FAQ’s on Pelvic Pain
What is Pelvic Pain?
Between 15-20 percent of women suffer from some form of pelvic pain in the United States alone, which is between 25-30 million people. Statistics published by the National Institute of Health reveal that pelvic pain is a prevalent condition that can affect both men and women, but is more often seen among the female population.
The pelvic region is the area just below the belly button, across the abdomen and extending out toward the hips. In women, the pelvic region houses most of the female organs, including the ovaries, uterus and Fallopian tubes. Pelvic pain can occur as the result of a variety of problems or conditions, from digestive disorders to problems with fertility. The pain can be significant, and in some cases chronic.
What Causes Pelvic Pain?
The causes of pelvic pain, especially in women, can be the result of a variety of issues, which is why diagnosing the problem can be challenging for doctors. Some of the most common causes of pelvic pain include:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Problems with female organs
- Post-operative scar tissue build up
- Ovarian cysts
- Menstrual crams or premenstrual syndrome
- Pelvic organ prolapse
- Ectopic pregnancy
In men the most common cause of pelvic pain is a direct result of prostate problems; however, in women the cause may be a wide variety of factors. Finding the cause is what makes diagnosing pelvic pain so challenging for doctors. It is important to document your symptoms so that you can clearly provide them to your doctor.
What are the Symptoms of Pelvic Pain?
The symptoms associated with a pelvic problem typically result in pain. The pain may be mild aching and cramping to severe stabbing pain that comes and goes throughout the month. Women who have unstable menses report severe cramping that debilitates them for days or weeks at a time.
Depending on the cause for the pelvic pain, symptoms may vary, from pain during sexual intercourse or a bowel movement to irregularities with urination. Some women report that when suffering from severe bouts of pelvic pain they also experience low back pain and even leg pain.
Pelvic pain may be constant or intermittent depending on the cause. Severe and chronic pelvic pain may interrupt daily life and routine activities. Pelvic pain may cause women to miss work, be unable to care for children or carry out routine tasks.
How is Pelvic Pain Diagnosed?
Diagnosing pelvic pain can be challenging because there are a number of factors that could be involved in causing the pain. There are four primary methods your doctor will conduct in order to diagnose or rule out problems. These possible diagnostic tests include:
- Physical examination
- CT scan of the pelvic region
- Pelvic laparoscopy
Your doctor or a gynecologist may conduct these procedures. They are effective in determining what is going on in the pelvic region, but are not always conclusive of the cause.
What are the Treatments for Pelvic Pain?
The treatment for pelvic pain depends on the condition or cause for the pain. According to the National Institute of Health and the Mayo Clinic experts, combination treatment seems to be the most effective way to treat chronic pain in the pelvic. A probably treatment plan may exist of the administration of anti-inflammatory medications, combined with physical therapy or a more aggressive treatment.
Conservative care for pelvic pain consists of medications, whether pain relief, hormone therapy or a combination of both, and physical therapy. Physical therapy may include both active and passive therapy. Stretching exercises, along with heat packs may be beneficial to the patient (Hewitt, et al., JOSPT, 2009).
If endometriosis is discovered, the pain can be severe, requiring extensive treatment and possible surgery. Approximately 30% of all women who arrive at a pain clinic for treatment for pelvic pain have undergone a hysterectomy surgery.
For those patients who do not require surgery, but have chronic pelvic pain with little to no relief from medications and other conservative treatments, a more aggressive treatment program may be required. Interventional pain treatments may be administered at a pain clinic to help reduce symptoms. Treatment may consist of:
- Ilioinguinal Nerve Blocks
- Superior Hypogastric Plexus Block
- Spinal Cord Stimulator Treatment
All of the above treatments have a high success rate, with superior hypograstric plexus block showing a 70% success rate for decreasing painful symptoms associated with chronic pelvic pain.
What are the Outcomes?
No matter what condition a person has, with regard to pelvic pain, surgery may not be an option. In some cases, surgery does not relieve pain. The treatments offered at a Fort Myers pain clinic have a low risk profile with favorable outcomes. The success rates for reducing chronic pain are high. If you or your loved one suffers from pelvic pain that has gotten in the way of daily living, help is available. There is no need to live with chronic pain.
If you have pelvic pain that has interrupted your daily activities, let Fort Myers pain management help you with the best pain management Fort Myers and the surrounding areas have to offer.
Simply complete the form or call (239) 288-0072 for assistance today!