This topic focuses on pelvic pain that has lasted
longer than 6 months. If you have new, sudden pelvic pain, see your doctor as
soon as you can. To learn more about new pelvic pain, see the topic
Abdominal Pain, Age 12 and Older.
pain is pain
below a woman's belly button . It is considered chronic (which means
long-lasting) if you have had it for at least 6 months. The type of pain varies
from woman to woman. In some women, it is a mild ache that comes and goes. In
others, the pain is so steady and severe that it makes it hard to sleep, work, or
If your doctor can find what's causing the pain,
treating the cause may make the pain go away. If no cause is found, your doctor
can help you find ways to ease the pain and get back your quality of life.
common causes include:
- Problems of the
reproductive system , such as:
- Scar tissue (adhesions) in the pelvic area after an
infection or surgery.
- Diseases of
the urinary tract or bowel, such as:
- Physical or sexual abuse. Experts aren't sure why
this is so, but about half of women with chronic pelvic pain have a history of
Doctors don't really understand all the things that can
cause chronic pelvic pain. So sometimes, even with a lot of testing, the cause
remains a mystery. This doesn't mean that there isn't a cause or that your pain
Sometimes, after a disease has been treated or an
injury has healed, the affected nerves keep sending pain signals. This is
called neuropathic pain. It may help explain why it can
be so hard to find the cause of chronic pelvic pain.
The type of pain can vary
widely and may or may not be related to menstrual periods. Chronic pelvic pain can include:
- Pain that ranges from mild to severe.
- Pain that ranges from dull to sharp.
cramping during periods.
- Pain during sex.
- Pain when
you urinate or have a bowel movement.
Chronic pain can lead to
depression. Depression can cause you to feel sad and
hopeless, eat and sleep poorly, and move slowly.
your first visit, your doctor will do a complete
pelvic exam to look for problems with your
reproductive system. The doctor will also ask questions about your past and
present health and about your symptoms. You may have some tests, such