Pelvic pain can be very stressful. We worry not only about our general health, but we may also worry about our ability to have kids in the future. On top of that, talking about pelvic pain can be a huge embarrassment, let alone going to a doctor for it.

There are actually many causes of pelvic pain. Many are benign, but some pelvic pain can be serious. That’s why it’s not only important to go to a doctor, but to keep yourself informed of problems so you know how to spot a more serious issue. Here are some of the most common causes of pelvic pain, how to spot them, and what to do about them.

Chronic pelvic pain

* Digestive issues. Many women suffer from long-term, treatable illnesses such as irritable bowel syndrome or something more serious like Crohn’s disease. Pay attention to what you eat and what changes you experience in your pain. This will not only help you avoid problem foods, it can also help you doctor diagnose your problem.

* Reproductive issues. If your pain occurs at the same time or near your period, it may be a signal of a reproductive issue. While most period-related pain is just menstrual cramps, it may also be related to a more serious condition like endometriosis. You should see your doctor if you suspect a problem since this can affect your fertility.

Sudden Pelvic Pain

* Appendicitis. If your appendix is infected, you will normally experience a very sharp pain in your lower abdomen. Many patients will often have a fever and nausea or vomiting. It is important to see a doctor immediately before the situation worsens.

* Ectopic Pregnancy. A normal pregnancy occurs inside the uterus, but rarely, the embryo will not make it that far and will begin to grow inside the fallopian tube. If this is not treated immediately, this could result in infertility and can even be fatal. Symptoms will include a very sharp pain on one side of the lower abdomen.

* STI. There are several different kinds of sexually transmitted infection that are associated with pelvic pain. If you think you are at risk for an STI, let your doctor know so they can run a panel of tests. In the case of STIs, ignoring the symptoms could lead to serious side effects down the line, including infertility.

* Bladder infection. If your pelvic pain is accompanied by an urge to urinate even if you don’t have to go, cloudy urine, and a burning sensation when you urinate, you may have a urinary tract infection. While not usually dangerous on its own, these infections can spread to the kidneys if left untreated. Let your doctor know if you have any pain or tenderness on your upper back.

If you have any pelvic pain and are concerned or unsure of the cause, it is generally best to visit your doctor. They can perform more tests and either help find the cause, or assure you that everything is ok.

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