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
- 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.