Most Common Causes of Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain plagues women all over the world. Studies show up to 32% of women report pelvic pain that lasts six months or more and keeps them from daily activities and work. The term “pelvic pain” covers a vast array of ailments and conditions, and several are difficult to diagnose.

Dr. Gae Rodke specializes in getting to the root cause of your pelvic pain and treating underlying problems. She starts by taking the time to listen to your unique journey with pelvic pain, knowing that no two patients are alike.

Even if you’ve been undiagnosed or misdiagnosed in the past, Dr. Rodke goes the extra mile to find solutions for your pain. There are many causes for chronic pelvic pain — some make perfect sense, and others may surprise you.

Reproductive region 

One of the most common sources of pelvic pain is your reproductive system. Problems that affect your uterus and ovaries naturally trigger pain in the pelvic region. We can treat many of these with hormone therapy.

Endometriosis

When the lining of your uterus (your endometrium) starts to grow in areas outside the confines of the uterus, it’s called endometriosis. That tissue can attach itself to your ovaries, fallopian tubes, or rectum and cause cramps and pain.

Uterine fibroids

These growths inside your uterus are fairly common and usually are noncancerous, but they do cause cramps, heavy periods, pressure in your abdomen, and sometimes constipation and hemorrhoids.

Pelvic inflammatory disease

If you get an infection in your uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes, you have what’s generally referred to as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). It’s typically caused by a sexually transmitted disease like chlamydia or gonorrhea. In addition to pelvic pain, you may notice vaginal discharge with a foul odor, painful sex, and urination, and missed or irregular periods. Left untreated, PID can cause damage that makes conception and pregnancy challenging. 

Urinary and bowel problems

Located in your pelvic region, your bladder, urinary tract, and bowels can easily cause you pelvic pain if they’re impacted by disease or infection.

Urinary tract infections

From your kidneys to your bladder to your urethra, every part of your urinary tract is susceptible to infection if bacteria enter your system. In addition to pain and pressure in your lower pelvis, you may feel the urge to urinate often and find that it burns when you do. 

Irritable bowel syndrome

Your bowels and intestines can cause pelvic pain as well. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition that leads to a host of uncomfortable symptoms, such as diarrhea and constipation, gassiness and bloating, and of course, pelvic pain.

Vaginal issues

Whether due to age, genetics, childbirth, or a combination of these, you may have noticed that your vagina has atrophied or become stretched out, which makes sex unenjoyable and even painful. Dr. Rodke specializes in vaginal rejuvenation techniques, such as the MonaLisa Touch®, a laser system that can restore blood flow, elasticity, and lubrication, so you can enjoy sex again.

Spinal injuries

Believe it or not, issues with your spine can show up as pain in your pelvis. If you have a large herniated disc in your lower back that’s compressing a group of nerves called the cauda equina, it can impact your bladder and bowel and cause pain as well as other problems.

Dr. Rodke often addresses this type of pain with anti-inflammatory medication or injections, and she has a trusted referral network should you need an orthopedist. 

Chronic diseases

Several chronic diseases also are known to cause pelvic pain. Among the most common are:

Some pelvic pain is the result of psychological issues and trauma. In this case, Dr. Rodke works closely with you to determine the source of the problem such as depression, substance abuse, or stress, and she treats each accordingly.

If you have chronic pelvic pain and haven’t found relief, give us a call to make an appointment with Dr. Rodke or book one online. You may be closer than you think to being free from pelvic pain.

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