Pelvic Pain

Pelvic pain originates in the lowest part of the abdomen and pelvis but may radiate to other bodily regions, such as the lower back, buttocks, and thighs. The pain may occur constantly or sporadically; may be dull or sharp; and may range from mild to severe. In women, such pain may be related to issues with the reproductive or urinary organs, including endometriosis, ectopic pregnancy, ovarian cysts or tumors, uterine fibroids, or pelvic inflammatory disease. Other causes of pelvic pain in both men and women include appendicitis, colon cancer, diverticulitis, intestinal obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome, kidney infection or stones, hernia, sexually transmitted diseases, and conditions affecting the muscles and connective tissues in the pelvic floor. In some cases, irritation of the nerves in the pelvis can lead to pelvic pain. When pain is present for more than three months—either constantly or intermittently—it is categorized as chronic. In some cases, the pain only occurs at certain times or in conjunction with certain activities, such as urination or sexual intercourse. In many cases, physical therapy is an effective treatment of pelvic pain. Other treatments include administration of anti-inflammatory medications or hormonal therapy. In severe cases, a hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) or removal of other problematic structures may be recommended.