Do you experience dull aches, sharp pains, pressure in your tummy or pelvic area that is either intermittent or constant?
It could be due to your menstrual cycle, ovulation, or associated with your digestion. Sometimes the pain can be connected to other health concerns, and if you are worried, it’s a good idea to chat to your doctor.
Pelvic pain is identified as pain below the belly button in the lower abdomen and/ or sexual organs. Pelvic pain can happen quickly and last for a short time (acute pain), can recur, or for others, it can be an ongoing pain (chronic pain).
The cause of the pain is not always known and there are several reasons why pelvic pain can occur, these can be both diseases and conditions connected with the digestive, reproductive system, and urinary tract.
There are many reasons why women may experience pelvic pain, in this post we are going to look at 10 of them...
Menstrual cramps often begin just before and during a period and can range from mild to severe. They can occur when the muscular wall of the womb tightens which encourages the lining of the womb to shed. When the muscles contract, the blood vessels are cut off and starved of oxygen due to being compressed. Chemicals (prostaglandins) are then released which can cause pain. Along with menstrual cramps, it is common to experience sickness, headaches, dizziness and diarrhoea.
Endometriosis occurs when cells which should grow on the inside of your uterus, begin to grow outside of the uterus and attach themselves to organs such as your ovaries, bladder, or rectum. The symptoms of endometriosis can occur with each period or can be present for the entire month. Symptoms include pain during and after sex, irregular or heavy periods, period cramps, and struggling to conceive.
Adenomyosis is similar to endometriosis. The cells that normally line the uterus instead invade the muscle tissue of the uterus wall. Symptoms include heavy and painful periods, an enlarged and tender uterus, and a pressure on the bladder and/or rectum.
4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID is often caused by a sexually transmitted infection, such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia, that has gone untreated. The infection can cause the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus to become inflamed. If left untreated, the infection can cause scars which can lead to acute pain, and in fewer cases, chronic pain.
5. Uterine Fibroids
These fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that grow in and on the wall of your uterus. The fibroids can be painful for some women. Symptoms may include difficulty passing urine, heavy periods, and constipation.
WUKA & Postpartum Bleeding
6. Ectopic Pregnancy
Ectopic pregnancies happen when the embryo implants itself outside of the uterus and begins to grow. This can cause sharp pains and cramps on one side of the pelvis. You may also experience feeling sick, vaginal bleeding, and dizziness.
7. Ovarian Cyst
A cyst is a fluid-filled sac that develops on an ovary and causes pelvic pain when it bursts or becomes twisted. Some of the symptoms that a cyst can cause include leaving your tummy feeling bloated, painful bowel movements, and pain in the lower back or thighs.
8. Interstitial Cystitis
Interstitial cystitis is not an infection but is due to an inflamed bladder. It’s more common in women in their 30’s and 40’s. Interstitial cystitis can cause women to wee urgently and frequently, they can also experience discomfort when weeing, and pain during sex.
9. Pelvic Support Problem
Pelvic support problems can occur from muscles and ligaments weakening, which means that organs such as the uterus, bladder, and rectum can move from their normal position and downwards towards the vagina. Pregnancy and giving birth can be the cause of muscles and ligaments weakening. Exercises such as Kegel exercises, or pelvic muscle exercises, are used to strengthen the muscles that surround the openings of the urethra, vagina and rectum.
10. Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections are caused by bacteria and often occur in women rather than men. The infection can affect the kidneys, urethra, or the bladder. If you have a urinary tract infection then it’s likely you’ll experience cloudy urine which may contain blood, urine that has a bad smell to it, and lower back pain.
Wrapping It Up
There are many causes of pelvic pain which can be caused by conditions or diseases affecting the digestive, reproductive system, or the urinary tract. On occasions, the cause may not be known.
It’s important to chat to your doctor if you are experiencing pelvic pain, whether it’s a sudden unexpected pain, recurring pain, or an ongoing pain.