In women, pelvic pain occurs primarily in the lower abdominal region. It can be a sharp pain in a specific place or a more diffuse pain. Pelvic pain can be a sign of a problem with one of the organs located in the pelvic region; uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix or vagina. It can also include other symptoms, such as abnormal vaginal bleeding and lower back pain.
What is Pelvic Pain?
If you suffer from pain located in the region of the pelvis at the level of the area which is located below your navel and above your legs, it's probably pelvic pain. Since pelvic pain is common and has many causes, it is not easy to diagnose. In fact, pelvic pain can result from problems related to the reproductive system, such as the ovaries and the uterus, as well as to the urinary system, such as the bladder, or to the gastrointestinal system.
Causes of Pelvic Pain
Although pelvic pain is mainly linked to pathologies affecting the female reproductive system, there are various other causes that affect both men and women.
In women, possible causes of pelvic pain are many :
- menstrual cramps
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Ovarian cysts or disorders
- Cancer (cervix, uterus or ovaries)
- Urinary or kidney infections
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Intestinal disorders
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome
Pelvic congestion syndrome appears to be a common cause of chronic pelvic pain (pelvic pain lasting more than 6 months). The pain occurs when blood pools in the veins of the pelvic region. In some women, the veins in the pelvic part may stop working properly. Blood can begin to pool inside the veins when they swell and widen like varicose veins. This syndrome mainly occurs in women of childbearing age and may be more common in women who have already given birth to a child.
Pregnancy can increase the risk of pelvic congestion syndrome. This is because the veins widen during pregnancy to cope with the increased blood flow. Estrogen, a reproductive hormone that women produce in greater amounts during pregnancy, can weaken the veins in the pelvic region and cause continued enlargement of the veins leading to the development of symptoms.
Our menstrual pain are by far the most common type of pelvic pain in women. Cramps often begin before menstruation begins and are characterized by throbbing pain. The pain occurs when the muscles of the uterus contract or tighten, and frequently manifests as cramping or mild pressure in the pelvic area, lower back, or stomach. Although this is a typical side effect of menstruation, when the pain is intense or very sharp, it can be a sign of a more serious problem such as endometriosis.