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Pelvic Pain in Women

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about pelvic pain?

You may have pain on one or both sides of your pelvis. Pelvic pain may occur with certain body positions or activities, such as when you have sex or a bowel movement. It may worsen during your monthly period or after you sit or stand for a long time. Chronic pelvic pain is pain that continues for longer than 6 months.

What causes pelvic pain in women?

  • Gynecologic conditions , such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, or uterine fibroids
  • Bowel and bladder conditions , such as irritable bowel syndrome, bladder inflammation, or tumors
  • Muscle and nerve conditions , such as swelling or weakness of your pelvic muscles, or damage to the nerves of your pelvic area (neuropathy)
  • Psychological issues as a result of physical or sexual abuse, or drug abuse

How is pelvic pain treated?

  • Pain medicine may be given in pills, injections, or creams to relieve your pain.
  • Hormones may be given if your pain gets worse with your menstrual cycle.
  • Antibiotics may be given if your pain is caused by infection.
  • Surgery may be done if other treatments do not relieve your pain.

How can I manage my pelvic pain?

  • Keep a pain diary. Write down when your pain happens, how severe it is, and any other symptoms you have with your pain. A diary will help you keep track of pain cycles. It may also help your healthcare provider find out what is causing your pain.
  • Learn ways to relax. Deep breathing, meditation, and relaxation techniques can help decrease your pain. When you are tense, your pain may increase.
  • Change the foods you eat if you have irritable bowel syndrome. Ask your healthcare provider about the best foods for you.

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • You have severe chest pain and sudden trouble breathing.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • You have heavy or unusual vaginal bleeding, and you feel lightheaded or faint.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have pelvic pain that does not go away after you take pain medicine.
  • You develop new symptoms or your symptoms are worse than before.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.