Chronic Female Pelvic Pain - Cause
If you have pelvic pain, your doctor will consider a broad range of possible causes.
Female pelvic pain is typically caused by a medical
condition involving the reproductive organs, muscles of the abdominal wall,
urinary tract, or lower gastrointestinal tract. Some causes are always
short-term (acute), and others can become long-lasting (chronic) unless
Female pelvic pain can be a
difficult-to-solve medical mystery. Experts have yet to understand all possible
causes of pelvic pain, particularly when it has become chronic. For this
reason, some women have chronic female pelvic pain with no known cause, even
after a lot of testing. This does not mean, though, that there isn't a cause
behind the pain nor that there is no possible treatment.
Chronic pain with no diagnosable cause can occur in any part of the body. Long after a disease or injury
has healed, nerves can continue firing pain signals (neuropathic pain). This is thought to be caused by an
overloading of the
nervous system by extreme or long-lasting pain. It
also helps explain why it's fairly common for chronic pelvic pain to have no
Conditions that can cause acute pelvic pain include:
Conditions that can cause chronic pelvic pain include:
the growth of uterine lining (endometrial) tissue outside of the uterus, which
often causes cyclic pain and bleeding.
- Adenomyosis, the
growth of endometrial tissue into the uterine muscle, which can cause cyclic
pain and bleeding.
- Noncancerous (benign) tumors of the uterus, such
- Scar tissue (adhesions) in
the abdomen and pelvis, typically caused by pelvic inflammatory disease,
radiation treatment of the pelvis, or pelvic or abdominal surgery.
problems, such as
irritable bowel syndrome.
- Physical or
sexual abuse in the recent or distant past. (Though poorly understood, combined
emotional and physical trauma are thought to cause chronic pain or make it
- Urinary tract problems, such as bladder inflammation (chronic
- Pelvic organ cancers.
- Structural problems with
- Muscle spasm or pain in the lower abdominal wall
muscles ("trigger points"). This is sometimes linked to past surgery in that
- Congestion of the pelvic veins.