Chronic Pelvic Pain
What is chronic pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain for 6 months or more, not necessarily related to your menstrual cycle (periods). Chronic pelvic pain can be due to different causes such as endometriosis and irritable bowel syndrome. The likely cause in your case will be determined mainly on your history, but also as a result of examination and investigations, including transvaginal ultrasound.
What are the symptoms of chronic pelvic pain?
Pain felt deep in the pelvis.
The pain may be made worse as a result of sexual intercourse, whilst passing urine or having a bowel movement.
Chronic pelvic pain can have a significant impact on ability to cope with normal life.
What causes pelvic pain?
Pelvic pain can result from a variety of different causes and may be due to more than one condition.
This is a condition where the tissue from the lining of the womb grows outside the womb. This is a poorly understood condition, but a common cause of heavy bleeding and pain.
Fibroids can cause pressure/pain.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease.
Caused by infection, not always sexually transmitted.
- Bowel related – spasm of the bowel muscle is very difficult to differentiate from “period-type” pain
Assessment will include a pelvic examination, ultrasound and possibly laparoscopy to view the pelvic organs directly. If laparoscopy is recommended, Dr Briggs will refer you to a colleague.
What are the treatment options?
The goal of any treatment is to manage the pain and improve quality of life. If a specific cause is identified, then the treatment will focus on that cause. However, if a single cause cannot be found then treatment will be directed to pain management and improving quality of life.
There are several treatments commonly used including:
- Analgesia/anti-inflammatory drugs
- Hormonal treatment/Ovarian suppression
- Antispasmodic medication
Surgery is also a potential option for treatment if diagnostic laparoscopy identifies a cause of pelvic pain eg. endometriosis.