If you experience pain or discomfort in your pelvic area on a regular basis, you may have a condition known as recurrent, or chronic, pelvic pain. Recurrent pelvic pain is a common problem that can affect women of any age.
Chronic pelvic pain can interfere with your everyday life, making it hard for you to focus on work, school, and other responsibilities. It can even get in the way of having an enjoyable sex life or getting pregnant.
Recurrent pelvic pain can have a variety of causes. Lauren Rubal, MD, our fellowship-trained reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialist, has extensive experience diagnosing and treating conditions that can cause pelvic pain. She wants you to know about five common causes of this frustrating condition.
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue that lines your uterus grows in places where it shouldn’t, such as your ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, the outside of your uterus, and even your bladder or intestines.
In addition to chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis can cause symptoms such as bleeding between periods, irregular periods, digestive problems, and infertility.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that occur in the muscular tissue of your uterus. They’re very common and affect many women of childbearing age.
Fibroids can cause a range of symptoms, including menstrual pain, long periods, pain during sex, low back pain, and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Pain may also result from uterine polyps, another type of uterine growth.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal condition that can cause clusters of small cysts to develop in your ovaries. PCOS is among the most common causes of female infertility.
In addition to pelvic pain, PCOS can cause excessive hair growth, weight gain, and problematic acne.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) occurs when you develop an infection, such as a sexually transmitted infection, in your reproductive organs. It often results when bacteria spreads from your vagina to other organs in your pelvis.
Chronic pelvic pain is one of the most common symptoms of PID, along with abnormal bleeding and infertility.
Your pelvic area contains reproductive organs such as your ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, and vagina. But you also have urinary and digestive organs packed into that small area.
Although pelvic pain can often be attributed to reproductive issues, it can also result from problems in your bladder, kidneys, colon, or rectum. For example, recurrent pelvic pain could be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome or chronic bladder infections.
To learn more about what’s causing your pelvic pain, Dr. Rubal conducts a physical and a pelvic exam, asks you about your symptoms and medical history, and orders any necessary tests, such as ultrasound, hysteroscopy, or MRI. When she determines a cause, she creates a customized treatment plan designed to relieve your pain and other symptoms.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Rubal at our office in Newport Beach, California, call 949-415-6704, or use our online scheduling tool to make an appointment.