Pelvic pain refers to any pain felt in the lower part of the torso. Most women are familiar with dysmenorrhea, more commonly known as menstrual cramps. It usually occurs during, or right before, the menstrual cycle, and subsides in two or three days. However, not all pain is caused by normal cramps. If you experience pelvic pain that seems abnormally severe, or out of the ordinary compared to your past periods, it is advisable to consult your gynecologist.
There are many potential causes of pelvic pain. Some are, and some are not, related to the menstrual cycle. A few of the many possibilities include:
- Appendicitis – Inflammation or infection of the appendix can cause a sharp pain in the lower abdomen, on the right side. It can also cause fever and vomiting. Without treatment, appendicitis can be life threatening.
- Irritable bowel syndrome – This is a digestive disorder that can cause abdominal pain and cramps, as well as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.
- Mittelschmerz – Commonly known as painful ovulation occurs midway between your periods. It usually only lasts a few hours.
- Ectopic pregnancy – Pelvic pain is especially concerning if there is a chance you could be pregnant. An ectopic pregnancy, sometimes called a tubal pregnancy, occurs when the embryo implants somewhere outside of the uterus. It can cause sharp pains and cramps, usually worse on one side.
- Uterine fibroids – These benign growths on the wall of the uterus are usually harmless, and may not require treatment. However, in some cases they can cause pelvic pain, problems during your menstrual cycle, and difficulty conceiving.
- Endometriosis – During the menstrual cycle, a layer of endometrial tissue builds up and breaks down, usually in the uterus. However, in women with endometriosis some of this tissue grows on other parts of the body such as the intestines, bladder, of fallopian tubes. This can cause pain as it breaks down, because it has no way to leave the body.
- Pelvic organ prolapse – With this condition, organs such as the uterus or bladder drop, causing pelvic pain, lower back pain, and other problems.
It is virtually impossible to self-diagnose pelvic pain. Dr. Taryll Jenkins, of Katy, TX, can determine the cause of the problem, and explain your options. He believes in gentle, non-surgical therapies when possible. If surgery is needed, Dr. Jenkins uses the minimally invasive laparoscopic technique, for greater comfort and less downtime.
Don't take chances with your health. If you are experiencing abnormal pelvic pain, call 855-346-8610 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Jenkins today.
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