Chronic pelvic pain can be debilitating and affect the quality of patients’ daily lives. Women are disproportionately affected by chronic pelvic pain. Nearly 15% of women have reported chronic pelvic pain to their doctors.
Unfortunately, doctors often dismiss women’s pain. Although it might be hard to get a diagnosis, there are treatments available that can alleviate your pain and allow you to live a more comfortable life.
What is Chronic Pelvic Pain?
Any pain in the area between your hips and the belly button is pelvic pain. It becomes chronic when it lasts for six months or more.
The type of pain associated with chronic pelvic pain can vary from woman to woman. Some experience severe and constant pain, others describe intermittent bursts of pain, and still others have a constant dull aching. The intensity of the pain varies and is often relieved sometimes improved by lying down.
Some women You may also experience pressure within your the pelvis. Some Certain activities can sometimes increase the pain, including intercourse, using the toilet, or sitting for long periods.
Common Causes of Pelvic Pain
Several diseases can cause chronic pelvic pain, but it can also be a stand-alone condition. To treat your chronic pelvic pain, your doctor will first need to determine its cause. Sometimes, treating the disease causing the pain can be enough to eliminate the pain.
However, even if your doctor cannot identify your pain’s direct cause, they can still attempt to reduce the pain and other symptoms through treatment.
These are some of the more common causes of chronic pain in women.
Irritable bowel syndrome can also cause chronic pelvic pain. Its symptoms include bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, which can all cause discomfort and pain.
Interstitial Cystitis causes pain in the bladder and makes you need to pee urinate more frequently than usual. The pain may increase as you fill your bladder and decrease immediately after relieving yourself.
Endometriosis is a largely under-diagnosed condition that an estimated 10 - 20% of women suffer from
Endometriosis causes the causes, the lining of the uterus it means that some tissue from your to grow outside the womb. It causes inflammation and bleeding within the pelvic cavity, leading to pelvic pain that is especially severe during menstruation.
Chronic pelvic inflammatory diseases, often sexually transmitted, can cause scarring if left untreated. This scarring can cause chronic pelvic pain.
Fibromyalgia, pelvic floor muscle tension, pubic symphysis, and hernias can all cause chronic pelvic pain.
Severe psychological stress can increase your risk of developing chronic pelvic pain. If you suffer from depression or chronic stress or were sexually or physically abused, you might experience pelvic pain. Unfortunately, chronic pain often increases emotional distress, creating a vicious cycle.
Pelvic Pain Caused by a Vascular Disorder
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS) is a common but under-diagnosed cause of chronic pelvic pain. With PCS, pelvic pain is caused by varicose veins surrounding the uterus, a condition which occurs when vein valves stop functioning correctly. Blood pools in the pelvis and/or legs backs up and creates congestion, which can result in a variety of ymptoms including pelvic pain, bloating, and heaviness, as well as leg symptoms like pain and swelling. Some patients may also have bulging veins of the legs or genitals.
Visit this page for information on Pelvic Congestion Syndrome.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Treating a Chronic Pelvic Pain Caused by a Vascular Disorder
In addition to tender ovaries during an examination, your pain must be present for at least six months. Your doctor will often perform an ultrasound; however, the results may be inclusive if the veins are recumbent.
Other possible tests include venography, CT scan, MRI scan, or magnetic resonance venography. A laparoscopy can also confirm the diagnosis. The gold standard of diagnosis is a procedure called a venogram.
One treatment option for chronic pelvic pain is a hysterectomy. However, this treatment is only effective for 75% of women, with the remaining 25% still reporting pain after the surgery. It is also the most aggressive form of treatment and carries with it the most risk and recovery.
General treatment options of chronic pelvic pain include medications to treat the pain, hormone therapy if the problem is menstrual, antibiotics to treat an infection, or antidepressants if the cause is depression or previous sexual assault.
At CVM, we focus on treating chronic pelvic pain that arises from Pelvic Congestion Syndrome. Our innovative treatments include:
- Compression Garments Bandages
- Minimally Invasive Treatment such as venoplasty which involves using a balloon to expand compressed veins.
- Placing a stent, or a permanent intravascular device, inside the vein to open areas of congestionEven if you have been turned away by doctors in the past, at CVM, we understand the pain that comes with Pelvic Congestion Syndrome and can offer hope for symptom improvement.
Pelvic Congestion Syndrome is not life-threatening lethal, but many women struggle to find permanent pain relief. Some hormone therapies cannot be continued for longer than six months, while other, more permanent treatments have a high risk of being unsuccessful.
You will need to work closely with your doctor to determine the best treatment options, and remain in contact with them throughout your treatment. Your doctor may need to try several methods before finding the best treatment for you.
It might seem daunting, but it is possible to live a relatively pain-free life even with Pelvic Congestion SyndromePCS. Every woman’s body reacts differently to treatment options, and it might take some time to find your solution.
Psychological Impact on Women Suffering from Chronic Pelvic Pain
Pain is linked intrinsically to our psyche. Some women who suffer from chronic pelvic pain also suffer from depression. Unfortunately, depression can cause pain, which can also cause depression, creating a cycle.
Chronic pain can also lead to fatigue, depression, or anxiety. When something is continuously hurting, it can have an enormous impact on your mental health.
OBGYN Community Views on Chronic Pelvic Pain
Because chronic pelvic pain can encompass many varying symptoms and causes, doctors sometimes fail to diagnose it. The OBGYN community is actively investigating better treatments and learning more about this condition.
However, because doctors often dismiss women’s pain, it can be challenging for women to receive a diagnosis.
What to Expect after Treatment with CVM.
At CVM, we're ready to help diagnose the cause of your pelvic pain, even if it's been dismissed by other medical professionals. Our expert team will carefully consider all potential chronic pelvic pain causes, with a special emphasis of diagnosing any potential vascular disorders.
We provide complete chronic pelvic treatment for pain. Aside from implementing innovative techniques to treat your pain, including treatments for vascular issues, we're committed to listening to your concerns and treating your pain seriously. Many of our patients go on to have significant improvement or resolution of their symptoms.
Home Remedies to Reduce Pelvic Pain
Several home remedies can help reduce your pelvic pain. They won’t treat the cause, but they might give you relief while you wait for a diagnosis.
- Pain medicines: Take Advil or Tylenol as directed.
- Exercise: Even a light walk around the block can increase your blood flow. Endorphins, which come from exercising, can also help reduce pain.
- Take a hot bath: Soak in a warm tub or use a hot water bottle.
- Relaxation: If anxiety or depression contribute to your pelvic pain, yoga or meditation might help.
Latest Research On Pelvic Pain Treatment
Recently, researchers have focused on learning more about endometriosis. In 2019, researchers began several studies, including epigenetic tissue studies, advanced animal models of the disease, and atomic force microscopy.
Currently, the primary treatment of endometriosis is invasive surgery. Researchers hope that by learning more about the disease, they can speed up diagnosis time and introduce new, less invasive treatment options.
When to See a Doctor
If your pelvic pain interferes with your daily life activities, you should see a doctor. Excruciating periods can be a sign of endometriosis; long-term pain after pregnancy can be from pelvic congestion syndrome.
The team at CVM understands women’s pain and will not diminish it. Make an appointment today to determine the causes of your chronic pelvic pain and how to treat it.