5 Common Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain

While women often experience pelvic pain as part of the menstrual cycle, the duration is usually short. However, long-lasting, persistent pain is less common and more concerning. When it lasts longer than six months without any sign of improvement, it is considered chronic pelvic pain. This type of pain can be a symptom of another disease or a condition of its own. In either case, it can have a negative impact on your daily living. 

Any time your life is disrupted by pelvic pain, a visit to Alexandra Pellicena, M.D. is a good idea, if only to prevent a minor problem from becoming a bigger issue. She can help pinpoint the cause and provide treatment options.

While there are many causes of pelvic pain, some are more common than others. In this post, we look at some of those possible origins.

Defining pelvic pain

Pelvic pain originates anywhere between the belly button and groin, meaning that any number of organs and various types of tissue could be behind the pain. Pelvic pain includes menstrual cramping and other discomfort caused by the menstrual cycle, but since that comes and goes, it’s not considered a chronic pelvic pain issue. 

The type of pain you experience could vary also, from dull, aching discomfort to sharp and steady pain. The impact on daily living ranges from minor annoyance to severely disruptive. 

Though hardly conclusive, here’s a list of five common causes of chronic pelvic pain. 

Endometriosis

The tissue that lines the inside of your uterus, called the endometrium, can sometimes grow elsewhere in the pelvic region. Even though it’s misplaced, it continues to undergo the month-to-month changes associated with your menstrual cycle as though it were still inside your uterus. This blood and tissue that normally leaves the body during menstruation can’t exit from outside your uterus, which can lead to the development of painful scar tissue and cysts. The condition is called endometriosis.  

Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease

Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a bacterial infection that affects the female reproductive organs. It often results from gonorrhea or chlamydia, two common sexually transmitted diseases. PID can cause pain ranging from mild to severe, along with abnormal or heavy uterine bleeding. 

Fibroids

Also responsible for abnormal bleeding, uterine fibroids are non-cancerous growths of dense endometrial tissue. Fibroids can create the feeling of pressure within the pelvis as well as pain. They may also cause fertility problems for some women.  

Ovarian cysts

Cysts in the ovaries are very common though they aren’t always symptomatic. When ovarian cysts cause issues, they can be extremely painful. Though most are benign, some can become cancerous. These cysts tend to affect one side only. 

Musculoskeletal issues

Not all pelvic pain issues stem from reproductive organs. The muscles and connective tissue through the pelvis can weaken, leading to nerve irritation or organ prolapse, common sources of pain. The pelvis has a joint at its base, the pubic joint, which can also become inflamed. 

There are plenty of other potential reasons for chronic pelvic pain including issues with the urinary tract. Sometimes, it can be difficult to diagnose the reasons behind your symptoms. Choosing an experienced gynecologist like Alexandra Pellicena, M.D. is a smart way to ensure the best care for these pain issues. 

Contact Dr. Pellicena’s Houston office by phone or online to schedule an examination. There’s no reason to live with pelvic pain, so book your consultation now. 

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