Is your pelvis feeling “heavy” or sore? There could be several reasons why you’re reeling in pain right now. Pelvic pain typically affects the lower abdomen, between the navel and groin. Pelvic pain could be a sign of menstruation, ovulation, or digestive issues – or it could be due to more severe health issues.
Pelvic pain is sometimes an indicator of a severe underlying health issue that needs immediate medical attention. In this post, we’ll look at seven reasons why you feel pain in your pelvis.
- Menstrual Cramps and Pain
One of the most common causes of pelvic pain occurs due to menstruation. Cramping can feel like someone is twisting the organs and muscles in your pelvis. The pain symptoms differ in intensity, frequency, and duration from person to person.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), women may experience these pain symptoms for up to 48-hours before they dissipate. The cramping typically occurs in the hours before you start your period.
As the uterus sheds its lining, you start to experience the onset of the cramps. The pain may range in intensity, from a slight pang to a severe stabbing pain. Applying heat to the affected area may help to reduce your cramping symptoms and pain.
For severe cases of cramping, doctors recommend the use of OTC pain killers like ibuprofen and naproxen. Some women experience severe pain, and OTC painkillers won’t help. In this case, your doctor may prescribe you a pharmacological solution.
- Periods and Ovulation
Most women experience some form of discomfort or pain during their menstrual cycle. However, when you experience pain in your right side during the cycle, it could be a sign of painful ovulation, known by the German word, “mittelschmerz.”
During ovulation, the ovaries release a single egg, along with other fluids. The egg travels through the fallopian tubes into the uterus, where it waits for fertilization by sperm. The fluid released alongside the egg can sometimes cause inflammation of the surrounding pelvic tissues, leading to sensations of discomfort and pain.
The pain may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, and it can switch sides, depending on which ovary is responsible for releasing the egg. This pain is temporary and subsides as the fluid dissipates.
There is no need to seek medical treatment for this issue. You can handle the pain symptoms using OTC medications to reduce the intensity of your symptoms.
- Urinary Tract Infections
A urinary tract infection (UTI) is another common cause of pelvic pain. A UTI can occur for several reasons, from kidney dysfunction to the presence of an STI, or another infection. You’ll notice UTI symptoms occur as pain or burning when you urinate, and you might also feel some pelvic pain or discomfort.
Most UTIs will fade away after a few days. However, if you’re not feeling any better by day three, make an appointment with your doctor for a consultation. If the infection is severe, your doctor will prescribe a course of antibiotics to treat your condition.
- Sexually Transmitted Infection
There are numerous STIs that can cause symptoms of pelvic pain. HPV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are the three most common STIs in the United States. All three of these diseases can cause complications with your pelvic health.
Around 2.86 million people contract chlamydia in the United States each year, and a further 820,000 people catch gonorrhea. Both diseases cause pelvic pain, along with other symptoms like painful urination, itching in the vagina, and vaginal discharge.
If you notice any fishy smell or greenish discharge coming from your vagina, make an appointment with your doctor for a diagnosis. Failing to treat these diseases in time can result in permanent infertility and complications involving the health of your pelvis.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) describes a potentially life-threatening condition affecting women. PID occurs when bacteria from conditions like bacterial vaginosis, or diseases like chlamydia, enter the uterus and move towards the cervix.
As the infection spreads through the pelvis, it starts to cause the onset of intense pain symptoms. If the disease spreads to the womb, it can present a life-threatening situation for the affected individual. PID typically occurs due to complications that arise from STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea.
You require immediate treatment to reverse the PID, and your doctor may issue an antibiotic drip, and hospitalization overnight until you start showing signs of recovery. According to the CDC, women who overcome PID may also have issues falling pregnant. The bacteria may cause scarring in the womb that leaves you infertile.
- Urinary stones
Your body may struggle to pass the minerals and salts in your urine. As a result, they collect and form deposits in your bladder. These deposits can end up causing pain symptoms in your pelvis or lower back. You might also notice changes in the color of your urine, passing pink or brownish pee, showing a sign of blood in the urine.
Depending on the size of the stones, your doctor may recommend ultrasound therapy to break them up or let you pass them naturally. Passing these stones is excruciatingly painful.
- Ovarian Cysts
An ovarian cyst occurs when the ovary fails to release an egg. Follicles holding the eggs may decide not to open, or it may clog with fluid. As this happens, the body starts to form a cyst in the affected area. The cyst may present symptoms of pressure, bloating, or pain in the pelvis.
Most cysts are harmless, but persistent pain may require a visit to your doctor for a diagnosis. Depending on the extent of your situation, your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the cyst.
Try Red Light Therapy for Pain and Pelvic Problems
Red light therapy is one of the best wellness devices available to help you recover from all the issues above. With this treatment, a therapist runs a red light device over your pelvis. The light waves penetrate deep into the tissues in the pelvis, helping reduce your pain symptoms.