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Chronic Pelvic Pain – Overview

January 30, 2021


Chronic pelvic pain is pain that is in the general pelvic area for a woman and can happen for over six months. It can be intermittent and keep coming back again, or it can be persistent and consistent over six months. And when we talk to patients about chronic pelvic pain, we generally think about what organs are in the pelvis that could be contributing to the pain. So we think about the bladder, things like interstitial cystitis or bladder infections, urinary tract infections. We think about what could be happening in the ovaries, such as ovarian cysts. Now, ovarian cysts come every month with ovulation, but ovarian cysts can be a problem if they get too big or they rupture or they leak, or they bleed and therefore pelvic pain can be caused by an ovarian cyst. We think about the uterus, is the pain related to the menstrual cycle like dysmenorrhea, or cramping. We think about the rectum or the bowel. Could this pain be bowel related pain, like constipation or irritable bowel syndrome, or even a ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, which would be an inflammatory bowel condition. So generally as a physician, we go through all of the organs in the pelvis and we one by one determine which may be contributing to the pain and that will help us sort out the etiology or the cause and therefore potential lines of treatment.

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