There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding pelvic pain, and without the right information it’s hard to know what is normal and when you should seek medical advice.
If you’re a woman who experiences chronic pelvic pain, you’ll know how painful and disruptive it can be to your daily life. Chronic and consistent pelvic pain will often result in days off work and you missing important social occasions.
It can be both physically and emotionally draining, especially if you haven’t been diagnosed with a specific condition or cause.
Pelvic pain can be dull to sharp, mild to serious. Chronic pelvic pain can be debilitating, forcing you into bed with a heat pack and pain medicine or in more serious cases, into hospital. It can start in your teens and progress into your adult life, depending on the condition.
There are many different causes of pelvic pain, but it always occurs between your belly button and above your legs in the pelvic region. This area is home to your bowel, bladder, ovaries and uterus, making it difficult for you to pinpoint exactly what is causing the pain.
At Grace Private our experienced gynaecologists take a holistic, multidisciplinary approach and treat a wide range of conditions that often accompany pelvic pain. We had a chat with our gynaecological team to talk about pelvic pain and when you should consult a GP or gynaecologist.
Period pain or cramping is common during a woman’s menstrual cycle. The severity of the pelvic pain can differ, and some women experience no pain at all.
The pain is felt in the pelvic region and occurs when the muscles in the uterus contract. It can feel sharp, or as a long drawn out ache.
While pelvic pain is commonly associated with periods, chronic pelvic pain or irregular and heavy bleeding could be a symptom of a more serious condition such as Endometriosis or Adenomyosis and you should consult your GP or gynaecologist.
Pelvic pain is the primary symptom of Endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to that which normally lines the uterus grows in other parts of the body, predominantly in the pelvic cavity. It’s common for women in their 20s to be diagnosed with Endometriosis, however it can occur in your teens.
Pelvic pain associated with Endometriosis can occur before, during or after your period, or after sex. During a period, when the lining is shed, this tissue outside the uterus also bleeds. When this bleeding occurs, inflammation, scar tissue, cysts and adhesions are formed, often causing chronic pain in the pelvic area.
While it’s not always needed, surgery is one way to treat Endometriosis. At Grace Private, our gynaecologists specialise in minimally invasive surgery with an outcome of minimal scarring and a faster recovery time. Yes, you can still wear your bikini at the beach post surgery!
The first thing to do is empower yourself with knowledge and only trust information from reputable sources as your GP, gynaecologist or advocacy groups.
You can access a wide range of resources and information about living with endometriosis from the following support and advocacy groups:
At Grace Private, our trusted team of highly skilled gynaecologists, physiotherapists, dietitian and psychologists use the latest evidence-based care to guide and support women through their Endometriosis journey. For a referral, ask for ‘Grace’ next time you visit your GP.
Adenomyosis is also a condition of the uterus, but unlike Endometriosis the tissue cells grow into the muscle wall of the uterus. Symptoms are very similar to Endometriosis, including:
If you think you may be suffering from adenomyosis we recommend you consult your GP or consult an experienced gynaecologist like our specialists at Grace.
Irritable bowel syndrome and urinary tract infections can also cause pelvic pain. If you think you are experiencing one of these conditions, you should consult your GP.
If your pelvic pain is associated with painful periods, you should seek the advice of an experienced gynaecologist, so remember to ‘Ask for Grace’ next time you visit your GP.