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Pelvic pain

What causes pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced by women ranging from pain during the period to pain throughout the cycle. It may be associated with other symptoms including pain during intercourse and bowel or urinary dysfunction.

The pelvis contains a number of organs such as the womb, ovaries, small and large bowel as well as muscles, ligaments and nerves which means that it can sometimes be difficult to work out the underlying cause or causes of symptoms.

Variations of pelvic pain causes

Gynaecological

  • Endometriosis
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pelvic infection
  • Pelvic congestion

Gastrointestinal

  • Inflammatory bowel conditions eg Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Diverticulitis
  • Adhesions (scarring)
  • Constipation

Urinary tract/pelvic floor

  • Bladder pain syndromes
  • Pelvic floor muscle spasm
  • Chronic infection

Musculoskeletal

  • Back disease including facet joint or disc problems
  • Pelvic girdle instability
  • Hip disease

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is carried out by taking a comprehensive history of all of the symptoms together with careful examination.

Investigations would normally include:

  • Screening for pelvic infection and a pelvic ultrasound scan.
  • MRI scan
  • Diagnostic laparoscopy (keyhole surgery to examine the pelvis)