Pelvic Pain: What Could it Be & What Should I Do Next?

Pelvic pain is a common problem among women. Its nature & intensity may fluctuate, & its cause is often unclear. In some cases, no disease is evident. Pelvic pain can be categorised as either acute (sudden & severe), or chronic (the pain either comes & goes or is constant, lasting for a period of 6 months or longer” [1]

The roots of pelvic pain could emanate from the genitals or other organs around or inside the pelvis. Furthermore, even if there is no actual physical pain, psychological issues can nonetheless, generate a pain sensation, and exacerbate existing pain [1]

So What Causes Pain in the Pelvis?

There are various potential causes. These incorporate:

  • Direct irritation or inflammation of the nerves due to: intraperitoneal inflammation, pressure, or fibrosis
  • Cramps or contractions or both skeletal and smooth muscles [1]

Further, other common sources of sudden (acute) pelvic pain, include:

  • A pregnancy that transpires outside the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)
    • PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), which is an infection within the reproductive organs
    • A ruptured fallopian tube
    • A ruptured or twisted ovarian cyst
    • A threatened or actual miscarriage
    • Appendicitis (a painful swelling of the appendix)
    • An infection within the urinary tract [1]

And conditions which may result in long-term pelvic pain include:

  • Period cramps
  • Endometriosis: a condition brought about by the abnormal growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus which results in pelvic pain. (This is particularly linked to menstruation)
  • Uterine fibroids (irregular growths which are found on, or in, the wall of the uterine)
  • Scarred tissue found in-between the internal organs within the pelvic cavity
  • Endometrial polyps
  • Reproductive tract cancers
  • In addition, other reasons could be linked to issues with the nervous, urinary, or digestive systems [1]

What Pelvic Pain Symptoms Should I Look Out For?

The most common symptoms comprise:

  • Localised pain which could be the result of an infection
    • Cramping that may be due to spasm in a soft organ (e.g., the appendix, ureter or intestine)
    • Sudden pain which might result from a temporary blood supply deficiency caused by an obstruction to the blood circulation
    • Slowly developing pain that could be brought on by an obstruction to the intestines, or inflammation in the appendix
    • Pain encompassing the whole abdomen which may be the impact of accumulated intestinal contents, pus or blood
    • Pain which is made worse during the course of an examination, or through movement, which could be down to irritation in the abdominal cavity lining [1]


[1]. John Hopkins Medicine (N.d.). “Pelvic Pain.”