What is pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain occurs mostly in the lower abdomen area. The pain might be steady, or it might come and go. It can be a sharp and stabbing pain in a specific spot or a dull pain that is spread out. If the pain is severe, it might get in the way of your daily activities.
In females, it can be a sign that there is a problem with one of the organs (uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, or vagina) in the pelvic area. If you’re a man, it could be due to the prostate. In men and women, it could be a symptom of infection, or a problem with the urinary tract, lower intestines, rectum, muscle, or bone. Some women may have more than one cause.
How bad is my pelvic pain?
Your clinic team will use this scale (see figure on right) to measure how bad your pain is.
Mild: Pain score of 3 or less on the VAS scale. This pain should not stop you from doing activities of daily life (like grocery shopping, laundry, cooking).
Moderate: Pain score of 4 to 6. This pain stops you from doing instrumental activities of daily life (preparing meals, managing money, shopping, doing housework, and using a telephone).
Severe: Pain score of 7 or higher. This pain is bad enough to stop you from even the most basic (self-care) activities of daily life like eating, dressing, getting into or out of a bed or chair, taking a bath or shower, and using the toilet.
How to manage mild pelvic pain?
- Over-the-counter (OTC) nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) ibuprofen or naproxen
- OTC laxatives, exercise, and increase in fiber and fluid consumption for constipation
- Relaxation exercises, which can include yoga and meditation
- Heating pads or hot water bottles. If you suspect an infection like appendicitis, do not apply heat
How to manage moderate and severe pelvic pain?
Make an appointment with your doctor if the pelvic pain disrupts your daily life or if your symptoms seem to be getting worse.
What causes pelvic pain?
Possible causes may include:
- Bladder disorders
- Colon cancer and surgeries
- Sexually transmitted diseases
- Kidney infection or kidney stones
- Intestinal disorders
- Nerve conditions
- Pelvis disorder
- Testicular disorders
- Broken pelvis
- Psychogenic pain
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Menstrual cramps
- Ovarian cysts or other ovarian disorders
- Uterine Cancer
- Cervical cancer
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