3 Underlying Reasons For Chronic Pelvic Pain

Posted on: 25 September 2018


Chronic pelvic pain can be an ongoing problem that never seems to get better, or it can also be the same issue that keeps recurring. In either case, when pelvic pain has been an issue for six months or more, it is considered chronic. Nailing down the issue can be difficult since there are many organ systems that might be responsible.

Reproductive And Urinary Ailments

Parts of the urinary and reproductive system are located in the pelvic area, which often means either can be responsible for chronic pain. Issues with recurrent bladder infections or irritation might be the culprit, especially if your symptoms occur with urinary retention, burning during urination, or frequency and urgency of urination. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can also present as chronic or recurrent pelvic pain, especially STIs, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, that can go undiagnosed for a while. For women, any issue with their reproductive system could be the cause of pelvic pain, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, or reproductive cancers may be the underlying cause. Women may also notice their pelvic pain coincides with different aspects of their cycle, such as ovulation or menstruation.

Gastrointestinal Problems

Much of the large intestine is located in the pelvis. One common ailment is irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a functional disorder where people may alternate between constipation and diarrhea. Generally, people with IBS may have primarily constipation or diarrhea. The issue can be difficult to treat and may flare-up without warning. A different bowel concern is disorders considered inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Both conditions are autoimmune diseases and can cause serious symptoms in addition to pain. IBD can eventually cause permanent damage to different parts of the gastrointestinal system. Lastly, diverticulitis and diverticulosis also affect the bowel, causing pain, diarrhea, and infections.

Musculoskeletal Issues

Although you might not consider the musculoskeletal system as being a cause for chronic pelvic pain, it is easy for problems in the hips, pelvis, and lumbar area to be the culprit. Arthritic issues in the hips, sacroiliac joint, or lumbar spine can cause inflammation that easily radiates to the surrounding area or irritates nearby nerves. Some people who have bursitis in the front of their hip may experience pressure, burning, and pain in the pelvic area. Musculoskeletal issues near the pelvis can be caused by a recent injury or may be a sign of chronic inflammatory processes, such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.

The underlying cause of chronic pelvic pain can be difficult to identify. Being mindful of your symptoms beyond pain can help your doctors determine the most likely problem.