pelvic pain can be difficult and time-consuming. To get assistance for their pain, some individuals need to see more than one doctor or a specialist. Sometimes the source of discomfort is unknown. However, failing to identify the cause does not rule out the possibility of treating the patient’s suffering. Understanding what causes the discomfort might also be beneficial.

Causes

Pelvic discomfort can be caused by a variety of factors in both men and women including:

  • Appendicitis
  • Bladder problems (including urinary tract infections)
  • STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
  • Infection of the kidneys or kidney stones
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Nerve problems
  • Hernia
  • Pelvic disorder
  • Prostatitis
  • Testicular dysfunction
  • Pelvis fracture
  • Psychogenic suffering

Pelvic discomfort in women can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ovulation
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Ovarian cysts or other ovarian disorders
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine cancer
  • Cervical cancer

Complications

PID can often cause long-term (chronic) pain in the pelvic and lower abdomen, which can be difficult to live with and lead to other issues like depression and sleeping problems (insomnia). If you develop persistent pelvic pain, medications may be prescribed to help you manage your symptoms.

How is pelvic pain treated?

Treatment is determined by the origin of pelvic pain, the severity of the discomfort, and how frequently the pain happens. In all circumstances, no single therapeutic approach has been proved to be superior to another.

The following are some therapeutic options:

  • Medicines. Pelvic pain is treated with a variety of medications. These include oral or injectable pain medications, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants.
  • Treatment using hormones. Hormone therapy can help with endometriosis and menstrual pain. Birth control tablets, gonadotropin-releasing hormone injections, and progestin-releasing intrauterine devices are examples of hormones that are swallowed, injected, or inserted in the uterus. Hormonal treatment for pelvic pain is different from hormone therapy, which is occasionally used to treat menopause symptoms.
  • Changes in lifestyle. Changes in diet, better posture, and regular physical activity can alleviate some patient’s pain.
  • Physical rehabilitation. Physical therapy works well for some forms of pain, such as muscular and connective tissue pain. Massage, stretching, strengthening, or learning to relax or control pelvic muscles are all examples of this sort of therapy.
  • Surgery. Adhesions, fibroids, and/or endometriosis may require surgery in some patients. In some circumstances, the operation may also help to alleviate or minimise pelvic pain. Some women may have surgery to cut or destroy nerves in order to block pain signals, but these procedures are rarely successful. A woman’s health care physician may prescribe a hysterectomy (pronounced hiss-tur-EK-toh-mee), surgery to remove a woman’s uterus, to assist relieve or minimise pelvic pain, depending on the reason for the pain.
  • Counselling. Pain can be treated with counselling or “talk therapy.” In fact, when paired with medical treatment, talk therapy appears to be more effective at improving some symptoms than medical treatment alone.

It can take a long time to find a treatment that works. To reduce their pain, some patients desire to try alternative therapy. Learning appropriate pain management techniques is a crucial part of any therapy plan.

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