Living with chronic pelvic pain can be a miserable existence, leaving you unable to participate in the activities you once enjoyed and even work or go to school. Thankfully, there are several treatment options available that can reduce or even eliminate your pelvic pain, allowing you to live the life you deserve. The first step in combating your pelvic pain is figuring out what’s causing it. This article discusses some of the common causes of chronic pelvic pain, including bladder infections, constipation, and endometriosis, and explains how they are treated as well as some of the symptoms associated with them.
Types of pelvic pain
There are a variety of causes of pelvic pain. Many of these issues can be resolved, but it’s important to find out what they are before treatment begins. For example, you may be suffering from something as simple as constipation or as serious as endometriosis or ovarian cancer. The following is a list of possible conditions causing pelvic pain Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – This is an infection that has spread from your uterus to other parts of your reproductive system. It often affects your fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix and other areas in your pelvis. PID can cause chronic pain in addition to fever and chills. If left untreated, PID can lead to infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
If you’re experiencing pelvic pain, you should seek treatment from a qualified physician. If your symptoms aren’t severe, it may be possible to treat them at home. Your doctor may recommend remedies like resting, changing positions or meditating in an attempt to reduce stress levels. You can also take over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help with mild discomfort. However, if your symptoms worsen or fail to improve over time, don’t hesitate to see a specialist—it could save your life. Chronic pelvic pain has been linked with several serious health conditions including cancer and ovarian cysts so always seek professional help when needed.
According to a study by R. T. Ehrenberg, M.D., an exercise physiologist with Orthopedic Specialists of Wisconsin in Brookfield, Wisconsin, pelvic-floor muscle exercises should be part of any treatment program for interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome. The evidence is there that strengthening these muscles will help, Dr. Ehrenberg says. He recommends following a series of four daily 10-second holds: Start with one set and add another each week until you’re up to four sets per day (10 seconds per hold). Try to do them at least two times each day—once when you first get up in the morning and again before bed at night—and aim for 20 repetitions per session once you’re fully up to speed.
It is possible that one or more of your chronic pelvic pain symptoms could be caused by low blood sugar, so keeping a close eye on your diet is crucial. Pay attention to how different foods affect you, including how they make you feel physically (it might take a couple weeks of eating something regularly to notice any patterns) as well as emotionally. Sometimes food reactions can be sneaky, causing more mental distress than physical discomfort. If you’re dealing with chronic pelvic pain, it’s worth getting some blood work done to rule out metabolic issues like hypoglycemia or diabetes.
It’s difficult to prove alternative treatments work, but experts do know that chronic pelvic pain can be treated with acupuncture. The procedure can ease suffering by reducing stress, anxiety, muscle tension, headaches, depression, insomnia and fatigue. If you are considering visiting an acupuncturist to treat your chronic pelvic pain symptoms talk to your doctor first. Find out if there are potential interactions between your prescription medications and traditional Chinese herbal medicine or acupuncture. Acupuncture needles should not be used on pregnant women because of the risk of miscarriage. Remember that if one treatment doesn’t work for you don’t give up. Many people try more than one form of treatment before finding something that works for them.
If you’re suffering from chronic pelvic pain, it might be tempting to simply start popping prescription painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs on a regular basis. However, many doctors would recommend against that route, as overuse of drugs can actually end up making your condition worse (for instance, chronic use of acetaminophen is associated with liver problems). Instead, make sure you speak with your doctor about possible alternatives such as acupuncture or massage therapy. Exercise can also be incredibly helpful for managing long-term pelvic pain symptoms. If you’re having trouble exercising because of pain caused by other conditions like arthritis or fibromyalgia, look into aquatic exercises instead—they often offer great benefits without putting pressure on sensitive joints and muscles.