If you are trying to conceive and are experiencing pelvic pain, you have an added reason to take your symptoms seriously sometimes, pelvic pain can indicate a fertility problem. To start with, we should define "pelvis" as the lowest part of the abdomen.
Pelvic pain can occur in people of both sexes, but women are bound to think of their reproductive organs when they have lower abdominal pain. In this post, we will talk about some of the more common causes of pelvic pain cause by problems in the reproductive organs as well as elsewhere.
Ovulation pain is a fairly common and completely harmless occurrence that strikes women during ovulation. Also called mittelschmerz (German for "middle pain" since ovulation happens in the middle of the menstrual cycle) this phenomenon can usually be felt on the left side one month, and on the right the next. If you know you are ovulating when you get pain, and the pain is gone the next day, you can basically stop worrying.
Ovulation is one common time for pelvic pain to occur, and menstruation is another. Occasional periods pains are quite normal, but for around one in 10 women, menstruation is a real hell. Do your periods hurt so much you can't go to work, and you can't get comfy even if you take painkillers? You may be suffering from dysmennorhea which is, really, just a fancy medical term for "really painful periods". Don't keep suffering; see your family doctor or OBGYN.
The tissue that lines your uterus is called the endometrium. Endometriosis is a condition in which this tissue also grows in other parts of the reproductive system. Common sites for endometriosis are the fallopian tubes and ovaries, but the disease can also affect other parts of the pelvis such as the bladder and bowels. Endometriosis can cause infertility as well as pelvic pain. This is one reason women who suffer from regular pelvic pain should seek medical assistance.
Ovarian cysts are relatively common. They aren't cancerous and don't usually have any symptoms. A cysts can lead to pain as well as bleeding if it ruptures, however.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is a nasty infection that can be treated with antibiotics fairly easily, but that causes extensive damage to the female reproductive system if left untreated. The infection can move up from the vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes and beyond. PID is commonly causes by sexually transmitted diseases (chlamydia and gonnorhea), but can also be the result of an infection following childbirth or other pelvic interventions. It can lead to blocked fallopian tubes, which in turn causes infertility. Chronic pelvic pain is another nasty result of PID. The bottom line? See your doctor if you have pain.
Are you pregnant or think you could be? Pelvic pain in pregnancy can be due to an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, pelvic pain can indicate placental problems including placental abruption, and premature labor. It is not, however, unusual to have slight abdominal cramps during very early pregnancy. These cramps can be compared to the cramps many women feel just before getting their periods. Severe cramping is always a reason to check in with your doctor. Pelvic pain does not always mean you have trouble with your reproductive bits, however there are plenty of other things that can cause severe pain.
Appendicitis an inflamed appendix is a pretty common cause of severe abdominal pain. Along with the pain, you can expect vomiting. Symptoms will go away after the appendix bursts. That's a serious event and you don't want to reach that stage. An operation before perforation is your best bet.
Cystitis and kidney infections
Almost everyone knows what cystitis (a urinary tract infection) feels like. Don't ignore that burning feeling and constant peeing, and go get some antibiotics. If you don't, the infection can move up to the kidneys. A kidney infection hurts like hell and can get pretty dangerous too. Fortunately, a course of antibiotics will clear it up soon enough.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
It can be hard to tell which organ is causing pelvic pain. If you have IBS, you can expect bloating and pain. One symptom that is more specific to Irritable Bowel Syndrome is bouts of diarrhea followed by bouts of constipation.