Pelvic pain can be unpleasant and, in some cases, alarming. When pain is at its worst, you may find yourself asking “Should I go to Urgent Care for pelvic pain?” This is a valid question and, with the multitude of potential causes of pelvic pain, the answer is complex. In this article, we will examine the types of pelvic pain, its possible causes, treatment options, and when you should go to an urgent care clinic to get help.

Chronic back pain treatment

How Do I Know If I Have Chronic Pelvic Pain?

Before discussing whether or not you have “chronic pelvic pain” let’s discuss where the pelvis is and the systems associated with various types of pelvic pain. The pelvis is a structure that is located at the lowest part of your abdomen and functions to support the spinal column and the abdominal organs. Some of the most common types of pelvic pain are menstrual cramps, endometriosis, and uterine fibroid. Other sources of pain in the pelvis include:

  • Reproductive
  • Urinary
  • Digestive
  • Muscles
  • Ligaments
  • Neurological

Pain that appears briefly and dissipates rather quickly is called acute pain. An example of acute pain would be a twisted or ruptured ovarian cyst, which happens often during pregnancy or a woman’s menstrual cycle. Symptoms of this type of acute pain are pain in the lower back, inability to stand upright, or weakness when walking. Other types of pain within the pelvis can be lingering and drawn-out, which is called long-term or chronic pain. This type of pain is consistent or intermittent and lasts 6 months or more. An example of chronic pelvic pain is pain within the muscle. Someone experiencing pelvic pain due to the muscle may sense a dull or sharp burst of pain throughout their lower back, buttocks or thighs. Muscle pain in the pelvis often appears during the motion of sitting down, using the bathroom, or during sexual intercourse. 

Pelvic bone demonstration

What Are the Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain?

Many of the causes of pelvic pain stem from the digestive, urinary, or reproductive system. Due to the similarities in bladder anatomy, women and men suffer from many of the same issues in digestion such as lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome. Where men and women differ the most in terms of the cause of pelvic pain is in reproductive health. Reproductive health affects the woman’s body in the form of hormone imbalance or hormone fluctuation. In this circumstance, the woman has too little or too much of a type of hormone. Men suffer from other forms of non-reproductive issues like kidney or bacterial infections. As with many things, causes and systems vary from person to person, so we have compiled a list of common causes for men and women.

Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain Common in Women:

-Ectopic Pregnancy

-Miscarriage

-Ovulation

-Cramps

-Ovarian Cysts

-Uterine or Cervical Cancer

-Endometriosis

-Fibroids

-Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

-Pelvic Adhesions (Scar tissue)

-Adenomyosis

Common Causes of Chronic Pelvic Pain in Both Sexes:

-IBS

-Inflammatory bowel disease

-Fibromyalgia

-Nerve conditions

-Bladder Disorder

-Kidney Infection

-Kidney Stones

-Hernia

-STIs

-Appendicitis

-Pelvis Disorder

-Broken Pelvis

-Constipation

UTI

-Acute Myocardial Infarction

How is Chronic Pelvic Pain and Its Underlying Cause Diagnosed?

If you are experiencing acute or chronic pelvic pain it is important to get examined by a health care provider that you can trust and has knowledge in pelvic pain. A thorough examiner will want to collect as much information as they can to better diagnose the problem and cause of pain. During your examination, you can expect your health care provider to ask questions about your symptoms, where the pain is located, how long you have been experiencing this pain, or if you have a family history of these types of issues.

Your local health care provider may ask questions about the abruptness of your pain. Sudden pain can be indicative of something more serious, like the rupture of a hollow organ or a potential vascular incident. More gradual pain can be signs of a growing infection, which if left untreated can have long-term effects. Being preemptive is crucial, and all pelvic pain should be taken seriously and acted upon as quickly as possible.  

There are many ways that a specialist may test for underlying pelvic pain issues. Blood or urine may be collected from the patient and sent to the lab for testing. This is a great way to examine the DNA of the client for pre-existing or hereditary health issues that could be associated with pelvic pain. The examiner may also perform a physical exam to check for tenderness or inflammation of the abdominal region. Other types of exams are x-ray, ultrasound, or MIR. These exams are used to scan the tissues of the pelvic region using magnetic waves to create very detailed images of the area. 

At times, diagnosing the cause of pelvic pain can be very difficult to do. In women, x-rays and ultrasounds often show no abnormalities when the cause of the pain is something small like a benign cyst. In instances like this, someone who is suffering from chronic pain should pay close attention to their habits to see if anything in diet or physical routine could be the cause for flare-ups.

Group of people doing exercise in outdoor

What is the Treatment for Chronic Pelvic Pain?

Over-the-Counter Solutions

Someone who suffers from chronic abdominal pain and understands the cause of the pain may opt to take over-the-counter medicine that is easily accessible and can be taken as needed. Medications like Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen work well for the occasional pain and are a fraction of the cost of prescribed medication. Laxatives are also a form of relief for those suffering from pelvic pain that is due to lactose intolerance or any other digestive issue. There are also many holistic ways of relieving pain, such as yoga or meditation. Both of these practices have been proven to relax the body and alleviate many forms of pain. 

Doctor Solutions

All pain should be taken seriously, and in the case of chronic pelvic pain, a doctor may be needed for relief. When asking the question should I go to urgent care for pelvic pain, depending on the cause of the pelvic pain, the doctor may opt for other forms of treatment in addition to pain medication. Personal training is a great opportunity to work through causes of pelvic pain that are associated with the muscle. Adjustments to diet and lifestyle are great ways to improve the overall health of the body, and very effective when the cause of pelvic pain is uncertain. In more serious circumstances, a doctor may recommend surgery to alleviate chronic pelvic pain. An example of a commonly performed surgery for pelvic pain is laparoscopy, which is minor surgery that involves a small incision in the belly button. A small instrument is inserted into the incision and used to discover what could be causing the pain internally.

Should I Go to Urgent Care for Pelvic Pain?

Pelvic Pain should always be taken seriously. If you are experiencing pain that is uncommon or abrupt, seeking out help from your local healthcare provider as soon as possible is the best way to monitor the pain and make sure you have a clear understanding of what is happening within your body. Examples of this may be vomiting or difficulty breathing. In instances of routine pain, like monthly menstrual pain for women or bloating after the intake of dairy, seeking help from urgent care is generally not necessary unless you are experiencing a deviation from your normal symptoms.

Village Emergency Can Help

The Village Emergency Center is here to support the community with any urgent care needs. In matters of chronic pelvic pain, it is crucial to find support from local doctors who specialize in pelvic health and understand the importance of acting fast and providing solutions. If you or anyone you know suffers from chronic or occasional pelvic pain, seek out professionals that you can trust. Understanding your pain and getting ahead of it is key. Being proactive today means creating a better tomorrow.