Chronic pelvic pain (CPP) is characterized by mild to severe pain felt in the area below the navel and flanked by the hips that persist for a minimum of six months or more. Women in their childbearing years, chiefly in the age group of twenty-six to thirty years of age commonly suffer from chronic pelvic pain.
Chronic Pelvic Pain Symptoms
Chronic pelvic pain presents itself in numerous ways such as acute and constant pain, discontinuous pain, dull aches, acute pains, cramps or a heavy feeling in the pelvic region.
Moreover, women might even feel pain when they engage in sexual intercourse, pain while defecating/urinating, intense cramps during menses or pain experienced whilst seated down.
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Such discomforting sensations might aggravate when a woman stands for protracted periods of time and relief is felt once she is in supine position.
Many women suffering from chronic pelvic pain feel depressed, gloomy, and distressed which affects their eating and sleeping patterns and hinders routine existence.
Chronic Pelvic Pain Causes
The causes of chronic pelvic pain are complex and arise due to multiple factors. The most prevalent causes of chronic pelvic pain in women comprise of:
Pain experienced when uterine tissue growth occurs outside the womb and in regions like the intestines, urinary bladder, ovaries, oviducts and other areas of the body.
It is a displaced (abnormal) pregnancy wherein the embryo implantation and growth occurs outside the womb, generally in the fallopian tubes. Tell-tale symptoms comprise of intense pelvic pain or cramping sensations that is specifically one-sided, feeling nauseous, giddiness and bleeding from vagina.
Fibroids within the uterus
They are lumps of benignant tissue growing in the uterine wall which is commonly experienced by females in their thirties and forties. Typically, uterus fibroids are causal to abdominal pressure, lower back aches, dyspareunia (pain during sexual intercourse), abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding or difficulty in conceiving.
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Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
PID develops when the reproductive organs of a female (particularly the fallopian tubes or the feminine structures above the cervical region) get inflamed or infected.
Common symptoms experienced include fever and pains in the lower abdomen, irregular discharge from vagina, dyspareunia or pains while urinating.
Menstrual Cramps (or dysmenorrhea)
Agonizing cramps felt in the lower abdominal region/back, generally in the initial 1-3 days of menses cycle.
They are pouches that contain fluids or partially solid matter which arise in the ovary or on its exterior surface. They generally do not cause any harm and subside on their own. However, larger sized ones might trigger pain in the pelvis and cause an increase in weight and urinary frequency.
It is an unremitting discomforting sensation in the vulval region typified by soreness, itchy sensation, subtle irritation or localized excruciating pain, at times also felt in the labial region (vaginal aperture).
Pelvic Venous Congestion Syndrome
It is an irregular gynecological problem caused by excess blood in the woman’s pelvis. This condition is characterized by continual pains in the lower back, menstrual cramps, painful/difficult urination, indistinct pains in the lower abdomen, discharge from vagina and pain during sex.
It is a kind of inner scar tissue that abnormally grows in between any organ or structures. Adhesions are mostly observed among women who’ve undergone any surgical procedure in the pelvic region/lower abdomen or resulting from some infections, wounds or inflammation. Scar tissues that develop in the abdomen are causal to pains and several issues, based on where they develop.
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Several females experience sudden sharp localized pains around mid-way in their menstrual cycles which is basically the ovary releasing the egg that might cause irritation in the abdominal lining. Medically it termed as ‘Mittelschmerz’ and such pains might be felt almost every month either on the right or left side of the abdomen.
Other Non-Gynecological Causes
Chronic pelvic pain can arise due to conditions like appendicitis (infected or inflamed bowel), interstitial cystitis (inflamed bladder), kidney stones, urinary tract infection, spastic colon condition, proctitis (inflamed anal or rectal area).