The only way to be sure of the cause of pelvic pain is to talk to your doctor, but there are a number of common causes that you might be able to recognise from your other symptoms and the kind of pain you’re experiencing.
If The Pain Appears Suddenly:
Pelvic pain that you haven’t felt before could be caused by a wide range of problems. If the pain is severe it is important to seek medical advice quickly.
Ovarian cysts are one common cause of acute pelvic pain. The pain is usually sharp, sudden and severe and it is caused when the fluid-filled sac bursts. You should see a gynaecologist to confirm the diagnosis and find out whether you need treatment.
Various types of infections can also cause pelvic pain:
- Urinary Tract Infections, which often cause a burning sensation and frequent urination too
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which often appears after an STI
- Peritonitis, which causes sudden pain that steadily gets worse
- Appendicitis, which causes pain that moves towards the lower right of your abdomen
If you suspect that you might have peritonitis or appendicitis you should go to the hospital immediately.
Another possible cause of sudden pelvic pain is constipation, so you should try to remember when you last had a bowel movement. Try drinking more water and adding fibre to your diet, but seek help if the pain or constipation persists or keeps coming back.
If The Pain Is Linked to Your Menstrual Cycle:
Many women experience some period pain, but if you are in severe pain during most of your periods, you should ask a gynaecologist for help. You could have ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or fibroids, which can be treated to relieve the pain.
If The Pain Is Often Present:
Pelvic pain that continues for weeks or months, or which keeps coming back, can have a big impact on your life so it’s important to seek help. Potential causes include:
- Chronic Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which causes recurring infections and can be treated with antibiotics
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome, often linked with digestive problems such as bloating, constipation and diarrhoea
- Endometriosis, which can also cause menstrual problems