Women: Are you experiencing sharp pains, cramping, pressure, or heaviness deep in the area below your belly button and between your hips? And this feeling comes and goes, but is nevertheless persistent?
Or do you have pain during a bowel movement, urination, or intercourse?
The discomfort may be mild yet annoying, and it may become worse if you stand for long periods of time – or get better when you lie down. It could also be so severe that you can’t sleep or exercise, and you may even miss work.
If this sounds familiar, you may be suffering from chronic pelvic pain. It’s a complex condition that can have a single cause or multiple causes. It can be a medical problem of its own or a symptom of another disease, in which case treating the underlying condition may eliminate your pain.
What Can Cause Pelvic Pain?
The most common conditions associated with chronic pelvic pain include the following:
Endometriosis is a condition in which deposits of tissue from the lining of the uterus grow outside the uterus, yet respond to the patient’s menstrual cycle the same way as her uterine lining does. The displaced tissue acts as it normally would: thickening, breaking down, and bleeding during the menstrual cycle.
However, it is trapped – the blood and tissue have no way to leave the body through the vagina. Instead, it remains in the abdomen, where it can lead to painful cysts and fibrous bands of scar tissue.
Many conditions that affect your bones, joints, and connective tissues — including fibromyalgia, pelvic floor muscle tension, inflammation of the pubic joint, or a hernia — can trigger recurring pelvic pain.
Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
This long-term infection – in many cases, it is sexually transmitted – can cause the scarring of pelvic organs. This scarring can cause pain.
If a female patient has had her uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes removed, a small fragment of ovary may have inadvertently been left behind. This remnant can later lead to a painful cyst.
These are noncancerous uterine growths that can produce pressure or a feeling of heaviness in the lower abdomen. They rarely trigger sharp pain unless they are deprived of blood supply and thus degenerate.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This condition – abbreviated as IBS – is associated with bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea, all of which can produce pelvic pain and pressure.
Interstitial Cystitis (Painful Bladder Syndrome)
Due to recurring pain in the bladder and the frequent need to urinate, this condition may trigger pelvic pain as the bladder fills. The patient may experience temporary relief after it empties.
Depression and Stress
These psychological factors – especially among women who have been subjected to sexual or physical abuse – are known to increase the risk of chronic pelvic pain. Any type of chronic pain can be exacerbated by emotional distress, which, in turn, contributes further to the level of pain and distress.
Pain Specialists in Austin, Texas
Whatever the condition causing your chronic pelvic pain, the caring and compassionate pain specialists at Balcones Pain Consultants can provide the diagnostic and customized care you need to find relief – and reclaim your active lifestyle.
For more information on our services, call our office at (512) 834-4141 today, or fill out our appointment request form here. We look forward to helping you enjoy a more pain-free lifestyle again.