The Basics of Pelvic Pain

pelvic pain basics

First, we need to understand the types of pelvic pain!

Pain when you move? During exam? Sex? Could indicate inflammation or irritation in the abdomen. An example of this could be a pelvic inflammatory disease. (Diem take: seek urgent medical attn).

Cramping? Contraction or spasm in organs? Can be caused by bladder irritants, your period, IBS, food poisoning (Diem take: Start journaling your symptoms and book a follow up with your primary care practitioner)

Evolving? Insidious? Could be due to intestinal obstruction or appendicitis (Diem take: if you have pain that starts as mild and progressively worsens, or is different than you’ve ever felt before, seek urgent medical attn).

Pain all over your abdomen: This could be a lot of things, including build up of fluid. (Diem take: if this is moderate to severe, and/or is a new type of pain, seek urgent medical attention).

Pain in a specific location: First question - are you or could you be pregnant? *The pain could be a lot of things, but if it is possible for you to be pregnant - do a home test! Other causes might be an ovarian cyst that twists or ruptures, appendicitis, a pregnancy where it doesn’t belong - like out in the tube, gas, or among other things.

(Diem take: if this mild and you can carry on with your day as normal - book a follow up in the next little while with your primary care provider. If this pain is new, or moderate to severe, please seek urgent medical attn. If the pregnancy test is positive, seek help right away).

What’s next?

Your provider will ask you questions to try to determine the nature of your pain.

Additional testing includes blood tests, pregnancy test, pelvic exams, ultrasound, x-ray, - later on, you might need a colonoscopy or even laparoscopy (exploratory surgery).

Diem take: If you feel that your provider is dismissive of your problems, simply asking “why am I experiencing this?” can create productive dialogue. If they are unable to answer this question, or the answer doesn’t make sense to you, ask for clarification and what tools or tests you can use to further understand your condition.

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