Pelvic Pain

by Sam Malone

Pain in the pelvic region could take many forms, from a pressure in the pelvic area to severe pain that can disrupt your daily routine.  Pelvic pain can affect both men and women and is classified as either acute or chronic pain. While acute pelvic pain does not last for more than three months, chronic pelvic pain can last for a much longer period depending on the cause.

Women may experience pelvic pain during their periods or during sex, but it may also indicate the presence of an underlying condition affecting any of the organs in the pelvic region. Infections, including sexually transmitted ones such as herpes and syphilis, may also cause pelvic pain. In the case of men, prostate disorders are the most common cause of pelvic pain.

The causes of pelvic pain in both men and women include:
  • Appendicitis
  • Disorders of the bladder including bladder stones
  • Sexually transmitted infections such as herpes simplex, syphilis and gonorrhea
  • Disorders of the kidneys including kidney stones or kidney disease
  • Disorders of the intestine such as irritable bowel syndrome
  • Damage to the nerves
  • Hernias
  • Fracture of the pelvis
  • Disorders of the pelvis
  • Arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancers that may originate or spread to the pelvic region
Causes of pelvic pain in the case women include:
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Miscarriage
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Ovulation
  • Disorders of the ovaries including ovarian cysts and ovarian cancer
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Cancers including uterine and cervical cancer

Pelvic pain may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as menstrual cramps, vaginal bleeding, difficulty while urinating, abnormal bowel movements, abdominal bloating, blood in the urine or stools, fever and chills. If you experience any of these symptoms either singly or in combination, then you should consult your doctor immediately.

Using the symptoms and your past medical history as a guide, your doctor will perform a physical examination and order certain tests to aid in the diagnosis. These tests may include:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Pregnancy tests in the case of women
  • Tissue cultures to test for sexually transmitted infections such as herpes and syphilis
  • Imaging tests of the abdominal and pelvic area including x-rays, ultrasound scans and CT scans
  • Bone density tests
  • Laparoscopy to check the structure of the pelvis and abdomen
  • Hysteroscopy to check the uterus
  • Stool examination
  • Lower endoscopy to examine the insides of the rectum and colon

The treatment prescribed by your doctor will depend on the cause of the pelvic pain. In conjunction with this treatment, you can try certain home remedies to relieve the pelvic pain. These include:

  • Over-the-counter medications for pain relief such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help to provide relief from the pain. Pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking any of these medications.
  • Take the medicine as soon as you begin to feel uncomfortable. For menstrual cramps, start taking the medication a day before the start of your period.
  • Take the medication as per the recommended dose and at regular intervals to increase its effectiveness.
  • Do not take more than the recommended dose that is printed on the package.
  • Apply a hot water bag or bottle to your lower abdomen for relief. The heat increases blood flow to the region and may help relieve the pain.
  • In cases where back pain is present along with the pelvic pain, lie down and keep your legs elevated by placing a rolled up blanket or pillows under them.
  • Regular exercise can help to ease the pain by increasing blood circulation. Consider joining a yoga class under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

Reference
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/pelvicpain.html


Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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