Have you been experiencing pressure or pain in the lowest part of your abdomen? This discomfort is called pelvic pain. While it might be a normal sign of ovulation, it could also be a symptom of a more severe condition. It could also be alerting you to a problem in your reproductive system or the surrounding areas. This post reviews some reasons you might be experiencing this pain.
Dr. Darin Swainston suggests that you see a specialist whenever you experience severe or persistent pelvic pain. He diagnoses and treats pelvic pain, improving the lives of his patients.
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One of the most common causes of pelvic pain is menstrual cramping. More than 50 percent of women who menstruate report experiencing this pain at least one or two days in each cycle. Usually, the pain begins immediately before your period begins. It might feel like a muscle spasm or shooting pain. If you experience severe pelvic pain during menstruation, you should talk to your OB-GYN.
Endometriosis is a condition that occurs when the uterine tissue grows outside your womb. During menstruation, this lining responds to hormonal changes and could shed blood and become inflamed. This might cause mild to severe and chronic pelvic pain.
Endometriosis should be treated early as it can make it difficult to conceive. Your doctor will usually recommend different treatments depending on your symptoms.
Sexually Transmitted Infections
In some cases, pelvic pain might indicate the presence of a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Common causes in this category include chlamydia and gonorrhea. You should see your doctor if your pelvic pain is accompanied by spotting, changes in vaginal discharge, and painful urination.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection that occurs when bacteria from the cervix enters the womb. It can damage the uterus and the surrounding tissue and is commonly associated with STIs like chlamydia. If your pelvic pain is PID-related, you might also experience abnormal vaginal discharge and bleeding in between periods.
An ectopic pregnancy refers to a situation where the embryo implants itself outside the uterus and begins to grow. When this happens, you might experience a sharp pelvic pain, which could be localized to one side. You could also exhibit other symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, and vaginal bleeding.
Ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening. If you suspect you have this condition, you should speak to your OB-GYN immediately.
Fibroids are non-cancerous lumps of fibrous tissue and muscle that grow within the womb. While they do not typically cause symptoms, you might experience pelvic or lower back pain during sex. You might also bleed or cramp excessively during menstruation.
Talk to a Professional
Most women will shrug off pelvic pain as a result of menstrual cramping or ovulation. Although this might be true in some cases, it might also be a dangerous assumption. You might have a serious medical condition that requires medical treatment.
Darin Swainston, MD, FACOG, is passionate about improving the lives of his patients. He diagnoses and treats pelvic pain in patients in the Las Vegas and Summerlin areas. If your pelvic pain is affecting your daily life, contact him and his teams to schedule a consultation.