Pelvic pain refers to pain the lower abdomen, usually below the navel, but can pertain to pain in the pelvis or perineum. Pain is considered chronic when it lasts for less than six months. In contrast, pelvicpain is considered chronic when the pain persists for more than six months. Pain is described as mild, moderate or severe, which can be persistent or fluctuate in severity. The pain may also be observedonly while doing specific activities such as sexual intercourse and urinating. There is a wide variety of causes that can lead to pelvic pain, ranging from mild periodic causes to serious diseases.
Causes of Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain may be a symptom of many diseases, thus, it may be difficult to determine the cause of the pain. It might be common for women to experience pelvic pain when they have their monthly period, but, it may also symptomatic for problems in the organs located in that particular region. The following are common causes of pelvic pain:
- Occurs in all both men and women
- Bladder disorder
- Pelvic disorder
- Intestinal disorder
- Broken pelvis
- Kidney stones
- Kidney infection
- Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
- Nerve condition
- Psychogenic pain
- Occurs in women only
- Menstrual cramps
- Ectopic pregnancy*
- Ovarian cysts and other ovarian disorders
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Cervical cancer
- Uterine cancer
*The following are medical emergencies and require emergency assistance as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Pelvic Pain
Depending on the cause of pain, the pain may either be mild, moderate or severe and can appear suddenly or gradually increase in pain. Pain can either be dull or sharp, also depending on the source of the problem. The following symptoms may accompany pelvic pain
- Menstrual pain and cramps
- Vaginal spotting, discharge or bleeding
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Bleeding when passing stool, either on the tissue paper or on the stool
- Bloating or gas
- Painful or difficulty urinating
- Pain during sexual intercourse
- Pain in the hip area
- Pain the groin area
- Fever or chills
First Aid Management of Pelvic Pain
Several tests may be done to correctly diagnose the source of the pelvic pain. Treatment will be dependent on the underlying cause. However, for minor cases which are sure to be not caused by medical emergencies, apply first aid treatment to help ease the pain.
- Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications such as, paracetamol, ibuprofen or naproxen. If a particular OTC does not work, try another one but in the recommended time after the first drug was taken.
- Place a hot compress or a heating pad on the lower abdomen or the lower back. Taking a bath in warm water may also help ease the pain.
- Massage the lower abdomen and back.
- Attempt to do some exercises.
- If these steps do not help ease pain, oral contraceptives may be recommended by the doctor.
Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Seek medical attention when needed. To learn more about how to manage pelvic pain and other body pains, enrol in First Aid Courses with St Mark James training.
Pelvic Pain (2013). WebMD Medical Reference. Retrieved September 8, 2013 from http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/pelvic-pain