Pelvic pain

Overview of pelvic pain

Pelvic pain, or lower abdominal pain, describes discomfort in your lower abdominal region, or the area between your bellybutton and pubic bone. Any pelvic pain that lasts for more than six months is chronic. Pain that has lasted for less than six months is considered acute.

While the experience of pelvic pain varies greatly, general signs and symptoms include:

  • Sharp or dull pain in your pelvic area
  • Steady pain or pain that comes and goes
  • Pain during sex
  • Pain that worsens during your menstrual period

If you are a woman with pelvic pain in AZ, CA, or NV, Find a Doctor and start your journey to recovery today with the experienced gynecology team at Dignity Health. We can accurately diagnose and treat the causes of acute or chronic pelvic pain.

Causes of pelvic pain

Pelvic pain is usually a symptom of another problem. Common causes include:

  • Endometriosis, a medical condition in which the tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside of this area
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the reproductive organs often caused by sexually transmitted bacteria
  • Adhesions, or bands of scar tissue that can form as part of healing after injury or surgery
  • Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome), a condition associated with the sudden urge to urinate
  • Uterine fibroids, or noncancerous tumors of the uterus
  • Pelvic floor disorders, including weakened muscles that make it difficult to control urination
  • Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, a condition characterized by abdominal pain and loose stools or frequent bowel movements
  • Vulvodynia, or pain in the external female genitals
  • Diverticulitis, a condition marked by inflammation of parts of the colon

Because pelvic pain has so many different causes, health care providers perform a variety of tests to determine the cause of your pelvic pain before creating a course of treatment.