While pelvic pain affects people of all genders, pelvic pain in women is a common urogynecological complaint. Unfortunately, pelvic pain can be indicative of a number of issues, from something simple to treat, like an infection, to more complex issues affecting the reproductive organs.
Because pelvic pain can have so many underlying causes, Dr. Michael Coyle at the Coyle Institute takes a comprehensive approach to obtaining an accurate diagnosis. Dr. Coyle is a well-regarded urogynecologist specializing in accurately diagnosing and treating pelvic health issues. Take a look at what leads to pelvic pain, common risk factors and how pelvic pain diagnoses are handled at Coyle Institute.
Understanding Pelvic Pain in Women
Most women struggle with some level of pelvic pain periodically, such as during menstruation or even for a while after giving birth. However, pelvic pain can linger long-term and become so severe that it impedes a woman’s ability to live a normal life.
Pelvic pain is defined as discomfort that radiates from the area between the hip bones and below the belly button. The intensity and type of pain can vary from dull aching that seems steady to sharper, stabbing pain that tends to come and go. If the pain persists for six months or more, it is considered chronic pelvic pain. Ongoing issues with pelvic pain can make it difficult to live a normal life. Women often face disruptions in everything from their ability to work and exercise to sex and personal relationships.
What Leads to Pelvic Pain?
Pelvic pain can be a symptom of an existing infection or something simple to treat, but this symptom can also be related to a serious urogynecological condition or another medical condition. A few of the most common causes of chronic pelvic pain include:
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Interstitial cystitis (IC)
- Pelvic congestion syndrome
- Pain associated with prior pelvic procedures
While each of these conditions may cause pelvic pain, why they create pelvic discomfort can be vastly different. Further, the type of pain may not always be the same with each condition. For example, an individual with PID may experience a general, dull, aching pain throughout their pelvic region due to the unusually high levels of inflammation in their pelvic region. By contrast, an individual with uterine fibroid may experience stabbing pain because the growth is crowding reproductive organs or the fibroid’s mass is causing it to pull on other organs via connective tissues.
Common Risk Factors for Pelvic Pain in Women
About one in every seven women experiences chronic pelvic pain. However, certain factors significantly heighten the risk of developing an issue with chronic pelvic pain as a woman. While not all women with these risk factors present will develop an issue, many women do. A few risk factors for pelvic pain include:
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Reproductive organ abnormalities
- Experiencing a complicated pregnancy or childbirth
- Prior pelvic surgeries or treatments
- A history of sexual or physical abuse
- Depression or anxiety
- Past cesarean section
Some lifestyle factors may also heighten the risks, such as a poor hygiene routine, not exercising regularly or poor nutrition habits. Also, while pelvic pain can occur at any age, the issue is most often diagnosed among women of reproductive age and between the ages of 26 and 30.
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How We Diagnose Pelvic Pain at Coyle Institute
At Coyle Institute, we approach diagnosis using state-of-the-art methodologies and technologies. Your initial visit will include a thorough evaluation of your current and prior medical status and any treatments and procedures you have undergone in the past. From here, we will do a thorough physical exam and then make recommendations based on our findings. Further testing can include:
- Sexually transmitted disease screening
- Blood testing
- Stool analysis
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Computed tomography scan (CT)
Each patient may need a unique series of tests to determine the underlying cause of what leads to pelvic pain. These tests allow Dr. Coyle to create a treatment plan most likely to provide successful results.
What Treatment and Management of Pelvic Pain May Look Like at Coyle Institute
Treatment for pelvic pain varies depending on diagnostic findings. Some patients may require a specific treatment due to findings of a certain condition or illness, while others may need a more broad-spectrum approach. Potential treatments for pelvic pain can include:
- Medications to manage pain or inflammation
- Hormone therapy
- Lifestyle changes
- Intravenous vitamin C therapy
- Physical therapy
Dr. Coyle takes a patient-centered approach with every case, which means he does all he can to create a treatment plan that will enhance the patient’s symptoms and quality of life.
Rediscover a Life Without Pelvic Pain Disruption With Coyle Institute
Pelvic pain is one of the most ambiguous symptoms in urogynecological health, as it can be related to so many underlying issues. Therefore, finding a well-experienced physician to offer the best diagnosis and treatment is vital.
Coyle Institute is committed to restoring patient lives by offering the most comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic process possible and recommending only the best treatments. If you are looking for help with pelvic pain, call 850-637-8258 to schedule an appointment.