Pelvic pain can occur for different reasons, and having a thorough physical exam coupled with a review of symptoms is the best way to determine the underlying cause so that the most appropriate treatment can be provided. Some of the more common causes of pelvic pain include:
Pelvic pain can also be caused by a combination of factors, and it can also occur as a result of problems affecting the kidneys, liver, and bowels. Weakened or damaged pelvic floor muscles and pelvic organ prolapse can also cause some types of pelvic pain.
The first step in determining the underlying cause of pelvic pain is to have a physical exam with a pelvic examination, as well as providing a complete medical history and a thorough review of the symptoms, including when they occur and which area of the pelvic region is affected. Diagnostic imaging like x-rays or CT scans also may be performed, and additional diagnostic testing including blood tests, urinalysis and internal exams using special instruments to see inside the uterus and fallopian tubes may be prescribed. Dr. Medrano often uses ultrasounds to diagnose pelvic pain.
Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID is an infection of the pelvic organs that occurs when bacteria enter the vagina and spread to the other reproductive organs. PID typically begins with sexual contact which introduces the bacteria to the vagina. PID is treated with antibiotics. Catching the infection early is essential for avoiding problems with fertility and other side effects.
Treatment for pelvic pain can vary significantly based on the underlying cause of symptoms. Some problems can be treated with oral medications like antibiotics for infections, pain relievers for severe menstrual cramping or ovulation pain, or hormone replacement therapy. Other issues like fibroids or cysts may require minimally-invasive surgery to correct. Minimally-invasive procedures use small incisions for faster healing and less tissue damage. And some issues like cancer may require more extensive surgery to remove cancerous tissue.
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