For pelvic pain to be considered chronic it must be present and persistent for six months or longer. In women, pelvic pain syndrome is characterized by severe pain directly below the belly button in line with the pelvic bones. The feeling of pressure that goes deep into the pelvis may also be accompanied by dull aches or sharp stabbing pain. With pelvic pain syndrome, people often report painful intercourse, pain and pressure during a bowel movement, as well as pain after sitting for long periods of time. Standing for long periods of time can also cause discomfort and intense pain. Lying down may provide short-term relief.
Because pelvic pain can have numerous causes, it is difficult to treat the "cause" itself. Instead of trying to treat any one cause, doctors often treat the symptoms and make a sincere effort to improve quality of life. When a reason for the pain is found, it can be treated. In most cases, pain is managed through the use of over the counter pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications. Antibiotics may be prescribed to fight any infection that may be present. Antidepressants are also prescribed for individuals who are having problems managing their intense pain. Physiotherapy and trigger point injections are also used to manage chronic pelvic pain. Often, laparoscopic surgery is needed to evaluate and treat pelvic pain.
Pelvic pain syndrome has been linked to many other health conditions including ovarian cysts, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome, and chronic pelvic inflammatory disease. In some cases, psychological disorders may be at the root of the problem. Individuals who have experienced sexual or reproductive trauma may have pelvic pain that is linked to depression or PTSD. Pelvic pain syndrome can have one root cause or it can be caused by a multitude of conditions that affect the pelvic areas and reproductive organs. Many times a doctor will uncover the potential cause of pelvic pain syndrome during a woman's wellness exam.
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