Chronic Pelvic Pain usually arises in the lower abdomen; the pain evolves for more than six months. Severe pain can affect how you do your daily activities.
Women may experience pain during menstrual periods or when having sex. Some women may have more than one cause of pelvic pain at the same time.
Chronic Pelvic Pain can signify that there is a problem with one of the pelvic area's organs, such as the vagina, the uterus, the cervix, etc. In men, it can be the cause of a prostate problem.
In men and women, it can be a symptom of a problem or infection of the urinary tract, rectum, bones, intestine, or muscles.
Endometriosis takes place when the lining of the uterus grows in other parts of the body. During the menstrual period, this tissue swells and bleeds, as does the lining of the uterus. This is usually painful. Scar tissue may form in the pelvic area
Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease
Fibroids are non-cancerous uterine growths. May press down or feel heavy
Musculoskeletal problems, conditions that damage bones, joints, and connective tissues
Irritable bowel syndrome
Interstitial cystitis, this disease is associated with chronic pain in the bladder and frequent urination
Pelvic congestion syndrome
Psychological factors, some of these can be depression, stress, a history of sexual abuse, etc
The main symptom of Chronic Pelvic Pain is the pain itself; it is usually intense and constant; the frequency and severity can vary. It depends on the cause of the pain and the person who suffers it. In the case of women, they may feel pain during sexual intercourse. Pain can come and go, or be present every day.
Diagnosis of Chronic Pelvic Pain
The Gynecologist is the specialist in treating Chronic Pelvic Pain in women, and the Urologist is the specialist in treating this condition in men. Both specialists will perform a physical exam and do various tests and questions about your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history.
Following are some of the test that could be performed, depending on the sex and case of the patient
A pelvic test can help detect signs of infections, abnormal growths, or tight pelvic floor muscles
Ultrasound helps to locate cysts or masses in the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes
Imaging tests help detect abnormal growths or structures
Laparoscopy, the doctor can view the pelvic organs and look for abnormal tissues or other signs of infection
Treatment of Chronic Pelvic Pain
Common treatment options include:
Medications such as analgesics, antibiotics, antidepressants, hormonal treatments
Physiotherapy helps you to do relaxation exercises, massages, stretching, which help control pain
Biofeedback helps you detect areas of tense muscles and learn techniques to relax them
Neurostimulation, a device is implanted that blocks the nerve pathways, so that the pain signal cannot reach the brain, depending on the cause of the pelvic pain, the doctor may suggest it
Injections, if your doctor locates specific points where you feel pain, he or she may inject an anesthetic medicine at the painful points (trigger points)
Psychotherapy, if the pain is related to an emotional cause such as sexual abuse, depression, or another, psychotherapy can help you manage strategies to deal with the pain
Surgery, to repair an undiagnosed problem causing chronic pelvic pain, surgery may be required
Laparoscopic, the doctor may suggest this technique for cases of endometriosis; it will remove the endometrial tissue
Hysterectomy, in rare or severe cases, the doctor may recommend removing the uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes. The doctor will discuss all possible complications before suggesting this procedure
Living with Chronic Pelvic Pain
Some things to consider that could help improve the quality of life and control Chronic Pelvic Pain are:
Go to physical therapy.
Do relaxation exercises; these can help you reduce pain and relieve tension.
Meditate and take a deep breath
¿When do you have to see a doctor?
Make your appointment with your doctor if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above or notice another abnormal symptom. Depending on the possible cause of the pain, the doctor will send you to the specialist doctor.
When consulting your Gynecologist or Urologist, keep a record of your pain with a detailed description of the symptoms, duration, and what you think triggered them. Also, mention any medications you are taking.
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What is it? And, do you know how to train your pelvic floor?
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