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Pelvic Pain

Causes of Pelvic Pain

There may be multiple causes of pelvic pain, depending on where the pain originated and under what circumstances it is felt. For example, below is a list of the some of the most common types of pelvic pain described by women, and potential causes of this pain.

  • Localized pain: This pain may be due to inflammation.
  • Colicky pain: This pain may be caused by a spasm in a soft organ—for example, the intestine, ureter or appendix.
  • Sudden onset of pain: This pain may be caused by a temporary blood supply deficiency due to an obstruction in the circulation of the blood.
  • Slowly developing pain: This may be due to an intestinal obstruction or an inflammation of the appendix.
  • Pain involving the entire abdomen: This may be due to an accumulation of pus, blood or intestinal contents.
  • Pain aggravated by movement or pain during examination: This may stem from an irritation of the abdominal lining.

Some of the more common causes of acute pelvic pain are:

  • Ectopic pregnancy (i.e., a pregnancy that occurs outside the uterus)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease, or PID (i.e., an infection of the reproductive organs)
  • Miscarriage or a threatened miscarriage
  • Twisted or ruptured ovarian cysts
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Appendicitis
  • A ruptured fallopian tube

Causes of chronic pelvic pain can include:

  • Mittelshmerz or ovulation pain (a one-sided, lower abdominal pain that occurs around the time of ovulation)
  • Endometriosis  (when uterine cells grow in other parts of the body) or adenomyosis (uterine thickening that occurs when endometrial tissue moves into the walls of the uterus)
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Uterine fibroids (abnormal growths on the uterine wall)
  • Adhesions (scar tissue between organs in the pelvic cavity)
  • Endometrial polyps (protrusions in the uterine cavity)
  • Cancers of the reproductive tract, including ovarian cancer

Eventually, long-term, unrelenting pain may result in emotion and behavioral chances. This condition is called chronic pelvic pain syndrome.


Locations for Pelvic Pain