Most women will experience some pelvic pain, usually in the form of menstrual cramps. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, painful periods are one of the most common sources of pelvic pain in women.
However, there are many possible causes of pelvic pain, some of which are more serious than others. At Memorial Women’s Specialists, our team of OB/GYN doctors and specialists offer gynecology and women’s health services at our office in Houston, Texas.
Here are five of the most common causes of chronic pelvic pain and when to schedule an appointment with our team.
Five common causes of pelvic pain
While often related to the menstrual cycle, other factors can cause pelvic pain. Depending on the severity and any underlying health issues, most women can successfully manage menstrual cramps with over the counter pain relievers or conservative treatments like a heating pad.
However, if you’re experiencing chronic pelvic pain not related to your period, or the pain is severe enough to interfere with your daily routines, schedule an appointment for an exam as soon as possible.
1. Menstrual cramps and ovulation
Most women will experience mild to severe menstrual cramps during their reproductive years. As the ovaries release the egg and the uterus sheds its lining and contracts before each monthly period, many women experience pelvic pain and pressure before or during their period.
Uterine fibroids are benign tissue growths in the uterus. While they don’t always cause symptoms and are not cancerous, some fibroids can cause mild to severe pelvic and lower back pain, especially during intercourse. Depending on the size and location of the fibroids, our team may recommend removing them (but surgery isn’t always necessary).
3. Sexually transmitted disease/infection
Pelvic inflammatory disorder (PID) occurs when bacteria pass from the cervix into the uterus. It can result from common STDs like gonorrhea or chlamydia and increases the risk of infertility if left untreated.
Endometriosis causes uterine tissue to grow in other parts of the body outside of the uterus. During the menstrual cycle, the tissue becomes inflamed by the hormones that control your period, causing mild to severe pelvic or back pain.
5. Urinary tract infection (UTI)
Urinary tract infections are common. When bacteria enter the bladder or urinary tract, it causes inflammation that can result in painful urination and pelvic pain. UTIs are generally not serious and are typically treated with antibiotics. Although some UTIs clear up on their own, they usually require medical attention and can spread to the kidneys if left untreated.
Get help for chronic pelvic pain
For more information about the possible causes and treatment options for chronic pelvic pain, contact us to schedule an appointment or request an appointment online.