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What's Causing My Pelvic Pain?

What's Causing My Pelvic Pain?

Your lower abdomen cramps, signaling the coming of your period. This type of pain is quite normal and is part and parcel of many women’s menstrual cycles. If your menstrual pain is severe or you’re experiencing pelvic pain that’s not related to your periods, there may be a problem. 

There are many reasons why women experience pelvic pain, and Dr. Fernando Otero and the team here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley want to focus on a few of the more common causes.

Let’s take a look.

Gynecologic conditions

There are a number of gynecologic conditions that can lead to pelvic pain, including:

Endometriosis

This is a common issue — it affects 11% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 — in which endometrial tissue grows outside your uterus, often creating adhesions that can lead to pain. For example, you may have an adhesion that causes pain when you have intercourse as it tugs on your reproductive organs. Or you may experience moderate to severe pain during your menstrual cycles as the endometrial tissue tries to shed out and can’t.

Uterine fibroids

Many women develop uterine fibroids during their reproductive years and are unaware of the condition. For some, however, the location and/or size of the fibroids can lead to pelvic pain.

Ovarian cysts

Here again, cysts on your ovaries are perfectly normal and usually resolve themselves on their own. If they don’t go away and grow in size, however, it can lead to discomfort in your pelvic region.

Outside of these common conditions, certain reproductive cancers, such as cervical cancer, uterine cancer, or ovarian cancer can lead to pelvic pain.

Infections

Sexually transmitted infections often cause pelvic pain. Unfortunately, sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high in the United States, with 2.5 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis in 2019 alone (these are pre-COVID numbers).

The infections themselves can lead to pelvic pain, but should the infection go untreated, it can lead to larger problems, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This disease is characterized by inflammation of your endometrium, fallopian tubes, and/or peritoneum, which can lead to considerable discomfort.

In the US, 2.5 million sexually active women between the ages of 18 and 44 report that they have PID.

Treating pelvic pain

As you can see, there are a wide range of problems that can lead to pelvic pain (and we didn’t list all of them), and the first step toward relief is to come see us for a diagnosis. Once we identify what’s causing your pelvic pain, we can treat the underlying issue so that you’re more comfortable.

One point that we want to underscore is that pelvic pain can be a sign of a serious problem, so we urge you to come in sooner rather than later.

To get to the bottom of your pelvic pain, please contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to schedule an appointment.

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