Pain is your body’s way of trying to alert you to a problem, and it’s typically an effective signal. If you’re experiencing ongoing pelvic pain, it usually points toward an issue that needs to be solved, both for your health and for your quality of life.
So, if you’re gritting your teeth and trying to soldier through pelvic pain, Dr. Fernando Otero and the team here at Women’s Clinic of the Rio Grande Valley urge you to reconsider.
In the following, we explore some serious conditions that may be behind your chronic pelvic pain — issues that we can treat to bring you much-needed relief.
Common causes of pelvic pain
Your pelvis is a large area and encompasses several different systems, including your urinary tract, lower part of your digestive tract, and your reproductive system. For the purposes of this discussion, we’re going to focus on gynecologic conditions that lead to pelvic pain, including:
One of the most common causes of pelvic pain is endometriosis, which may affect about 11% of women in their reproductive years. With endometriosis, endometrial tissues that normally grows on the inside of your uterus, grows outside the organ instead.
These misplaced tissues can lead to pelvic pain in a couple of ways. First, the tissues thicken with each menstrual cycle, but they have nowhere to shed out, which can make your periods quite painful.
The endometrial tissues may also create adhesions on your pelvic organs, which can lead to pain, sometimes during certain activities like sexual intercourse.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
This is more of a catchall diagnosis for an infection in your reproductive organs, including your:
- Fallopian tubes
In most cases of PID, bacteria from a sexually transmitted disease create the infection.
PID is common —more than one million women in the United States are diagnosed each year — and about 10% of these women become infertile due to an untreated infection.
Uterine fibroids are mostly benign and extremely common. Most women have these small growths and aren’t even aware of the problem. Should the fibroids grow large enough or in certain locations, however, they can lead to pelvic pain.
There are other issues that can lead to chronic pelvic pain, but the above three are, far and away, the most common.
Finding relief from pelvic pain
Since there are different conditions that can lead to pelvic pain, our first goal is to identify the underlying problem. We review your symptoms, use diagnostic imaging and lab tests, and perform a physical exam to determine the cause of your pelvic pain.
With a diagnosis in hand, we can get started on a treatment plan that will prevent further complications and relieve your discomfort. It’s hard to say here what your specific treatment plan would be, but, rest assured, there are solutions for each of the conditions we reviewed above, as well as others.
If you want relief from ongoing pelvic pain, the first step is an easy one — simply contact one of our offices in McAllen or Edinburg, Texas, to schedule an appointment.