Pelvic pain in women refers to pain in the lowest part of your abdomen and pelvis. Chronic pelvic pain is pain in your pelvic region — the area below your bellybutton and between your hips — that lasts six months or longer.
Determining the cause of pelvic pain can be challenging. Chronic pelvic pain can be a symptom of another disease, or it can be a condition in its own right. The experts at SUS have a variety of testing methodologies to help them make their diagnosis
Symptoms of Pelvic Pain Syndrome
- Severe and steady pain
- Pain that comes and goes (intermittent)
- Dull aching
- Sharp pains or cramping
- Pressure or heaviness deep within your pelvis
- Pain during intercourse
- Pain while having a bowel movement or urinating
- Pain when you sit for long periods of time
Possible Causes of Pelvic Pain Syndrome
This is a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside your uterus. These patches of tissue respond to your menstrual cycle, just as your uterine lining does — thickening, breaking down and bleeding each month as your hormone levels rise and fall. Because it's happening outside the uterus, the blood and tissue can't exit your body through your vagina. Instead, they remain in your abdomen, where they may lead to painful cysts and fibrous bands of scar tissue.
Tension in your pelvic floor muscles
Spasms or tension of the pelvic floor muscles can lead to recurring pelvic pain.
Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease
This can occur if a long-term infection, often sexually transmitted, causes scarring that involves your pelvic organs.
These noncancerous uterine growths may cause pressure or a feeling of heaviness in your lower abdomen. They rarely cause sharp pain unless they become deprived of a blood supply.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome — bloating, constipation or diarrhea — can be a source of uncomfortable pelvic pain and pressure.
Painful Bladder Syndrome (interstitial cystitis)
This condition causes chronic inflammation of your bladder and a frequent need to urinate. You may experience pelvic pain as your bladder fills, which may improve temporarily after you empty your bladder.