It may be chronic (long-term) or acute (sudden), sharp, severe, dull, or mild. In all cases of pelvic pain we recommend that you make an appointment to come in and speak to one of our specialists, but if the pain is acute (sudden), do not hesitate. We are available six days a week, with sameday and walk-in appointments available.
The most common causes of acute pelvic pain are:
- Ovarian cysts, which are common but can cause pain if they burst
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a bacterial infection of the upper part of the reproductive system (uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes). Infections of PID need to be treated immediately with antibiotics to prevent complications
- Endometriosis, in which uterine tissue grows outside of the uterus and causes painful sensations, especially around your period
- Peritonitis, in which a sudden abdominal pain is cause by the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen) becomes inflamed
- Urinary tract infection (UTI) can cause pelvic pain and is usually accompanied by increased urinary frequency and burning sensation with urination
- Appendicitis, which typically causes pain on the lower right-hand side of the abdomen due to the swelling of the appendix
Other causes of pelvic pain which are less common include low back pain, pelvic abscess, uterine prolapse, adenomyosis (a kind of endometriosis affecting the uterine muscle), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), recurrent ovarian cysts, fibroids (benign tumours inside or around the womb) recurrent UTI or interstitial cystitis, trapped nerves (the pain is sharp, stabbing, and worse with movement).
With long-term or chronic pain, you will have the symptoms over some time, which may happen with conditions such as endometriosic, recurrent cysts or fibroids, or IBS. Acutve pelvic pain, which comes on suddenly, is usually more severe and can be caused by serious conditions which require immediate treatment.
Acute pain which comes on quickly and is severe can be caused by a number of conditions, either related to the reproductive system (burst cysts, PID, or other infections), or may be due to a digestive disorder such as IBS or appendicitis.
Cramping and period pains are experienced by many women, but speak to a doctor if you experience pain that is severe and prevents you from going about your regular daily activities. You may have an underlying condition that needs treatment.