What Does Pelvic Pain Indicate?
Pelvic or abdominal pain is felt in the middle and lower parts of the abdomen and is very common in women. Frequently, pelvic or abdominal pain is treated based on when it takes place, which symptoms are present, and whether or not the woman is pregnant. Organs which can create abdominal or pelvic pain include:
- Fallopian Tubes
What causes pelvic pain?
The pelvic region comprises many structures, and as a result, there are many possible causes for acute and chronic pelvic pain, including:
- painful menstruation or ovulation
- uterine fibroids
- ovarian cysts
- ectopic pregnancy
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- internal swelling (edema)
- internal hernia
- miscarriage or intrauterine fetal death
- structural defects in the uterus or other organs
Some types of pelvic pain can emanate from issues affecting the pelvic floor, including uterine and vaginal prolapse, and sometimes, conditions occurring elsewhere, such as in the digestive system, may cause referred pelvic pain.
How can the causes of pain be diagnosed?
We use the most advanced techniques to determine the causes of pelvic pain so they can be treated appropriately. Diagnosis begins with a thorough discussion of the symptoms followed by a physical and pelvic exam and Pap test. Blood work, urinalysis and other diagnostic testing such as ultrasound, CT scan or in-office evaluations to look at the uterus, vagina, cervix and fallopian tubes may also be ordered to look for signs of specific causes.
What is a hysteroscopy?
Hysteroscopy is an in-office diagnostic exam that uses a thin, flexible instrument called a hysteroscope that is inserted through your vagina to look inside your uterus and your fallopian tubes. It can also be used to aid in performing some minor procedures as well.
What is laparoscopy?
Laparoscopy is a minimally-invasive surgical technique that uses very small incisions to perform surgical procedures and medical assessments. It offers a much faster recovery time and less discomfort compared to traditional surgery.
What treatments are available for chronic pelvic pain?
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of your pain and may include medication, minimally-invasive procedures, laparoscopic surgery or general surgery. When an underlying cause cannot be determined, your treatment will focus on relieving the symptoms.
How Will Abdominal and Pelvic Pain Be Evaluated and Treated?
Before we can treat the symptom adequately, we need to arrive at a correct diagnosis. We will need to inquire about the person’s symptoms and detailed medical history. We will also perform a physical examination. Frequently we will need to order laboratory tests such as urine test, blood test, and possibly ultrasound. Once we have a working diagnosis, we can proceed with a treatment plan which may include trial of medication, dietary changes and exercises, physical therapy, and surgery. Sometimes surgery is needed for diagnosis as well as treatment. When surgery is needed, most often this can be done with a minimally invasive approach such as laparoscopy which allows us to view the inside of the abdomen and pelvis. This procedure employs a camera inserted through a small incision which allows the surgeon to identify the problem inside the woman’s body and also treat many conditions that may be found. This is done as an outpatient and most women can return to normal activities the next day.