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Why You Shouldn't Ignore Chronic Pelvic Pain

Oct 07, 2021
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Is chronic pelvic pain impacting your quality of life? In addition to making it difficult to get through your day, it could also be a sign of a more serious condition and shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s what you need to know.

Most women experience pelvic pain at some point in their life. But if you've been experiencing this pain for six months or more, you have chronic pelvic pain, a condition that affects up to 32% of women worldwide. 

Chronic pelvic pain can arise for many reasons, and some of them can require medical attention. If you’re suffering from chronic pelvic pain, it’s important to meet with your provider to uncover the root cause. 

At Progressive Women’s Health in Friendswood, Texas, board-certified OB/GYN Asia Mohsin, MD, helps women struggling with chronic pelvic pain find relief. She specializes in diagnosing and treating many causes of chronic pelvic pain. Here’s what you need to know.    

Why is it important to address pelvic pain?

Unlike a cut on your arm or growth on your skin, you can’t see inside your pelvis to see why you’re in pain. And the pelvis is home to many organs, muscles, and tissues. If something goes wrong with any of these, it could trigger chronic pelvic pain.  

Because the pelvis has so many different pieces, chronic pelvic pain is often misdiagnosed. It’s important to see an expert in women’s health who understands your body to help uncover the true cause of your pain. 

What are some conditions that can trigger chronic pelvic pain?

There are many potential causes of chronic pelvic pain, and it’s not a good idea to guess at the underlying condition. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Pelvic adhesions
  • Interstitial cystitis
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Irritable bowel syndrome 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease 
  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • Adenomyosis

While less common, chronic pelvic pain may indicate a serious condition, such as cervical, ovarian, uterine, or other gynecological cancers

How can the cause of my pain be determined?

If you experience pelvic pain, you should keep track of what your symptoms are and when they occur and share them with Dr. Mohsin, as this information could provide valuable information about the underlying issue.

In addition to reviewing your symptoms, Dr. Mohsin completes a pelvic exam to look for issues. Sometimes she can diagnose the cause based on your symptoms and exam alone. At other times, she may need to order additional testing. 

Different tests can reveal different causes of pelvic pain. For example, blood work can tell your provider if a hormone imbalance plays a role, and an ultrasound can identify problematic changes, such as ovarian cysts or fibroids. 

In some cases, Dr. Mohsin may use minimally invasive diagnostic surgical procedures to get a better look inside your pelvic area. For example, this may include a diagnostic hysteroscopy, which uses a lighted, flexible tube to examine your cervix and uterus.   

What if I need treatment for pelvic pain?

If Dr. Mohsin determines that the cause of your pain requires treatment, she works with you to create a customized treatment plan. Treatments depend on the issue causing the pain. In most cases, you can begin with the most conservative treatments first, such as:

  • Oral contraceptives
  • Hormone therapy
  • Antidepressant medication
  • Pain relief medication

For women who don’t respond to these treatments, and for women with fibroids or scar tissue, Dr. Mohsin may suggest using a minimally invasive surgical procedure, such as a hysteroscopy. And if nothing else works to ease your pain, she may recommend a hysterectomy. 

For help with chronic pelvic pain, book an appointment online or over the phone with Progressive Women’s Health today.