Living life as a woman, it seems that we unknowingly signed up for a lifetime of pain. Our menstrual cycles, which are just another natural part of life, often headline as the cause of our pain. There are the headaches. There’s the tenderness. The worst of all, there’s pain in our lower abdomen from cramping.
This is just one of the many things that cause us pain, but what about what specifically causes pelvic pain. As a woman, there’s actually a series of reasons. If you’re experiencing pelvic pain or want to be prepared for the future, here’s a few conditions that can cause pelvic pain.
Urinary Tract Infection
Often referred to as a UTI, a urinary tract infection is also called a bladder infection because it affects the organs associated with the bladder. These organs are the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Because of the location of these organs, this infection is what will cause pelvic pain. Urinary tract infections are very common with over 3 million cases being diagnosed in the United States each year. More common in women than in men, UTIs largely affect women from ages 14 to over 60.
Since UTIs are common, you can also expect that they are caused pretty easily. Bacteria from your own vagina can enter through the urethra. This bacteria transfer can even occur during sex with your partner if bacteria from their genitals enter the urethra. With UTIs being exceedingly common, they are easily treated with antibiotics.
Similar to urinary tract infections, ovarian cysts are another common reason why women might experience pelvic pain. While the pain might be focused in the pelvic region, it can also spread to the back and sides. Even while experiencing pelvic pain, the pain isn’t enough to diagnose yourself with ovarian cysts. It would be necessary to go to your gynecologist and have them diagnose you.
Ovarian cysts can be caused by any number of reasons including hormonal issues, pregnancy, and endometriosis. While many ovarian cysts go away on their own, some require surgery to remove them.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease is another relatively common reason that some women might experience pelvic pain. While similar to UTIs, pelvic inflammatory diseases can be caused by bacteria from your own vagina. Outside of this, PIDs can be caused by bacteria from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
If you’re experiencing symptoms of PID, you’d have to go to your gynecologist to be properly diagnosed. They would then check for signs of PID while also checking to see if you have an STI. Once again similar to UTIs, pelvic inflammatory disease is treated with antibiotics.
Another common reason behind pelvic pain is endometriosis. In a normal menstrual cycle, there is tissue that lines the uterus and this tissue is what sheds during our period and appears as the blood. Rather than the tissue growing within the uterus, endometriosis is when the tissue grows outside the uterus. This becomes very painful when the body attempts to shed the uterine tissue. Two popular methods of treatment are hormone therapy and surgery to remove the tissue.
As women, we’re left to deal with numerous pain-causing issues and we always attempt to grin and bear it. All these reasons behind pelvic pain can be very painful and make sure you’re always communicating your issues and concerns with your gynecologist!