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Pelvic Pain

Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain is a fairly common complaint in both men and women. It usually occurs in the lower part of the abdomen, and it may be constant or sporadic. In many cases, the pain is mild, but sometimes it can be severe enough to interfere with one's daily activities. To reduce the risk of potential complications, it is essential to seek medical attention for any pelvic pain that is chronic or severe.

Pelvic Pain in Women vs. Men

In women, pain in the pelvic region is commonly felt during menstruation. In most cases, this is normal and not a cause for concern unless the pain is severe. When not related to menstruation, pelvic pain may be caused by problems in the digestive, reproductive, or urinary systems. In men, pelvic pain is commonly caused by prostate problems. In both genders, pain can develop as the result of injuries or diseases of any of the organs located in the pelvic region.

Serious Causes of Pelvic Pain

In limited cases, pelvic pain may occur as the result of cancer of the colon, bladder, cervix, vagina, or ovary. Ectopic pregnancies can also cause pain. It may also be felt like a psychological symptom after sexual abuse, trauma, or rape. Other potential causes include polycystic ovarian disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, and sexually transmitted infections.

Underlying Medical Conditions

Pain or discomfort in the pelvic region typically is not a severe medical condition. It may, however, be a sign of a more severe underlying condition. It is necessary to seek prompt medical attention for any pain that is severe or troubling. Also, pelvic pain accompanied by high fever or excessive vaginal bleeding should always be evaluated by a medical professional.

Diagnosing Pelvic Pain

Doctors may utilize many tests to determine the cause of pain in the pelvic region. Ultrasounds are commonly used to allow them to evaluate the organs in the area. Other tests may include blood tests and urinalysis. Because effectively treating pelvic pain requires diagnosing the underlying cause, patients may need to undergo several tests to reach a diagnosis.

Don’t Go Untreated

When left untreated, pelvic pain may lead to severe complications including infertility, sepsis, the spread of infection or cancer, or sexual dysfunction. In many cases, the cause of pain can be treated using prescription medications such as antibiotics or hormones. Severe conditions like cancer often require additional treatment and may not be curable. When a condition cannot be cured, the symptoms can generally be managed. The vast majority of pelvic pain cases are not life-threatening.