What is pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain is pain or discomfort in the pelvic region, the area below your belly button. Some women describe the pain as a stabbing, burning or heavy feeling. The pain may be constant or variable and may range in intensity from mild to severe. Pain caused by injury often has a sudden onset, while pelvic pain resulting from an infectious or disease process may develop slowly and persist or worsen over time.

Pelvic pain is often experienced as cramping during a normal menstrual cycle. Pelvic pain may also be caused by reproductive, digestive, or urinary system diseases and disorders in which pain occurs during sexual intercourse, menstruation, bowel movements, or urination. Symptoms of pelvic pain can result from damage or injury to any of the structures within the female reproductive system, including the outer genitalia, clitoris, vagina, ovaries, or fallopian tubes.

Pain in the pelvis may be associated with cancer or disease in the bladder or colon. Sometimes perceived pelvic pain is actually a psychological symptom following sexual abuse, rape, or trauma.

Pain and discomfort in the vulva (vulvodynia) is often linked to pelvic pain. Other causes include pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovary disease, sexually transmitted infections, and cancers. Further, pelvic pain may be related to a chronic underlying disease that affects other regions of the body.

Pelvic pain alone is rarely a serious medical condition; however, it may be associated with symptoms of a serious or life-threatening condition. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you have high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), severe pain, chills, severe or uncontrollable vaginal bleeding, or rapid heart rate (tachycardia).

If your pelvic pain is persistent or causes you concern, seek prompt medical care.

SYMPTOMS

What other symptoms might occur with pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain may accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the pelvic region may also involve other body systems.

Reproductive system symptoms that may occur along with pelvic pain

Pelvic pain may accompany other symptoms affecting the reproductive system including:

CAUSES

What causes pelvic pain?

Pelvic pain may accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the pelvic region may also involve other body systems.

Reproductive organ causes of pelvic pain

Pelvic pain may be caused by reproductive organ disorders including:

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 20, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.