5 Common Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain

5 Common Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain

Chronic pelvic pain can indicate a gynecological problem, a urinary tract issue, a digestive problem, or even be a symptom of a psychological problem. With so many potential causes, understanding why you have chronic pelvic pain can be complex. 

For problems that are difficult to identify and understand, it’s helpful to get guidance from an expert. Dr. Marsha Bornt at Apple Hill Gynecology and her staff of dedicated professionals have the training and expertise to diagnose and treat numerous conditions that can cause chronic pelvic pain — and we can provide a referral if the issue is outside our realm of expertise. 

Here are five common reasons for chronic pelvic pain, but it’s important to remember there are many other potential causes. Dr. Bornt can provide much more detailed information after you have an exam and discuss your symptoms in detail. 

1. Endometriosis

About 11%, or more than 6 million, women in the United States have endometriosis. This condition can cause extremely painful periods, interfere with your digestion, and even lead to infertility. 

When you have endometriosis, the tissue that lines your uterus and normally sheds away during your menstrual cycle grows outside your uterus and has no way to shed. One of the main symptoms is chronic pelvic pain. 

2. Pelvic inflammatory disease

Roughly one million American women have pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an infection of your reproductive organs. Pelvic inflammatory disease is caused by bacteria moving from your vagina through your cervix and into your uterus, ovaries, or Fallopian tubes. The bacteria could be the result of exposure to a sexually transmitted disease like gonorrhea or chlamydia or from an infection such as bacterial vaginosis. 

You may have a mild ache in your pelvis, abnormal bleeding, or an abnormal vaginal discharge if you have pelvic inflammatory disease. Getting treatment is crucial because you may become infertile or experience an ectopic pregnancy because of pelvic inflammatory disease. 

3. Fibroids

Most women have some fibroids, or noncancerous growths, in the walls of their uterus, and many have no symptoms or issues from them. Others, however, develop problems, including chronic pelvic pain caused by large fibroids or fibroids growing on the outside of the uterus wall. 

Treatments for fibroids are available, depending on the size, location, and problems they are causing. 

4. Interstitial cystitis

Interstitial cystitis is a chronic bladder problem that can lead to pelvic pain. Other symptoms include a need to urinate frequently but have a low volume of urine when you do. You may also have chronic pelvic pain, pain when you urinate, or pain during sexual intercourse. 

The cause of interstitial cystitis is unknown, but several different treatment approaches are available. 

5. Past sexual abuse or assault

Many women who experience sexual abuse or assault develop chronic pelvic pain. The emotional impact of abuse or assault can cause physical symptoms, including pelvic pain. 

Depression, chronic stress, and other mood disorders can also cause chronic pelvic pain. Unfortunately chronic pain and emotional distress can feed into each other, leading to a vicious cycle. 

Don’t live with pain

Understanding the underlying cause of your chronic pelvic pain is important, both because your life will be more enjoyable without the pain and because some conditions that cause chronic pelvic pain lead to complications if left untreated. 

Get expert advice today. Schedule an appointment at Apple Hill Gynecology. 

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