Most women, at some time in their lives, experience pelvic pain. Pelvic pain accounts for approximately 10% of all visits to gynaecologists. There are many different gynaecological conditions that can cause pelvic pain, including:
- Dysmenorrhoea – pain during the menstrual period
- Endometriosis – pain caused by uterine tissue that is outside the uterus
- Pelvic inflammatory disease – pain caused by damage from infections
- Ovarian cysts – the ovary produces a large, painful cyst, which may rupture
- Ovarian torsion – the ovary is twisted in a way that interferes with its blood supply
- Ectopic pregnancy – a pregnancy implanted outside the uterus
- Mullerian abnormalities – pelvic structural problems
Diagnosing the cause of pelvic pain
We begin the diagnostic process with a careful history and examination, including a pregnancy test. You may also need blood tests, imaging studies and a some women may also benefit from having surgical evaluation, such as a laparoscopy.
Treating pelvic pain
Generally, chronic pelvic pain can be managed using a trial of anti-inflammatory medications, hormonal therapy and/or surgery. A hysterectomy is sometimes performed.